FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/23/22

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

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

At Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $10,100

Shohei Ohtani has been putting the finishing touches on another excellent season on the bump. According to FanGraphs, he has a 2.51 ERA, 2.94 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP, 5.7 percent walk rate, and 29.7 percent strikeout rate in 10 starts (61 innings) in the second half.

Ohtani has also excelled on the road. He's had a 2.96 ERA, 3.10 xFIP, 7.9 percent walk rate, and 31.4 percent strikeout rate in 67 innings on the road in 2022. He's been amazing both lately and on the road.

The dual-threat reigning AL MVP shouldn't have much trouble carving up the injury-ravaged Minnesota Twins. As a result, Ohtani has a nice floor/ceiling combination that's tailor-made for all game types. Additionally, his salary is $400 less than my second-favorite pitcher tonight. So, that's a sweet cherry on top.

He's a superb option on a slate with several quality pitching plays.

High-Salaried GPP Pivot

Chris Bassitt, New York Mets

At Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $10,500

Chris Bassitt returns to his old stomping grounds tonight. Bassitt was a monster on the hill at home for the Oakland Athletics. In 107 and 1/3 innings in Oakland in 2020-2021, he had a 1.84 ERA, 3.85 xFIP, 0.93 WHIP, 5.0 percent walk rate, and 23.7 percent strikeout rate at home.

Bassitt's also been sharp down the stretch. In 69 innings in the second half, he's had a 2.61 ERA, 3.67 xFIP, 6.0 percent walk rate, and 20.8 percent strikeout rate.

He should stay dialed in tonight in an excellent matchup. The Athletics are tied for 26th in wRC+ (84) against righties in 2022. They've also had the fifth-highest strikeout rate (24.3 percent) against them.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the New York Mets are -245 favorites, and the game's total is only 7.0 runs. Bassitt is a high-ceiling tournament alternative to Ohtani, Aaron Nola ($10,300), Carlos Rodon ($11,000) and Gerrit Cole ($10,600).

GPP Dart

Jeffrey Springs, Tampa Bay Rays

Vs. Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Salary: $7,900

Jeffrey Springs has thrived while transitioning to the rotation on the fly this year, and the lefty has been out of this world at home. In 55 and 2/3 innings at Tropicana Field, he's had a 1.94 ERA, 3.67 xFIP, 1.08 WHIP, 5.7 percent walk rate, and 25.9 percent strikeout rate.

Springs hasn't been running out of gas as the regular season winds down, either. In 11 starts (57 and 1/3 innings) in the second half, he's had a 2.35 ERA, 3.50 SIERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 percent walk rate, and 25.1 percent strikeout rate.

Unfortunately, Springs has only three quality starts in his last nine outings. However, one of the quality starts was against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 13. Moreover, gamers shouldn't worry about the righty-laden Blue Jays having the platoon advantage against Springs since he's held right-handed batters to a .267 wOBA this season.

Springs is a bit risky. But he's a talented hurler who scored 43 FanDuel points in his previous start against the Blue Jays, and his cap-friendly salary is ideal for hitter-centric rosters.

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.