FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 6/9/22

Max Fried has been tremendous this season, and he's blessed with a great matchup tonight. Should you use him over Shohei Ohtani and Gerrit Cole?

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

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves

Vs Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Salary: $9,800

Shohei Ohtani ($9,900), Gerrit Cole ($10,800) and Max Fried are standout options at the top end of the pitcher pool. Of the three, I'm siding with Fried due to his superior matchup. Fried draws a dreamy date with the Pittsburgh Pirates while Ohtani has the red-hot Boston Red Sox and Cole is on the road at the Minnesota Twins.

Fried has been absolutely brilliant so far in 2022. In 11 starts and 69 innings pitched, the lefty has been out of this world with a 2.74 ERA, 3.54 FIP, and only 0.65 HR/9.

All of those metrics are strengthened by some legit batted-ball data in his profile. This season, he's limited hitters to a 28.9% hard-hit rate and only a 25.3% fly-ball rate. His 28.25 CSW rate is an appealing clip, as well.

The Pirates have been really bad offensively this season. They rank among the league's worst lineups in wOBA (.291) and ISO (.133, iso), and they carry a very healthy 24.6% strikeout rate.

We project Fried for 36.9 FanDuel points -- right in line with our projections for Cole (37.2) and Ohtani (36.1). Fried is where I'll land tonight, and the matchup will likely make him a popular pick, which makes Ohtani a fun pivot at nearly the same salary if you can stomach the matchup.

Value Play

Konnor Pilkington, SP, Cleveland Guardians

FanDuel Salary: $7,400

Getting thrust into the starting rotation due to injuries, Konnor Pilkington of the Cleveland Guardians has been pretty darn good in his rookie season. Mixing between the bullpen and a starting role, the left-hander has posted a 2.20 FIP over 17 innings and sports a delightful 29.1% strikeout rate.

Pilkington gets the massive benefit of facing an Oakland Athletics squad that's been totally brutal at the plate. They clock in as the league's worst offense in team wOBA (.266) and second-worst in ISO (.111) -- all while striking out 24.1% of the time.

If you'd like to load up on big bats, Pilkington is a sweet value option.

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.