FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 6/10/19

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?

High-Priced Option

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

vs Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $11,800

It's Chris Sale or bust, y'all.

With only 18 pitching options tonight, three of which are at or above $10,000, Sale blows away his high-priced competition and should be strongly considered in all formats.

Why? Let's start with his slate-best 34.9% strikeout rate, which is paired with a Texas Rangers offense that strikes out fifth-most in baseball, at 24.8%. Texas' 34.9% fly-ball rate is tied for 10th-worst in the league, as well.

The Rangers sport the night's lowest implied total (3.14), and Sale's upside is truly unmatched on this slate. Over his last eight starts, he's turned in six quality starts and has topped 55 FanDuel points in four of those eight outings, including a 73-point day in his last start.

The only red flag here is weather as rain could be an issue tonight in Boston.

Mid-Priced Option

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

vs New York Mets
FanDuel Price: $8,900

Expected to return tonight after missing the weekend series due to paternity leave, Masahiro Tanaka returns to pitch against the New York Mets, and that's a fantastic matchup for him.

At best, this is a mediocre Mets offense, ranking 25th in fly-ball rate (33.7%) and 11th in strikeout rate (24.0%). It's a big reason why we project Tanaka to total the fifth-highest score on tonight's main slate.

Tanaka's strikeout rate of 21.4% this season would be the lowest season-long mark of his career. That doesn't mean the righty has thrown the ball poorly, however. He owns an 11.1%. swinging-strike rate and has generated one of the best soft-contact rates of his career, at 18.7%.

The Mets' implied total of 4.21 runs is one of the lowest on the main slate, making Tanaka a solid mid-priced option on Monday.

Low-Priced/Contrarian Play

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels

vs Los Angeles Dodgers
FanDuel Price: $7,800

The Los Angeles Dodgers stay within L.A. to play the Los Angeles Angels, and Griffin Canning gets the unenviable task of slowing down this offense, which clocks in third with a .340 wOBA.

While the Dodgers are certainly a strong offensive squad, Canning is also someone to be reckoned with. He ranks third on the main slate with a 26.9% strikeout rate, and Angel Stadium sits 22nd in park factor over the last three seasons.

This Dodgers offense hasn't been clicking on all cylinders lately, either -- over the last two weeks, it ranks only 16th in fly-ball rate (34.9%), significantly below their season-long mark of 37.1%. Canning's strikeout rate is backed up by a sparkling 15.5% swinging-strike rate.

With the Angels a hefty underdog (+148) and the Dodgers carrying a 5.00 implied total, Canning isn't going to see a lot of ownership. But as long as he can keep the ball in the yard, he could post a solid score while helping you pay up for the bats at Coors.

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.