FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 6/17/19
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?
Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves
vs New York Mets
FanDuel Price: $10,200
It's a larger main slate, but it's kind of a bizarre one. Three pitchers are making their return from the Injured List, and eight pitchers are grouped together in the top tier at $9,000 and above.
In this expensive group, there's quite a few land mines to avoid. Mike Clevinger ($9,800) was brilliant prior to his injury, but any pitcher coming off a long layoff is a bit of a stay away. Luis Castillo ($10,000) attacks a potent Houston Astros offense, Jose Berrios ($9,600) faces a Boston Red Sox attack that doesn't swing and miss much, and Patrick Corbin ($9,400) pitches with the wind blowing out and some rain concerns.
That lands us on the most expensive arm of the night, Mike Soroka, who has a very solid matchup. Soroka enters with only a pedestrian 21.1% strikeout rate, but he faces a New York Mets offense that ranks 12th-highest in strikeout rate (23.7%), sixth-worst in fly-ball rate (33.6%), and fourth-worst in hard-hit rate (35.1%) in the majors.
Soroka clocks in with the sixth-best implied allowed team total on the night (4.11 runs), and prior to his last outing he had logged eight consecutive quality starts. If spending up is your jam, peep the young righty.
Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers
vs San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $8,600
There's somewhat of a strange middle tier tomorrow, with only five arms priced between $7,500 and $8,900. In that mix, Kenta Maeda easily stands out as a mid-priced arm we want to own.
Maeda comes in atop the mid-range grouping with a 25.3% strikeout rate, and he's the owner of one of the juiciest matchups in all of baseball for today -- a struggling San Francisco Giants lineup that ranks near the bottom in every key metric such as hard-hit rate (23rd; 35.9%), wOBA (29th; .285), and isolated power (29th; .144).
Vegas agrees that this San Francisco attack stinks, too -- Maeda has the second-lowest implied allowed team total of the day at 3.45 runs. To save some coin and load up on some bats, Maeda is the play.
Tommy Milone, Seattle Mariners
vs Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $6,400
If you are unfamiliar with the highly technical term "The Glob", it's a phrase used to commemorate a pile of options that are all kind of the same.
Tonight, 11 main slate pitchers are below $7,500 in cost, and that means there's a lot to parse through here. Tommy Milone, who should be working second tonight after the opener, is a strong play to consider who will likely be very under-owned.
Milone has been under-the-radar a bit due to his role, but his 25.4% strikeout rate and 10.1% swinging-strike rate shouldn't be ignored for fantasy purposes. While he unfortunately cannot qualify for a quality start, he can still rack up points -- in fact, he has struck out six or more batters in this role in four of his five outings. That's led him to 24 FanDuel points or more in each of those outings.
He's also blessed with a home date tonight, and Seattle's home park clocks in fifth-worst in park factor over the last three years against a Kansas City offense that ranks sixth-worst in team wOBA (.301).
For a very cheap option that is sure to see low ownership, Milone is your guy.
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.