MLB DFS 4-7-21 Pitching Primer

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

DraftKings and FanDuel have decided to bless us this Wednesday with a perfect slate for the MLB DFS 4-7-21 Pitching Primer.

The main slate runs ten games on both sites. It leaves out the doubleheader in Washington and the two late games, including the Coors Field game thankfully.

There are few things better than a main slate that begins at 1:00 pm EST and has your account fattened by dinner time.

Today's DFS Pitching Primer is filled with aces. And, thanks to the way the schedule falls, most of those aces are facing 4th/5th starters. No threat of rain or extreme weather on the slate, so you can set your lineup and go about your day without worry.

I'm not going to go back to Blake Snell ($9.8K, $9.9K) until we see him allowed to pitch through the sixth inning. The upside of his opportunity is not in line with the upside of his talent.

Trevor Bauer ($11k, $10.2K) has a good matchup but is priced out of my range considering other options available.

These two pitchers will command some ownership though. This figures to be a slate where there won't be a chalk choice. Ownership will be spread evenly, especially across the high-end choices.

Remember to keep an eye on Twitter (@JTrela20) for updates leading up to lineup lock. You can also find my cash game and GPP pitching options there on days I cannot post the DFS Pitching Primer.

Let's jump into this juicy slate!

MLB DFS 4-7-21 Pitching Primer

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

Shane Bieber, CLE ($11.5K FD, $10.6K DK) vs. KC

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The Royals are one of the hottest offenses in the early going, having scored double-digit runs in two of four games. Coupling that with some pretty good BVP against the AL Cy Young makes him probably priced a bit too high for use today. The Indians offense doesn't spark fear in anyone. If the streaking Royals can muster up three runs off of Bieber, it will probably be enough to send him to the showers without a Win.

In his first start, Bieber gave up three quick runs. Once the snow stopped, he settled down and finished with 12 strikeouts en route to 49 FD points. With a similarly stellar line today, he would only pay off 4.2X salary, barely taking us across the cash game threshold we target. There are simply too many high-quality arms available today to warrant the pay-up in cash on FanDuel, while the price on DraftKings is palatable. If you want to roll the dice in GPP, I'll cosign.

Aaron Nola, PHI ($9.1K, $9.4K) vs. NYM

Nola is the cheapest today of the "first round" starters and probably has the best matchup. The Phillies finally lost yesterday, preserving their main bullpen to be fully rested today. The combination of Jose Alvarado and Hector Neris has been lights out this year, and they should be able to take the ball directly from Nola who should go at least 7 today.

On the other side, the Phils offense gets gas can lefty David Peterson, whom they knocked around last year. As a -160 favorite, the Win and Quality Start will be well within reach for Nola. The 36 FanDuel points for 4x should be a breeze. He is safe for cash, and with the outlook of the options in today's DFS Pitching Primer, he will be available under 10% ownership in GPP as well.

Kevin Gausman, SF ($8.4K, $7.6K) @ SD

This one doesn't feel comfortable to type and is probably best saved for GPP play. Gausman was simply outstanding in his first start of the year. He carved through the Mariners lineup with little resistance and was only barreled up once in six-plus innings.

The Padres simply arent as dynamic right now as expected, with Fernando Tatis joining Trent Grisham on the IL. Public perception is backing the Friars this week, but they haven't scored more than three runs since last Saturday.

Gausman should see some length in this contest, seeing he threw 90 pitches in his opening start. He brings double-digit strikeout upside. You will get him in very low ownership on both sites, but keep the exposure low on this one.

Kyle Hendricks, CHC ($7.7K, $8.1K) vs. MIL

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Opening Day seemed to be an outlier for Hendricks. He only lasted three innings and showed some control problems. He was very high-owned, so there will be quite a bit of the industry shying away today, hoping to avoid getting burned twice. The 1.5 MPH drop in his fastball is somewhat concerning, but I will be rolling him out with some confidence as my main cash lineup pitcher today.

Hendricks has been one of the more consistent control pitchers of the last few years, his 2.5% walk rate last year paced the National League, while he has been among the league leaders in WHIP every year in his career. His ability to pitch to weak contact lends itself to pitching deep into ballgames. The Brewers are averaging 12 strikeouts per game offensively so far this year. This leaves them third-worst in the league.

Brandon Woodruff, MIL ($7.6K, $7.2K) @CHC

Pretty badly mispriced on DraftKings due to a lackluster opening start.  You can build a solid cash lineup pairing Woodruff and Hendricks together but against each other on their site.

Woodruff was among the league leaders last year with a 31% K rate, which is in line with his career performance against the current Cubs roster. They have managed only a .135 ISO against Woodruff.

Nathan Eovaldi, BOS ($7.2K, $7.7K) vs. TB

Another plus matchup for Eovaldi puts him in cash game consideration today. Tampa Bay was the worst team in MLB at striking out last year, however, they have shown signs of improvement this year.  The Red Sox will often be looking for length from Eovaldi if he continues to follow Martin Perez in the rotation. Last night Boston needed six pitchers to get through a 12 inning miracle win. They will tonight turn to Eovaldi and ask him to be a stopper as they do not have an off day until Friday. He doesn't bring much GPP upside today, but allows for an easy cash build at his salary on both sites if you don't have the stomach for  Hendricks today.

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