MLB DFS: Breaking down the top daily fantasy baseball pitchers on FanDuel & DraftKings for April 7, 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.
I’ve narrowed the list of top plays today to a group of 5.
Maeda has arguably the best matchup of them all today, with a DET lineup that sports a sub-.300 wOBA split and 25% K% as a group. His 61% win% and 3.5 opponent total are rock solid on this slate as well, not to mention a favorable situation for the MIL lineup against Matt Boyd (they crush LHP). Given Maeda’s elite abilities to keep the ball on the ground, induce weak contact and generate whiffs (17% in his last 11 starts), he checks out as a top option today. He’s also a nice chunk cheaper than the Bieber/Bauer tandem on both sites.
As attractive as Maeda is on the slate as an upper-tier skill and price point play, Bieber and Bauer have the next level kind of depth and strikeout upside that go to that next level above what Maeda can give us. Both of the CLE and LAD righties notched double-digit 10 Ks in their first outing of the year, and were able to go much deeper into the game (as they will on most nights). By the numbers, Bauer’s K upside is a tad bit higher here in my eyes given the OAK K% split numbers being a bit higher than the Royals (23.4% vs 21.8%), and the OAK wOBA metrics are also more exploitable. Between the two, he’s my preferred play of the day and also saves a few hundred bucks in the process.
On the value side of the equation, Eovaldi and Woodruff check out as rock solid options for SP2s on DK or a cheaper on FD. They are both under the $8,000 marks on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and possess some of the nicer overall skills in their salary range. Between the two, Eovaldi is in better form right now (3.45 SIERA with a 1.3 BB/9 and 9.7 K/9 in his last 9 starts) while also having the superior matchup on paper (TB has a 25% K% split vs RHP).
Woodruff is an intriguing GPP pitcher against the Cubs though, especially given his 7 inning, 1 hit, 12 strikeout performance when he last faced the Cubs in 2020 – not to mention some of the heavier velocity as a starting pitcher in the game. The Cubs are stronger vs RHP than LHP overall though, so this split isn’t exactly screaming exploitable on paper.
On the whole, I’m recommending a spend-up for Maeda or Bauer depending on your stacking strategy, with Eovaldi being a really nice value for Boston as well. Bieber and Woodruff have plenty of ceiling in their arms and can go off at any given time, so keeping them in your GPP pools is certainly wise.
That will do it for version of the Pitching Primer. Best of luck today and the rest of the way in your contests!