MLB DFS: Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon Top Optimal Pitchers for Tuesday

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Pitchers with the highest optimal probabilities: Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon

Over May, Justin Verlander only allowed eight runs in 31.2 innings pitched over five starts. In two of those five starts, he faced tonight’s opponent, the Seattle Mariners, where he surrendered all eight runs. In May, the Mariners were the only team seeing the ball well out of his hand. Verlander has been dealing this season, although his strikeout production has taken a dip compared to what we have been seeing with him in recent seasons.

This season, the Mariners’ offense has been hovering in the middle of the pack with some run upside available given their top-four position in wRC+ in the league. We see material ownership on Verlander compared to his optimal probability, but the fact that he has the highest salary on the slate is undoubtedly unappealing. Nonetheless, mixing in some Verlander lineups is warranted, given that his veteran poise should help him not get rattled against batters who have exposed him as of late. 

Carlos Rodon has been fitting right in with his new squad and would have a 2.28 ERA if it were not for a horrific outlier performance last month. His strikeout numbers are still excellent, with his strikeout percentage hovering above 30%, along with an even higher upside tonight. He already had a 12-strikeout outing against the Rockies this season (tied for his season-high). Even playing at Coors for half of their games, Colorado’s offense ranks in the bottom ten in ISO and wRC+ and has lost four straight heading into tonight.

We expect to see Rodon come in slightly under-owned and at a slightly cheaper price than Verlander. In comparing both of our top pitchers, Rodon feels to be the more competent play. He will be facing the worst of the two opposing offenses, has a higher strikeout ceiling, and has a proven track record of success against his opponent.