FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 8/9/22

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
Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies

Vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $10,700

Simply because of the savings of $500, I am going to go with Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies is my top option on today's main slate.

He also tops our projections (albeit slightly) over Shohei Ohtani, who will we discuss next. The Miami Marlins, Wheeler's inter-divisional opponent, are one of the league's worst offenses, which makes them a perfect target for DFS purposes. They rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of wOBA, strikeout rate, and isolated power (ISO).

Wheeler thrust himself firmly into the NL Cy Young conversation in 2021, and he's been no different this year -- in 120 2/3 innings pitched, he's logged a 2.69 ERA and 27.0% strikeout rate, allowing only a 27.4% hard-hit rate this season.

High-Salary Play #2
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

At Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $11,200

It's hard not making Shohei Ohtani your #1 option of the day, but I think we lined out reasons why Wheeler makes so much sense.

If you have the coin because you didn't need all of those Coors Field bats, Ohtani certainly makes for a great fallback option. The Oakland Athletics, like the Marlins, are jockeying to own the moniker of the league's worst offense. They sport a .274 wOBA, .131 ISO, and 23.5% strikeout rate -- all are nearly identical to what the Marlins have.

And Ohtani? As brilliant as he's been at the dish, he's been almost equally impressive and probably more so on the mound. He sports a silly 30.2% K-BB% rate, and he's allowed only a 25.6% hard-hit rate on the year.

Consider Ohtani if Wheeler ain't your jam.

Mid-Salary Play
Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves

At Boston Red Sox
FanDuel Salary: $8,900

My oh my, how the mighty have fallen.

The Boston Red Sox have been downright embarrassing at the plate over the last month. They sport the fourth-worst team wOBA mark in the league (.289), and their 26.5% strikeout provides the massive FanDuel point potential we love to target.

And while Charlie Morton may have started off 2022 a bit rocky, dude has been ballin' as of late. In the second half, he's allowed a lowly .183 batting average and slugging percentage, including an absurd 2.55 FIP and 27.8% strikeout rate.

I know those top two arms are pricy -- if you're hitting the sale rack, peep Morton.

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.