FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/12/22

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.

High-Salaried Play

Carlos Rodón, San Francisco Giants

vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Salary: $10,800

The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't been much more than a speed bump for lefties this year, making even below-average southpaws look great. Meanwhile, Carlos Rodon has been one of the best lefties this year. So, what do you think the result will be?

In addition, Rodon has been a beast at home. According to FanGraphs, in 51 innings, he's had a 1.76 ERA, 2.65 xFIP, 1.12 wHIP, and 35.4 percent strikeout rate. Thus, Rodon's ceiling is cathedral high tonight against Pittsburgh's strikeout-prone offense. The Buccos have had the second-highest strikeout rate (26.2 percent) against lefties this year.

Finally, the betting info is perfect. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the San Francisco Giants are -275, and the game's total is only 7.0 runs. As a result, Rodon is an elite GPP pick and the correct choice in cash games.

GPP Dart #1

Tyler Mahle, Minnesota Twins

at Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Salary: $9,000

Gamers pivoting from Rodon need to chase upside, and Tyler Mahle has it in spades based on his talent and matchup. Mahle was the victim of dreadful luck early in the year, but he's settled into a groove.

In his last nine starts totaling 56 and 2/3 innings, he's had a 3.49 ERA, supported by his 3.62 xFIP and 3.39 SIERA. Mahle has also had a GPP-friendly 27.0 percent strikeout rate during this stretch.

And, again, the matchup is delightful. The Los Angeles Angels have struck out at the highest rate (26.9 percent) against righties this year -- 1.6 percent clear of the second-highest mark.

So, a matchup with the Angels is what GPP-scoring dreams are made of for a pitcher.

GPP Dart #2

Luis Garcia, Houston Astros

vs. Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $8,700

Luis Garcia isn't an obviously great selection based on his recent ERA or ERA at home. However, his ERA estimators have been much more encouraging, including a 3.60 xFIP in his last 11 starts and 3.51 xFIP at home.

That's markedly better than his 4.52 ERA and 4.76 ERA, respectively.

Garcia also has a strikeout rate tailor-made for GPPs, punching out 27 percent of the batters he's faced at home. Fortunately, the Oakland Athletics are a great matchup, too.

Their 23.8 percent strikeout rate against righties is the seventh highest, and they are 29th in wRC+ (79). Thus, the A's are perfect for allowing Garcia to pitch to his ERA estimators instead of his unlucky ERA.

Finally, the betting info is predictably ideal. The Houston Astros are -350, making them the biggest favorites on the slate tonight.

Garcia is an excellent option for gamers building hitter-heavy lineups jam-packed with studs.

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.