FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 4/20/21

Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-salary studs. These guys take up by far the biggest chunk of your cap space, but they also offer the highest ceiling. And in the case of pitchers, the high-salary options typically come with the highest floors, too.

For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce well, too, increasing our chances for runs and RBI. For pitchers, we want big strikeout numbers, while the ability to go deep in a game and pick up a win is also valuable.

With your high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you need to be right on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top-end options you can count on to anchor your lineup today.

High-Salaried Option

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

At San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $10,500

It's Corbin Burnes day, y'all.

In all seriousness, as a former collegiate pitcher myself, I really enjoy watching the right-hander throw. And it kind of makes you feel bad for opposing hitters. Burnes has not walked a batter this season, and he has struck out nine or more hitters in each of his starts.

Want more juice? Okay, fine. He's got a 48.5% strikeout rate, and he's thrown at least 80 pitches in every start, so the leash is fairly long.

The matchup against a stout San Diego Padres lineup won't be an easy one, but the Padres hold just a 3.57 implied total, the second-lowest on the slate.

Our algorithm projects Burnes for a crisp 35.3 points on the night, which is 4.1 more than any other pitcher.

Mid-Salaried Play

Taijuan Walker, New York Mets

At Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Salary: $7,600

I really wanted to believe in a resurgence or bounce back of the Chicago Cubs' offense in 2021. There's too many talented hitters -- guys like Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras -- for them to be bad.

It's early but maybe it just isn't meant to be. The Cubs are still swinging and missing at far too high of a clip (third-worst in the league, 28.9%). They carry a team wOBA of .294 along with a league-worst .192 batting average. Yowza!

Taijuan Walker can take advantage of this matchup. Since the start of 2020, Walker owns a 23.3% strikeout rate over 63 2/3 frames. And it is supposed to be a cold day at Wrigley with the wind slightly blowing in, two things that should aid the New York Mets' pitcher.

If you are looking for an arm in the mid-range, peep Walker, who we peg for a solid 24.1 FanDuel points.

Low-Salaried Play

Brad Keller, Kansas City Royals

vs. Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $6,700

So far this season, it's very fair to be skeptical of Brad Keller of the Kansas City Royals. He's flat-out stunk, averaging a pretty horrible 9.33 FanDuel points per game.

Now, he was moderately better in his last outing, earning his first win of the season against a pretty solid Los Angeles Angels offense. In that one, he went 5 2/3 innings, whiffed five and limited the damage well.

Tonight he faces a Tampa Bay Rays offense that's far less imposing. Tampa Bay has the sixth-highest strikeout rate (27.3%) and has mustered only a .297 wOBA. Oddsmakers have given the Rays just a 3.82 implied total.

If you're trying to jam in Coors bats, Keller is a guy you can target.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.