FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/13/19
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?
Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros
at Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $12,000
The Houston Astros continue to roll on in their chase for the AL West title, and their juggernaut offense is paired with a rotation that features a bevy of aces. Depending on the day, one could argue that Gerrit Cole is the most valuable pitcher on the team, and he takes the ball tonight against a poor Kansas City Royals offense, providing us with plenty of upside.
Kansas City has struggled to one of the worst offensive attacks in 2019, especially as of late. In the last 30 days, they rank 25th in team wOBA (.296), 26th in isolated power (ISO, .146), and 24th in hard-hit rate (34.4%).
While they aren't a big swing-and-miss team, Cole takes care of that himself with his absurd 39.4% strikeout rate in 2019. Peep the 'Stros co-ace, and expect big things from the righty.
Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels
vs. Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Price: $8,400
Andrew Heaney has been one of the league's best pitchers down the stretch, and nearly any peripheral we view him through proves that. His season-long mark of a 29.2% strikeout rate ranks him sixth-best on the main slate, and he's fanned eight or more in three of his last four starts.
Fold in his matchup tonight, and we are aligned for a good output. Heaney faces a Tampa Bay Rays team that's one of the worst against lefties this season -- they rank 19th in team wOBA (.317), 23rd in ISO (.165), and fifth-worst in strikeout rate (25.2%) in the split.
For a middling option who could provide major return on investment, Heaney is a good bet.
Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins
at San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $7,400
With a bit of an up-and-down campaign, Sandy Alcantara is easy to overlook. His recent run of form and a great matchup, however, should definitely put him squarely on our radar for DFS purposes.
Over his last four contests, spanning 29 innings, Alcantara has put up 41.75 FanDuel points per game, averaging over a strikeout per inning in that time.
Recently, the San Francisco Giants, Alcantara's foe tonight, have been poor at the dish. Over the last 30 days, they rank third-worst in team wOBA (.292) and fourth-worst in ISO (.145) -- all while striking out at a robust clip of 24.0%.
With Coors Field in play, a viable strategy tonight is going with a cheap arm and high-priced bats, and Alcantara is a great option to execute that type of lineup construction.
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.