FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 5/11/22
Pitchers lay the foundation for daily fantasy baseball teams. So it's not coincidental they have the highest salaries in FanDuel contests. Of course, it's possible to overcome a bad outing from a starter, but it's markedly easier to cash in contests with a good or excellent start.
Simply nailing your pitcher can cover up for a miss or two among your hitter selections. Thankfully, pitchers are less volatile to project than their hitting counterparts. First, pitcher skills such as walk rate and strikeout rate help separate the genuinely talented pitchers from their lesser peers. In addition, park factors and the offensive strength of the opponent are integral considerations for picking your FanDuel pitchers.
Weighing the importance of a pitcher's skill, park factors, opponent, and accounting for their salary is the game within the game on FanDuel. This piece is your home for my favorite pitcher picks for FanDuel's main slate every day. So, let's get to today's top hurlers.
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Vs. Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $10,800
The Tampa Bay Rays were held hitless by lefty Reid Detmers last night, and it gets more challenging for them against Shohei Ohtani tonight. The reigning AL MVP has been lights out on the hill for the Los Angeles Angels.
According to FanGraphs, in five starts totaling 26 1/3 innings, Ohtani has had a 3.08 ERA, 1.82 Skill-Interactive ERA (SIERA), 1.03 WHIP, and 38.0 percent strikeout rate. Ohtani has also been sharp in all but one of his turns, allowing two runs or fewer in four of five starts. Moreover, he's piled up strikeouts, fanning nine or more three times.
Thankfully, Ohtani's strikeout potential is enhanced against the Rays tonight. Tampa Bay's 25.9 percent strikeout rate versus righties in 2022 has been the fifth-highest mark. Therefore, Ohtani is an excellent bet to strike out many batters and deliver the goods for gamers using him in all formats.
Tylor Megill, New York Mets
At Washington Nationals
FanDuel Salary: $10,000
The New York Mets have their latest pop-up prospect turning into an ace on their hands. Tylor Megill had a rock-solid rookie season in 2021. However, there was a fly in the ointment.
The righty coughed up an ugly .418 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) to 184 left-handed batters faced. This year, he's held 72 lefties to a paltry .257 wOBA while maintaining his excellence against righties.
Megill is thriving with his newfound success against lefties. In six starts totaling 33 1/3 innings, he has had a 2.43 ERA, 2.69 Expected ERA (xERA), 0.90 WHIP, and 27.7 percent strikeout rate. The Washington Nationals aren't a pushover matchup with a few excellent hitters. However, they lack depth, and the betting info favors using Megill.
FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Mets as -176 favorites. Further, the game's total is a pitcher-friendy 7.5 runs. So, while Ohtani is the top pitching option, Megill is a close second, making him an excellent pick for gamers multi-entering GPPs.
Mid-Salaried GPP Option
Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox
At Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Sadly, some nights lack viable pitching options below the upper tier. However, Nathan Eovaldi is the closest bargain hurler at a substantial salary-cap discount from Ohtani and Megill. Additionally, there are value hitters among today's top stacks who can make an ace-anchored lineup work.
Eovaldi is the only underdog in this space. Yet, the Boston Red Sox are only +110, and the game's total of 7.5 runs boosts Eovaldi's case for usage in GPPs. Beyond the betting info, Eovaldi has a case based on his stellar start to this year.
In six starts spanning 33 2/3 innings, the hard-throwing righty has had a 2.94 ERA, 2.90 SIERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 26.3 percent strikeout rate. Additionally, Eovaldi has been a model of consistency, allowing no more than three runs in a start and pitching five innings or more in five turns -- he pitched 4 2/3 innings in the outlier. He's struck out at least five in all but one start.
So, there is a lot to like about using Eovaldi. And, of course, the cap relief he provides from Ohtani and Megill clears a path to squeezing in a few extra stud hitters.
Joshua Shepardson is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Joshua Shepardson also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username bchad50. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.