MLB DFS: Blake Snell, Shane McClanahan Top Optimal Pitchers for Friday

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August 19, 2022

We have a new page to offer where the sims will be updated throughout the day. You can find it here, the link will be the same every day (for bookmarking purposes), and all the tables are pre-sorted for you.HIGHEST OPTIMAL PROBABILITY PITCHER: Blake Snell

Blake Snell takes the mound as the top pitcher on our optimal board ahead of his matchup against the Washington Nationals tonight. We have never been able to rely on Snell to get us late into games, as he has not eclipsed six innings in any of his 15 starts this season. Six innings without allowing a run while racking up a minimum of eight strikeouts gives us the chance to turn optimal with Snell on any given slate. Against an offense as lifeless as the Nationals, who rank in the bottom eight in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ over the past two weeks, increases those chances. 

Snell’s most recent outing was against Washington, and we need a duplication of that effort. He went scoreless over six innings, only surrendering three hits while striking out ten. That start gave Snell five consecutive outings where he only allowed a single run or less. With a seasonal K% of 31.1 and an expected ERA and FIP that are in the low-3.00 range, there is a level of confidence that Snell is capable of continuing that streak while giving us a high strikeout upside and a chance to turn optimal. Snell has an ideal salary of $9,200 on DraftKings but will be the highest owned arm on the slate as a result. There is value on Snell given his matchup and recent performances, but this will come down to your willingness to back the public and if you are comfortable with some of the low-hitters to round out your lineups.

SHANE MCCLANAHAN LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK

Shane McClanahan is seated right behind Snell on the optimal board as he faces the Kansas City Royals tonight. After looking to be in the driver’s seat for the AL Cy Young trophy over the first few months, McClanahan has not had an ideal start to the second half of the season post-All-Star break. Over his last four starts of a combined 23.2 innings, McClanahan’s ERA is at 4.94 with 18 strikeouts. Obviously, those numbers aren’t horrific, but this is a steep drop-off for the one-time AL Cy Young favorite. 

Nonetheless, McClanahan still sports the best ERA and FIP in baseball among all qualified pitchers while having the second-best WHIP. Despite the recent strikeout regression, we still see his seasonal rate north of 32%. The Royals come into tonight on a four-game skid where they have only produced three runs during that span. Overall, Kansas City doesn’t offer much upside offensively as they are one of baseball’s worst clubs and have been in the bottom ten in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ for the better part of the season. McClanahan is still seeing a salary of $10,200 while his ownership is only expected to be in the low-20% range against a poor opponent. McClanahan could use this matchup to return to his old self of May and June, so taking a shot on his excellence without sacrificing much in ownership is a high upside play. 

Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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