FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 8/5/19

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

Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays

FanDuel Price: $10,100

Do you think the Tampa Bay Rays are happy with their acquisition of Charlie Morton this past offseason?

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say hell yes. The right-hander has been a beast this season, posting a 2.78 ERA over 136 innings pitched, racking up 165 strikeouts.

And while he needs to bounce back from a tough outing, where he only went 4 2/3 innings with seven hits allowed and four earned runs, he's been ballin'. Since June 1st taking that outing out of the picture, Morton has upped his game with a 43.9 FanDuel point-per-game average, including 80 strikeouts over 63 innings.

We have Morton projected as the highest scoring pitcher on the day, so if you're looking to spend up, peep Morton.

Mid-Priced Option

Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants

vs. Washington Nationals
FanDuel Price: $8,600

After some rough seasons for the San Francisco Giants, Jeff Samardzija has bounced back in a big way in 2019 and has helped bolster a revitalized rotation that is competing for a Wild Card spot.

Tonight, the veteran right-hander will need to be at the top of his game to stymie the Washington Nationals, who have been strong lately. They rank ninth in team wOBA over the last month (.340), and their 18.9% strikeout rate is the league's lowest.

However, Samardzija has been equally strong. In the month of July, where he averaged 39.7 FanDuel points per start, he posted five quality starts in six outings, roasting hitters for 35 whiffs over 38 innings pitched.

He's also been better at home, where he pitches tonight -- he owns a .293 wOBA in the Bay, including a slight uptick to a 21.2% strikeout rate. Look for him to keep up his recent run of form tonight in a familiar setting.

Low-Priced/Contrarian Play

Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox

vs. Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $7,100

As a heavy owner of Rick Porcello, there's no way to sugar coat how terrible he has been in the 2019 season. After winning the Cy Young in the 2016 season, Porcello has progressively gotten worse, and this year, it has culminated in an ugly 5.74 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.

Tonight's matchup though, against the Kansas City Royals, could help right the ship for the veteran. This Kansas City offense stinks, ranking fourth-worst in ISO (.152), fifth-worst in wOBA (.302), all while striking out 22.6% of the time.

Porcello has been slightly better at home this year, posting a 5.40 ERA and .263 batting average against, versus a 6.27 ERA and .313 batting average against on the road. For a super cheap option that's a heavy favorite tonight (moneyline -270), peep Porcello.

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.