FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 5/31/19

Chris Sale has been dominant recently. Can he keep it up heading to the Bronx tonight?

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

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

at New York Yankees

FanDuel Price: $11,200

There's a tasty little six pack of pitchers priced at $9,000, and let's lead things off with strikeout ace Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox, who seems back and better than ever.

Sale leads tonight's main slate with an eye-popping 33.7% strikeout rate, and with the benefit of being a heavy favorite (-180 moneyline), seems ready to do some damage with an implied team total of only 3.85 runs.

While Sale faces a New York Yankees team that has struck out only 22.3% of the time, missing sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge and Sale's ability to strike hitters out on his own makes him more than worth paying up for.

Mid-Priced Option

Joey Lucchesi, San Diego Padres

vs Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $7,500

One of the odder parts of tonight's slate is the combination of inexpensive hurlers. Ten pitchers are priced between $7,500 and $8,900, and Joey Lucchesi of the San Diego Padres stands out in this mid-tier grouping.

On tonight's main slate, Lucchesi owns the lowest implied team total at a mere 3.14 runs. That's in large part to a struggling Miami Marlins offense that clocks in 14th in strikeout rate (23.7%), and a league-worst .274 wOBA mark.

Lucchesi ranks in the middle of the pack with a 24.9% strikeout rate, so factoring in that poor opponent and reasonable price point makes him a great option.

Low-Priced Option/Contrarian Play

Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves

vs Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $7,300

It's taken him perhaps a bit longer than folks had hoped to get him up to speed, but Mike Foltynewicz has taken two brilliant turns in back-to-back starts, making him a great option tonight.

The Braves starter makes for an interesting play because not only is he cheap, but he's been bad to start the season. He owns a 5.67 ERA which is sure to scare off DFS players, and his 16.6% strikeout rate is currently the lowest of his career.

But ignoring this arm would be a silly task and let's consider Folty's opponent, the Detroit Tigers. They clock in third-worst in team wOBA (.282), and they rank second-worst in strikeout rate (26.2%). The upside is real.

Peering into the righty's past performances -- two starts ago against the Milwaukee Brewers, Foltynewicz was strong over six innings, allowing just two earned runs. In his last time out, he spun six innings without an earned run, whiffing seven St. Louis Cardinals batters.

Thanks to a premium matchup with a poor offense and getting back to the 2018 version of himself, peep the Atlanta Braves arm.

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.