MLB DFS: Corbin Burnes, Charlie Morton Top Optimal Pitchers for Friday

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Corbin Burnes, Charlie Morton

Corbin Burnes takes the mound as the top pitcher on our optimal board ahead of his anticipated matchup against the Colorado Rockies. The strikeout ceiling is always there with Burnes, as his strikeout rate approaches 33%, along with commanding xERA and xFIP marks both south of 3.00. He got off to a dominant July where he had a sub-1.00 ERA over three starts along with 25 strikeouts before shutting it down for the all-star break. 

Burnes faces a Rockies offense who won’t have the Coors Field advantage in their back pocket tonight. Among all teams playing away from home this season, they rank in the bottom four in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ for the season. Burnes will cost you a good bit of salary at over $10,000 on DraftKings, but you get what you pay for at the end of the day. There shouldn’t be too much to worry about the Rockies for Burnes, so you’ll see some high ownership on him that he should have no problem backing up, as he has been consistent this season and throughout the past few years. Taking a shot on this play is a strong, safe play to fall back on if you are not comfortable backing any of the cheaper value on the slate.

Charlie Morton takes the mound for his Atlanta Braves as one of the top arms on the optimal board. He’ll be facing a Los Angeles Angels squad that everyone knows has been a disaster since late May and has not had themselves a welcoming start to July before the all-star break. The Angels rank dead last in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ with a staggering 32.7% strikeout rate for the month. Morton has not had a stellar season by any means, but he has been a decent arm in the Braves rotation with an xERA and xFIP that hover around 4.00 to go with solid strikeout production at around 27%. 

We know sometimes the all-star break can work wonders for a clubhouse, and no team in baseball needed the time away than the Angels, so for their sakes, they hopefully were able to find an identity over the past few days away from the clubhouse. Should we bank on a second-half turnaround? Absolutely not. However, the Angels seem to only be a competent baseball club when Shohei Ohtani is on the mound, which could work wonders for their offense as he’ll get the start tonight. Since May 25, the Angels have won only 12 times, and six were with Ohtani on the mound. Therefore, backing Morton is an enticing play, but the Angels only show up once every fifth day, which falls on tonight. If you are not a believer in Ohtani’s magic, the Angels have been so horrible at the plate that fading them until they figure it out is the smart play to make.