FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 4/30/21

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

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

Vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $12,200

Death, taxes, and brilliance from Gerrit Cole -- some things just remain consistent. And whooo doggy, Cole been off to a great start in 2021. He is averaging 52.50 FanDuel points per start, and while the New York Yankees' rotation has been a bit bumpy, Cole has certainly rang the bell when he's taken the ball.

Cole sets himself apart on this slate not only due to his previous excellence but also the fact he is facing the Detroit Tigers, who strike out at a 27.6% clip against right-handed pitching so far in 2021.

Shane Bieber ($12,200) always deserves our attention, too, but Cole gets the nod for me. Our algorithm projects Cole for a slate-best 44.9 FanDuel points, which is 2.6 more than Bieber.

Mid-Salaried Play

Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels

At Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $8,700

With such a heavy emphasis on the elite arms tonight -- Cole, Bieber and Yu Darvish are extremely appealing -- every other pitcher will likely see a low draft percentage. But Andrew Heaney is worth a look if you're willing to risk pivoting away from the high-ceiling studs.

Part of what makes Heaney enticing is a juicy matchup versus a Seattle Mariners lineup that is whiffing at a 26.5% clip. If we're going away from the top-shelf tier, we need a guy who can get punchouts, and Heaney can do that in this spot. Add in Seattle's .287 wOBA, and the lefty becomes even spicier.

We have Heaney pegged to score 32.1 FanDuel points. That is tops outside of the aforementioned Bieber, Cole and Darvish, and Heaney is the top point-per-dollar play among those with a salary of at least $8,000.

Low-Salaried Play

Madison Bumgarner, Arizona Diamondbacks

Vs. Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Salary: $7,500

Look, I'll be the first to admit that using Madison Bumgarner today is a huge gamble. He appears to be in the twilight of his career, and with significantly diminished velocity, he doesn't have much upside, which is something you'll need from your pitcher on this slate (or any slate, really).

But coming off a game in which he allowed no hits in seven innings (that's called a no-hitter in my book, but alas), he faces a Colorado Rockies offense that is truly putrid. So far this season, Colorado is striking out a 24.4% clip, and they have notched a .303 wOBA with a .176 isolated power. And MadBum gets them outside of Coors.

If you really want to get weird with your pitcher pick, Bumgarner isn't a bad low-salary dart throw.

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.