FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Tuesday 4/16/24

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz

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

Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals ($10,500)

The Kansas City Royals are off to a good start to the season, sporting an 11-6 record. We successfully targeted one of their pitchers last night, so in the same matchup, we'll target Brady Singer ($10,500) today.

Singer has pitched well in three outings. He has allowed just two earned runs across 18.1 innings this season. His strikeout rate is at a career-best 25.7%. He's also getting ground balls at a 65.2% clip and allowing just a 28.3% hard-hit rate.

On Tuesday, he'll face the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have been the worst team against right-handed pitching this season. In the split, they have just a 63 wRC+ and a miniscule .089 ISO.

Singer should be a safe option and has upside to go deep into the game if Chicago continues to struggle offensively.

Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds ($9,900)

One of the most exciting young arms in baseball, Hunter Greene ($9,900) is next on our list.

Greene had a rough outing in his last start, allowing six runs in six innings. It makes his overall numbers look bad, but his expected ERA (xERA) is 2.53, well below his actual ERA of 4.86. He also has a SIERA of 3.21.

What should excite us about Greene is his 30.1% strikeout rate. He also has a 13.5% swinging-strike rate this season.

He will pitch in the pitcher's park that is T-Mobile Park against the Seattle Mariners tonight. Seattle has struck out 30.2% of the time against righties this season while sporting just a 78 wRC+ in thr split.

Greene arguably has the most upside on today's slate, so I like him for tournament lineups.

Next Men Up

Dylan Cease, San Diego Padres ($9,500)

Dylan Cease ($9,500) could be considered one of the top options on this slate, but we don't have to use quite as much salary on him as we do on the other top arms.

The trade that sent Cease to the San Diego Padres seems to be working out for him. He has a 3.55 SIERA in 16.2 innings. It's also nice to see his fastball velocity at 97.1 MPH to start the season, the highest we've seen since 2020.

When Cease was most effective during the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, he was striking out a lot of hitters. So far this season, his K rate is back to 30.3%.

The matchup looks like a tough one when you look at the Milwaukee Brewers' numbers. However, Christian Yelich looks like he will be sidelined against, and he has been the Brewers' best hitter against righties.

Cease has our highest projection on this slate, so he's definitely someone I'll want some exposure to if making multiple tournament lineups.

Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals ($8,400)

The St. Louis Cardinals made the move to bring back Lance Lynn ($8,400) this offseason, and Lynn has been pretty good so far.

In 13.2 innings, Lynn has allowed just four earned runs and 13 hits. He also has a strikeout rate of 29.5%. Where he's struggled a bit is allowing too many fly balls -- a 57.1% rate -- but the good news is he shouldn't have to worry about a lot of them turning into home runs tonight.

The Cardinals will face the Oakland Athletics on the road. Oakland strikes out 26.6% of the time against righties while also having the sixth-lowest ISO against them. It's also nice that the Oakland Coliseum has an 84 park factor for home runs, well below the average of 100.

Lynn shouldn't have much risk of ruin in this matchup and is a nice value at this salary.

Value of the Day

Jose Quintana, New York Mets ($7,800)

He isn't the top-of-the-rotation starter that he once was, but Jose Quintana ($7,800) is still a viable starting pitcher.

Last season, Quintana had a respectable 4.47 xFIP. He really did a good job of limiting hard contact, allowing opponents to barrel the ball just 5.1% of the time. In fact, this is something that has allowed him to stay in the league for so long. His career barrel rate is just 5.4%.

He hasn't been a big strikeout pitcher over the last few seasons, but that could be different tonight. He'll face the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have struck out 28.3% of the time against left-handed pitching this season.

With the New York Mets being favored in this game and the Pirates having the fourth-lowest implied team total on this slate (3.69), Quintana makes sense as a pitcher who can help us save salary for bats.

Quick Mound Visits

Logan Gilbert ($10,200) has a high salary now, but it is warranted with his recent performance. He has a 29.9% strikeout rate and a 3.09 xFIP. He will also benefit from throwing in Seattle's pitcher's park.

We aren't getting any kind of salary discount on Jared Jones ($9,700) despite the fact that he's made just three MLB starts. However, he has a 34.7% strikeout rate and a great 2.37 xFIP. He's also averaging 97.6 MPH on his fastball, so the potential for him to be a great power pitcher seems to be there.

Reynaldo Lopez ($8,000) has been great so far this season and still has a low enough salary to consider him, but it's not the best matchup against the Houston Astros.

Last time out, JP Sears ($6,700) had a great game. He struck out five and allowed just one hit in 6.1 innings. He hadn't been good before this start, so it's a bit risky, but if you are really in need of salary savings, you can turn to him.

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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.