MLB DFS: Breaking down the top daily fantasy baseball pitchers on FanDuel & DraftKings for June 8, 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).
We have a massive Tuesday slate here, with 15 games taking place in the evening. With no shortage of quality options taking the mound here today, we’ll do our best to help you narrow down the pool to your top plays.
Our short list today
Starting at the top
The top 3 on the list today are Glasnow, Bieber and Buehler. I recognize that Carlos Rodon and his sparkling 2.52 SIERA / 13.2 K/9 on the year is throwing tonight as well – but I really don’t like the matchup against the Jays who hit LHP very well. I’m also opting to fade Framber Valdez against a talented Boston club, despite his strong showing early in the year.
For Glasnow, he has one of the most favorable opponent totals (3.1 runs) and a healthy 67% win% (ranking tops on the board today). The Nats are far softer against RHP than LHP (a near 40 point wOBA difference), and he has some of the filthiest stuff in the game. There’s a pretty easy path to a 7 inning, 8+ K performance like he’s done on the regular lately. He has 8+ strikeouts in back to back games and 5 of his last 6 starts.
Bieber is next on the list for me today, even though he’s a little pricier on both FanDuel and DraftKings – albeit not by much. His 13.3 K/9, 2.95 SIERA, 17% whiff% and 37% chase% are perhaps the most balanced in all of those regards in the game, and he has a pretty attractive matchup against STL in an NL park. After a few “just ok” starts for one of the game’s best arms, Bieber has notched 19 Ks across just 6 hits in his last 14 innings. Carlos Martinez and his 5.21 SIERA is primed to be knocked around by CLE bats as well, which only adds to the intrigue.
Buehler is in a similar price tier as the first two names, and he has a very attractive matchup against the Pirates. Even though his overall strikeout upside is lower, the floor is arguably the highest of this group given the softness of the opponent. He’s won 3 of his last 4 starts for the Dodgers, and has quality starts in 4 straight with 3 of those being of the very premium variety (1 or less ER). I prefer the upside of Glasnow and Bieber comparatively, but he brings a solid baseline to the table with a bit of savings, too.
Pivoting down for some value
There is a group of 4 on the list that check in as intriguing values. Let’s start with Alex Wood who faces a TEX club who have been pretty soft vs LHP this year.
Wood’s 56% ground ball rate, 3.54 SIERA and solid 13%/34% whiff/chase combo set a pretty nice baseline. Even though this game is in the hitter-friendly confines of Texas, I still quite like the way things line up for him as a heavy ground ball artist. Aside from a very bad outing against the Angels last time out, he has been great lately with 17+ DKP in 4 straight. There’s a lot to like here as a SP2 value.
Sonny Gray against the Brewers is fairly intriguing, too. This one is at home in CIN and MIL continues to be one of the higher K% clubs in the game. They just optioned Keston Hiura down (which is actually a bit of a shame given how much he was striking out), but the raw skill for Gray and a 3.64 SIERA (11.5 K/9 as well) will play nicely for the price. Their .289 wOBA and 26% K% combo are appealing for any RHP.
Pablo Lopez is priced up quite a bit on both sites, and is a fade on FD for sure but someone you can play on DK at $8,700 comparatively. He’s enjoying a fine season for the Marlins and is sporting a nifty 2.82 ERA (3.73 SIERA) with an eye-popping 37% chase% (the same as Bieber, for comparison purposes). The Rockies are one of the softest teams in baseball vs RHP (.287 wOBA) and his 3.2 opponent total / 64% win% tell you how Vegas feels about this one as it favors Miami really heavily.
Lastly is Dinelson Lamet, who is probably going to be very popular tonight based on his salary alone. The 3.1 opponent total and 65% win% are great as well, and he’s seeing his pitch count rise steadily as he builds endurance (over 70 pitches last time out). The Cubbies are a heck of a lot softer vs opposing RHPs than LHPs (.309 wOBA and 26% K% compared to .346 vs LHP) and we all know how well Lamet can miss bats when healthy (16% whiff% in 2021 to date). I like him for a 5 IP, 6 K, 1-2 ER kind of night. For the price, there’s plenty of appeal today – but don’t expect low ownership.
One more we should quickly mention
An honorable mention goes to Marco Gonzales who has a dream matchup against the Tigers, but doesn’t have the best year-long numbers that instill a ton of confidence. At least not yet. That said, he’s allowed 2 ER or less in 4 straight for the Mariners, and has the league’s most lopsided matchup facing DET as a LHP (.280 wOBA and 30% K% split). I don’t hate the idea of rostering him to mix in exposure when you’re wanting someone in Lamet’s range but with lower ownership potential – but I don’t recommend going all-in.
That will do it for our version of the Pitching Primer today. Best of luck in your contests!