FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/5/21
We start out the work week with a pretty straightforward pitching slate, but one where we can go in any number of directions with our bats. As of this writing, the highest implied team totals belong to the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays.
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Let’s check out the top options on Monday’s seven-game main slate, which locks at 7:05 pm ET.
Jacob deGrom ($11,000): With the New York Mets finally playing their first game of 2021, they’re rolling out arguably the best pitcher in baseball while everyone else is nearing the end of their respective rotations. Over the past two seasons, the Mets’ ace has posted a 3.14 SIERA, 33.5% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate. The Philadelphia Phillies are a middle-of-the-road offense and are only showing a 3.15 implied total. This is one of those cases where you might just want to lock in deGrom and go about your day.
Carlos Rodon ($6,300): Part of the reason you should consider going all-in on deGrom is it’s hard to really get all that excited about anyone else taking the hill. Dustin May is probably the next best real-life pitcher, so you could certainly look his way, but he’s only managed a 20.8% strikeout rate across 90.2 career innings, and his matchup against Oakland isn’t great, which makes it difficult to see him getting within striking distance of deGrom.
So if I’m going to take a stab at someone else, Carlos Rodon may be where I look. Admittedly, Rodon is a total wild card after logging just 7.2 innings in 2020 and 34.2 the year before that, but he’s shown strikeout upside at times in his career, most recently in 2019. Perhaps more importantly, he faces a Seattle Mariners team that has a 26.6% strikeout rate versus southpaws since the start of 2019 — only the Tampa Bay Rays are worse. There’s a very real chance that Rodon flops, but at least there’s a path to some upside, which is all we can really ask for on a limited pitching slate.
Others to Consider: Dustin May ($6,800)
Tampa Bay Rays: After getting swept at home by the Baltimore Orioles, it’s looking like it could be a long, long season for Boston Red Sox fans. Maybe Nick Pivetta can stop the bleeding tonight, but we’ve yet to see him put it all together across four big league seasons, so I’m more willing to bet on the Rays’ offense winning this battle. Tampa checks in with an inviting 4.77 implied team total.
Over the past two seasons, Pivetta has posted a 5.04 xFIP, 19.9% strikeout rate, and 11.7% walk rate versus lefties, so Austin Meadows ($3,500) and Brandon Lowe ($3,300) should be top targets, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo ($2,500) is a value if he bats leadoff. This is a pretty low-salaried lineup overall, making Tampa Bay an ideal stack with deGrom, too.
San Diego Padres: Oftentimes, the number of home runs a pitcher gives up from year to year can be flukey, but we’ve been watching Anthony DeSclafani consistently give up bombs for years now, which doesn’t bode well for him against this mighty Padres lineup. Most of the damage tends to come from left-handed bats — he’s allowed 1.70 home runs per nine innings to lefties over his career — which bumps up Jake Cronenworth ($2,900) and Eric Hosmer ($3,700).
DeSclafani’s generally performed better in righty-righty matchups, but that shouldn’t prevent us from rostering the usual suspects in Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,200) and Manny Machado ($4,000), and Tommy Pham ($3,200) remains a low-salaried piece.
Note that while DeSclafani posted poor numbers across the board in 2020, it may have been due to an early-season shoulder issue.
Milwaukee Brewers: The wind is blowing out at Wrigley Field, which could lead to a bump in scoring for the Brewers and Cubs. But with extreme groundballer, Brett Anderson starting for Milwaukee (55.2% ground-ball rate from 2019-20), that could squash some of the power upside for the Cubs, arguably making the Brewers the preferred side.
They get to take their hacks against Trevor Williams, who isn’t strong against either side of the plate but owns a particularly egregious 5.51 xFIP and 14.8% strikeout rate versus lefty sticks over the last two campaigns. Christian Yelich ($4,300) is well worth his high salary, and the good news is that the rest of the lineup comes in at $3,200 and below. Kolten Wong ($3,200) and Travis Shaw ($2,900) are other lefties to target, while Keston Hiura ($2,900) and Avisail Garcia ($2,400) should be batting high in the order.