FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 10/5/22

After just five earned runs allowed in September, Davis Martin is on the radar in tournaments, but which pitcher should you roster in cash games?

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 Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $11,200

Shohei Ohtani has been putting the finishing touches on another sensational season.

Further, it's fitting he's ending the year on the bump since he's had his best season as a pitcher in 2022. According to FanGraphs, in 27 starts spanning 161 innings, Ohtani has had a 2.35 ERA, 2.65 xFIP, 1.03 WHIP, 6.7 percent walk rate, and 33.1 percent strikeout rate.

Additionally, Ohtani has dominated today's opponent. He's faced the Oakland Athletics three times as a pitcher this year, holding them to only three runs (two earned) in 19 and 2/3 innings with 22 strikeouts. Ohtani was also his most dominant against them in his last trip to the hill, holding the A's scoreless on 2 hits, a walk, and 10 strikeouts in eight innings.

Thankfully, the betting info is also drool-inducing. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Los Angeles Angels are -260, and the game's total is only 7.0 runs. So, Ohtani is the top pitcher across all game types tonight.

High-Salaried Pivot

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $11,000

Sadly, Corbin Burnes hasn't quite duplicated his NL Cy Young Award-winning 2021 campaign. Still, a 2.98 ERA and 2.89 xFIP have been nothing to sneeze at. Moreover, Burnes has been a strikeout machine with sterling numbers at home.

In 106 and 2/3 innings at American Family Field this year, Burnes has had a 3.12 ERA, 2.35 xFIP, 0.95 WHIP, 5.2 percent walk rate, and 33.3 percent strikeout rate. So, Burnes' ceiling is through the roof. And, of course, he has a matchup to bolster his upside.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are tied for 18th in wRC+ (97) against right-handed pitchers in 2022. They've also struggled while approaching the finishing line. Arizona has only had a 94 wRC+ since MLB's trade deadline on August 2.

As a result, Burnes' ceiling equals Ohtani's today, making him an exciting tournament pivot.

GPP Dart

Davis Martin, Chicago White Sox

vs. Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $7,700

Davis Martin hasn't taken MLB by storm. Nevertheless, he's been rock-solid.

In 61 and 2/3 innings, the rookie has had a 3.65 ERA. No, his ERA estimators haven't been as impressive. Still, Martin has had two quality starts in his last three turns, coming up only one out short of making it three for three.

Further, in the start that he fell an inning short, he allowed only one run with eight strikeouts in 5 and 2/3 innings while earning a win. Thus, it wasn't a start to complain about. Finally, he faces a foe he had success against in relief early last month. On September 2, Martin spun five scoreless innings on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts in five innings against the Minnesota Twins.

Frankly, Martin's strikeout potential isn't as immense as Ohtani's or Burnes's. Still, the rookie is a viable GPP dart at a cap-friendly salary, allowing gamers to build hitter-centric lineups.

Martin is a reasonable gamble today 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.