MLB DFS: Corbin Burnes, Josh Winckowski Top Optimal Pitchers for Wednesday

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Corbin Burnes, Josh Winckowski

Corbin Burnes enters tonight’s main slate as not only the top pitcher on the optimal board but also as the arm with the most anticipated ownership leverage. We know how dominant Burnes can be as the reigning NL Cy Young winner, along with having a strikeout percentage that hovers in the low 30% range, so getting leverage on him is always welcomed if the situation is right. The New York Mets have posted one of the most productive offenses in baseball this season but have not necessarily been as dominant as of late. By comparison, the Mets have ranked 2nd and 5th in wRC+ and wOBA over the season, but over the past two weeks, they have ranked 14th and 16th in those two categories. Imagine that the Mets were not facing Burnes tonight, and it was some random lineup that ranked 14th and 16th in wRC+ and wOBA over the past two weeks. Ownership would almost certainly be higher, but just the face appeal of the Mets is enough to minimize ownership. Backing the reigning Cy Young winner while seeing leverage against an average lineup over the past two weeks feels like a high-floor, high-ceiling play.

You might be wondering who on earth Josh Winckowski is, as I was a few hours ago, and why he is being projected in the same breath as Burnes. Simply put, Winckowski gets a crack tonight against a dreadful Oakland A’s lineup. Oakland ranks second-worst in baseball in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ while striking out at the sixth-highest mark in baseball this season, which is enough to propel any guy up the optimal ladder. In Winckowski’s case, he will only cost you $5,000 on DraftKings, while Burnes is more than double that number at $10,200. Getting a pitcher that cheap in a favorable matchup is desirable, but can Winckowski be good enough to pay off even that minimal salary? In his lone MLB start a few weeks back, Winckowski let up four earned runs over three innings pitched to another poor offense in the Baltimore Orioles. There is also not even a sniff of any potential high strikeout upside as he had roughly a strikeout percentage of 25.7% in triple-A this season. We also expect Winckowski to be over-owned at approximately 25%, so unless you have high desirability for a ton of high-priced hitters or think the A’s are that bad, avoiding Winckowski appears to be the safer bet.