Daily Fantasy Sports

MLB DFS 4-2-21 Pitching Primer


Overall, Opening Day was profitable for the MLB DFS Pitching Primer. So let’s get right back on the horse today, 4-2-21.

If there is anything to learn quickly in MLB DFS, it is to never confuse the process with the result. Every hitter goes 0-for-4 a handful of times per month, while our pitchers will sometimes put up a stinker. Last night I hitched my cash play to Shane Beiber, and it paid off. Meanwhile, my GPP lineups with Brad Keller were drawing dead right away.

It is a short and unique slate today, as there are only two gamers on the east coast. The Baltimore/Boston tilt rained out on Thursday has been rescheduled for 2:10 pm EST today.

FanDuel has added a special “All Day” slate, while DraftKings has chosen to completely ignore the game.

There are only two reasons to play an extended slate. The first is because you love a player on the slate, which means chances are everyone else does, too. Or, you totally hate the game and want to fade it, hoping it is a stinker. Unfortunately, the contests on an extended slate are generally much smaller. I tend to save my play there for only cash games.

MLB DFS 4-2-21 Pitching Primer

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

Blake Snell, SD ($9.5K, $9.7K) vs AZ

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Darvish, who was our top fade yesterday, got knocked around by this Diamondbacks offense. The same won’t happen with Snell today. He is coming off of an outstanding spring, where he hasn’t given up a run yet in 2021.

The Padres used their top four relievers to get the win yesterday, and will likely be looking for some length from Snell today. We all know he wants to stay out there and show he is capable of going more than five innings. He wasn’t allowed to sniff the sixth inning once last year, including the dreadful World Series decider.

Snell takes the mound as a heavy -240 favorite and the Diamondbacks team total of three is the lowest on the slate. Their lineup has almost no history against Snell and those who have faced him have a dreadful .050 batting average against him. Add in Snell’s three consecutive seasons with over a 31% strikeout rate and you have a perfect cash game option that will likely carry heavy ownership.

Trevor Bauer, LA ($10K, $10.5K) @ COL

While we do not worry about ownership percentage in cash, it is everything in GPP. The fact that Bauer is more expensive than Snell and in Coors Field, he will be very low-owned in your tournaments. The pricing delta from Snell is more significant on DraftKings, so you will get even lower ownership there.

Bauer led MLB starters in k/9 a year ago on his way to the Cy Young. In DFS, we really don’t care if we give up a couple of runs, even home runs, as long as we can get double-digit strikeouts and be in line for a Win.

If Bauer can approach ten strikeouts and stick around long enough for a Win, as a -280 favorite, he can potentially equal or outscore Snell even with a few blemishes.

Yusei Kikuchi, SEA ($7.5K, $6K) vs SF

Kikuchi abandoned his curveball last year or a cut fastball, and the results were outstanding. The change increased his strikeout rate, decreased hard contact against and helped keep the ball in the ballpark.

The long ball was his downfall in his rookie year of 2019, so it is not surprising to see that keeping the ball in the ballpark led to success in 2020.

Kikuchi’s delivery disguises the ball well, and the Giants have absolutely no history against him. I suspect the deception in his motion alone will get him through the lineup twice without much damage.

He offers enough salary relief to be able to stack up Dodgers hitters, and will likely be low-owned along the way. On DraftKings, he is inexplicably the cheapest pitcher on the slate.

Pablo Lopez, MIA ($7.8K, $7K) vs. TB

The entire Marlins rotation is a bunch of guys unknown to the casual fan. The thing is, they may be the best rotation in the NL East.

Tampa Bay is one of the most strikeout prone lineups in the league, having gone down twelve times to Marlins pitching last night.

At this salary, Lopez can afford to give up a few runs and still cruise to 4x value.

Dallas Keuchel, CWS ($8K, $8.7K)

Keuchel is among the pitchers I cannot recommend in today’s MLB DFS 4-2-21 Pitching Primer. I am heavily invested in him in season-long fantasy, but the moon and stars are not lining up for him today.

It is a road game, and the Angels will potentially stack nine right-handed hitters against him. I do expect him to carry some ownership though, as the White Sox carry about as much hype as anyone early this year.

In DFS, the strikeout is king, and that is just not Keuchel’s forte. I wouldn’t stack against him, but the point potential is too low compared to the salary.

Makeup Game from Yesterday

Nathan Eovaldi, BOS ($8.1K, N/A) vs Bal

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Eovaldi is my favorite cash game pitcher in today’s MLB DFS 4-2-21 Pitching Primer. We were on him in this space yesterday on a full slate, and he is my favorite value today.

At $8.1k, we only need 32 FanDuel points to get to 4x. Eovaldi should get there relatively easily.

Last year, in three starts against the Baltimore Orioles, Eovaldi scored 37, 46, and 52 FD points. At his current price, the 37 points we got in his opening start last year would more than suffice for our cash game goals. The 52 would help us take down a GPP.

Not surprisingly, the Orioles roster has a putrid ISO of .078 versus Eovaldi.

He generally gets through five innings, having done so in eight of nine starts last year.

As a -180 favorite, my confidence in Eovaldi earning a win is quite high.


Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

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About Jeff Trela

Jeff is a 30 year veteran of fantasy sports as both a commissioner and player. He specializes in redraft, dynasty, and DFS. He plays in several NFBC Leagues and will be providing the DFS Pitching Primer this season. In 2021, Jeff will be taking his analytical and "game theory" approach to League 9 of the TGFBI. he is always available on Twitter @Jtrela20

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