FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/2/19
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?
Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians
vs. Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Price: $10,700
His opponent tonight, the Los Angeles Angels, have been pretty adept at the dish this year -- they rank seventh in team wOBA with a .327 mark, and their 18.3% strikeout rate is one of the lowest in the league.
While those factors all work against owning Clevinger, what does support him is a few things -- a slate-best 37.5% strikeout rate, one of the best park factors in tonight's contests, and he should be in a good spot to cash in on a victory. The Indians are heavy favorites (moneyline -230), and Clevinger has balled out over the month of July averaging 47.6 FanDuel point spanning five starts.
Firing in a stiff wind blowing in at Clevinger's back, and the expensive ace feels worthy of rostering.
Martin Perez, Texas Rangers
vs. Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $7,000
It's a very tough pitching slate tonight -- of all of the options that are available, only 10 are priced at $7,000 or above. That definitely shifts our thinking as we build our rosters.
One of the more appealing options tonight is Martin Perez of the Minnesota Twins. They are heavy favorites (-235 moneyline), which should put the southpaw in a solid position for both a quality start and a win, and we have him projected as the fifth-highest pitcher on the evening.
While Perez's whiffs have been down as of late, as he has struck out four batters in each of his last three starts, facing the Kansas City Royals may alleviate many concerns. Over the last two weeks, they have posted a .274 team wOBA mark (fifth-worst), along with an absurdly terrible .108 isolated power (ISO) mark.
For a more medium priced option, peep Perez.
Kevin Gausman, Atlanta Braves
vs. Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Price: $6,300
After getting ripped in his last start for six earned runs, can Kevin Gausman of the Atlanta Braves find some of his magic from two starts ago, where he whiffed eight en route to a dominant win over the Washington Nationals?
He could be in a good spot against a Cincinnati Reds offense that has struggled over the last 30 days, and no longer employs the services of Yasiel Puig. The Reds have posted only a 32.1% fly-ball rate in this time span (second-worst), and they still have the propensity to strike out, owning a 22.6% clip.
We also know that by staying in Atlanta, the Reds will see a major downshift in pop, as they move from the fourth-friendliest park in terms of home run factor to 24th.
On the season, Gausman has been solid with a 23.8% strikeout rate, so look for him to bounce back with a big evening.
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.