FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/23/19

Jack Flaherty has been brilliant in the second half of the season, and he gets a premium home matchup against the Rockies. Which other pitchers should you consider?

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

Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

vs. Colorado Rockies

FanDuel Price: $9,900

So Jack Flaherty has been kinda good since the All Star break.

Since the Mid-Summer Classic, Flaherty has arguably been the best pitcher in the National League. Over seven second-half starts, spanning 43 1/3 innings pitched, the St. Louis Cardinals' ace has whiffed 55 batters, recording five quality starts over that time. He's been dominant.

Today he gets a Colorado Rockies offense that we all know isn't the same away from Coors. On the road, they rank second-worst in team wOBA (.289), third-worst in strikeout rate (26.4%), and 17th in fly-ball rate (35.2%).

If you're looking to spend up at pitcher, Flaherty is your guy.

Mid-Priced Option

Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins

vs. Detroit Tigers

FanDuel Price: $8,800

Over the last three starts, it's been a bit bumpy for Jose Berrios as he's averaging only 19.33 FanDuel points. The Detroit Tigers could be the elixir to get him back on track.

Berrios has raised his game in 2019. Over 157 2/36 innings pitched, he clocks in with a 10.5% swinging-strike rate while dropping his walk rate to 5.8%. And the matchup tonight gives him an even bigger benefit as the Tigers battle the Miami Marlins for the league's worst offense.

Team wOBA (Rank) Strikeout Rate (Rank) ISO (Rank)
Detroit Tigers .288 (29th) 26.6% (30th) .150 (29th)
Miami Marlins .283 (30th) 24.4% (24th) .125 (30th)

The punchless Tigers are even weaker with Nick Castellanos gone, so peep Berrios as a quality option today.

Low-Priced/Contrarian Play

Trevor Richards, Tampa Bay Rays

at Baltimore Orioles

FanDuel Price: $5,800

Despite a minimal price tag, Trevor Richards ranks as one of the strongest plays of the night, per our models. Can we expect a big night? All signs are pointing that way.

Over the last 30 days, the Baltimore Orioles check in as one of the league's worst offenses, ranking 21st in team wOBA (.317) and 27th in hard-hit rate (33.7%). But what makes this matchup the most intriguing is the Orioles poor performance against Richards primary pitch, the change-up, a split in which Baltimore ranks eighth-worst in the league.

If you want to spend up at hitting and need a cheap pitcher, Richards is worth checking out. He will likely still be on a pitch count as he stretches back out to a starting role, but he tossed 71 pitches in his first outing with the Tampa Bay Rays, so if he gets closer to 90 tonight, that gives him a chance to do plenty of damage in this matchup.

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.