FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 5/28/19
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?
Matt Boyd, Detroit Tigers
vs Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Price: $10,200
He isn't the most expensive arm on the day -- that belongs to Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals -- but he appears to be in the best spot as the Tigers face the Baltimore Orioles, who seem to be flat out struggling to hit, even in their juicy digs.
This season, the O's clock in only 24th in team wOBA (.302), all while whiffing at a healthy clip (23.4%). And Boyd provides plenty of strikeout punch, ranking second on the main slate in strikeout rate (29.6%).
Boyd's implied team total of 4.45 runs may scare some folks, but take the strikeout goodness and run.
Rich Hill, Los Angeles Dodgers
vs New York Mets
FanDuel Price: $8,800
After a few bumpy turns to start 2019, Rich Hill of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been absolutely red-hot in his last two starts, striking out 17 over his last 12 innings. Can we trust him again tonight at home?
Against the putrid New York Mets, that's an emphatic "heck yes". The Mets clock in only 18th in team wOBA (.315), but provide plenty of juice with a 24.4% strikeout rate.
And even with that slow start to 2019, Hill's strikeout rate sits at a cool 28.2% for the year. Factor all of those items in and you have a fantastic mid-tier play on your hands.
Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants
at Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $6,600
The majority of our pitching options tonight reside in the under $7,000 tier, as there are 11 of them on tap, which also includes openers like Ryne Stanek and Jesse Chavez. One very affordable option could be Jeff Samardzija of the San Francisco Giants.
What has stood out, both for this season and Samardzija's career, is that he has pitched very well in a pitching-friendly environment like Oracle Park. Dating back to 2016, Shark has posted a .303 wOBA and 31.0% hard-hit rate in 235 2/3 innings pitched at Oracle.
What helps his cause is that tonight's contest in Miami is an even friendlier pitching environment, as the Marlins home field ranks dead-last in park factor over the last three seasons and second-worst in home run factor.
Marry that with a Marlins attack that ranks worst in the league with a .270 wOBA, and he becomes a pretty interesting cheap pitcher.
Marco Gonzales, Seattle Mariners
vs Texas Rangers
FanDuel Price: $7,300
Looking at Marco Gonzales's numbers makes you scratch your head a bit -- and advanced metrics aren't going to love the southpaw, as he doesn't strike out a ton of batters (16.4%).
But what Gonzales can do is throw the pill well at home. In 112 innings at home since the start of the 2018 season, the lefty has posted a .297 wOBA and 26.6% hard-hit rate.
Where Gonzales may get some help is from the opponent. While the Texas Rangers can do plenty of damage in a hurry at the dish, they also swing and miss quite a bit, ranking fifth-worst in strikeout rate (25.3%).
If you're looking for a contrarian type of play that may be low-owned, peep Gonzales.
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.