FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 7/29/22
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.
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
vs. Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Salary: $11,000
Gerrit Cole is the top pitcher tonight -- despite many elite alternatives. According to FanGraphs, Cole has a 3.09 ERA, 2.78 xFIP, 2.83 SIERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 32.3 percent strikeout rate in 20 starts totaling 119 and 1/3 innings this year. In addition, he's tied for ninth in quality starts (14), per ESPN.
Cole should shove it down the Kansas City Royals' throats tonight, namely after the New York Yankees acquired Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City in the middle of the week. The Royals are 25th in wRC+ (91) against righties and have a pitiful .302 wOBA on the road this season. If he's on, Cole should clown them.
Finally, the Bronx Bombers are likely to win tonight. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Yankees are -375. The game's over/under of 8.0 runs is also a positive for Cole's outlook. Add everything up, and Cole is a cut above the rest tonight.
GPP Dart #1
Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox
vs. Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
It's been a challenging and abbreviated year for Lance Lynn. After knee surgery, the veteran righty started the year on the Injured List (IL). As a result, Lynn made his season debut on June 13 and has started only eight games for the Chicago White Sox. It hasn't been pretty, evidenced by his 6.43 ERA.
However, Lynn's 3.83 xFIP is much more encouraging. He's also had an 11.7 percent swinging-strike rate, besting the league average (11.0 percent). In addition, Lynn is coming off his best start of the year, blanking the Cleveland Guardians for six frames. Hopefully, Lynn's last start is a sign he's rounding into form.
A Charmin-soft matchup with the Oakland Athletics will help his cause for another excellent turn. The A's are 29th in wRC+ (76) against righties, and their 24.0 percent strikeout rate is the seventh-highest mark.
Lynn has a chance to exceed expectations tonight, and his cap-friendly salary could be the key to skyrocketing to the top of GPPs tonight since the most attractive stacks are cap hogs.
GPP Dart #2
Bailey Falter, Philadelphia Phillies
at Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Salary: $6,800
Paying Cole's sizable salary is the right move in cash games. However, hitting on a cap-friendly pitcher and loading up on the top offensive options tonight might be the way to win a GPP. So, Philadelphia's Bailey Falter is joining Lynn in this space as a GPP dart.
The lefty was primarily a reliever last year, and his 5.26 ERA in six starts this season is dreadful. Yet, Falter's 4.09 SIERA and 22.4 percent strikeout rate aren't shabby. Moreover, Falter dominated in Triple-A. In 13 starts and a pair of relief appearances that spanned 65 and 1/3 innings, Falter had a 1.65 ERA, 2.51 FIP, 0.81 WHIP, 4.5 percent walk rate, and 33.6 percent strikeout rate. So, I'm intrigued by his minor-league excellence -- especially since he's facing a minor-league caliber offense tonight.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 28th in wRC+ (83) against lefties. The perpetually rebuilding Pirates also have the second-highest strikeout rate (26.0 percent) against southpaws. They're just the caliber of offense to bring the best out of Falter, and the betting info is ideal, too.
The Phillies are -126, and the game's total is just 8.0 runs. Falter has a great chance to produce his best big-league start tonight, and the cap space he opens up creates an opportunity to stack the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field and use other stud hitters or a second high-upside stack with them. So, sign me up for rolling the dice on Falter tonight.
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.