FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/2/22

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.

Top Cash-Game Pick

Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals

Vs. Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Salary: $9,600

Jordan Montgomery has had a career year so far this season. According to FanGraphs, the lefty owns a career-low 3.28 ERA and 3.45 xFIP in 26 starts (145 and 1/3 innings). Montgomery has also had a 4.6 percent walk rate, 21.4 percent strikeout rate, and 1.04 WHIP.

Today, the lefty is facing a foe he recently dominated. Montgomery cruised to a one-hit shutout on August 22, striking out seven against the Chicago Cubs. And the Cubs have generally struggled with southpaws this year, ranking 22nd in wRC+ (94) in the split.

The betting info is the final factor that earns Montgomery the nod for top honors in cash games. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the St. Louis Cardinals are -235 favorites, and the game's total isn't threatening at 8.0 runs. Also, Montgomery's salary is conducive to jamming in the top stacks and stud hitters, increasing his cash-game appeal.

High-Upside GPP Pick

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves

Vs. Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $9,800

There isn't much separating Montgomery and Charlie Morton. Still, the Atlanta Braves are -180 favorites, and opposing Sandy Alcantara isn't as favorable for Morton as the matchup and betting info is for Montgomery. Therefore, it makes sense to use those as tiebreakers. Regardless, Morton has a ceiling worth chasing in tournaments.

In Morton's last 10 starts (60 and 1/3 innings), he's had a 3.28 ERA, 3.18 xFIP, 1.01 WHIP, and 32.1 percent strikeout rate. The veteran has also been at his best at home this year, so he shouldn't have trouble tying up the struggling Miami Marlins.

Since the MLB trade deadline on August 2, the Marlins have been dead last in wRC+ (67). They've also punched out at an exploitable 24.4 percent clip, providing a shot in the arm to Morton's upside. As a result, Morton is an excellent selection in GPPs, and our model rates him as the top hurler tonight, projecting him for 39.0 FanDuel points.

GPP Dart Throw

Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants

Vs. Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Salary: $8,900

Alex Cobb has been a tire fire on the road this year, getting knocked around for a putrid 5.06 ERA, yet he's been a world-beater at home. In 63 innings at Oracle Park this year, Cobb has a 2.86 ERA, 2.83 xFIP, 1.17 WHIP, and 27.1 percent strikeout rate.

Cobb will have his work cut out for him tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies. Nevertheless, Cobb is a perfect game-type fit since it's all about chasing upside in tournaments. The betting info is decent, too.

The San Francisco Giants are essentially in a pick'em, but the game's total is only 7.5 runs. As a result, I'm willing to lean into Cobb's home splits and betting info with some of my tournament entries. Finally, Cobb's salary is cap-friendly, allowing gamers to jam multiple top-shelf hitters into lineups alongside 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.