MLB DFS 5-7-21 Pitching Primer

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

Welcome to today's MLB DFS 5-7-21 Pitching Primer.

These are the kind of slates I love. We get a full 14-game slate, with only four pitchers priced over $10K on FanDuel.

Going to have to get our hands dirty digging deep on this one!

We are going to fade expensive options such as Blake Snell, Julio Urias and Carlos Rodon today. But if you want to bet on the Dodgers vs the Angels, in the fight for Los Angeles, that could make an entertaining matchup even more exciting! Click here to learn more about bet365 sportsbook. The San Diego Padres vs the San Francisco Giants is a good matchup too!

The matchups just aren't as juicy as some of the mid-tier pitchers are. With that said, let's dive right in!

MLB DFS 5-7-21 Pitching Primer

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

Jack Flaherty, StL ($10.2 k FD, $9.4k DK) vs. COL

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The Cardinals are the heaviest favorite on the board tonight at -215 against the Colorado Rockies in a homecoming for Austin Gomber.  The Rockies have scared no one this year and already taken their expected post in the cellar of the National League West.

Flaherty has earned a Quality Start in four of his last five contests. He takes an xwOBA of .216 into this juicy matchup, with an almost video-game-like 40% strikeout rate against the Rockies lineup. He's a lock to get over 40 FanDuel points today. The 4x threshold I look for in a cash pitcher will be easy here, with the potential for 6x very realistic.

Matt Shoemaker, MIN ($6.2k FD, $6.4k DK) @ DET

Well, now I have your attention. Through five starts this year, Shoemaker has been lights out twice, horrible twice, and pedestrian once. Pedestrian will be good enough at this salary, but I am going to squeeze the dice a little harder before I roll on this one.

The Tigers have scored 22 runs in the last three games, by far their best stretch so far in this young season.  But Shoemaker has not been generous to them, and they are still the worst team in the league at striking out.   He comes into this game with a 34.4% strikeout rate against the Tigers. He stimied them in his opening start of the season, earning a Quality Start and striking out five en route to a 40 FanDuel point performance. His xwOBA of .296 coming into this contest is third on the slate behind only Flaherty and Jameson Taillon.

The Twins are listed as -215 favorites to be leading after the fifth inning.  With a game total of 8.5 runs, this implies Shoemaker will hold the Tigers to two runs or less while striking out more than one batter per inning. In this scenario, we're looking at a floor of 27  Fanduel points at only $6.2K, even without considering the possibility of earning the Win.

Trevor Rogers, MIA ($10.4 k FD, $8.8k DK) vs. MIL

Rogers showed to be human last week, giving up three runs in only five innings to the Washington Nationals. He struggled with the control problems we saw at his first start of the year once again, having walked three. The positive is he continues to be one of the premier strikeout pitchers in the game, and the Brewers just happen to be second to only the Tigers in MLB at striking out.

Rogers is still priced up on FanDuel, and thus cannot be considered for cash games while Flaherty comes at a $200 savings. This scenario does make for a possible slate-breaking GPP opportunity though. He should be well below 10 percent owned on FanDuel.

Meanwhile, on DraftKings, he has been priced down significantly, to the point he may be the best cash game option. He is easy to pair up with Flaherty and still fit in some quality hitters on a slate with no Coors Field game.

Charlie Morton, ATL ($7.9k FD, $7.7k DK) vs. PHI

Morton has excellent history against his former team. Despite having just swept the Brewers for four straight, the Phillies are just not hitting. Bryce Harper, who has owned Morton throughout his career, remains sidelined with a wrist injury. The Phillies lineup over a large sample has a mere .075 ISO against Morton with Harper in the lineup.

The Phillies are sixth-worst in baseball at striking out, and Morton brings a career 27% strikeout rate to the contest. The Braves are 17-8 at home against the Phillies since 2017, and come into this game as -175 favorites.

Jameson Taillon, NYY ($7.1k FD, $8.3k DK) vs WAS

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The Nationals were just swept by the Braves, scoring only six runs throughout the series. the offense is a shell of itself without Juan Soto available. Yesterday we saw a lineup with Yadiel Hernandez, Josh Harrison, and Starlin Castro batting 2-3-4 and going an expected combined 3 for 15. This team is currently third-worst in MLB at scoring runs

Taillon brings in great career numbers against these fill-ins, with a paltry .256 xwOBA going into this game. Although he has not pitched deep into games, his 2.91 xERA and 30.5 percent strikeout rate should leave us feeling pretty good about this matchup.

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Sean Manaea, OAK ($8k FD, $9.2k DK) vs TB

I always pick on the Rays offense in the MLB DFS Pitching Primer. They strikeout. A lot. And Manaea this season has his strikeout rate up to 9k/9. Just a week and a half ago Manaea struck out six of these Rays on his way to a win and 36 FanDuel point day. At his price point, that is more than enough to be a viable starter.

The price on DraftKings simply isn't going to work for us, which makes him a GPP only option. Likewise on FanDuel Manaea will not be a useable option for us in cash games. The option to drop down $100 more and use Charlie Morton will certainly be popular.

Click here for MLB DFS Wisdom of the Crowd Projections

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