FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/30/22
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.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
vs. Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Salary: $10,700
Clayton Kershaw has been firing on all cylinders.
According to FanGraphs, he's had a 1.85 ERA, 2.47 xFIP, 0.88 WHIP, 4.6 percent walk rate, and 30.5 percent strikeout rate in his last six starts spanning 34 innings. The veteran lefty has also been excellent at home. In 53 innings at Dodger Stadium this year, he's spun a 2.72 ERA, 2.19 xFIP, 1.02 WHIP, 3.3 percent walk rate, and 31.6 percent strikeout rate.
Kershaw has also regularly netted quality starts. He's had a quality start in his last four turns and five of his last six starts at home. In addition, he has a dreamy matchup tonight. The Colorado Rockies are dead last in wOBA (.275) on the road this season. So, Kershaw should carve them up.
Kershaw will also benefit from the Los Angeles Dodgers' stacked offense. So, he's a good bet to earn a win in addition to earning a quality start. As a result, Kershaw is my favorite pitcher in cash games on a FanDuel main slate overflowing with elite pitchers.
Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins
at Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $9,600
Joe Ryan has a cupcake matchup tonight against a foe he's destroyed this year.
The Detroit Tigers are dead last in wRC+ (73) against righties. Further, they've had the fourth-highest strikeout rate (24.9 percent) against them.
And, again, Ryan has clowned the Tigers this year. In three starts spanning 17 and 2/3 innings against Detroit, Ryan has had a 1.02 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 3.1 percent walk rate, and 38.5 percent strikeout rate.
Ryan has also been rock-solid down the home stretch of the regular season. In his previous 10 starts totaling 55 and 1/3 innings, he's had a 3.58 ERA, 3.80 SIERA, 1.10 WHIP, 9.2 percent walk rate, and 27.6 percent strikeout rate. Finally, the betting info is excellent.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Minnesota Twins are -148, and the game's total is only 7.0 runs. So, Ryan is an exciting tournament swerve from the higher-profile hurlers on tonight's main slate.
Alex Cobb, San Francisco Giants
vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
Alex Cobb is an excellent GPP dart at a cap-friendly salary.
The 34-year-old righty has pitched like an ace at home. In 82 and 1/3 innings at Oracle Park, Cobb has had a 2.40 ERA, 2.83 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP, 7.5 percent walk rate, and 26.4 percent strikeout rate this season.
Unfortunately, his results have been mixed against the Arizona Diamondbacks this year. However, his lousy starts were in Arizona. Conversely, he's had two quality starts at home against Arizona.
The matchup is good, too. The Diamondbacks are 19th in wRC+ (96) against right-handed pitchers this season. They've also been running out of steam toward the finish line. Since the MLB trade deadline on August 2nd, Arizona has been 23rd in wRC+ (92). Thus, Cobb is a sweet tournament pick for hitter-centric lineups.
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.