FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 6/21/22

Sean Manaea has been good this season and gets a nice matchup with Arizona. Is he the night's top pitching option?

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

Sean Manaea, San Diego Padres

Vs Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $9,900

We went to this well last night, and it was a good one -- teammate Yu Darvish had his star shine pretty brightly against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing only a singular earned run over seven innings on his way to a win.

We should expect more of the same tonight for southpaw Sean Manaea, who has been pretty incredible since he was acquired just before the start of the 2022 season. Manaea has logged a 25.5% strikeout rate on the year, and he pairs that with a 13.3% swinging-strike rate (the best mark of his career). With a 32.0% hard-hit rate, he's been tough to square up when hitters do put the ball in play.

The Diamondbacks have been a poor offense this season, ranking in the bottom 10 in wOBA and isolated power (ISO). Manaea can follow in Darvish's footsteps.

We peg Manaea as the best hurler on the slate, projecting him for 37.2 FanDuel points.

Mid-Range Play

Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves

vs San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Salary: $8,700

Spencer Strider made just four starts on the season, but over his 15 total appearances and 44 innings pitched, he's been lights out.

Check these numbers -- a 38.6% strikeout rate, 40.2% ground-ball rate, and 33.3% hard-hit rate. Now let's filter his numbers down to just his last four starts, a stretch that began on May 30th. Over 19 2/3 innings, he's struck out 31 batters (good for 14.2 K/9), and he's posted a 2.46 FIP. Strider has been awesome, with the lone negative in his profile being his inefficiency, which has kept him from completing six innings in any outing.

The San Francisco Giants are missing some key bats -- Brandon Belt and LaMonte Wade Jr -- from their lineup, but they are still a fairly tough matchup and will have a lineup loaded with lefties. But it's not a matchup you have to avoid.

At a projection for 30.2 FanDuel points, Strider rates out as a solid point-per-dollar play, per our model, and he's a quality alternative to the high-salary studs.

Value Play

Roansy Contreras, Pittsburgh Pirates

vs Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Salary: $7,700

If loading up on high-salary bats is your goal on Tuesday's slate, can I interest you in a side of Roansy Contreras to round out your lineups?

The young righty has been nothing short of sensational so far this season. While it's still a season that's a bit in its infancy, it's been impressive nonetheless. Spanning 32 1/3 innings pitched, the fire-baller has recorded a nasty 25.2% strikeout rate, and Contreras has limited batters to a 30.0% hard-hit rate. He's been in beast mode from the get-go.

The Chicago Cubs' offense, with middle-of-the-order bats like Frank Schwindel and Seiya Suzuki on the Injured List, is one we can pick on. They rank only 18th in the league in wOBA, and their team strikeout rate of 23.0% checks in as the 11th-highest.

All of this makes Contreras a solid 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.