FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 7/3/19

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

Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

vs Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $10,100

After a poor outing last time out in Denver against the Colorado Rockies, some folks may be scared off of rostering Walker Buehler. Don't make that mistake.

Prior to that bumpy outing, Buehler had averaged 61 FanDuel points over his last four outings, and he stymied these same Arizona Diamondbacks for 11 strikeouts over eight innings pitched.

Over recent weeks, the D-Backs have really struggled at the dish, too. They rank 23rd in team wOBA (.311), and rank only 18th in fly-ball rate (34.2%).

Buehler clocks in fourth on the main slate in strikeout rate, so for a high upside play, pay up for Buehler.

Mid-Priced Option

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels

at Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $8,000

Smack dab in the middle of our pitching tiers is Griffin Canning of the Los Angeles Angels, and despite playing in the Texas summer, he could be in line for a big night.

Despite that juicy ballpark rating, there's reasons to be bullish on Canning. The young hurler sports a 25.3% strikeout rate, and the Texas Rangers play right into Canning's strength -- over the last month, they have whiffed 26.4% of the time, which is the worst mark in the league.

Their .314 wOBA (21st) and 34.7% fly-ball rate (15th) don't scare you off from rostering Canning, either. If you want to load up on bats but spend in that middle tier, peep the rookie righty.

Low-Priced/Contrarian Play

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

at Pittsburgh Pirates
FanDuel Price: $7,200

With any luck, we won't see Daniel Descalso taking the mound for the Chicago Cubs tonight, as Yu Darvish could be in line for a big evening.

Darvish ranks fifth on the main slate in strikeout rate (26.9%), and his 52-point effort a few starts ago against the Dodgers showcases what the right-hander is capable of.

While the Pittsburgh Pirates, Darvish's opponent, don't strike out a ton, their batted-ball profile is a bit ugly, despite some recent offensive fireworks. In the last month, they rank 25th in fly-ball rate (31.7%), and Darvish's inflated walk rate may not be tested, as the Pirates are taking free passes only 7.1% of the time.

Fold in a strong park factor for Darvish tonight, and be ready to rock with the cheap hurler.

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.