FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 8/24/22
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.
Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays
vs. Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Salary: $11,200
Shane McClanahan has been one of MLB's best pitchers this year. According to FanGraphs, among qualified pitchers, McClanahan's had the lowest Expected ERA (2.59 xERA). Thus, McClanahan's sparkling 2.29 ERA has largely been legitimate.
The 25-year-old lefty has also had a tiny 0.86 WHIP and bloated 32.2 percent strikeout rate. Additionally, he's given the home crowd plenty to cheer about. In 90 and 2/3 innings in Tampa Bay this season, he's had a 2.38 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 31.8 percent strikeout rate.
Fortunately, he should send the home crowd happy after a matchup with a pathetic offense. The Los Angeles Angels are 28th in wRC+ (82) against lefties, fanning at an exploitable 24.2 percent clip. As a result, the Tampa Bay Rays are commanding favorites tonight.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Rays are -260. So, McClanahan has a high floor and ceiling, making him the premier pitcher on tonight's slate in all game types.
Framber Valdez, Houston Astros
vs. Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $10,700
Framber Valdez is a nifty pivot from McClanahan for gamers who are in multi-entry tournaments.
In his last eight starts spanning 54 innings, Valdez has had a 2.83 ERA, 3.10 xFIP, 1.19 WHIP, and 24.2 percent strikeout rate. The lefty has also been a quality start machine. According to ESPN, Valdez leads MLB with 21 quality starts. Moreover, he's had 19 in a row.
So, Valdez has the upside to justify spinning down to him from McClanahan. Further, he and the Houston Astros are -240. Thus, he has a great chance of earning a win.
I don't suggest picking him over McClanahan if you're building only one tournament entry. However, Valdez is an attractive option to mix in for gamers entering multiple lineups.
Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals
vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Brady Singer wasn't a train wreck in his first two years in The Show. However, he's taken a sizable leap forward this year.
In 20 appearances (17 starts) totaling 110 innings, Singer has spun a 3.27 ERA, 3.36 xFIP, 3.40 SIERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 25.6 percent strikeout rate. Therefore, he has plenty of talent to tame a punchless offense like the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona is tied for 21st in wRC+ (93) against right-handed pitchers this year. Further, they've only been mid-pack since MLB"s trade deadline on August 2, tying for 13th with a 98 wRC+. Thus, they're a favorable matchup for Singer. Further, Singer has been dialed in lately, twirling a 2.25 ERA, 3.18 xFIP, 1.14 WHIP, and 29.1 percent strikeout rate in his previous nine starts, totaling 56 innings.
Sadly, the Kansas City Royals are +102 tonight. So, the Royals aren't a shoo-in to win. Nonetheless, Singer has an attractive ceiling and offers gamers valuable salary relief from McClanahan or Valdez, making Singer an excellent GPP dart.
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.