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MLB DFS 5-21-21 Pitching Primer

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Today’s MLB DFS 5-21-21 Pitching Primer covers a full fifteen-game slate.

There is a lot to sort through, as FanDuel has only three pitchers over $10k while DraftKings has priced four as such.

There are only two games on the schedule with totals under eight runs.

The obvious pitchers aren’t so obvious. So come dig deep with me this week!

MLB DFS 5-21-21 Pitching Primer

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

Carlos Rodon, CWS ($10.4k FD, $9.9k DK) @ NYY

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The Yankees have won three straight and draw one of the hottest pitchers on the planet in Carlos Rodon ($10.4K FanDuel, 49.9K DraftKings). He comes into this contest having not given up a run to a left-handed hitter. Fortunately, the Yankees can roll out a lineup of five right-handers on a given day. Despite the no-hitter and the All-Star level results, with further investigation, we can see that Rodon has yet to face a competent Major League lineup this year. In his six starts, he has faced Kansas City and Cleveland twice, and Detroit and Seattle once.

This slate lacks upside in the cheaper options, so you are going to want to pay up. I feel very comfortable taking Rodon out of my player pool, even building a GPP lineup to stack against him.

Trevor Bauer, LAD ($11.9k FD, $11.8k DK) @ SF

I may be thinking into it a little too much, but I’m also going to eliminate Trevor Bauer ($11.9K, $11.8K) from my player pool. The San Francisco Giants scored nineteen runs just yesterday against Tyler Mahle of Cincinnati.

What concerns me about this matchup is that Mahle and Bauer have a very similar repertoire. In fact, what turned me on to Mahle going into this year was seeing how he had learned a new pitch grip from Bauer when they were together on the Reds.

Bauer was pushed back a day due to high pitch counts in his last two starts. Last night the Dodgers started with David Price and Jimmy Nelson in a tandem bullpen game, so they will probably be forcing some length from Bauer after the extra day of rest. That will keep the strikeout count quite high, but it may come with four or even more earned runs. I am also fading Bauer today, at such a high cost, for these reasons.

Tyler Glasnow, TB ($11k FD, $11.2k DK) @ TOR

This leaves us with just one option to use on the high end. With Jacob deGrom sidelined, it has been Tyler Glasnow who has work the crown as the most consistent starting pitcher for DFS cash games. He has recorded either a win or a double-digit strikeout game in seven straight starts. He has only been below 20 DraftKings points once all season.

Glasnow is relatively safe to earn our minimum point expectancy for cash consideration. I do expect him to get there, but the upside for GPP is limited enough that I will probably avoid at this price. The Blue Jays are among the best in the league at avoiding the strikeout. They have also scored 27 runs across their last four contests. The expected Blue Jays lineup sports an impressive .354 ISO against Glasnow, supported by seven home runs in 65 at-bats.

Aaron Nola, PHI ($9k FD, $11.6k DK) vs. BOS

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Aaron Nola is dramatically mispriced on DraftKings and therefore makes for a great GPP option on that site. The ownership will be way down at this price point.  Meanwhile, The $9K salary on FanDuel equates to a perfect cash game option.

Nola was dominant in his last two home starts, with 55 FD points against Milwaukee and 67 against St. Louis. The Phillies are a -170 favorite in this contest and need their ace to be a pure stopper after two straight losses to Miami.

The Red Sox core hitters Rafael Devers, JD Martinez, Alex Verdugo, and Xander Bogaerts are a combined 3-for-28 lifetime against Nola. This appears to be a get right spot for the Phils, so a Quality Start and Win are likely in the cards here.

Ian Anderson, ATL ($8.8k FD, $10.5k DK) vs. PIT

Anderson is priced up in this juicy matchup, offering us a buying opportunity. The Pirates are last in the league in runs scored and second to last in runners left in scoring position. It doesn’t matter that Anderson struggles with bases on balls, Pittsburgh cannot capitalize. As -195 favorites, the Braves starter is the most likely pitcher on the entire slate to earn a Win. He has pitched the five-inning requirement in every start this year except one. Plug him into your cash or GPP lineup with confidence.

Mike Minor, KC ($7.6k FD, $7.5k DK) vs DET

The Rays aren’t facing a competent Major League starter today, so we will have to pick on Detroit instead. The Tigers are dead last in strikeouts and just above that level in runs scored in Major League baseball.  If you want to get a little different on FanDuel or want a sneaky option to offset Nola’s price on DraftKings, Minor might be just what you need.

His .271 xwOBA versus Detroit actually is the best on the slate today. Minor scored 44 FanDuel points against the Tigers earlier this year, which would represent 5.6X at his current salary. He is coming off by far his best outing of the season, having struck out seven over seven innings in earning a win against the mighty White Sox last weekend. I’m fairly confident using him in both cash and GPP in this matchup today.

Chris Paddack, SD ($6.3k FD. $8.6k DK) vs SEA

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I have a major blind spot with Paddack at this price on FanDuel, especially against the Mariners. Paddack has been pretty pedestrian this year, but the stuff is still special.

His strikeout rate of 21.1% and walk rate of 6.8% coupled with a 4.17 xERA tell us he has been at least league average overall, but he is priced like a gas can. The downfall is he is averaging less than five innings per start, but we could probably get to 4x the salary in just four innings. This game doesn’t have a 7.5 total because Vegas thinks Chris Flexen will contain the Padres.



For any questions or additional options, you can reach me on Twitter @jtrela20. Otherwise, check me out streaming LIVE every Wednesday at 9 pm on the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast, now part of the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube network of podcasts.


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About Jeff Trela

Jeff has been succeeding in fantasy sports for nearly 30 years. As a baseball and football expert, he focuses on DFS, NFBC, redraft, and dynasty formats. His talents can be seen in #TGFBI and #SFB11 this year. He also hosts the Stack Attack Fantasy Podcast every Sunday at 7:30 pm EST on the Fantasy Six Pack YouTube Channel.

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