FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 5/14/21

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

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $11,000

It's Friday night, and that means a big ol' main slate with a pile of pitching options at our disposal.

While Max Scherzer ($12,500) and Tyler Glasnow ($10,500) will take the hill, the hurler who sticks out the most for me is Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What makes the veteran lefty such a good play today? A few things, actually. Besides his typical greatness (3.30 SIERA and 26.1% strikeout rate this year), Kershaw gets arguably the best matchup among this slate's top arms He is facing the Miami Marlins, a team that clocks in eighth-worst in both wOBA (.296) and strikeout rate (26.0%).

Our algorithm projects the southpaw for 41.9 FanDuel points, tops on the slate by 3.1 points. It's no surprise that the Marlins are implied for only 2.89 runs. Kershaw checks all the boxes.

Mid-Salaried Play

Aaron Civale, Cleveland Indians

At Seattle Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $8,100

A night after teammate Zach Plesac dialed up eight strong innings against the Seattle Mariners, Aaron Civale will try to replicate the same feat for the Cleveland Indians.

Seattle has desperately been searching for offense this year, and it's made them a great team to pick on in DFS. The M's have the seventh-highest strikeout rate (26.4%) and also rank last in wOBA (.284) and fifth-worst in slugging percentage (.360).

Civale is a fine mid-range pick on this slate, and we project him for 30.4 FanDuel points.

Low-Salaried Play

Zack Greinke, Houston Astros

Vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $7,500

Locked into a matchup with a hefty 9.0-run total, Zack Greinke may seem like a peculiar arm to be into tonight. However, as we peel back the layers of the onion, Greinke could be in a smash spot this evening.

The veteran right-hander faces a Texas Rangers offense that walks very little (8.1% walk rate) but swings and misses quite a bit (26.5% strikeout rate). That should bode well for Greinke, who has seen a decline in his swinging-strike rate (8.9%) but has still posted a solid 26.4% called plus swinging-strike rate.

Greinke can be a nice salary-saving option tonight. We rate him as the second-best point-per-dollar play among all pitchers.

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.