FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Friday 4/19/24

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Friday 4/19/24

Nailing the pitcher slot is the first step to having success in MLB DFS on FanDuel.

While it's possible to cash if you get a bad outing from a starter, it's markedly easier to do so when you get a good or excellent showing from your pitcher, and it's darn near impossible to take down a contest without a big score from your hurler.

Weighing the importance of a pitcher's skill, salary, matchup and park factors is the game within the game in MLB DFS. This piece is your home for a breakdown of the top pitching options on today's main slate.

All betting references come from the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.

MLB DFS Pitcher Picks

Top of the Heap

Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins ($10,200)

Joe Ryan ($10,200) is off to a great start to the 2024 season, and he's gotten increasingly better in every start. It will be hard for him to top what he did in his last start, but he does get to face the same opponent he just dominated.

Ryan has been a power pitcher since he came into the league in 2021. He has a career strikeout rate of 27.8%. This season, he's at a career-best 34.3, while his 13.8% swinging-strike rate is tied for a career-high.

On April 13th, Ryan struck out 12 Detroit Tigers over six innings. He'll face them again in what should be a favorable matchup. The Tigers have struck out 24.8% of the time against right-handed pitchers this season while also having only a 91 wRC+ against them.

Detroit's implied team total is just 3.22 runs, the lowest on today's main slate. Ryan should be able to have a good performance against them again, so I like targeting him if I want an ace today.

Chris Sale, Atlanta Braves, ($9,600)

We don't have the 2010s Chris Sale ($9,600) anymore and probably never will. But he's off to a good start and could potentially have his best season in years.

Sale was regularly above a 30% strikeout rate in his heyday. So far this season, he's at 28.2% with a very impressive 14.6% swinging-strike rate. His 2.91 xFIP and 3.09 SIERA are also numbers to get excited about.

Tonight, he'll face the world champion Texas Rangers. This actually isn't too bad of a matchup for Sale, as Texas has just an 82 wRC+ against lefties this season.

Looking at FanDuel Research's projections, Sale is projected for the most points for any pitcher on this slate, so he should be on your radar tonight when building lineups.

Next Men Up

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Los Angeles Dodgers ($9,300)

Yoshinobu Yamamoto has had some success with the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first few starts in MLB.

Yamamoto has struck out 31.8% of the hitters he's faced so far in the MLB. He hasn't been able to go deep enough into games to have a really big performance in fantasy, but that could be coming. He has a 2.83 xFIP and a 2.72 SIERA -- both very good numbers.

Tonight, he'll pitch against the New York Mets. The Mets have a below-average 96 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season.

I'd be willing to take a chance on Yamamoto at this salary and hope we get the big fantasy outing tonight.

Jack Flaherty, Detroit Tigers, ($8,800)

Joe Ryan may be a great option against the Tigers, but Jack Flaherty ($8,800) is also a usable pitcher for Detroit.

Flaherty is in his first season with the Tigers, and things have been going pretty well. His SIERA is a career-low 3.06. He also has the best swinging-strike rate of his career at 14.6%.

The matchup against the Twins is a good one. Minnesota has just a 71 wRC+ against righties this season. They also have struck out 26.4% of the time against righties, the fourth-highest rate in the MLB.

The weather in Minnesota is projected to be cold, below 40 degrees. That is a good environment for pitchers, making both usable options tonight.

Value of the Day

Matt Waldron, San Diego Padres ($7,500)

Matt Waldron ($7,500) is in his second season in the big leagues and his first full year. His results so far have been acceptable, especially for a pitcher with this salary.

Waldron has a 24.2% strikeout rate, up from his 17.9% last season. He also has a 3.97 SIERA, indicating that he's pitching pretty well at this point.

On Friday, he'll face the Toronto Blue Jays at home. Toronto has been fairly average versus righties this season with a 102 wRC+. They do have an ISO of just .125, which is 23rd against righties, and in a pitcher-friendly environment like Petco Park, they are unlikely to go deep.

With his low salary, I might roster Waldron if I'm trying to get bats at Coors Field into my lineups.

Quick Mound Visits

Blake Snell ($9,100) has yet to pitch well this season and faces a tough matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but his talent is such that you can consider him in any game. Tonight, he comes at a salary discount and likely a popularity discount, as well.

Triston McKenzie ($8,600) has also not been great this year, but he gets a good matchup against the Oakland Athletics. Oakland has struck out the seventh-highest rate against righties this season.

Clarke Schmidt ($7,900) rarely goes deep into games, but his 25.4% strikeout rate makes him enticing at this salary.

Yariel Rodriguez ($7,300) had decent results in his abbreviated first start. He struck out six batters in 3.2 innings. It's unlikely that he goes too deep into the game as he didn't pitch at all in 2023, but if he gets 26 points again at this salary, that could be worth it.

Get in on the action today! All customers get a 30% Profit Boost to use on a 3+ leg Same Game Parlay for any MLB game on April 19th! See thepromotions page for full details.

Want to play MLB DFS? Head over to FanDuel’s daily fantasy baseball lobby to see all the offerings for today’s slates.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.