FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 5/6/22

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.

High-Salaried Play

Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays

At Cleveland Guardians
FanDuel Salary: $10,400

With Gerrit Cole's game already postponed, Kevin Gausman is a superb alternative.

Gamers who don't dig deeper into the track record of the Cleveland Guardians' active lineup against righties will be scared by their MLB-high 131 wRC+ against righties this year. They're not as imposing as their early-season success suggests.

So, attacking them with a white-hot Gausman makes sense. The 31-year-old righty has been a consistently awesome pitcher this year. He's allowed two or fewer runs in four of five starts, yielding three in his outlier. Further, he's had a quality start in three straight, allowing only 3 earned runs on 17 hits, no walks, and 27 strikeouts in 21 innings.

Finally, the Toronto Blue Jays are -148 favorites, and this game only has a 6.5 over/under. Gausman is an elite pick tonight.

GPP Play

Luis Garcia, Houston Astros

Vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $8,500

It's tempting to commit to the top pitchers on this slate. However, making a smaller salary-cap commitment to Luis Garcia in GPPs has the upshot of paying off. There are a lot of stud hitters who have strong cases for usage on FanDuel tonight, and you can squeeze more of them under the cap with Garcia.

Still, Garcia isn't a throwaway option. In 32 starts lasting 171 innings since last year, he has had a 3.63 ERA, Skill-Interactive ERA (SIERA), 1.16 WHIP, and 25.8 percent strikeout rate. The righty's matchup against the Detroit Tigers is tantalizing, too. Detroit is tied for 24th in wRC+ (82) against righties this year while striking out in one-quarter of their plate appearances against them.

In addition, Garcia is attached to favorable betting info. The Houston Astros are -205 favorites, and the game's over/under is a ho-hum 8.0 runs. Garcia is unlikely to match Gausman in scoring, but he can remain within shouting distance. If he does that, the bats can help push Garcia-led squads above the others in tournaments tonight.


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.