FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/7/22

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

Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals

Vs. Washington Nationals
FanDuel Salary: $9,500

Jordan Montgomery has been a godsend addition to the St. Louis Cardinals. The lefty has had a sparkling 1.47 ERA in a half-dozen starts for the Red Birds. Additionally, he's had a great summer. According to FanGraphs, in 12 starts spanning 66 innings since July 1, Montgomery has had a 3.00 ERA, 3.07 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP, and 24.4 K%.

The 29-year-old lefty should maintain momentum tonight. The Washington Nationals are a favorable matchup, ranking only 23rd in wRC+ (92) against lefties in 2022. Predictably, the betting info is outstanding for Montgomery and the Cards.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, St. Louis is -310. The game's total is also a delightful 7.5 runs, cementing Montgomery's status as the best pick in cash games and stellar GPP pick.

High-Salaried GPP Pick 1

Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres

Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $10,800

Don't be dissuaded by Yu Darvish's sizable salary. He has the upside to payoff for gamers who invest in the ace. The 36-year-old righty has been in good form lately. However, I'm most excited about his excellence at home.

In 74 and 2/3 innings in San Diego this season, Darvish has had a blistering 2.29 ERA, 3.59 xFIP, 0.79 WHIP, 4.9 percent walk rate, and 25.5 percent strikeout rate. Moreover, all 11 of his turns at home have been quality starts.

The matchup is great as well. The Arizona Diamondbacks are tied for 19th in wRC+ (96) against right-handed pitchers in 2022. Moreover, in Darvish's previous two starts at home against the Diamondbacks on June 20 and July 15, he's held them to four runs on nine hits, four walks, and 14 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Finally, the betting info is outstanding. The San Diego Padres are -225, and the game's total is a non-threatening 8.0 runs. As a result, Darvish is an exciting GPP selection capable of piling up a ton of FanDuel points.

High-Salaried GPP Pick 2

Cristian Javier, Houston Astros

Vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $9,900

Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros are -300. The betting info alone is attention-grabbing. Fortunately, Javier is not a suggestion because of blind deference to betting odds. Instead, Javier has pitched well and has a good matchup.

In 20 starts spanning 106 innings, Javier has had a 3.31 ERA, 3.44 SIERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 31.6 percent strikeout rate. Additionally, he's been a world-beater at home. In 64 and 1/3 innings in Houston, Javier has had a 2.52 ERA, 3.70 xFIP, 0.89 WHIP, and 32.5 percent strikeout rate.

And, again, he has a great matchup. The Texas Rangers are 22nd in wRC+ (94), with a 23.7 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers in 2022. The matchup elevates Javier's ceiling, making him a nifty GPP pick. Sadly, all of today's best pitchers have high salaries. Conveniently, there are plenty of value and bargain hitters to flesh out lineups. Namely, the Chicago Cubs are an attractive source of value hitters.

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.