FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Monday 6/10/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD

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 odds come from the MLB odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Advanced stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Betting odds as well as our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- may change after this article is published.

MLB DFS Pitcher Picks


Logan Gilbert, Mariners ($10,800)

We have two pitchers with five-figure salaries tonight, and you can't really go wrong with either of them.

Logan Gilbert carries the slate's highest salary in the Seattle Mariners' date the Chicago White Sox. That's about as good of a matchup as you can ask for considering the Sox are averaging a putrid 3.08 runs per game -- half a run lower than the next-closest team.

They've been bad against righties, ranking dead-last in wOBA (.277) and wRC+ (78) while striking out an above-average clip (23.3%).

To make matters worse for Chicago's south siders, tonight's bout is at T-Mobile Park -- the single-worst venue for hitting, per Statcast Park Factors.

Consequently, the White Sox have the slate's second-lowest implied total (3.42).

All that bodes well for Gilbert. Despite a rough stretch over his last six games, he's still averaging 34.6 FanDuel points per game for the year. His 3.12 ERA and 0.98 WHIP are stellar, and they're backed up by solid ERA indicators -- a 3.44 xERA, 3.57 xFIP, and 3.64 SIERA.

The righty has upped his groundball rate to 43.2% this season while cutting his barrel rate to 7.1%. His K rate (23.6%) is down a touch from last season, but his 12.9% swinging-strike rate is the highest of his career. Notably, his strikeout prop is set at 6.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

We've seen Gilbert crack 40 FanDuel points in six of 13 starts this season. Given the matchup, it's hard not to like his chances of doing so again tonight.

Dylan Cease, Padres ($10,200)

Early roster rate projections from across the industry suggest Dylan Cease will be the highest-rostered pitcher tonight, and it's hard to disagree. Cease and the San Diego Padres host the Oakland Athletics, with the A's sporting the slate's lowest implied total (2.92).

Cease has cooled off after a red-hot start, but he's still rocking a 3.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. A downright tragic 65.8% strand rate has inflated his ERA, but his xERA (3.29), xFIP (3.27), and SIERA (3.10) remain stout.

The righty gives up high barrel (10.1%) and fly-ball (48.4%) rates, but that's (somewhat) negated by Petco Park -- Statcast's fifth-worst venue for hitters. He's further made up for it with the league's eighth-highest K rate (30%) and fourth-highest swinging-strike rate (14.8%).

That's helped propel him to five 40-FanDuel point outings, including 51-, 52-, and 67-FanDuel point games. It's hard to ignore that kind of upside, especially with Oakland in town.

Although the A's have been friskier than we expected so far in 2024, they're still a strong matchup for opposing righties. In that split, Oakland ranks 26th in wOBA (.292) and 22nd in wRC+ (93) while striking out at the third-highest rate (26.5%).

Cease is easily our highest-projected player tonight, with our projections pegging him for 39.8 FanDuel points.

Tier Two

Erick Fedde, White Sox ($8,600)

Erick Fedde has gotten lost in the disaster of this White Sox season, but the 31-year-old has quietly been rock-solid in his return to the majors.

After spending 2023 in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Fedde's managed a 3.27 ERA and averaged 31.2 FanDuel points per game through 13 starts. With a high-upside matchup with the Mariners on deck, Fedde's my favorite arm with a salary under $10K.

The righty has done a good job limiting barrels (6.5%) and hard hits (36.0%) early on while his 48.1% ground ball rate is in the 73rd percentile league wide. That's helped keep his ERA indicators -- 3.39 xERA, 3.52 xFIP, and 3.65 SIERA -- under control, and allowed him to crack 30 FanDuel points six times.

But his upside has come via strikeouts. His 23.5% K rate is a solid number on its own, but the on-field production has varied pretty dramatically from start-to-start. Fedde has recorded at least seven strikeouts five times but has failed to punch out more than four batters five times, as well.

Tonight, his strikeout prop is set at 5.5 with-188 odds toward the over.

He certainly has the matchup to reach that over and rack up FanDuel points in the process. While the Mariners have some high-profile bats in their lineup, they lead the league in K rate (27.9%) against right-handed pitchers. In that same split, they're bottom-10 in wOBA (.297) and ISO (.139).

Fedde benefits from the same favorable park tonight that Gilbert does. Coupled with Fedde's high strikeout potential, it's easy to get excited about his upside tonight.

Value Arm

Chris Paddack, Twins ($7,800)

There's not a value arm I'm in love with tonight, but Chris Paddack has four 40-FanDuel-point outings to his name and gets the Colorado Rockies at home tonight. That's enough to at least consider him at $7.8K.

Paddack's 5.26 ERA and 1.42 WHIP are ugly, though his ERA indicators -- 4.21 xERA, 3.83 xFIP, and 3.81 SIERA -- aren't bad. He allows too many homers (1.52 HR/9), but a 41.5% fly-ball rate isn't egregious.

Neither his 21.3% K rate nor his 11.0% swinging-strike rate jump off the page, but he's flashed upside with a pair of 10-K outings. Though he isn't as consistent as we'd like in that department, Paddack has generated double-digit whiffs in five of his last seven starts.

So, with Colorado in town, he's worth a look in larger tournaments. The Rockies have struggled on the road against right-handed pitchers, piecing together a .295 wOBA and .132 ISO. In total, their 26.0% K rate against righties is the fourth highest in baseball.

It helps that the Minnesota Twins are the biggest moneyline favorites (-240) on the slate, especially since Paddack has completed five innings in nine of his last 10 starts. That could allow him to pick up a win, aiding his case as a value play.

Quick Mound Visits

I'm staying away from Seth Lugo ($9,700) and Carlos Rodon ($9,400) given their matchups and salaries. The New York Yankees lead the league in wRC+ (128) against righties while the Kansas City Royals are 10th in wRC+ (110) against lefties. Both veterans have punched above their weight in terms of ERA compared to their ERA indicators, and these aren't the matchups to continue to play with fire.

The same can be said about Jose Berrios ($9,100) against the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee is top-five in wRC+ (117), wOBA (.334), and OPS (.758) against righties, and Berrios has the largest difference between ERA (2.80) and FIP (4.41) among tonight's starters.

Kyle Harrison ($8,400) has cleared 25 FanDuel points just once in his last five outings, and he now gets the Houston Astros -- a team with the ninth-best wRC+ (113) against lefties. Even with Kyle Tucker out, I'd rather dip down to Paddack or inch up to Fedde.

Spencer Arrighetti ($8,200) is the other value arm I'd consider tonight. He went for 52 FanDuel points two starts back and notched 18 FanDuel points through three innings before departing his last start early. He's good to go tonight and features a quality K rate (25.6%) and a serviceable 4.16 SIERA. The San Francisco Giants are a league-average offense against righties, so there's at least some upside here.

Among tonight's starters, Joey Estes ($7,600), Colin Rea ($7,200), and Dakota Hudson ($6,500) have the three worst SIERAs. Estes' xERA (3.10) is actually good, and his K rate (23.4%) is high enough to consider him in the right matchup -- but he draws the San Diego Padres tonight. Against righties, San Diego ranks second in wRC+ (122) and strikes out at the lowest rate (18.3%) in the league. I'll pass.

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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.