FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 5/31/22
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 #1
Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays
vs. Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Salary: $10,200
Gausman has been downright incredible. When you have a 2.25 ERA, it's pretty unheard of to see an even lower 1.31 FIP in 56 innings pitched, but here we are. His 2.3% walk rate and 44.4% ground-ball rate certainly limit the damage that can be done when he isn't whiffing hitters (29.3% strikeout rate).
Now, the Chicago White Sox are a sub-20% strikeout rate team, but they are woefully inept at the plate. They come in third-worst in team wOBA (.288), and their 6.3% walk rate and .126 ISO are also at the bottom of the barrel.
All of this means that Gausman, whom we project for a whopping 40.1 FanDuel points, cannot be ignored.
High-Salary Play #2
Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers
vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Salary: $9,800
Off to a 33-15 start and a +121 run differential, which easily laps the league, it feels like the Los Angeles Dodgers are only being maligned for what they don't have, not what they do have.
Clayton Kershaw is injured (surprise, surprise). Walker Buehler doesn't strike out enough batters. And Julio Urias needs to step up with the whiffs (18.3% strikeout rate), too -- but one thing that we have learned is that the southpaw will compete.
Urias is still doing some great things with the baseball. His 5.9% walk rate is among the league's best, and with a 25.0% hard-hit rate, batters are still really having a hard time squaring the lefty up.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a tough offense to crack, as well, and not in a good way. They rank second-worst in team wOBA (.288), and they are striking out at an egregious 24.9% clip.
All of those things make Urias worth the investment.
Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves
at Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $7,700
The cheaper salary for Charlie Morton makes him intriguing tonight, and despite a poor last outing, he's actually been quite good so far in May.
Check this -- in 26 1/3 innings, Morton has basically wiped out opposing hitters to the tune of a 22.1% hard-hit rate, .320 wOBA allowed, and 22.4% strikeout rate.
The Arizona Diamondbacks should make Morton's life quite a bit easier thanks to their poor effort at the plate. While they have improved to a .165 ISO recently, their .302 wOBA is 20th, and their 25.7% strikeout is also pretty hefty.
If you need a salary-saving option, peep Morton.
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.