FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 7/13/22

Cristian Javier sliced and diced through the Angels earlier in July, but can he do it again in Orange County?

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.

Top Play

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

vs. Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Salary: $9,300

Selecting one of the other aces as the top hurler on tonight's slate is tempting. However, Luis Severino has a perfect blend of upside and an affordable salary.

The righty is having a superb campaign, and he's been in a groove. According to FanGraphs, in his previous nine starts totaling 55 and 1/3 innings, he's had a 2.60 ERA, 3.40 xFIP, 0.87 WHIP, 29.6% strikeout rate, and 13.2% swinging-strike rate.

Severino has also had seven quality starts during that stretch. Tonight, he should add another to his ledger in a great matchup. The Cincinnati Reds are 27th in wRC+ (85) against righties this year. Additionally, they've had the fifth-highest strikeout rate (24.1%) against them.

Finally, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, the New York Yankees are -330. So, Severino is in a great spot to earn the win, making him my favorite pitcher across all game types tonight.

High-Salaried GPP Pick

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

vs. Houston Astros
FanDuel Salary: $10,500

Gamers who select Shohei Ohtani will have to make concessions at hitter to fit his sizable salary under the cap. Nonetheless, Ohtani has the upside to reward the requisite hitter alternatives.

The reigning AL MVP hasn't allowed an earned run in four straight starts, coughing up only one in the start before his unreal heater. Ohtani has had a 0.00 ERA, 1.90 xFIP, 2.12 SIERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 40.4% strikeout rate in his last four starts.

Ohtani has had 8 quality starts in his last 11, striking out 10 and 11 batters in the two outlier turns. In other words, Ohtani has been a stud. A matchup with the Houston Astros might provide gamers pause before selecting Ohtani. However, Yordan Alvarez is on the IL, and Ohtani has toyed with them this year. Ohtani has struck out 21 of 39 batters faced against the Astros in two starts, allowing only one run in 10 and 2/3 innings.

Therefore, Ohtani's upside is out of this world, making him a great pick in GPPs.

GPP Alternative

Cristian Javier, Houston Astros

at Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Salary: $9,700

There's a great chance it will be a back-and-forth pitcher's duel in the AL West matchup between the Angels and Astros.

Obviously, I highlighted Ohtani's recent dominance. Cristian Javier has pitched like a superstar, too. In his previous five starts totaling 30 innings, he's had a 2.70 ERA, 2.68 SIERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 40% strikeout rate.

He was shaky in his most recent start, allowing five runs and three homers in five innings, but he still punched out seven batters. Moreover, on July 1, Javier allowed only one run on a solo shot to the Angels, striking out 14 batters. Expecting Javier to duplicate that performance is unwise, but the Angels have been a dream matchup for pitchers lately.

Over the last 30 days, they're last in wRC+ (70) against righties with an eye-popping 29.4% strikeout rate. Additionally, their 26.8% strikeout rate against righties in 2022 is the highest mark in MLB. As a result, Javier is a top-shelf GPP pick.

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.