FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 5/26/22
In daily fantasy baseball, success starts with nailing the starting pitcher spot in your lineup.
When compared to hitters, pitching performance tends to be much more predictable and stable throughout the course of the season. You know what you're getting from a top-level ace when you roster him: probably a dominant effort with only one or two implosions per season. In contrast, even the game's best hitters have days at the plate where they go 0-for-4.
As a result, lineup construction should begin with the starting pitcher. Which pitchers should you consider on today's main slate?
High-Salary Play #1
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers
vs. Cleveland Guardians
FanDuel Salary: $10,100
Make sure you can find some value stacks because there are two high-salaried arms I'm into today.
Skubal had a fastball that has a lot of zip but got absolutely demolished last season -- it was pummeled for a .966 OPS and 166 wRC+ last season. Skubal has thrown about 10% fewer fastballs in favor of a slider, and boy have the returns been tasty. The young lefty has logged a 2.22 ERA, 2.00 FIP, and 28.4% strikeout rate so far in 45 2/3 innings.
The Cleveland Guardians have been a solid offense, but they've really struggled against left-handed pitching. In that split, they have the fourth-worst team wOBA, sport an ugly 82 wRC+, and strike out at a 20.9% clip.
We've got Skubal projected for 30.2 FanDuel points, and given his excellence and the solid matchup, he could be in store for more.
High-Salary Play #2
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
vs. Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Salary: $9,100
There's another high-salaried arm who I really like tonight, but he's about $1,000 cheaper than our first ace.
If you are unfamiliar with Adam Wainwright's outstanding body of work, Wainwright has been absolutely brilliant in the home confines of St. Louis.
In nearly 1,300 career innings pitched at home, Wainwright has logged under a 3.00 ERA. That's incredible. And 2022 has been no exception. In 18 home innings, Wain-O has a 2.50 ERA and allowed only a .260 wOBA to opposing hitters.
The Milwaukee Brewers have been improved against right-handed pitching this season (108 wRC+), but they also strike out a lot in this split (24.1%). Given their offensive struggles this season and Wainwright's home excellence, he makes for a great play.
Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics
vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
At a slightly depressed salary, Frankie Montas could make a lot of sense tonight if you want to pivot away from the top two aforementioned arms.
Montas has been great this season despite playing for a losing Oakland Athletics squad. His gorgeous 3.31 FIP is supported by a 48.5% ground-ball rate and 20.9% K-BB% walk rate. He's allowed a minuscule 28.5% hard-hit rate this season, so it's obvious hitters have really struggled to square him up.
The Texas Rangers have been poor at the plate this season. They rank in the bottom third of the league in nearly all of the key statistical categories, including team wOBA, team ISO and team walk rate. Specifically against righties, they've logged only a 83 wRC+ and 23.4% strikeout rate, making them a great target with Montas' prowess.
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.