FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/21/22

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

Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners

At Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $10,000

Robbie Ray hasn't been flawless in defense of his 2021 American League Cy Young Award. Still, he's been stellar. According to FanGraphs, in 29 starts spanning 171 and 2/3 innings, he's had a 3.72 ERA, 3.52 xFIP, 1.17 WHIP, 7.7 percent walk rate, and 27.7 percent strikeout rate. Further, according to ESPN, Ray has had 17 quality starts.

He should cruise in a great matchup tonight. The Oakland Athletics are 26th in wRC+ (87) against lefties. In addition, they've struck out at an exploitable 22.9 percent rate. They've also struck out at a juicy 24.8 percent clip since MLB's trade deadline on August 2. So, the matchup is great for Ray's strikeout potential.

And, of course, the betting info is excellent in a lopsided matchup. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Seattle Mariners are -210, and the game's total is just 7.0 runs.

High-Salaried GPP Play

Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox

Vs. Cleveland Guardians
FanDuel Salary: $10,400

Lance Lynn's salary is slightly higher than Ray's, giving the lefty a slight edge right out of the gate. However, Lynn's more challenging matchup is the most significant difference between the two.

Regardless, Lynn has been a man on fire. In 67 and 1/3 innings in the second half, Lynn has had a 2.13 ERA, 2.90 xFIP, 0.83 WHIP, 2.6 percent walk rate, and 29.3 percent strikeout rate. The veteran righty has also strung together five consecutive quality starts.

Finally, Lynn has rebounded from a resounding beating by the Cleveland Guardians on July 11. In three subsequent starts against the Guardians, Lynn has allowed only three runs in 18 innings on 14 hits, three walks, and 18 strikeouts. In tournaments, it's all about chasing a high ceiling. So, rolling with white-hot Lynn in a trickier matchup is exciting.

GPP Dart

Dustin May, Los Angeles Dodgers

Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $8,200

First, allow me to address the elephant in the room. Sadly, Dustin May has had only one quality start in five turns on the bump for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he also hasn't had restrictive pitch counts and tossed at least five innings in each turn. So, a quality start is within May's reach.

Moreover, May has allowed two runs or fewer three times. So, he has flashed pre-Tommy John form. May also has a good matchup tonight. The Arizona Diamondbacks are tied for 19th in wRC+ (96) against right-handed pitchers this year.

Finally, the betting info is excellent, and May's salary is perfect for hitter-centric lineups. The Dodgers are -310. May's profile isn't perfect, but he's a worthy dart in tournaments.

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.