FanDuel MLB DFS Pitching Primer for Wednesday 6/26/24

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin

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 Options

Luis Gil, Yankees ($10,400)

On a small five-game main slate, Luis Gil carries the highest salary among starting pitchers. Gil has impressed in his first 15 starts for the New York Yankees, ranking in the 83rd percentile in xERA (3.04), 95th percentile in xBA (.190), and 89th percentile in strikeout rate (29.3%).

The upside is certainly there for Gil, but he's shown regression in recent starts, scoring 36 or fewer FanDuel points in three consecutive outings. In his last start, Gil allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in only 1.1 innings of action versus the Baltimore Orioles.

He gets the New York Mets today, and it's not a good time to face them as the Mets are logging the second-best wOBA (.392), second-best wRC+ (160), best ISO (.247), and the seventh-lowest strikeout rate (19.7%) in the last 14 days. Additionally, Gil's 12.4% walk rate could be a concern against a Mets team that has the 11th-highest walk rate (8.5%) against righties.

Gavin Stone, Dodgers ($9,800)

If we're looking for a somewhat high floor and safe option on Wednesday, Gavin Stone of the Los Angeles Dodgers sticks out. The matchup is a favorable one for Stone as the Chicago White Sox are registering the worst wOBA (.275), worst wRC+ (76), 2nd-worst ISO (.125), and 12th-highest strikeout rate (23.4%) versus right-handed pitching in 2024.

Even though Stone carries just a 19.1% strikeout rate on the season, he's tallied five-plus Ks in five of his last six starts. Pitching for the Dodgers always puts Stone in position for a potential win as he's been credited with a win in 8 of his 12 starts while Los Angeles has slate-best -184 moneyline odds.

Despite Stone walking two batters in each of his last four starts, that shouldn't be much of an issue with Chicago having the second-lowest walk rate (6.9%) when facing righties.

Considering all of the pitching options on Wednesday's main slate, Stone is likely the preferred pitcher to roll with on FanDuel.

Next Tier

Kutter Crawford, Red Sox ($9,400)

It was a fantastic start to the campaign for Kutter Crawford, allowing a combined two earned runs over his first six starts for the Boston Red Sox. While seven-plus Ks in three straight starts is a positive coming into this one, Crawford has unraveled a bit with three-plus earned runs allowed in five of his last six outings.

Strikeouts could be tough to come by for Crawford in a matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays -- who are posting the fifth-lowest strikeout rate (19.7%) versus right-handed pitchers. Crawford is also involved in the game with the highest total (9.5) among the contests on the main slate.

There doesn't seem to be much upside in playing Crawford on Wednesday. That being said, Boston is favored with -158 moneyline odds, and they have reeled off 8 wins in their last 10 games.

Erick Fedde, White Sox ($8,400)

Listing Erick Fedde against the Dodgers goes to show just how thin pitching is on a small slate. Fedde is having a peculiar season after spending a year in the KBO, producing career-best marks in xFIP (3.68), SIERA (3.78), and strikeout rate (22.1%) through 16 starts in 2024.

What has helped Fedde is the fact he's recording a solid 47.6% groundball rate and a hard-hit rate of only 35.4%. Even with that being the case, it's tough to trust Fedde in a matchup versus the Dodgers.

Over the last 14 days, Los Angeles owns the 11th-best wOBA (.329), 9th-best wRC+ (116), 7th-best ISO (.189), and 5th-lowest strikeout rate (19.1%). Despite every pitcher technically having a case for usage on this five-game slate, it's likely best to avoid Fedde.

Top Value Arm

Hayden Birdsong, Giants ($5,500)

At the moment, it appears the San Francisco Giants are going to promote Hayden Birdsong from Triple-A to make his debut in the majors on Wednesday. It remains to be seen what type of workload Birdsong receives, but he's held a strikeout rate of 30.7% or higher at every level he's played at thus far.

Besides getting a chance to take the mound at a pitcher-friendly venue at Oracle Park, the matchup is a solid one as the Chicago Cubs have the 12th-lowest wOBA (.301), 12th-lowest wRC+ (95), 6th-lowest ISO (.132), and 9th-highest strikeout rate (24.0%) in the last 30 days. Making the move to the majors can undoubtedly be tough on a young pitcher, so temper expectations for Birdsong's first career start.

Even with that being the case, Birdsong carries a $5,500 salary on FanDuel, and using him allows you to insert plenty of high-salary bats into your lineups.

Quick Mound Visits

Simeon Woods Richardson ($7,800) has issued two-plus walks in four of his last five starts, netting 27 or fewer FanDuel points in three of those outings. Aside from posting the 10th-lowest strikeout rate (20.8%) against righties, the Arizona Diamondbacks have the 5th-highest walk rate (9.1%) in that split.

Sean Manaea ($7,700) is tough to trust as he's pitched fewer than six innings in each of his last six outings. Besides weather being a potential concern, the Yankees have quite a few dangerous bats who can take advantage of Manaea's 8.6% barrel rate and 41.9% hard-hit rate.

Ryne Nelson ($7,500) could struggle on Wednesday versus a Minnesota Twins team that is rocking the best wOBA (.400), best wRC+ (164), and second-best ISO (.222) in the last 14 days. Nelson resides in the 20th percentile in barrel rate (9.5%) and 19th percentile in hard-hit rate (43.2%), making this a dangerous spot for the young right-hander.

Hayden Wesneski ($7,400) is projected to make just his fourth start of the season -- and first start since May 5 -- as he's been operating out of the bullpen lately for the Cubs. Wesneski surrendered five-plus hits and two-plus earned runs in two of his first three starts in 2024.

Yariel Rodriguez ($6,300) recently returned to make a start for the Blue Jays, permitting four earned runs while striking out just one batter in 1.1 innings of action. Rodriguez has walked two-plus batters in four of his five outings this year, and the Red Sox have been red-hot of late -- sporting the third-best wOBA (.369), fourth-best wRC+ (136), and sixth-best ISO (.198) in the last 14 days.

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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.