MLB DFS: Gerrit Cole, Luis Castillo Top Optimal Pitchers for Monday


August 15

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Gerrit Cole, Luis Castillo

Gerrit Cole is atop the optimal board for tonight’s slate as he prepares to go up against the Tampa Bay Rays for the fourth time this season. Over the first three outings, Cole was dominant and had high strikeout production, which was very efficient for DFS. In a combined 19.1 innings on the mound, Cole only surrendered two runs but racked up 29 strikeouts! If we can get a proportionate performance from him, he’ll be right in the mix for the top optimal arm. Before his last start, we were a bit down on him given a recent slump, but he responded with a scoreless, seven-inning outing, so we feel strongly going forward. 

The Rays have had a pretty underwhelming season at the plate this year, but we can’t say much about that since it they have been injury-riddled. They still aren’t getting it done at the plate in August, ranking in the bottom six in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+. They have also stuck out at the third highest clip in baseball during July, which adds to Cole’s already high strikeout upside. Cole will be priced at $10,100, which is the range we usually expect him at, but we’re anticipating him to be absurdly owned. The value is there with Cole, but at near 60% ownership, it will come down to your willingness to back the public. 

Luis Castillo is near the top of our optimal board and faces the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have been a mess offensively over the past few months and are in a downward spiral. They have ranked in the bottom four in wOBA and wRC+ over the past two weeks signaling how unproductive they have been. However, with the ninth highest ISO during that same stretch, there is reason to believe that they could soon be in for a turnaround. However, what have the Angels done to earn our trust that a bounceback is possible? Nothing. 

Castillo will take the mound for the third time as a Mariner after pitching well against the Yankees in his first two outings. Playing a worse team is a relief for Castillo as he looks to carry over the confidence from his eight-inning scoreless performance last week. Overall, Castillo has limited power well, which is not a good sign for the Angels’ potential offensive turnaround, and he has strong strikeout production at roughly 26%. The Angels have won five of their last six, but by no means was it due to an offensive explosion, so taking Castillo at a desirable salary of $9,200 with an expected ownership clip south of 20% is a solid play to make without sacrificing much. Weighing our top optimal arms against each other will determine whether Cole is worth backing at about three times the expected ownership of Castillo. To each their own.

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