MLB DFS: Breaking down the top daily fantasy baseball pitchers on FanDuel & DraftKings for May 3, 2021
Diving into today’s MLB DFS slate to uncover your best pitching plays.
If you’ve been reading this column lately, you’ll know that we’re a big proponent of sticking to the core principles that came out of a deep analysis of 2020 data. Don’t be afraid to pay up for pitching (both sites), and spending around $15,000 to $18,000 is often the optimal range in that department (DK).
Main Slate Targets
We have another slate where a group of 4 stand out pretty much head and shoulders above the rest (on FanDuel in particular). However, that extends to five deep on DraftKings when you bring one more guy into the mix. Let’s have a closer look.
It all starts with Tyler Glasnow. Period. End of story.
The Rays’ stud righty is leading the slate in a number of core fantasy-friendly categories this year. SIERA – 2.50. Hard contact rate – 21%. Whiff rate – 17%. Strikeouts per nine innings – 13.4. CSW% – best on the slate at over 35%. Statcast xERA – 1.91. Man, those are some amazing stat lines, my friends. The talent is superb.
However, this is not the best matchup on the docket by any means (.336 wOBA and 21% K% for the opponent this year in their split), but I’m happy to take the stud SP in just about any matchup when the talent is heads and shoulders above the rest. It’s a tough tough draw, but one that you can still expect a pretty clean stat line for him in.
The other premium option today is Walker Buehler against the Cubs, who looks pretty good this year as well. His 3.25 SIERA is second best on the slate after Glasnow, but the underlying skills leave a bit more to be desired. His 44% hard contact rate, 12% whiff rate and 28% chase rates are all a little underwhelming. However, his 27% K% split vs CHC is a far better situation for the Dodgers’ righty than the aforementioned Glasnow. There’s a bit of savings for him on both sites, so don’t be shy to pivot down a bit if you’re playing Ohtani on DK for one, or if you prefer to opt out of leaning on Glasnow in a ‘not so great’ matchup.
German Marquez and Kenta Maeda are 2 names that have some GPP appeal to me here. Maeda at under $7,000 on FD and under $8,000 on DK is in arguably the best spot of all SPs against TEX this evening. His 64% win% is tops on the slate, and his opponent K% of 30% on the year in their split is also as good as it gets. He’s been unlucky so far with a .372 BABIP and 27% HR/FB% so far this year, as his 37% chase% is still elite. A quality start here is within reach, and we shouldn’t be surprised if we see 6-8 Ks as well.
Marquez throws at home in Coors here, which isn’t the best environment for a pitcher. However, when you get ground balls at a 58% clip, strike out better than a batter an inning, and face one of the softer opponents on the day – you get some GPP attention. The Giants have a 29% K% and .290 wOBA in their respective split here, and not a ton of power to speak to. Especially with Yaz out of their lineup at the moment. He has great stuff and should see very, very low ownership today. He’s a really intriguing contrarian pitching option on both sites given a quality start with 7+ Ks is certainly within reach.
The last name that gets some love on DK tonight is Shohei Ohtani. While I prefer Glasnow significantly, and there’s risk that the 2-way star doesn’t end up getting the start, he does need some love. The Rays have a 25% K% in their split, and he’s as nasty as it gets. Particularly for under $8,000 on DK where he could slot in nicely as a SP2. His 15.2 K/9 in 13.2 IP this year is great, but the 8.6 BB/9 and 46% HH% are concerning. The raw stuff is excellent, but his inconsistency and injury risk (blister, sore elbow after getting plunked on the weekend) make me weary. I’d personally fade him.
That will do it for our version of the Pitching Primer today. Best of luck in your contests!