MLB DFS: Breaking down the top daily fantasy baseball pitchers on FanDuel & DraftKings for April 5, 2021
Diving into today’s MLB DFS slate to uncover your best pitching plays.
Before we get into the pitchers we like best on this slate, let’s quickly remind ourselves of some of the killer insights coming out of our pre-season lineup study articles. Specifically when it comes to the optimal spend level(s) on DraftKings in the best-performing lineups in 2020’s large field GPPs.
- Very few winning lineups had contrarian pitchers as their 1-2 punch on the mound.
- Only 5% of winning lineups rostered pitchers with ownership levels of 20% or less (combined).
- The optimal spend range is between $15,000 and $17,999 on DraftKings (winning over 52% of GPPs).
While this isn’t necessarily gospel and an absolute ‘must-follow’ approach for each and every slate, it’s a helpful reminder of the guiding principles that will help more often than they’ll hurt (over the long run).
Let’s dive into who we’re prioritizing for the slate.
Jacob deGrom is the top option on the Monday main slate by a fairly wide margin. His eliteness across the board plays beautifully in any matchup. Last year, he rocked a 13.8 K/9, 2.70 SIERA, 2.38 ERA and 22% whiff rate. That twenty-two percent is next level, as he continued to be as dominant as any other pitcher in baseball today. PHI is a solid offensive group, but are softer vs RHP than LHP and surprisingly have one of the lower hard hit rates in their split (32%; third lowest on the slate today vs RHP). He’s easily worth paying up for tonight, especially with no Coors factor to contend with.
Rodon is one of the more obvious and chalky pairings with deGrom on DraftKings, considering the $6,700 price point and nice pitching environment (@ SEA). The walks and falling behind have always been an issue for him, but he had a sparkling spring and was attacking the zone consistently. He faces a SEA team with a 27% K% split vs LHP and team .283 wOBA as well vs lefties. There’s plenty of ROI upside in that left arm, especially since he looks to be up to 5-6 IP territory with how he finished in the spring.
May continues to own the label of a “better real life than fantasy” pitcher, but is on the radar for DFS purposes this evening. He’s under $7K on FD and almost $9K on DK, so you can pretty easily understand where the better spot to play him is. He sports a very nice and low hard contact rate (29%; best on the slate based on 2020 data), can miss bats (though he hasn’t shown that quite yet with consistency at the MLB level), keeps the ball on the ground (55% GB% in 2020) and has a nice K% matchup (25%) against OAK with a 58% win probability. The foundation is there for a solid outing as a value pivot off deGrom or even Rodon – but it’s important to remember you don’t have to “get cute” with your pitchers to be productive in MLB DFS.
That will do it for version of the Pitching Primer. Best of luck today and the rest of the way in your contests!