FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 7/15/19

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

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

at Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $10,300

Today's top end of the slate is a very tricky one to navigate, as the expensive hurlers are littered with landmines. Luis Castillo faces the Chicago Cubs, Blake Snell tangles with the New York Yankees in the Bronx, and Lucas Giolito has struggled lately, though his matchup with the Kansas City Royals is a good one.

That brings us to Clayton Kershaw, who has been strong this season and gets the benefit of facing a mediocre Philadelphia Phillies lineup. The Phillies rank only 19th in team wOBA (.316), 18th in wRC+ (93), and 18th in isolated power (.177, ISO).

We've got Kershaw pegged for a big night, too, as he clocks in as the slate's second-ranked pitcher, per our projections.

Mid-Priced Option

Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs

vs. Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Price: $8,700

Kyle Hendricks gets the ball for the Cubs tonight, and he takes aim at an offense that has really struggled to find its top gear in 2019.

On the season, the Cincinnati Reds rank near the bottom in most offensive categories -- seventh-worst in team wOBA (.307), fifth-worst in wRC+ (85) and 12th-worst in strikeout rate (23.4%).

Even though he isn't the priciest of arms, we have Hendricks projected for 35.2 FanDuel points, tops on the slate. One concern to note here -- it look like the wind will be blowing out in Chicago, so keep an eye on the weather to see how this shakes out, but Hendricks could be primed for a monster night.

Low-Priced/Contrarian Play

Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox

vs. Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $7,000

There's not a lot of ways to slice this up cleanly -- Rick Porcello has been a really bad pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in 2019. But for DFS purposes, that all can get thrown out the window thanks to a solid matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Jays check in seventh-worst in team strikeout rate (24.5%), and their .299 team wOBA mark ranks fifth-worst in all of baseball. Porcello is a heavy favorite today, too. At a moneyline of -186, he's the second-largest favorite on the main slate.

It all adds up to Porcello being worth a dart throw in a GPP lineup or two.

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.