FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 5/24/22

Zac Gallen has been nasty to start 2022, and he will look to build on that resume tonight. Which other arms are in play?

In daily fantasy baseball, success starts with nailing the starting pitcher spot in your lineup.

When compared to hitters, pitching performance tends to be much more predictable and stable throughout the course of the season. You know what you're getting from a top-level ace when you roster him: probably a dominant effort with only one or two implosions per season. In contrast, even the game's best hitters have days at the plate where they go 0-for-4.

As a result, lineup construction should begin with the starting pitcher. Which pitchers should you consider on today's main slate?

High-Salary Play

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

vs. Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Salary: $10,900

Make sure you can find some low-salaried stacks (here are some value plays to consider) because there are not one, but two, high-salaried arms I am all over today.

First, let's highlight the highest salary at pitcher on today's main slate, Zac Gallen. When you play on a team that's bad such as the Arizona Diamondbacks, it's hard to stand out, but that's definitely what Gallen has done so far. In seven starts and 39 1/3 innings pitched, the right-hander has logged incredible marks of a 2.44 FIP, bolstered by a 48.0% ground-ball rate and 20.7% K-BB% walk rate.

If that weren't enough to possibly get you excited to roster Gallen, peep his opponent, the lowly Kansas City Royals. We typically want to find some bottom-dwelling offenses, and the Royals certainly meet that criteria -- a .292 wOBA (8th-worst), .125 ISO (isolated power, 5th-worst), and a 7.6% walk rate (6th-worst) are all pretty ugly marks.

We've got Gallen projected for 30.8 FanDuel points, which could end up being light on the day given his 36.3 FanDuel points per game average in 2022.

High-Salary Play #2
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

at San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $10,600

Ok, we've already waxed poetically about one high-salaried play on the day, but it's really hard to ignore Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers and the outstanding opportunity that lies ahead for him tonight.

Projected as the league's best arm tonight, Burnes is locked into a potentially massive score facing off against the San Diego Padres. Like Gallen's outstanding opportunity, Burnes has one that's just as sweet. He faces a San Diego Padres offense that's being carried by Manny Machado (1.004 OPS). Despite his excellence, the team as a whole has struggled with a .302 wOBA and .129 ISO mark.

Burnes, meanwhile, has been outstanding just like his award-winning season in 2021. Over 51 2/3 innings pitched, he's fired his way to a 27.4% K-BB% and just a 32.5% hard-hit rate.

We forecast him for 39.3 FanDuel points, and he looks primed to at least hit that mark.

Budget Play
Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins

vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $8,200

After the two mega arms at the top of the slate, Sonny Gray of the Minnesota Twins makes for a very interesting play if you need to save on some coin.

In looking at the Tigers' offense, which Gray takes aim at tonight, they rank second-worst in team wOBA and worst in team ISO. Their 23.9% strikeout rate ranks them ninth-worst in the league as well.

Due to some missed time, Gray has only made five starts and pitched 20 2/3 innings this year, and he's been pretty solid. He's logged a 28.7% strikeout rate, and his 50.9% ground-ball rate is also pretty spicy. Gray's 30.7% CSW rate is among the league's elite marks.

All in all, a lower-salaried Gray could make for a very interesting 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.