FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Tuesday 6/25/24

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Tuesday 6/25/24

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

High-Salary Options

Seth Lugo, Royals ($10,400)

Before logging eight Ks and scoring 42 FanDuel points in his last start versus the Oakland Athletics, Seth Lugo had five consecutive starts of racking up five or fewer Ks. Even though the Miami Marlins have the 15th-lowest strikeout rate (22.1%) against right-handed pitching this season, Lugo should have success versus a Marlins squad that has been struggling as of late.

In the last 14 days, Miami has the second-lowest wOBA (.261), third-lowest wRC+ (65), fifth-lowest ISO (.139), and fifth-highest strikeout rate (25.0%) when facing right-handed pitchers. Across 16 starts for the Kansas City Royals, Lugo is recording the lowest strikeout rate (20.8%) and swinging strike rate (8.9%) of his career since 2017.

At the same time, Lugo has pitched at least six innings in 14 of his 16 outings in 2024. The combination of Lugo's ability to pitch deep into games and the fact he's in the 81st percentile in walk rate (5.7%) makes this a potential ceiling game for the veteran starter.

Additionally, Lugo owns a 10-2 record and the Royals have -200 odds on their moneyline for Tuesday's contest.

Hunter Greene, Reds ($10,300)

Hunter Greene has somewhat transformed himself as a pitcher this year despite posting career-worst marks in xFIP (4.22) and SIERA (3.87) through 15 starts for the Cincinnati Reds. Besides still being in the 82nd percentile in whiff rate (29.7%) and 77th percentile in strikeout rate (26.6%), Greene is also in the 80th percentile in xERA (3.13), 93rd percentile in xBA (.196), and 79th percentile in hard-hit rate (34.2%).

It just so happens that Greene's last start came against the Pittsburgh Pirates -- who he'll face again on Tuesday -- as he produced nine strikeouts and 50 FanDuel points in 6.1 innings. While Greene will take the mound at a hitter-friendly venue like Great American Ball Park, he's given up five or fewer hits in 10 consecutive outings.

On the other hand, the Pirates have been dismal at the plate in the last 30 days, notching the fifth-lowest wOBA (.281), fifth-lowest wRC+ (79), seventh-lowest ISO (.136), and third-highest strikeout rate (25.2%) versus right-handed pitching. Outside of Bryan Reynolds and Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh lacks dangerous bats against right-handed pitching.

Greene is being given the second-shortest odds to be the daily strikeout leader (+470) on Tuesday.

Next Tier

Reynaldo Lopez, Braves ($10,200)

It appears that Reynaldo Lopez is finding his footing again for the Atlanta Braves following a mediocre showing in May. After posting five straight starts of 29 or fewer FanDuel points, Lopez has tallied 37-plus FanDuel points in each of his last four appearances.

Across those four starts, Lopez has racked up six-plus Ks and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of them -- along with a win and quality start in three of those contests. Lopez draws a favorable matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals, who have the ninth-highest strikeout rate (23.9%) versus right-handed pitching.

The one major concern with Lopez is he doesn't consistently pitch deep into games as he's exited the game before the sixth inning in five of his last nine starts. At the same time, Lopez is in the 71st percentile or better in chase rate (30.7%), whiff rate (28.2%), and strikeout rate (25.9%).

Mitch Keller, Pirates ($9,800)

Mitch Keller could be considered a slightly better option than Lopez on Tuesday despite pitching on the road at Great American Ball Park. It was a somewhat rough start to the campaign for Keller, allowing two-plus earned runs in each of his first seven starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Over his last eight starts, Keller has scored 46-plus FanDuel points in five of them -- including his last start against the Reds. Keller pitched seven shutout innings with seven Ks in his last outing versus Cincinnati.

The matchups certainly invites a notable performance for Keller as the Reds are logging the sixth-worst wOBA (.297), fifth-worst wRC+ (86), and third-highest strikeout rate (26.0%) against right-handed pitching. While Cincinnati has just the 13th-highest strikeout rate (22.8%) in the last 14 days, they have the 8th-worst wOBA (.299) and 6th-worst wRC+ (87) during that span.

Best Overall Option

Hunter Brown, Astros ($9,200)

The most popular option -- and for good reason -- for Tuesday's main slate is undoubtedly Hunter Brown of the Houston Astros. When looking at Brown's metrics, he's clearly gotten unlucky with his 4.72 ERA and 4.33 FIP.

Besides residing in the 68th percentile in xERA (3.44), Brown is sporting a 3.53 xFIP and 3.64 SIERA. Recent starts from the young right-hander have certainly helped Brown correct his numbers -- with 43-plus FanDuel points in four of his last five outings.

Following three consecutive starts where's gotten a win and quality start, Brown gets to face the Colorado Rockies away from Coors Field. Against right-handed pitchers on the road this season, the Rockies are logging the seventh-worst wOBA (.289), seventh-worst wRC+ (85), sixth-worst ISO (.131), and third-highest strikeout rate (25.9%) under those circumstances.

With seven-plus Ks in four of his last five appearances, Brown has the shortest odds to be the daily strikeout leader (+430) on Tuesday. FanDuel Research's daily projections also has Brown producing the second-most FanDuel points (36.1) on the main slate -- putting him only behind Greene.

Quick Mound Visits

Joe Ryan ($10,000) is in the 76th percentile in strikeout rate (26.5%) and 94th percentile in walk rate (4.2%), but he also is in the 19th percentile in barrel rate (9.7%). The Arizona Diamondbacks also possess the 10th-lowest strikeout rate (20.9%) versus right-handed pitching.

MacKenzie Gore ($9,500) is capable of ceiling performances with a 29.3% whiff rate and 28.2% strikeout rate with seven-plus Ks in four of his last five starts. While the San Diego Padres are recording the eighth-worst wOBA (.291) and ninth-worst ISO (.129) versus southpaws, they also have the fourth-lowest strikeout rate (18.1%) in that split, which could limit Gore's upside.

Bobby Miller ($9,400) has a fantastic matchup on paper ahead of a showdown with the Chicago White Sox -- who have the lowest wOBA (.274) and wRC+ (75) against right-handed pitching. After racking up 11 Ks en route to 61 FanDuel points in his season debut, Miller has given up a combined 12 earned runs in his last three starts.

Gerrit Cole ($9,300) is an interesting pitching option as he'll likely remain on a pitch count in his second start for the New York Yankees. If Cole wasn't going to see limited action or wasn't going to face the New York Mets, he'd be a smash play at this salary.

The value options on Tuesday's slate aren't ideal, but Kyle Hendricks ($6,400) is someone who could return decent value -- and allow us to fit in the high-salary bats. Hendricks tallied eight Ks and 44 FanDuel points in his return as a starter his last time out versus the San Francisco Giants, and he'll face the Giants again at Oracle Park this time around.

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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.