MLB DFS Pitching Coach: August 21
Published: Aug 21, 2021
It's a very different sort of slate today. DraftKings offers its main slate for the nine early games while FanDuel runs its main tournament contests featuring the games starting at 6:40 EST and after. Depending on how one decides playing today no matter the site, pitching could factor heavily in builds. Price points will be explored for each site below but split by main slate focus below. As always, use all the information available on Fantasy Alarm and best of luck.
DraftKings Only Early Games
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees ($10,600)
Returned from the COVID-IL firing 5.2 innings with nine strikeouts against one walk against the Angels on Monday. He gets the Twins at home this afternoon searching for his 12th win after racking up 185 strikeouts this year versus 29 walks over 136 innings. Even with the advantageous match-up, he's only the third highest favorite at -220 on this slate, but well worth the price given his career 31.4 strikeout rate against Minnesota's roster and backed up by a surging offense.
Max Scherzer, Los Angeles Dodgers ($10,900)
Mad Max owns a 3-0 record in the second half with a 2.76 ERA and robust 36:9 K:BB through 29.1 innings of work. He's a -270 home favorite against the Mets and owns a career 36.7 strikeout percentage facing their roster. It's likely his teammates thrive versus Rich Hill setting up Scherzer for the quality start and win bonus on a potentially volatile slate. At this price point, he's well worth it with a chance for upside with a dominant outing.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto ($8,000)
There's no real upside here, but Ryu's 3-1 in the second half with a 4.19 ERA and 25:5 K:BB over 34.1 innings. He also enters this contest a -250 favorite facing Detroit in a must-win game for the Blue Jays. This presents itself as a sneaky strikeout upside game for the southpaw and his offense should provide plenty of support versus Wily Peralta, due for more migration to the mean. Very good cash game option as an SP2 with upside.
Triston McKenzie, Cleveland ($8,100)
For tournament play, McKenzie's like a box of chocolates, one never knows what DFS players can expect. However, he racked up 11 over eight shutout innings versus the Tigers his last time out and could ride the momentum to a strong outing versus the Angels. Through 21 innings in August, he owns a 2.14 ERA with 20 strikeouts against one walk. Pretty, pretty good.
Keegan Thompson, Chicago Cubs ($5,000)
If Thompson reaches five innings and records a sneaky win, his status in this contest could pay off well for the risk averse. However, he's logged 11.2 innings through three starts at Triple-A building up his pitch counts and lasted 4.1 innings his last time out. But, he's also notched 12 strikeouts versus four walks in them with no earned runs allowed and a 0.77 WHIP. Five innings with five strikeouts could provide three times value and if he somehow gets the win, yahtzee!
Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels ($5,800)
If fading the crowd in a GPP, Detmers ranks as the penultimate risk versus reward play. Not advised for tons of exposure, but in one lottery play in a tournament, he fired six innings his last outing versus Houston giving up three hits, one earned run and two walks with six strikeouts. A repeat of this line against Cleveland (93 wRC+ vs. LHP) would represent a low owned dart with strikeout potential. Tread lightly but do not ignore either.
FanDuel Main Slate (6:40 EST and later)
Eduardo Rodríguez, Boston ($9,800)
Hard to fade Ed-Rod in this match-up. He's 3-1 in the second half with a 3.08 ERA and 41 strikeouts against 15 walks over 26.1 innings. Boston's a resounding -320 favorite in this contest and Texas struggles mightily with left-handed pitching including a paltry 79 wRC+ as a team facing them, second worst in the majors to the Pirates. Backed by a strong offense, and armed with an enviable match-up, target Rodriguez with confidence in cash games.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego ($9,400)
Speaking of must-win, the Padres need a spark drifting in the playoff races and enter tonight tied for the second Wild Card with the Reds. Musgrove may be the enema they need. He's 3-1 in the second half with a 3.60 ERA and 35 strikeouts against 10 walks in six starts. Going against Aaron Nola may put his win bonus at risk, so more of a tournament play but one worth exploring.
Wade Miley, Cincinnati ($8,800)
If hoping to roster more bats in the Coors tilt, using Miley for cash contests provides some relief from the pitchers above. Under the radar, Miley's won all three of his decisions since the All-Star break with a 2.95 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. He gives up too much traffic for tournament play consideration but the Marlins own the highest strikeout rate this year versus southpaws (28.3 percent) and may enable Miley truthers a profitable evening.
Drew Smyly, Atlanta ($7,700)
For tournaments, the zig in this slate resides in Smyly's arm. He's recorded four innings in two of his three starts this month and six in the other. So, it's about volume here. If he logs at least five innings, then the win bonus enters the conversation since the Orioles reside in a 16-game losing streak, all by at least a two-run differential.
Kyle Freeland, Colorado ($6,800)
Again, not for the risk averse, but if going all in on Rockies bats, why not take the starter as well? Freeland's 3-3 in the second half with a 3.09 ERA and intriguing 31:4 K:BB over 35 innings. There's a chance he records a quality start and if he adds the win bonus with five-to-seven strikeouts over six innings, he's worth a shot in a GPP loading up on bats in tonight's FanDuel main slate.