FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 5/6/19

Gerrit Cole stands out among the mega aces on tonight's slate. Which other pitching targets should be on your radar?

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?

High-Priced Option

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

vs Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $11,500

We are again #blessed with a bevvy of high-priced options on tonight's main slate. Six pitchers crack the $9,000 or higher barrier, but there are some serious flaws in some of the high-end pitchers.

Let's start with Blake Snell, who has posted an identical 15.2% strikeout and walk rate in his first two turns back. To add to that, he's only thrown 6 1/3 innings, so priced at $9,900, I'm avoiding him.

Max Scherzer has still been whiffing plenty of dudes, but he hasn't exactly been on top of his game, either. Scherzer's salary dropped by $1,100 from his last start as he lost a decision to the Cardinals, and he's cracked the elusive 50-point FanDuel barrier only one time this season.

While Jacob deGrom still lurks, Gerrit Cole remains my best bet to go off. Cole tops the charts with a slate-best 37.6% strikeout rate, and he also boasts a slate-best 3.07 implied team total from the opposing Kansas City Royals. The Royals rank only 17th with a team wOBA of .318, and Cole makes for a top-flight option.

Mid-Priced Option

Martin Perez, Minnesota Twins

at Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $7,500

Yup, we are getting sucked backed into the Martin Perez vortex, but don't worry friends, it's with good reason this time.

The veteran southpaw has been brilliant in recent outings, but on the season, a 20.4% strikeout rate won't probably catch your eye. What does stand out is Perez topping 35 FanDuel points in back-to-back outings, or over a 5-times return per $1,000 of salary. He'll benefit from a matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays, who rank 24th in team wOBA (.286) against lefties with a 24.7% strikeout rate.

Allowing only one earned run in his last 14 innings pitched and facing a struggling lineup, Perez makes for an interesting play on a tricky pitching slate.

Low-Priced Option/Contrarian Play

Jhoulys Chacin, Milwaukee Brewers

vs Washington Nationals
FanDuel Price: $6,500

Don't get things twisted -- Milwaukee Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin does not strike out a ton of people. On tonight's main slate, his 18.1% strikeout rate is the third-lowest among the 18 options. Woof.

But don't let that fool you into not rostering him. The Washington Nationals, Chacin's opponent tonight, can provide plenty of swing-and-miss ability. They are striking out a whopping 25.9% of the time, and they rank in the middle of the pack with a team wOBA mark of .321.

That becomes less imposing when you consider some big hitters are hurt and missing from this lineup, such as Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Adams, and Trea Turner. For an option sure to be overlooked, peep Chacin.

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.