Picking pitchers in DFS is the most important part of the game as they routinely generate the most points. I'm going to try and aid in that picking process with some arms I like. I won't have a set number because it will vary day-to-day and it won't be a guaranteed everyday thing because sometimes the slate just isn't appealing enough to give firm recommendations. That doesn't mean I'll necessarily pass on playing, just that I don't want to offer some tepid endorsements that I'm not even all that comfortable with using myself. Generally, I'll try to include at least one lower level pick, too. I'll be using DraftKings pricing so this will usually be someone who checks in at $8,000 or less.
Francisco Liriano ($10,800) PIT v. CHC – Liriano has made himself much more enticing over at DK by improving his WHIP. Last year he was more of a FanDuel-only kind of guy because that 1.30 WHIP is killer at DK where they ding hits and walks. He has severely cut both this year, toting a 1.06 WHIP which goes very well with his 2.92 ERA and 28% K rate (10 strikeouts per nine). He gets a Cubs team that is just 16th in wRC+ vs. lefties for the year and just 23rd over the last month. He has also owned this club since joining the Pirates back in 2013 with a 2.17 ERA in 54 IP, not to mention 68 Ks and a 1.00 WHIP.
Lance McCullers ($8,800) HOU at TEX – My only real quibble with McCullers is the innings piece. He's averaging fewer than six per start so far and even if you lop off those first three as some sort of grace period for getting his feet under himself, he's still only at 6.1 IP/start over his last 10 starts, finishing fewer than six innings four times in that run. It's hard to argue with the results in the innings he does pitch, though. He has a devastating 25% K/50% GB combo that limits contact and then induces playable groundball contact when they do hit it.
By the way, it's worth mentioning that the innings piece isn't really a failure on his part, but more a strategy by the Astros not to overwork their young star. He reached at least 88 pitches in all six starts where he went five or fewer innings and I completely understand why they wouldn't want overwork the 21-year old. The Rangers are a solid offense, but he has handled all comers brilliantly thus far including the Angels twice, the Tigers, and the Royals (5 total ER in those four starts).
Zack Godley ($5,100) ARI at WAS – Everyone is quick to regress Godley to a sub-league average level, but the skills have been sharp in the two strong outings. It's one thing if a guy has faked his way to a 2.25 ERA with a .150 BABIP and 15% K rate or something, but Godley has a 23% K rate, 14% SwStr rate, and 55% GB rate. Those are all really good. We don't know that he owns those skills, but at this price, why not take a shot in case he does? Bryce Harper is amazing and can singlehandedly sink a pitcher on a given night, but who are you really afraid of outside of him right now? The Nats are actually below average against righties for the year (18th in wRC+) and sit in the bottom five over the last month.