MLB DFS 4-23-21 Pitching Primer

by Jeff Trela
MLB DFS 8-20-21 Pitching Primer

Today's MLB DFS 4-23-21 Pitching Primer takes us through a large field fourteen-game slate. On a day where there are four starting pitching options over $10k, it becomes very hard not to select one of them.

You will have to find the right value bats to offset the price.

Yesterday's slate had no true high-end options. It looks as if MLB saved as many aces as possible for us today.

On a slate with Coors Field involved, you will see higher ownership on the value and mid-tier pitchers. Most of your opponents will be trying to cram in those Coors bats. I recommend that we offset this by staying on the high end of pitching. I generally fade Coors the first game of a series when one or both of the teams traveled in a long-distance the night before.

If you insist on a taste of the Mile High bats, I do have a few GPP type value pitchers for you, as well.

For such a large field, we are fortunate to have no adverse weather to navigate around. You can build your lineup earlier than usual, knowing every game is safe to be played.

MLB DFS 4-23-21 Pitching Primer

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

Jacob deGrom, NYM ($12.5K FD, $10.9K DK) vs. WAS

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deGrom is the best pitcher on the planet, bar none. The price will scare some away. However, his average fantasy points being well beyond our requirements on both sites. He has struck out 14 batters in two straight contests. Should he complete the trifecta, he will break the record set by Shane Bieber just last week with 48 strikeouts through his first four starts of the season.

deGrom has seen extensive work against division rival Washington and is by far the heaviest favorite on the slate at -315. He brings in a 32% K rate and only 3% walk rate against the familiar opponent. He is well-rested as he received an extra day of rest since his last outing. This figures to allow him to go as long as the Mets may need. Many will shy away due to the price, but we are still at a discount in cash games with deGrom. If you can find the value bats, this is the safest play on the board.

Clayton Kershaw, LAD ($11k, $10.2K) vs. SD

Taking out his opening start in Coors Field (I ignore almost everyone's first start of the season), Kershaw has put up an average on both sites well above our 4x/2.5x thresholds. He has only given up one run in those last three starts while striking out 22 and walking, of course, only two.

This is a very "safe for cash" play, despite the presence of the Padres offense. His .275 xwOBA against the Friars is second only to his mound mate for the day. Kershaw has been nothing short of phenomenal at home crossed his career, going 95-37 with a 2.15 ERA and 4.62 K/BB ratio. Plug him in and start counting your money.

Yu Darvish, SD ($10.2K, $9.7K) @ LAD

Darvish was a hard-luck loser last week against his former club. He gave up only one earned run behind one hit while striking out nine. That outing aided Darvish to bring a meager 0.155 xwOBA and a video game-like 47% K rate against his former team into today's contest. The Dodgers bats come in ice-cold. It has been more than a week since they last scored four runs or more in a game.

Darvish has been vocal in the media about welcoming the boos and disdain of the Dodgers fan base, asking local beat writers to encourage them to be loud and obnoxious against him. He has improved in each of his last three starts after an abbreviated opener, having earned the 4x salary we are looking for at $10,200 on FanDuel.

Sandy Alcantara, MIA ($8K, $7.4K) @SF

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My favorite mid-tier option in today's MLB DFS Pitching Primer. Alcantara just pitched well against these same Giants last week, which was the fourth game in a row he gave us six innings or more. With a 28% K rate and .180 xERA, Alcantara has quietly been one of the best pitchers in the game so far this year. He is severely mispriced on DraftKings and makes for a perfect compliment to The higher-end starters mentioned above.

Luke Weaver, AZ ($7K, $7.6K) @ATL

This play is not for the faint of heart. In every slate, there is always a pay-down GPP option that will come in low owned. Weaver brings in a .285 xwOBA against a Braves lineup that could be without Ronald Acuna Jr.once again. Weaver has a 32% K rate against this lineup, although they have been in the top half of the league in not striking out so far this year.

His opponent Huascar Ynoa has been one of the more surprising starters in the National League thus far, and comes in $100 lower on FanDuel than Weaver. This play simply won't work on DraftKings where he is overpriced.

Weaver will come in virtually unowned and serves as a great leverage play over Ynoa. He figures to be one of the higher-owned pay-down options. This is a burn money on fire GPP play, a true dollar and a dream.

Dylan Cease, CWS ($6.6K, $6.6K) vs. TEX

On the other hand, at this price point, you have to consider 25-year-old Dylan Cease as our top value in today's MLB DFS Pitching Primer. His opponent has struck out more times than any team in the American League in 2021. The White Sox are capable of putting up plenty of run support for him, so there is some decent win equity.

It is possible Cease can be skipped over for this start, as the White Sox have not played in two days and may choose to bring back Dallas Keuchel on regular rest. As of this writing, they have not yet listed a starter. Cease also has not gotten through the fifth inning yet this year, having fallen short of qualifying for a win by one out in all three contests.

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

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