FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 6/16/22

Shohei Ohtani mans the bump tonight, and he is must-see TV. Who else should we think about?

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

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

at Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $10,200

Truly, this is a bizarre pitching slate to parse through tonight.

There are five games on FanDuel's main slate, meaning we have 10 starting pitching options to work through. And strangely, 6 of the 10 arms are salaried- at $9,000 or above. Lower-end arms like Aaron Ashby ($8,200), Patrick Corbin ($7,200), Beau Brieske ($7,000), and Jalen Beeks ($5,500) are all massive avoids due to the matchup or poor performance.

So, of the high-end options to pick from, we would be remiss to not highlight Shohei Ohtani. Let's pause on the greatness of Ohtani, and let's start to recognize that the matchup against the Seattle Mariners is amazing. The Mariners rank 16th in team wOBA, 17th in isolated power (ISO), and 16th in strikeout rate. They're a marginal offense at best.

Now, onto Ohtani. In 54 1/3 innings pitched, the two-way star has logged a gaudy 25.9% K-BB%, and hitters are having a hard time squaring him up (28.8% hard-hit rate).

We peg Ohtani as the second-highest hurler on the day (33.3 FanDuel points), making him a worthy investment.

High-Salary Play #2

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

vs Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $10,400

As we highlighted on this quirky slate, the reasonably viable options seem to be the really high-salaried ones. But, let's parse through why I am only digging on Ohtani and Luis Severino.

While I have a hard time not recommending my boy Zack Wheeler ($10,600), the Washington Nationals have been surging as of late, and they boast one of the lowest whiff rates in baseball (19.9%). That's a hard pass for me.

Tylor Megill ($9,200) is still working his way into form coming off an injury, and George Kirby ($9,400) faces a Los Angeles Angels offense that does strike out a lot (25.5%), but they also clock in among the league's elite in team wOBA and ISO.

I'm also not about that Martin Perez -- and his paltry 20.0% strikeout rate -- life.

I am about Luis Severino. Overshadowed by teammates like Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, Severino has been just as brilliant. Firing 61 innings, he's logged a very adept 28.9% strikeout rate while only serving up free passes 6.1% of the time. He's not allowing much hard contact, either. Batters have mustered only a 30.1% hard-hit rate.

Because of the land mines associated with the other aces, I'm going with either Severino or Ohtani in my pitcher slot tonight.

**Editor's Note: Severino has been scratched on Thursday. Check here for numberFire's projections of the best remaining options.**

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.