FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 7/27/22
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.
Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays
Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $10,400
Kevin Gausman is the top hurler on a small slate with a surprisingly robust collection of starters.
He'll get a lift tonight from the absences of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado from the St. Louis Cardinals for the series in Toronto. And based on his excellent marks this year, he'll have a compelling case for usage.
According to FanGraphs, he has a 3.00 ERA, 2.74 xFIP, 3.00 SIERA, and 27.8 percent strikeout rate in 18 starts spanning 99 innings. Gausman has had a lower ERA on the road than at home. However, his 3.67 ERA in Toronto is markedly higher than his 2.71 xFIP. Gausman's been the victim of terrible BABIP luck at home, coughing up an unsustainable .407 BABIP.
So, let the regression to his home BABIP begin tonight in a favorable matchup. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Toronto Blue Jays are -250, and the game's total is just 8.0 runs. Therefore, the betting info is optimal, and Gausman is my favorite hurler across all game types.
High-Salaried GPP Pick
Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
Vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $10,600
It's often an uneasy feeling picking a pitcher at Great American Ball Park -- it has the nickname Great American "Small" Park, after all.
Regardless, Luis Castillo is a sweet GPP pick against the injury-riddled Miami Marlins. Miami's injuries have caught up to them lately. As a result, they're 29th in wRC+ (68) over the last 30 days.
Conveniently, Miami's struggles coincide with Castillo's heater. In his last four starts, he's allowed only three runs in 27 innings, punching out 33 batters. Castillo has also spun six quality starts in his previous seven turns.
Circling back to my word of caution about pitching at Great American Ball Park, Castillo has successfully navigated his home digs in his career, owning a 3.21 ERA and 3.21 xFIP.
Finally, the betting info is good for Castillo. The Cincinnati Reds are -164, and the game's total is a modest 8.0 runs. Castillo is an excellent pivot from Gausman in GPPs or alternative pick for gamers who are multi-entering contests.
Tyler Wells, Baltimore Orioles
Vs. Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $6,600
There aren't many high-salaried stacks gamers need to open up cap space to use tonight. Thus, the odds of Tyler Wells being overlooked are enhanced, making him a viable GPP dart. Wells was useful as a reliever for the Baltimore Orioles last year, but they deserve credit for rolling the dice on him as a starter this season.
In 19 starts totaling 90 1/3 innings, he's had a 3.69 ERA. However, not all of his ERA estimators buy what he's selling. Wells' 4.67 xFIP and 4.61 SIERA are concerning. Yet, his 3.66 Expected ERA (xERA) is encouraging. The mixed bag for ERA estimators isn't ideal, but they should throw gamers off Wells' scent.
Thankfully, the matchup is GPP-friendly. The Tampa Bay Rays have had the fourth-highest strikeout rate (24.7 percent) against righties in 2022, and they've punched out at a 24.5 percent clip over the last 30 days.
Lastly, while Wells hasn't been a workhorse, he was only one out shy of a quality start against the Rays on July 15, and he's had 4 in his last 10 turns.
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.