FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/3/19
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?
Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
vs. San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $10,000
To get yourself into a strong playoff position, generally some solid starting pitching is on tap. That's definitely been the case for the St. Louis Cardinals, who have been headlined by ace Jack Flaherty for the better part of two months.
One of baseball's best and most consistent starters of late, the right-hander has been absolutely dominant dating back to July 7th. Spanning an even 10 starts, Flaherty has yet to dip below 30 FanDuel points in any outing during this run, and his numbers are absolutely silly -- 62 1/3 innings pitched, 77 whiffs, and a 0.79 WHIP with eight quality starts to boot.
His opposition today, the fast-fading San Francisco Giants, won't exactly scare you, either. They rank fourth-worst in team wOBA this year (.300), sixth-worst in isolated power (.163, ISO), and 18th in fly-ball rate (35.3%).
Look for Flaherty to make it 11 strong turns in a row.
Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves
vs Toronto Blue Jays
FanDuel Price: $7,800
It's not very often that we get a National League and an American League team squaring off for the second time in a week, but to add to the oddity, the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves will meet up again after just playing each other last week.
And to add to that, Mike Foltynewicz gets the pill for the Braves, and he faced this same team last week -- and at a first glance, that start did not go exceedingly well as he gave up eight hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
Folty has been far better recently, however, and this is still a Jays offense we want to attack. They strike out plenty with a 24.4% strikeout rate rate, and against right-handed pitching this year, they rank 23rd with a .307 team wOBA.
Expect Foltynewicz to be better this time out.
Jordan Lyles, Milwaukee Brewers
vs. Houston Astros
FanDuel Price: $7,500
When you lock horns with the juggernaut Houston Astros, it's going to be a battle to get through to try and post a win and/or quality start. Houston ranks third in wOBA against righties (.345), doesn't strike out much (18.5%), and their 39.0% hard-hit rate is a great clip.
But Jordan Lyles has been excellent since coming over to Milwaukee. In his last four starts, he's gone for at least 40 FanDuel points three times thanks to striking out nine batters in two of those starts. In that small sample, he's recorded a very respectable 10.7% swinging-strike rate.
Surprisingly, he isn't a heavy underdog (moneyline +130), and if Lyles can continue his recent run of form, his affordable price point let's you spend up on expensive bats. Think about Lyles, who isn't going to see much ownership.
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.