MLB DFS: Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole Top Optimal Pitchers for Tuesday

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Jacob deGrom takes the mound for his New York Mets atop the optimal board as he prepares to face off against the Chicago Cubs. DeGrom’s excellence is remarkable, and he appears to be ramping it up for the Mets’ postseason push. As a result, every slate he’ll be on from here on out will be entirely affected by his influence. His strikeout rate is pushing a staggering 42%, while his WHIP is at an almost unheard-of 0.55 mark. He does very well limiting opposing power and rarely surrendered walks, obviously, and we see his expected ERA and FIP both comfortable below 2.00. His pitch count limitations are now starting to fade, so getting seven dominant innings from him is now the expectation.

The Cubs’ offense isn’t that bad, as they have been swinging the bats decently this week. Over the past two weeks, Chicago has been pretty middle-of-the-pack in terms of ISO, wOBA, and wRC+, which is where they’ve been hanging around all year. Their strikeout rate is north of 25% during that same stretch so that we can bump up deGrom’s already absurd strikeout ceiling. Overall, it doesn’t matter who deGrom faces, as he could go up against the All-Star team and still comfortably be atop the optimal board. deGrom won’t come cheap, as he shouldn’t, and is currently projected to see an ownership clip north of 70%. You almost need to have deGrom in your lineup, as his floor performance still puts you in a position to turn optimal. Having respectable deGrom exposure will be basically necessary.


Gerrit Cole is near the top of the optimal board for tonight’s slate, matched with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. Cole has had a strong season for the Yankees and is looking to continue his dominant strikeout run as he is coming off a 14-strikeout performance in his most recent outing. We know his expected ERA and FIP are in a great position as they hover around 3.00. The strikeout upside is always apparent as his seasonal rate is north of 32%, with double-digit totals in two of his last three games. He is giving up more power than he did last season, but his allowed HardHit% and Barrel% have lessened, so we can always hope for some positive regression. 

Tonight will be the Red Sox’s fourth time facing off against Cole, and they have performed better than most. Over a combined 17 innings on the mound, Cole has surrendered ten earned runs while still racking up 22 strikeouts. Boston has been very productive at the plates thus far in September, as they’ve ranked second in wOBA and fourth in wRC+. Their ISO ranking is only 20th which is alarming, and their low Barrel% limits our confidence in a potential power increase soon. We have Cole projected to see a sixth of deGrom’s ownership while still being priced at nearly $11,000 on DraftKings. Cole is capable of being one of the best pitchers in baseball on any given night, and the leverage we are seeing is very desirable. If you are looking to fade deGrom, Cole will be the only pitcher on the slate with the ability to match deGrom’s stat line.