FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 9/16/19
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?
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
at St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $10,400
It's unlike that the Washington Nationals will catch the Atlanta Braves, but they are likely locked into a Wild Card spot. And, this three-game set could even be a preview of the one-game playoff that could occur in October. Look for Stephen Strasburg to keep the prolonged St. Louis Cardinals slumping offense at bay.
Strasburg has been absolutely magnificent this season with a 29.4% strikeout rate, and against a struggling Cardinals offense that ranks 21st in runs scored and team wOBA (.313), he could continue his strong run of form.
Since July 23rd, Strasburg has gone at least six innings or more eight times (10 starts), and he's hit that mark in each of his last five starts.
With plenty of strikeout upside and the ability to pitch deep into games, the righty should be a no-brainer.
Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
vs. Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Price: $8,500
It's been a bit clunky for Jose Berrios down the stretch -- as the Minnesota Twins get ready for the playoff push, the ace righty has posted a 6.64 ERA over his last seven starts, including eight homers over 39 1/3 innings.
But if his last start is any indication, it could be getting better soon. The righty blanked a strong Washington Nationals team for seven innings, including allowing only three total base runners.
The matchup gets even better tonight -- he faces a Chicago White Sox team that strikes out fourth-most in baseball (25.5%) and third-worst in isolated power (.149, ISO). Look for him to make it two strong starts in a row.
Reynaldo Lopez, Chicago White Sox
at Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Price: $7,800
The Minnesota Twins have been one of baseball's best offenses all season long, but one of the best things about DFS is that we aren't necessarily concerned with season-long marks as much as we are about the short term.
And over the last 14 days, the Twins have slumped to performing pretty poorly. They rank 19th in team wOBA (.312), have whiffed at an accelerated pace (24.2%), and their ISO has dipped down to .174, a far cry from their league-leading mark of .225.
Reynaldo Lopez has the ability to be that volatile, cheap play with plenty of upside. DFS players may ignore him due to his 5.35 ERA this year, but it's hard ignoring his 67 and 70 point FanDuel outings in 2019.
With an offense that's slumping a bit, peep Lopez as an interesting pivot play.
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.