FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 7/2/19
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?
Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
at Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $11,600
It feels like every time we place our trust in ace Trevor Bauer, he likely lets us down. But this spot he is in tonight is one that's too good to turn our nose up.
Bauer comes off an absolutely scintillating performance against the Kansas City Royals in his last outing, firing a 63-FanDuel point bomb. While he had been roughed up the start before that by the Detroit Tigers, he had a 61-point outing before that dud. The top-end is certainly there for Bauer.
And while the season-long view of the Royals isn't as stunning, keep in mind that over the last 30 days, they rank fifth in strikeout rate (24.4%) and third-worst in team wOBA (.292). It's likely not coincidental that the poor play has coincided with Adalberto Mondesi hitting the Injured List.
One word of caution -- there could be a slight wind blowing out tonight in Kansas City, and Bauer has allowed 1.13 home runs per nine innings pitched (HR/9). Just consider that as your construct your line-ups, but we have Bauer pegged for the highest score of the night.
Zac Gallen, Miami Marlins
at Washington Nationals
FanDuel Price: $8,000
If you're living under a rock, or haven't noticed what Zac Gallen is doing, now is your official notice to watch out.
While he sports a 3.60 ERA over his first two starts, there's so much juicy goodness here it can't be ignored. Gallen owns a filthy 12.1% swinging-strike rate and 32.6% strikeout rate over those two first outings, which is somewhat in line with what he did in the minors. Here's a quick snapshot of some of his offerings:
Zac Gallen's FILTHY 87mph slider.
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) June 20, 2019
He faces the same Washington Nationals squad that he did an outing ago, and he shouldn't be heavily owned as the Nats are heavy favorites (-210 moneyline). If you'd like an arm that differentiates yourself a bit without sacrificing upside, peep Gallen.
Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox
vs Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $6,600
If there's a single arm below $7,000 that could pop tonight, it looks like Reynaldo Lopez could be the ticket.
Lopez gets to face a Detroit Tigers team that is struggling majorly at the dish. Over the last 30 days, they rank second-worst in team wOBA (.285) with a 25.7% strikeout rate, and their 37.2% hard-hit rate isn't instilling fear in anyone.
Lopez seems to be a good value -- and we shouldn't forget his 14-strikeout performance against the Tigers earlier this year. If you're looking to load up on Coors Field bats, which is never a bad option, Lopez can certainly help you free up the salary space to do so.
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.