MLB

FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Monday 6/3/24

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Monday 6/3/24

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 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

Top of the Heap

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies ($10,600)

The Philadelphia Phillies are the top team in the National League, and starting pitching has been a big reason why. Zack Wheeler ($10,600) has been a substantial part of that.

Wheeler is having the best season of his career. His 29.0% strikeout rate is a career-best. His skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) is 3.20, barely above his 2021 season in which he finished with a 3.18 SIERA. In his last three starts, Wheeler has recorded at least 40 FanDuel points.

It won't be an easy matchup for Wheeler tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee has the third-best weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against right-handed pitching. They still strike out at a decent 22.9% rate, and Wheeler has demonstrated that he is capable of shutting down most offenses this season.

Despite having that success against righties, the Brewers have the second-lowest implied team on tonight's slate (3.59 runs). Wheeler has the most projected fantasy points in FanDuel Research's model, so he's definitely a top option on this slate.

Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers ($10,400)

Tonight's slate may come down to which of the two aces you prefer. Wheeler is a great option, but you can also get Tarik Skubal ($10,400) and save $200.

Skubal -- now the favorite for the AL Cy Young -- has been lights out this season. His strikeout rate is 31.3% while his SIERA is just 2.58. He isn't allowing a ton of good contact to hitters when they are able to hit the ball with just a 29.3% hard-hit rate against him.

The Detroit Tigers face the Texas Rangers tonight. Texas is a good hitting team, but they are much worse against lefties. They strike out the ninth-most of any team (22.7%) and have just a 96 wRC+ in this split.

Skubal has quality starts in eight of his 11 outings this season, so he should have a nice floor. He also possesses a high ceiling, making him ideal in all formats tonight.

Next Tier

Tylor Megill, New York Mets ($9,600)

Things are not going well for the New York Mets this season, but Tylor Megill ($9,600) has been a bright spot since rejoining the rotation.

Last time out, Megill dominated an elite Los Angeles Dodgers lineup. He threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine batters. That bumped up his K rate to 31.3% on the season. It's been only three starts, but this is still impressive.

Megill and the Mets will take on the Washington Nationals on Monday. The Nationals are a bottom-five team against righties in wRC+ with their active lineup.

I like Megill for tournament lineups tonight, as he could fly under the radar compared to the top two options and the next guy we're going to discuss. Daily fantasy players may also not have caught onto how good he was in his last start, and this is our chance to jump on the train before everyone else does.

Justin Verlander, Houston Astros ($9,200)

The last two games have been vintage Justin Verlander ($9,200). After a few starts that could have had people questioning whether or not he still had it, people probably aren't questioning that anymore.

Verlander has back-to-back starts with nine strikeouts and has allowed just one earned run in each of them. Over his last four games, he has three starts with at least 49 FanDuel points. Those have come in some good matchups, and he'll get another one of those tonight.

The Houston Astros are at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. St Louis strikes out 24.7% against righties -- the fifth-most in baseball. The Cards also have the lowest implied team total on this slate at just 3.53 runs.

This salary for Verlander feels like a bit of a discount considering his last two starts, so I like rostering him in all contest formats tonight.

Value of the Day

Matt Waldron, San Diego Padres ($7,900)

Matt Waldron ($7,900) was a value pick on Tuesday, and he definitely delivered. His salary is even lower this time, and it makes sense to go back to him.

Waldron struck out eight batters over seven shutout innings last week and also picked up the win. He has at least six strikeouts in his last four starts. His SIERA is just 3.78, and it's difficult to find someone capable at this salary.

This time, Waldron will go up against the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels struggle against righties with just a 91 wRC+. They also strike out 23.1% of the time in this split with their active lineup.

With this salary, you can easily roster Waldron and fit in some of the big bats in your lineup. That makes him an appealing choice to target tonight.

Quick Mound Visits

Grayson Rodriguez ($10,100) has pitched well, with three consecutive games of at least seven strikeouts. His matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays isn't ideal, so he comes in below the two other pitchers with a salary above $10k.

MacKenzie Gore ($9,800) has been good for Washington this season, but he's facing a Mets lineup that strikes out under 20% of the time against lefties and has a 109 wRC+.

Nathan Eovaldi ($9,000) threw only three innings last time out after returning from injury. If we get an indication that he will be fully good to go deeper into this game, he's an interesting target against a weak Tigers lineup.

Kevin Gausman ($8,200) is an off-the-board play in tournaments. He hasn't been great this season, but he has three straight quality starts. He won't be popular due to playing against the Baltimore Orioles, but his talent gives him the upside to shut down any lineup.


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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.