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Spotlight Pitchers: Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel with Lucas Giolito | Today, 5/25/21

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We move on from yesterday’s limited group of pitching to a vast selection on Tuesday’s 13-game MLB DFS slate. Beyond the two obvious premium options we’re given a drastic fluctuation in pitcher pricing between DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy baseball sites, particularly in the upper-mid range. We will address a viable candidate from each major pricing tier in today’s Spotlight Pitchers for Tuesday, May 25.

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Top Daily Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers | May 25

Jacob deGrom: NYM vs. COL — DraftKings $11,800; FanDuel $12,000

Jacob deGrom returns from injury today, and he is averaging 36.1 DraftKings, 57.33 FanDuel points and a 46.1% strikeout rate over six starts. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives deGrom a 33% chance of being a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and a 10.2% chance of becoming the top pitcher on FanDuel. Despite outstanding MLB DFS projections, the lofty asking prices diminish deGrom’s value projections. MLB daily fantasy ownership projections of 41% on DraftKings and 24.1% on FanDuel indicate the majority of the field flocking to deGrom’s return, but his outlandish ceiling for fantasy production makes him impossible to fade.

Scheduled to face five lefties and four right-handed Rockies hitters, deGrom has a 39.7% strikeout rate with an 0.84 WHIP against left-handed opposition. Ryan McMahon (fifth) has a .263 ISO against right-handed pitchers this year and could be a problem in the middle of the Colorado order. The Rockies collectively have a .229 batting average with a 23.5% strikeout rate, earning a 68 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this year. The ownership on DraftKings is a lot to endure on such a large slate of cheaper alternatives, but deGrom has the potential to put up slate-winning totals against this Rockies team.

Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points A, Value B

Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points A, Value A


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Lucas Giolito: CWS vs. STL — DraftKings $8,700; FanDuel $8,500

Lucas Giolito looked great in his last start and is averaging 18 DraftKings and 31.77 FanDuel points with a 29.3% strikeout rate in nine starts. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives Giolito a 12% chance of being a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and a 4.9% chance of being the top pitcher on FanDuel. MLB DFS point projections toward the top of the pack with a discounted price tag align Giolito as a 6% chance at top-two value on DraftKings while a 3.1% chance of being top value pitcher on FanDuel. MLB daily fantasy ownership projections of 23.5% on DraftKings and 13.5% on FanDuel make Giolito a fairly invested option by the field without tipping the scale.

Due to face five righties, two lefties and two-switch hitters from St Louis, Giolito has a 29% strikeout rate and 6% walk rate against right-handed hitters. The middle of the Cardinals’ order could give Giolito some issues, with Nolan Arenado (fourth) and Yadier Molina (fifth) both hitting just above .265 against right-handed pitching. St. Louis currently has a .226 batting average, 23% strikeout rate and 87 wRC+ against righty pitchers this year. If he can mitigate his fly ball issues, Giolito has more than a fair chance to put up fantastic fantasy totals on Tuesday.

Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points A, Value A

Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points B, Value B

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Cole Irvin: OAK vs. SEA — DraftKings $6,700; FanDuel $7,200

Cole Irvin starts against the struggling Mariners, averaging 14.5 DraftKings and 28.11 FanDuel points with an 18.3% strikeout rate in nine starts. Awesemo’s MLB Top Pitchers Tool gives Irvin a 4.5% chance of becoming a top-two pitcher on DraftKings and 3.2% chance of being the top pitcher on FanDuel. Moderately decent MLB DFS point projections with a considerable saving margin on salary gives Irvin an 8.7% chance of being a top-two value while a 4.9% rate of being the top value on FanDuel. Daily fantasy baseball ownership projections suggest Irvin will fly under the radar on Tuesday, with just 8.7% on DraftKings and 4.9% on FanDuel.

Scheduled to face five righties and four left-handed hitters on behalf of Seattle, Irvin has managed a 1.10 WHIP and 17.3% strikeout rate against right-handed hitters while striking out lefties at a greater clip. Mitch Haniger (second) has earned a .405 ISO and a 131 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season, where Irvin’s home run propensity leans toward right-handed batters. The Mariners have a dreadful .188 batting average, 29.5% strikeout rate and 77 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this year. He doesn’t offer the greatest strikeout upside by any means, but at a discount against Seattle team, he is worth the gamble.

Awesemo’s FanDuel Grades: Points C, Value B

Awesemo’s DraftKings Grades: Points C, Value B


Be sure to check out today’s daily fantasy baseball videos and podcasts, including the MLB Strategy Show!



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Once a man of 12-team teaser parlays and an abundance of season-long fantasy leagues, Chris "TopherSquints" Giordani gradually honed his fascination for sports and plus-money wagers toward Daily Fantasy Sports. A homegrown Awesemo student from the early stages of the site's inception, he became infatuated with the contrarian DFS mindset and eventually combined his passion for writing with Daily Fantasy at the Sports Gambling Podcast's website blog. Currently, Chris Giordani resides in Orange County, California, enjoys binging on stand-up comedy, and long strolls through the DraftKings lobby.

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