FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/28/22
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.
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $11,200
Justin Verlander has had a Cy Young Award-caliber season, and he has the lowest ERA (1.82) among qualified pitchers. Sure, his 2.74 Expected ERA (xERA) hasn't matched his sub-2.00 ERA, but Verlander has been dominant.
In addition, he's been incredible at home. In 76.0 innings at Minute Maid Park this year, Verlander has spun a sparkling 1.78 ERA, 2.66 xFIP, 0.91 WHIP, 3.4 percent walk rate, and 30.6 percent strikeout rate. Verlander's strikeout rate at home has been breathtaking and is perfect for any game type.
Verlander shouldn't slow his roll tonight in a good matchup. The Arizona Diamondbacks are a non-threatening 19th in wRC+ (96) against right-handed pitchers this season.
Finally, the betting info is delightful. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Houston Astros are -190 favorites, and the game's total is a pitcher-friendly 6.5 runs. Verlander's a shoo-in for the top option in cash games and is an elite selection in tournaments, too.
George Kirby, Seattle Mariners
Vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
George Kirby is an exciting pick for gamers who want to build a more hitter-centric lineup tonight. The 2019 first-round pick in MLB's Amateur Draft has been outstanding in his rookie year.
Kirby has shoved it down the opposition's throat at home. In 61 1/3 innings at home, he's had a 3.08 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, 1.17 WHIP, 2.4 percent walk rate, and 26.7 percent strikeout rate.
He's also thrived against the Texas Rangers. The rookie has pitched 16 2/3 innings against his AL West foe in three starts and ceded only four runs.
His betting info is almost as delectable as Verlander's. The Seattle Mariners are -172 favorites, and the game's total is only 7.0 runs. As a result, Kirby's a sweet pivot from Verlander in tournaments.
Hayden Wesneski, Chicago Cubs
Vs. Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Hayden Wesneski has made the most of his first crack at the Majors. In four appearances (two starts) totaling 22 innings for the Chicago Cubs, he's had a 2.45 ERA, 1.70 xERA, 3.17 xFIP, 0.82 WHIP, 4.8 percent walk rate, and 28.6 percent strikeout rate. In addition, Wesneski's stuff has graded well.
Wow, @enosarris's Pitching+ model is in loveeeee with Hayden Wesneski.
9th among all MLB SPs min 200 pitches.
It will take more time for location/non-raw-stuff to stabilize, but it's clear sweeper is ++, and visually, FB command is +.
(Helps to face COL on road and PIT.)
— Lance Brozdowski (@LanceBroz) September 23, 2022
Sometimes, a young pitcher can hit the ground running with just their raw stuff. So far, that's been the case for Wesneski.
He'll be challenged by the Philadelphia Phillies tonight and squaring off against Aaron Nola will make it difficult to earn a win. Still, that should suppress the percentage of FanDuel rosters he's on, enhancing the appeal of using him as a contrarian option in GPPs.
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.