MLB DFS: Gerrit Cole, Brandon Woodruff Top Optimal Pitchers for Saturday

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.

Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Gerrit Cole, Brandon Woodruff

Gerrit Cole enters tonight’s main slate ahead of a matchup against the Baltimore Orioles as he is the top pitcher on our optimal board. Cole has been as expected at the top of the Yankees rotation this season as he has a sub-3.00 xERA and xFIP with a sub-1.00 WHIP as well. His strikeout production will usually determine how high his ceiling will be on any given night, which hasn’t been concerning this year with his near 33% strikeout rate. Cole also has back-to-back double-digit strikeout performances under his belt, which should give him some added confidence heading into tonight.

Baltimore has had a pretty awesome July at the plate, considering Orioles’ expectations. They are right outside the top 10 in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ with a bottom eight strikeout percentage during the month. They faired considerably well in their two previous matchups against Gerrit Cole, as in a combined 15 innings with him on the mound, they were able to knock in seven runs. That is something that the clubhouse remembers accomplishing, so adding that confidence to their recent success could have this lineup going into tonight fearless. At the end of the day, it is still Gerrit Cole who can always be a worthy play on any slate. However, given his $10400 price tag on DraftKings and expected 60% ownership, it might be better to lessen your exposure or stay away from this one as the O’s aren’t dead in the water.

Brandon Woodruff is right behind Cole on the optimal board heading into tonight as he’ll face the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies sport a mediocre offense that relies on playing half of their games in the altitude, so we should not go into this game looking for the Rockies to pile on runs against a strong opponent in Woodruff. We can never count them or any opponent out, but their bottom four rankings in ISO, wOBA, wRC+, and runs scored among all teams playing on the road this year shouldn’t give us too much concern for their capabilities. 

Woodruff has had a good season for the Brewers with an xERA and xFIP below 3.50 and a strikeout percentage north of 30%. We know Craig Counsell doesn’t like to overwork his starting rotation too much during the regular season, and Woodruff hasn’t pitched past the sixth inning over his 13 starts this season. Longevity is something that we should be concerned about for our DFS lineups. Still, Woodruff can put together a top optimal lineup-worthy performance in just six innings if the slate breaks his way. We expect to see comparable ownership to his optimal probabilities, so taking a chance on him against a poor road offense could pay off well if you are not confident in some of the marquee pitchers on the slate.