FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 5/12/21

Gerrit Cole has been almost unhittable this season, and he's got a juicy matchup tonight. Which other hurlers should we be eyeing?

Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-salary studs. These guys take up by far the biggest chunk of your cap space, but they also offer the highest ceiling. And in the case of pitchers, the high-salary options typically come with the highest floors, too.

For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce well, too, increasing our chances for runs and RBI. For pitchers, we want big strikeout numbers, while the ability to go deep in a game and pick up a win is also valuable.

With your high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you need to be right on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top-end options you can count on to anchor your lineup today.

High-Salaried Play

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

At Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $12,000

As the baseball season starts to settle in for 2021, the New York Yankees are settling in for a tight AL East race, and Gerrit Cole has been absolutely brilliant so far this season. In a brilliant 44 2/3 innings, Cole has been dominated opposing hitters for a 1.61 ERA and 66 strikeouts.

He may add to that gaudy whiff total tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays. This is an offense that has really struggled, and they clock in third-worst in baseball with a 27.4% strikeout rate and a .294 wOBA.

It's not likely or often that we get a big-time Wednesday main slate, but here we are. Despite a plethora of solid options that include Danny Duffy, Brandon Woodruff, and Julio Urias, Cole sticks out as a great play.

Our algorithm projects the right-hander for 42.0 FanDuel points, tops on the slate. It's no surprise that the Rays are projected for only 3.19 runs tonight.

Mid-Salaried Play

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

Vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $8,200

It feels like the market hasn't yet caught up to the greatness of Zac Gallen, and he's primed for yet another big evening tonight.

Gallen has averaged 32.6 FanDuel points per game this season, and that's largely due to his strikeout prowess. He's dominated hitters in 2021, logging five or more whiffs in every turn this season.

That's even better when you consider that outside of a white-hot Jesus Aguilar, this Miami team has really struggled. They rank sixth-worst in terms of team strikeout rate (26.6%).

Look for Gallen to be nasty tonight, and he's a decent mid-range pick we expect to provide a 4x ROI tonight.

Low-Salaried Play

John Gant, St. Louis Cardinals

At Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Salary: $6,700

With an over/under set at a tiny 7.0 runs, and a game that was 1-1 until it hit extra innings last evening, runs could be at a premium when the St. Louis Cardinals play game two of a road set against the Milwaukee Brewers.

With any luck, John Gant could stymie the Brew Crew like fellow teammate Kwang-Hyun Kim did an evening ago. For Gant, it's always been about commanding the strike zone, as the raw stuff is outstanding.

And more importantly, this Milwaukee offense stinks. While it is still early, it clocks in fourth-worst in team wOBA (.292), and their 27.2% strikeout rate so desperately provides that strikeout upside we crave.

Gant can be a nice salary-saving option tonight.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.