FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 4/23/19
In daily fantasy baseball, success starts with nailing the starting pitcher spot in your lineup.
When compared to hitters, pitching performance tends to be much more predictable and stable throughout the course of the season. You know what you're getting from a top-level ace when you roster him: probably a dominant effort with only one or two implosions per season. In contrast, even the game's best hitters have days at the plate when they go 0-for-4.
As a result, lineup construction should begin with the starting pitcher. Each day we will highlight a starter to consider from each pricing tier, and we'll also look at one contrarian play for tournaments. Who should you consider on today's main slate?
Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals
at Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $8,400
Despite 13 games on tonight's main slate, the most expensive pitcher clocks in at $8,700 (Kenta Maeda). With a lack of expensive options on the board, how do we parse through the hurlers?
Naturally, we recommend a pitcher that's on the road in Coors Field.
Patrick Corbin definitely carries some risk in this matchup, but in diving into his performance so far this year, he looks to be worth the investment.
Corbin owns the highest strikeout rate among the main slate pitchers (32.4%), and he may be catching Colorado at the right time. Against southpaws in 2019, they rank only 21st with a .286 wOBA, and they provide plenty of upside with a 27.3% strikeout rate.
He also has a good shot at a win as Washington is currently a -130 favorite on the moneyline. If you want to invest in a high-priced arm today, Corbin offers upside few can match, though Coors lowers his floor, too.
Erik Swanson, Seattle Mariners
at San Diego Padres
FanDuel Price: $6,800
Let's dive into the type of pitcher Swanson is. He is generating a lot of swings and misses, and in his first start, he posted a 12.4% swinging-strike rate over six innings pitched against the Cleveland Indians.
On the season, Swanson owns a 29.0% strikeout rate, and that's on the heels of seven consecutive minor league stops with a strikeout rate of at least 20%.
Now, peep the San Diego Padres numbers against righties, which are pretty tasty. They strikeout the third-most (26.7%) and have posted only a .288 wOBA (sixth-worst).
If you want to load up on bats today, Swanson makes a lot of sense.
Jose Quintana, Chicago Cubs
vs Los Angeles Dodgers
FanDuel Price: $8,300
In what's a bit of an odd slate, Jose Quintana faces one of the hottest offenses in baseball, which should cap his ownership. Just how good has L.A. been?
They rank at the top of the board in nearly every offensive category -- third in both team wOBA (.356) and isolated power (ISO, .225), second in walk rate (11.7%), and sixth in hard-hit rate (41.6%).
So why would we want to roster Quintana?
Quintana owns the second-best strikeout on the main slate (31.5%), and while the Dodgers have absolutely slammed righties (tied for a league-best .359 team wOBA in the split), they dip a bit in performance against lefties (.346 wOBA -- 10th), including a lower fly-ball rate (36.6%, 14th) and an elevated strikeout rate (25.3%).
Given the Los Angeles Dodgers' elevated offensive performance to start the year, including 44 home runs on the season, Quintana could sneak in as an under-owned, top-flight starting pitching option.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.