FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 6/25/19
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?
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
at Miami Marlins
FanDuel Price: $12,200
There's four high-priced aces above $9,000 on this mega main slate, but there's really two at the top to focus our attention on -- Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole. While both are in great matchups, spending up for Mad Max appears to be the play.
While the strikeout rate advantage clearly goes to Cole, nearly everything else about today goes to Scherzer's favor. He faces a very poor offensive lineup in the Miami Marlins, who rank dead-last in the league in team wOBA (.282). They also rank last in isolated power (ISO; .117) and fly-ball rate (29.4%).
The Marlins also strike out at a far higher clip (23.7%) than Cole's opponent, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who only whiff at a 20.8% rate.
Throw in Marlins Park, and you've got Scherzer primed for a big score.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
vs Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $8,300
This was a challenging pick, with Ross Stripling ultimately not making the cut because of his potential limit on innings given that he hasn't been stretched out yet. Let's examine why San Francisco Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner makes a ton of sense instead.
The Colorado Rockies, Bumgarner's opponent, are striking out a hefty clip, ranking ninth-highest in strikeout rate (24.0%), and while they have a very strong offense, they dip down a bit on the road, dropping to dead-last in team wOBA (.283), third-worst in strikeout rate (27.3%), and ninth-worst in hard-hit rate (36.3%).
There's also a familiarity with Bumgarner and the Rockies, and history is on his side. So far this year, he has thrown two stellar outings against them, allowing five earned runs over 15 innings, recording wins and quality starts in each performance.
To pivot down on the starting pitcher slot, peep Bumgarner.
Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics
at St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $6,900
Through the first month of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals looked like one of baseball's best offenses -- they ranked eighth in team wOBA (.338), and they led baseball in hard-hit rate (42.5%).
However, this is no longer the case. The Cardinals offense has taken a putrid turn for the worse -- since May 1st, the Birds rank fourth-worst in team wOBA (.293) and third-worst in ISO (.144).
Bassitt has also turned up the noise in some key metrics this year, including a 23.3% strikeout rate, 31.3% fly-ball rate, and career-best 9.3% swinging-strike rate.
Bank in Busch Stadium, which ranks fourth-best in park factor of tonight's home games, and Bassitt has some serious value.
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.