MLB DFS Top Pitcher Breakdown Strategy | Fanduel and DraftKings Tuesday August 16th, 2022 MAIN SLATE

MLB DFS pitching breakdowns are key to starting a winning lineup. Finding the best matchups form the foundation to a cash game lineup, and the sneaky matchups exploiting deeper dives find those under-the-radar pitchers capable of winning huge tournament money.  But, knowing which pitcher is best suited for which DFS game format sets you apart from the rest of the casual, fishy players out there just lighting their money on fire nightly.

Our MLB pitching guru, MDell (Matt), walks you through the strategy and metrics for today’s slate.  For an even deeper dive into timeless MLB Pitching Strategy, click here.  And, for proper definitions of the many stats used below, head to Fangraphs.com.  They are easy to find and learn.

 

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Justin Verlander @ CWS

Leading the league in Wins at 15 coming into this game, Verlander is one of the top options on this slate. As every slate he is on, he’s always in play for a big game. He did struggle in the fantasy department last time out, allowing 3 ER in 6 innings against the Rangers, but he has been a consistent pitcher all season. Also leading the league in ERA, he has now allowed more than 1 ER in 7 of his last 8 starts. On the road, Verlander is even better, pitching to a 1.58 ERA while allowing a .147 batting average against. His strikeouts numbers aren’t as high as we are used to seeing as he has been just under a K per inning on the season so far. The White Sox roster does have some decent numbers against him, with Abreu hitting him the best with 6 HR off him. I still like him to have a good outing once again here tonight even though he did really struggle last time he faced them. ALL FORMATS

Dylan Cease vs HOU

On the other side of this matchup we get Dylan Cease. He, along with Verlander has had a great season for their respected teams. Cease has not allowed more than 1 ER in 14 straight starts. He ranks right behind Verlander in ERA in the league with a 1.96 ERA but he has been much better in the strikeout department, recording 174 K’s in just 128 innings. At home, Cease he has been fantastic, pitching to a 2.50 ERA and a .193 BAA with 99 K’s in 68 innings. He has not faced Houston yet this year, and they are a very dangerous offense, but he is a guy who can shut them down. I do worry a little bit here, but I still think the way he’s thrown of late he can be considered in ALL formats. RISKY ALL FORMAT PLAY

Nestor Cortes vs TBR

Cortes will look to follow up Cole’s good start with one of his own, now let’s hope the Yankees can actually get some run support for him. In 3 starts against TB this year, he’s 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA, striking out only 12 in 17.2 innings. Cortes is coming off a good start with 10 K’s in 6 innings against the Mariners too. The Rays come into this game with the highest strikeout rate against LHP in the last 2 weeks at 34.7% and are hitting only .215 with an ISO of .062. Cortes has been better in August so far than he was back in June and had a decent July. The Yankees need Cortes to keep throwing like he has been as their offense is scuffling hard at the plate right now. LEAN GPP

Robbie Ray @ LAA

Ray faces off against the Angels here and if he can get past Ward and Ohtani, I don’t think the Angles will be able to do much against him. He has been up and down this season, but he’s coming off2 good starts against NYY and this game LAA team. Last time he faced them, he recorded 10 K’s in 7 innings but failed to record the win. The Angles are still a team with power, but their average isn’t the best against LHP in the last 2 weeks. He will look to build on his good year against the Angels so far where he has recorded 20 strikeouts in 14 innings and allowed just 2 ER against them this season. In both starts he’s tossed 7 innings with 10 K’s against them this year. ALL FORMATS

Merrill Kelly @ SFG

Kelly gets to toss the ball in a more pitcher friendly ballpark here in San Francisco against the Giants tonight. He has been pretty good for the Diamondbacks of late, tossing at least 6 innings in 11 of his last 12 starts. Kelly has pitched a little better on the road this year too. While he isn’t a massive strikeout guy, he is a guy that can eat up innings for the Dbacks. Despite the Giants not striking out as much as they have in the past, Kelly has thrown against them 3 times this year. In those 3 starts, he has 21.1 innings with 17 K’s and allowing just a .139 batting average against. The Giants roster as a whole is hitting just .172 against Kelly in their careers with only a .490 OPS. His strikeout numbers aren’t going to WOW you away, but he finds ways to get deep into games and if he can limit the damage here should have a good start against them again. GPP

Justin Steele @ WSH

Probably one of my favorite GPP options on this slate is Justin Steele. He’s coming off 2 great outings against Miami and this same Washington team. Washington comes into this game with a 31.3% strikeout rate against LHP in the last 2 weeks. Steele has 19 K’s over his last 10.2 innings in those starts too. He quietly has been throwing the ball very well against teams of late too. I think he does bring upside to the table for tournaments here. GPP

Nick Pivetta @ PIT

This is a good matchup and a good series for the Red Sox to keep their momentum going after taking 2 of 3 against the Yankees over the weekend. Pivetta hasn’t really been all that sharp, but he does have upside in this matchup against the Pirates. He hasn’t really been great in racking up strikeouts for the Soz and has struggled of late, but I do think he can turn it around against the Pirates here. GPP

Jose Quintana vs COL

Quintana just faced off against this team in his last start, so that does worry me a little bit here, but he managed to toss 6 innings, allowing just 2 ER and striking out 6 at Coors field. Now he move back to St. Louis in a bit better environment. COL hasn’t been doing awful against lefties, but he seemed to have their number in his last start. We do need a few cheaper options here and if he can replicate what he did last time against them he could have another good start with his new team. GPP

Jeffrey Springs @ NYY

The Yanks are struggling a lot on offense right now, so I want to take some chances at the pitching against them. They still have had some massive power numbers against lefties with a .250 ISO in the last 2 weeks, but overall they have not been scoring well. Springs has been good for the Rays too of late. He does have the ability to get some K’s when he makes starts his issue is the Rays not letting him go that deep into ballgames. Still, with the Yankees offensive struggles of late, I don’t mind taking chances on him. GPP

Zach Plesac vs DET

Plesac gets to face this same Tigers team that only was able to score off 1 solo home run against him the last time he faced them. DET comes into this game with a massive strikeout rate against RHP at 33.9% and are hitting only .202 with a team ISO of .070. Normally, Plesac isn’t a big strikeout guy, but was able to manage 7 in that start in 6.1 innings. In 3 starts against the Tigers this year, he has a 2.81 ERA, allowing 5 ER in the 3 starts against then. ALL FORMATS VALUE OPTION

 

PITCHER RANKINGS MAIN

  1. Justin Verlander
  2. Dylan Cease
  3. Robbie Ray
  4. Nestor Cortes Jr.
  5. Justin Steele
  6. Merrill Kelly
  7. Jeffrey Springs
  8. Jose Quintana
  9. Zach Plesac
  10. Nick Pivetta

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Top MLB Stacks: MAIN DFS Slate

  1. Atlanta Braves
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Chicago Cubs

 

DINGER OF THE DAY 

Paul Goldschmidt

Goldy comes into this game just rolling at the plate. I was going back and forth between him and his teammate Nolan Arenado against a lefty here at home. Goldy is hitting .432 with a 1.345 OPS against LHP this season and has been really good at home this year too. The likely front-runner for the NL MVP, has had an amazing August so far and has upside against Freeland here.

 

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Featured Image:

May 29, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease (84) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports