FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Monday 4/29/24

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Monday 4/29/24

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 Options

Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins ($10,900)

It took Joe Ryan ($10,900) until his fifth start of the season to get his first win. That's not to say he hadn't been good before that, though.

Ryan's underlying numbers have been great all season. He has a 32.8% strikeout rate, which is the highest in his career. He also has the lowest xFIP (2.73) and SIERA (2.45) of his career.

A problem for Ryan in the past was allowing too many fly balls and not getting enough ground balls. This season, his ground ball/fly ball ratio is 0.79, the best it's ever been.

Ryan's victory last time out came against the Chicago White Sox, and he'll face them again tonight. The White Sox have the lowest wRC+ against righties this season, and Ryan fanned eight of them in six innings in that game.

With our model projecting Ryan for the most points tonight, he's definitely a pitcher you'll want to target tonight.

Next Men Up

Luis Severino, New York Mets ($9,000)

I don't love the options above $10,000 besides Ryan, so I'd go all the way down to Luis Severino ($9,000) for the next pitcher to target.

Severino has bounced back like the New York Mets wanted when they signed him. He has a 3.61 SIERA and a 3.51 xFIP. His strikeout rate of just 22.4%, but considering he's had K rates above 30% in his career, he has the potential to do better than that.

The Mets will face a Chicago Cubs lineup that strikes out the eighth-most against right-handed pitching. They also have a below-average 96 wRC+.

The Cubs have the third-lowest implied team total on this slate (3.51 runs). Severino should be able to continue his good start against them tonight.

Matt Waldron, San Diego Padres ($8,100)

We're moving all the way down in salary to Matt Waldron ($8,100), who is in a great spot tonight.

Waldron had his best start of the season last time out. He struck out five in six innings, and allowed only one earned run. That came at Coors Field, the best hitters' park in the league. Tonight, he'll be back at home at Petco Park, which has the second-lowest park factor in baseball. In other words, it's very favorable for pitchers.

The opponent tonight is also a reason to target Waldron. He will face the Cincinnati Reds, who have struggled against righties this season. They have the second-highest strikeout rate (28.7%) and the fourth-lowest wRC+ (83).

Getting Waldron for this salary in this matchup makes him one of the best options on tonight's slate.

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves ($7,800)

Max Fried ($7,800) finally got back on track in his last start. He threw a dominant, complete game shutout with six strikeouts, and he allowed only three hits.

This is more of the Fried we've come to expect -- not the one that currently is sporting a 4.97 ERA. His more advanced numbers are good, such as his 3.67 SIERA and 3.56 xFIP.

Hopefully, Fried figured something out before his last start. It could have just been the matchup against the Miami Marlins that helped him. Tonight, he gets another team he should be able to shut down.

He'll take on the Seattle Mariners, who have to be considered one of the most disappointing offenses in baseball. They have struggled against both righties and lefties and have struck out 26.5% of the time against southpaws.

For this low salary, Fried is one of the best pitchers on the board tonight.

Value of the Day

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels ($6,200)

This salary is pretty insulting for a pitcher who had a good season last year. Griffin Canning ($6,200) has a salary like he is an opener or barely a major league pitcher, and that's not the case.

I won't lie, things haven't exactly been pretty for Canning this season. He does have back-to-back starts of at least 20 FanDuel points. Also, his 4.47 SIERA paints a prettier picture than his 7.50 ERA. Last season, his SIERA was 3.80 and his strikeout rate was 25.9%, so he definitely has skill.

It's not an ideal matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, but they do only have a 102 wRC+ against righties this season.

Canning is the best value in our projections, and I'm fine with using him in lineups where I want to load up on bats.

Quick Mound Visits

If you want an arm above $10,000 but can't get to Ryan, my favorite option is Nick Lodolo ($10,600). He will also benefit from pitching at Petco Park and has a 28.6% strikeout rate this season.

Jameson Taillon ($9,300) has allowed just two earned runs in 10.2 innings so far this season, and I don't mind using him against the Mets tonight.

Bailey Falter ($8,800) had a great start the last time out, striking out eight in seven innings and allowing just one earned run. Tonight, he'll face the Oakland Athletics, who have just a 74 wRC+ against lefties.

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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.