We are going to need all of the red carpet and then some, as all 30 teams in MLB are locked-in for Friday’s daily fantasy baseball main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel. Despite the catalog of pitching options the slate size naturally provides, the stud pitchers available are narrowed while Trevor Bauer headlines the premium entourage today. It is the middle of the pack that remains rather interesting, as Mike Minor is priced just under $8,000 on both sites while drawing an enticing matchup with Detroit. With an endless array of angles to strive for within our rosters, let’s get to the Spotlight Pitchers for Friday, May 21.
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Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers | May 21
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Trevor Bauer: LAD at SF — DraftKings $11,800; FanDuel $11,900
Trevor Bauer takes on the Giants, averaging 27.3 DraftKings, 45.88 FanDuel points and a 35% strikeout rate in nine starts. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives Bauer a 29% chance of becoming a top-two pitcher on DraftKings tonight and a 10.1% chance of being the top pitcher on FanDuel. MLB DFS projections in tandem with his staggering salary severely drop his value projections, however. Plus, his high MLB daily fantasy ownership projections of 31% on DraftKings and 17.6% on FanDuel could create some pause.
However, Bauer is striking out left-handed hitters 31.4% of the time with an 0.74 WHIP and faring even better against right-handed bats, and the Giants will have a fairly even split of lefties and righties in the order. The early portion of the San Francisco looms hazardous, as Buster Posey (second) has a .343 batting average against right-handed pitchers and Mike Yastrzemski (third) has a .337 ISO against the split this season. But collectively the Giants have just a .226 batting average, a 28.2% strikeout rate and 103 wRC+ when facing righty pitchers. The price is a big ask considering the bolstering number of pitchers to roster, but Bauer’s ceiling is one of the highest.
Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points A, Value B
Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points A, Value B
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Ian Anderson: ATL vs PIT — DraftKings $10,500; FanDuel $8,800
Ian Anderson heads to the mound for Atlanta against the Pirates, averaging 17.8 DraftKings and 32.75 FanDuel points in eight starts. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives Anderson a 13.6% chance of being a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and a 5.5% chance of earning top pitcher status on FanDuel. And despite his MLB DFS projections and FanDuel discount, his top-value projections are among the lowest on the slate. His MLB daily fantasy ownership projections of 17% on DraftKings and 16.6% on FanDuel, however, make him somewhat more of a pivot option than other top-end starters.
Anderson is striking out both sides of the plate just above 25% and earning a 1.16 WHIP against right-handed hitters. With little power to worry about in the Pirates batting order, Gregory Polanco (fourth) has a .205 ISO off right-handed pitchers, which could provide unexpected issues in the heart of the order. That aside, Pittsburgh has a .234 batting average, a 22.8% strikeout rate and 84 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this season. Although the discount on FanDuel may bump up his ownership on FanDuel, Anderson’s upside is fantastic given the matchup.
Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points A, Value B
Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points A, Value D
Jorge Lopez: BAL at WAS — DraftKings $5,400; FanDuel $6,000
Jorge Lopez comes into Friday’s start at bargain-bin costs on both sites, averaging a 22.5% strikeout rate in eight starts this season. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives Lopez a 1.5% chance of being a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and a 1.6% chance of being the top pitcher on FanDuel. MLB DFS projections may be on the slimmer side, yet considering the discount, Lopez projects with an 8.7% chance of being a top-two value on DraftKings and a 4.2% chance of being the top value pitcher on FanDuel. MLB daily fantasy ownership projections of 0.1% on both sites clarifies that Lopez is garnering little attention from the field despite the drastic savings provided.
The Nationals are scheduled to roll out six righties, and Lopez is striking out right-handed hitters 22.9% of the time. Lefty Kyle Schwarber (fourth) has a .234 ISO against right-handed pitchers this season, so Lopez’s 2.12 HR/9 raises concerns. Washington as a team has a .246 batting average, a 22% strikeout rate and 91 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers this year. With a Coors Field matchup along with several other spend-up stacks to get to before the weekend, Lopez provides the salary relief necessary while providing some hopes at decent fantasy production.
Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points E, Value D
Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points D, Value C
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