FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 8/17/22

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 Rodon, San Francisco Giants

Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $10.700

It's a two-horse race for the top pitcher tonight, and Carlos Rodon leads the way. He gets the edge for top honors because of a more favorable matchup. According to FanGraphs, the Arizona Diamondbacks are tied for 23rd in wRC+ (91) against lefties.

But, of course, Rodon is also highlighted because he's been awesome this year, and he's been a firebreathing monster at home. In 57 innings at home, Rodon has had a sterling 1.89 ERA, 2.65 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP, 7.4 percent walk rate, and 34.8 percent strikeout rate.

Understandably, the San Francisco Giants are huge favorites. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Giants are -220 to win against Arizona. The game's total is a tiny 7.0 runs, and the Snakes' 2.92 implied total is the night's lowest.

As a result, Rodon narrowly edges out the next hurler for my favorite pick on the hill tonight, and our model agrees, projecting Rodon for a slate-leading 38.5 FanDuel points.

High-Salaried Pivot

Max Scherzer, New York Mets

At Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Salary: $11,500

Any opportunity to get Max Scherzer at even a slightly depressed draft percentage is exciting. Obviously, the Atlanta Braves are a significantly more challenging matchup for Mad Max than the Diamondbacks are for Rodon. Still, Scherzer has been otherworldly.

In eight starts since returning from the Injured List, he's spun a 1.36 ERA, 2.76 SIERA, 0.91 WHIP, 2.9 percent walk rate, and 32.1 percent strikeout rate. Scherzer has registered a quality start in each game, striking out at least six in seven of the eight contests. Scherzer is entirely capable of clowning the Braves.

Moreover, Atlanta has been strikeout-prone this year. They've had the third-highest strikeout rate (25.2 percent) against righties in 2022. Since it's all about upside in GPPs, chasing Scherzer's ceiling is a smart move.

We have Scherzer pegged for 35.8 FanDuel points.

GPP Dart

Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals

Vs. Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Salary: $8,700

Jordan Montgomery is an ideal GPP dart for gamers jamming a high-salaried stack or several stud hitters into their lineup.

His salary is markedly lower than Rodon's and Scherzer's, but Montgomery has pitched well and has a matchup that can allow him to reach his ceiling.

In 23 starts over 125 and 2/3 innings, Montgomery has had a 3.37 ERA, 3.58 xFIP, 1.07 WHIP, 5.1 percent walk rate, and 20.8 percent strikeout rate. It's also noteworthy that the St. Louis Cardinals haven't handled him with kid gloves since trading for him, a sizable change from his time with the New York Yankees. According to ESPN, 97 pitches was Montgomery's high for the Bronx Bombers. Then, in only his second start for the Red Birds, he set a new high with 108 pitches.

As a result, Montgomery's DFS ceiling is enhanced with his new club. And the matchup is tasty tonight. The Colorado Rockies are 26th in wRC+ (82) in road games.

The betting info is good for Montgomery. The Cardinals are -198 on the moneyline, and Colorado's implied total of 3.19 is the slate's second-lowest.

Montgomery is a sweet pitcher choice for hitter-heavy lineups.

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.