FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 8/10/22

Philadelphia's Noah Syndergaard is an option in tournaments thanks to his matchup, but which ace should you lock into cash games?

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.

High-Salaried Play

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $11,300

Justin Verlander is the best pick in cash games and is an excellent selection in GPPs. According to FanGraphs, in 20 starts totaling 130 innings, he's had a 1.73 ERA, 3.35 SIERA, 0.85 WHIP, 4.6 percent walk rate, and 25.5 percent strikeout rate. In addition, Verlander is tied for sixth in quality starts (16).

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has been consistently great this year and chewed up innings. Verlander should keep rolling tonight in a plus matchup. The Texas Rangers are tied for 22nd in wRC+ (93) against right-handed pitchers this season. Further, they've struck out at the eighth-highest rate (23.4 percent) against them.

Verlander should carve up the Rangers, and that's reflected in the betting info. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Houston Astros are -330, and the game's total is just 7.5 runs. As a result, Verlander is a safe pick with a high ceiling.

GPP Dart 1

Noah Syndergaard, Philadelphia Phillies

vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $7,500

Noah Syndergaard is a matchup-driven GPP pivot from Verlander. The 29-year-old righty has been a thoroughly average pitcher this season. In 16 starts spanning 85 innings, he's had a 4.02 ERA, 4.26 xFIP, 1.27 WHIP, and 18.2 percent strikeout rate.

Fortunately, he has a matchup tonight in which he can shine. Over the last 30 days, the Miami Marlins are 30th in wRC+ (63). That's right, they've been dead last in wRC+ during the previous 30 days.

Moreover, the Marlins have started at least six right-handed batters in their previous two games against righties, enhancing Thor's strikeout potential. This year, Syndergaard has had a 20.5 percent strikeout rate against righties. Additionally, he's also held righties to a .294 wOBA.

So, the matchup is ideal for bringing the best out of Syndergaard tonight.

GPP Dart 2

Madison Bumgarner, Arizona Diamondbacks

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Salary: $7,300

Madison Bumgarner is a shell of what he was at his peak. Nevertheless, he's made the most of his home starts this season. In 68 innings at Chase Field, he's had a 3.31 ERA. Sure, Bumgarner's also had a less exciting 4.67 xFIP, but he regularly overperformed his ERA estimators in his career.

But, of course, I'm burying the lede. The Pittsburgh Pirates are hapless against lefties. They're 28th in wRC+ (82) against lefties. In addition, the Pirates have had the second-highest strikeout rate (26.5 percent) against lefties. Thus, Bumgarner shouldn't have any difficulties mowing them down.

There are a few exciting stacks that require significant salary-cap space. As a result, Bumgarner is a more intriguing option when considering the offensive firepower that can be used around him.

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.