FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 5/25/22

Which pitching options stand above the rest on today's main slate?

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.

High-Salaried Play

Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

vs. Boston Red Sox
FanDuel Salary: $10,300

Lucas Giolito has the unenviable task of facing the Boston Red Sox after they erupted last night. Further, the Red Sox have been on a heater lately. Nevertheless, Giolito is the most talented pitcher on the bump tonight.

According to FanGraphs, he's had a sterling 2.84 ERA and 2.64 Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) in a half-dozen starts spanning 31 and 2/3 innings. Giolito has also struck out a whopping 34.6 percent of the batters he's faced with a supporting 33.6 percent called strike plus whiff rate (CSW).

Finally, the betting information is good. The Chicago White Sox are -174 favorites with a game total of 7.5 runs, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Mid-Salaried GPP Pivot

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves

vs. Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Salary: $8,800

Unfortunately, Charlie Morton stumbled out of the blocks this year. The veteran righty coughed up three or more runs in four of his first five turns. However, Morton has settled into a groove lately for the Atlanta Braves.

In his last three starts, Morton has held the opposition to three runs or fewer, pitching at least five innings and striking out five or more in each. Morton earned a win in two of those starts, spinning a quality start in the outlier.

Fortunately, he's gotten back to missing bats. In his stretch of three good starts, Morton has tallied a 29,2 percent strikeout rate and 30.2 percent CSW. Thus, he's equipped to exploit the high strikeout rates of some of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Low-Salaried GPP Dart

Cristian Javier

vs. Cleveland Guardians
FanDuel Salary: $8,200

Cristian Javier has had more good starts than bad ones since moving into the rotation for the Houston Astros. Sadly, he had one dud in which he coughed up seven runs on May 14. Otherwise, he's held opponents to two runs or less in five innings or more in his other three starts this season. Further, he's fully stretched out after tossing 91 pitches in his last turn.

The 25-year-old righty has a good matchup against the Cleveland Guardians on the docket tonight. After a hot start, Cleveland's offense has come crashing back to Earth. Over the last two weeks, they've been tied for 24th in Weighted Runs Created Plus (86 wRC+). But, most importantly, the hitters on Cleveland's active roster have mostly been mediocre against right-handed pitchers in recent years.

Finally, the Astros are commanding -198 favorites and the game's total is just 8.0 runs. As a result, Javier is an outstanding GPP dart.

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.