MLB DFS: Lucas Giolito, Blake Snell Top Optimal Pitchers for Friday

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July 8, 2022

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Lucas Giolito, Blake Snell

Lucas Giolito comes into tonight’s slate as the top pitcher on our optimal board as he goes up against the Detroit Tigers. After a brutal stretch for the most part of June, Giolito was left with nearly an 8.00 ERA for the month while seeing a dip in his highly sought-after strikeout production.

Giolito put it together for his last two starts, where he tossed a combined 12 innings, allowed three earned runs, and compiled 13 strikeouts. While those might not be spectacular numbers, it is a trend in the right direction for the right-hander as he prepares to face a mediocre-at-best Detroit Tigers team tonight.

The Tigers have been underwhelming this season as they rank near the bottom of nearly all offensive categories. Over the past two weeks, we have seen some improvement as they have ranked in the middle-of-the-pack in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ during that stretch. Again, nothing spectacular, but it is showing us that maybe the preseason expectations could be starting to come to form.

We expect Giolito to be roughly 30% owned on DraftKings, which isn’t too troublesome given his affordability at $7800. We know what kind of pitcher Giolito can be, with a high strikeout ceiling to complement. Grabbing the price savings with Giolito, who is throwing the ball better as of late, against an offense that has been terrible most of the season, is an intelligent play. 

Blake Snell also looks near the top of our optimal board as he enters a matchup with his squad’s division rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Snell has had a season to forget thus far, headlined by his 5.12 ERA, but there is more in the tank with Snell as his xERA and FIP drop drastically to the 3.70 range.

That ability was displayed after his most recent outing, where he only allowed a lone run. Still, most notably, he had 12 strikeouts over only five innings pitched, easily making that his best performance of the season. We know the strikeout potential Snell has on any given night as for the stretch of the last five seasons, despite the slight dip he is seeing this season, Snell’s K% safely surpasses the 30%, leaving him in the upper echelon of starters in this game.

The Giants have had a rough two weeks as they have ranked in the bottom seven in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+, all while striking out at a top ten clip in baseball during that span. A struggling offense that is striking out a lot? It feels like the opportunity for Snell to have a high potential game for us when he has confidence after his stellar outing last week. Like Giolito, Snell is also pretty affordable at $7900, but we are only expecting his ownership to be in the low 20% range, which will leave us with a high-ceiling play with not much risk. 

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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