FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Tuesday 4/30/24

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Tuesday 4/30/24

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

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers ($10,400)

He's not the pitcher with the highest salary on tonight's slate, but Freddy Peralta ($10,400) is our best bet at pitcher.

Peralta is off to a great start to the season. He has a 33.3% strikeout rate. He also has a career-best SIERA (2.80) and xFIP (3.03). With the lowest walk rate of his career (7.9%) and reaching his highest average fastball velocity of 94.9 MPH, it's safe to say he's pitching as well as he ever has.

Tonight, he'll face the Tampa Bay Rays at home. Tampa has been a fairly average team against right-handed pitching, ranking 15th in strikeout rate (23.2%) and 17th in wRC+ (102).

Tampa has the lowest implied team total on tonight's slate, so Peralta definitely should be able to limit them tonight. I'd rank Peralta as my favorite pitcher above $10K.

Spencer Turnbull, Philadelphia Phillies ($9,500)

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for a player. That certainly seems to be the case for Spencer Turnbull ($9,500).

Turnbull has been excellent since joining the Philadelphia Phillies. He has just a 1.33 ERA. Now, he's due for regression as his xERA is 3.16 and his xFIP is 3.25. He's also rocking a career-best 28.3% strikeout rate.

The Phillies are taking on the Los Angeles Angels tonight. The Angels have struck out at the sixth-highest rate against righties this season.

I like Turnbull at this salary tonight since the matchup shouldn't scare us too much. Even if the regression may catch up to him eventually, it isn't likely to be in this spot.

Next Men Up

Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates ($9,000)

It's not often we'd want to target someone with the results of Mitch Keller ($9,000) at this salary, but this situation is unique.

Keller's 5.14 ERA is rough to look at, but his 4.06 xFIP is a better indicator of future success. His strikeout rate is 20.5%, but if he could get back up towards the 25.5% rate he had last season, that would go a long way to getting him back to being successful.

The team he faces is the big reason he's appealing tonight. That team would be the Oakland Athletics, who have struck out the3rird-most against righties this season with the league's 23rd-ranked wRC+.

This game will take place at the Oakland Coliseum, which has the lowest home run park factor in the MLB in the last three seasons. That will help Keller, who also has the third-highest projection in FanDuel Research's model.

For this salary, Keller is definitely in the mix for a pitcher to consider tonight.

Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres ($8,600)

Returning from the injured list tonight, Yu Darvish ($8,600) is someone else I'd want to target tonight.

Darvish didn't have the best start to the season before going on the IL. He has just a 21.8% strikeout rate and a 4.29 xFIP, both the worst numbers of his career. He's had an xFIP under four for the last three years and at least a 24.6% strikeout rate in those seasons, so hopefully, he can bounce back.

He'll get a great opportunity tonight, taking on a Cincinnati Reds' lineup that strikes out 28.3% of the time against righties while also sporting the 27th-ranked wRC+ (84).

Pitching in the friendly environment of Petco Park will give Darvish a boost tonight, so I'll probably have some exposure to him in lineups.

Value of the Day

Jon Gray, Texas Rangers ($7,800)

We liked Jon Gray ($7,800) in his last time out at a low salary, and considering he's still sitting below $8,000, we can target him again.

Gray struck out seven hitters in just 4.2 innings last start. He's now sporting a cool 29.1% strikeout rate, and has fanned at least six batters in his last three starts. His 3.44 SIERA and 3.32 xFIP are also numbers we like.

Normally, we'd want to target matchups against the Washington Nationals, but they've actually been solid against righties this season. FanGraphs still projects them to score the third-fewest total runs for the rest of the season as an offense.

At this salary, Gray is one of the best pitchers on the board tonight.

Quick Mound Visits

If you're like me and have been tracking Reynaldo Lopez ($10,800) this season, this salary is a bit shocking. However, he has been good in every start and now faces the Seattle Mariners, who strike out at the highest rate in MLB against righties.

On the other side of that game, Luis Castillo ($9,700) has a tough matchup but always possesses the strikeout upside to warrant consideration.

I like the value of Sean Manaea ($7,600), but the Chicago Cubs have been dangerous against lefties this year.

If you're really in a bind for savings, Hunter Brown ($6,800) is looking to bounce back from a tough beginning of the year. His strikeout rate has fallen from 26.8% last season to 18.3% this season, and if he can find what made him successful last season, he can easily pay off this small salary.

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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.