FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 6/8/22

Ian Anderson has been striking out more hitters, and he's got a great matchup at home tonight. Who else should you look to build around on FanDuel?

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

Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians

vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $9,700

Shane Bieber has been outstanding this year, proving there is more to pitching than top-shelf velocity. Even though his fastball is down two ticks this season, he's pitched great. Moreover, his full-season numbers are dinged by a disastrous start on May 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing seven runs in only 3 and 1/3 innings.

In Bieber's other nine starts spanning 57 and 1/3 innings, he's been lights out. According to FanGraphs, he's had a 2.20 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5.8 percent walk rate, and 27.4 percent strikeout rate in his nine good starts. Additionally, Bieber has had seven quality starts in his previous eight turns.

Bieber is also the beneficiary of a good matchup tonight. According to FanGraphs, the Texas Rangers are 23rd in Weighted Runs Created Plus (88 wRC+) against righties. They're also tied for the 10th-highest strikeout rate (23.3 percent) versus right-handed pitchers in 2022. Thus, Bieber is an excellent pick to keep rolling tonight.

Mid-High-Salaried Play

Nathan Eovaldi, Boston Red Sox

at Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Salary: $9,200

Nathan Eovaldi is drawing the Los Angeles Angels at precisely the right time. The Angels are in a tailspin that cost manager Joe Maddon his job yesterday. Over the last 14 days, they're 29th in wRC+ (81) with a 24.0 percent strikeout rate that bodes well for Eovaldi's FanDuel scoring output.

But, of course, Eovaldi is also on fire. He's spun three consecutive quality starts after getting clobbered by the Houston Astros on May 17. Moreover, he's been great all year, save for his messy start against the 'Stros. Eovaldi has had six quality starts in his last eight turns. In addition, he's allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his 11 starts.

If you toss out Eovaldi's dud against the Astros, in his other 61 and 2/3 innings, he's had a 2.62 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 4.1 percent walk rate, and 27.5 percent strikeout rate. Thus, he's pitched like an ace and isn't a get-right matchup for the Angels. As a result, he's an outstanding pivot from Bieber.

GPP Dart

Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves

vs. Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $7,700

Ian Anderson isn't a safe pick. Sadly, he's allowed four runs or more in three straight contests. However, Anderson has also kicked up his strikeouts during that stretch, striking out 20 batters in his last 17 and 2/3 innings. Impressively, he struck out a season-high nine batters at Coors Field in his last start.

Additionally, for all of his faults, Anderson has chewed up innings, pitching five or more in nine straight starts. Thus, Anderson's innings eating and surge in strikeouts are worth gambling on in GPPs in a plus matchup.

The Oakland Athletics are 29th in wRC+ (73) against right-handed pitchers. Further, Oakland has struck out at the seventh-highest rate (24.4 percent) against righties in 2022. Therefore, they give Anderson increased odds of hitting his ceiling tonight, and chasing a high ceiling is what it's all about in GPPs.

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.