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.
Corey Kluber, CLE at BOS ($11,200) – Another tough day with the ace-level arms. Dallas Keuchel is at home, but TB is tough on lefties (2nd in wRC+), Jaime Garcia has a Giants team that sits eighth against lefties (though they did just lose Hunter Pence), and Noah Syndergaard has had a distinct home/road split and he's in Baltimore against a strong O's offense, so I'm jumping back on the Kluber Train.
He has three 9 IP/1 ER outings within his last four with 23 Ks and just three walks in the 27 innings of work. The Angels ripped him for 5 ER and 10 H in 5.7 IP during the other outing which shows the kind of volatility we've seen too often from Kluber this year. His ERA is over a run worse on the road at 3.86 (compared to 2.78 at home), but the road skills are actually better with a 1.04 WHIP, 28% K rate, and 7.4 K:BB ratio in 93.3 IP (1.04 WHIP, 26% K, 4.5 K:BB in 87.3 IP at home). Even with a 45-run weekend against Seattle, Boston is just 24th in wRC+ over the last month v. righties.
Jon Lester, CHC v. DET ($9,900) – Lester has a tough matchup in the Tigers, especially with Miggy back, but he's almost discounted at this price after sitting north of $10K in his last two starts. Few pitchers are hotter than Lester right now as he's toting a 1.92 ERA over his last eight starts going at least seven innings in all but one and he fanned 10 and logged a W in that start where he "only" went six. He has 63 Ks and an 0.89 WHIP in 56.3 IP during this run, too. The Tigers haven't been kind to Lester throughout his career (5.25 ERA in 58.3 IP including a 4.3 IP/5 ER dud at DET earlier this year), but I'm taking a shot nonetheless given how locked in Lester has been of late.
Jeff Samardzija, CWS at LAA ($6,800) – He's been a nightmare of late, there's no denying that. Of course, if he was pitching well, he wouldn't cost $6,800. The gambles are completely wart-covered today so I'm just going with the flat-out best talent of the bunch and that is still Samardzija. He's catching the Angels in an offensive trough as they've been the 28th offense vs. righties this month. The Shark appeared to be righting the ship prior to August with a nine-start run of 2.78 ERA. He only had 48 Ks in the 68 IP, but still maintained a 4.0 K:BB ratio and .581 OPS-against. Obviously, this is only a GPP option. Most of my Digging Deeper options are only GPP options, but every once in a while I'll use them in a multiplier or small league, but not with Samardzija's struggles of late.