FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 7/29/20

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?

Top-Tier Option

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

at Baltimore Orioles

FanDuel Price: $11,700

Some may see this as hitting the easy button as Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees is projected for the highest salary of the day -- so you gotta play him, right?

Of course not, but against the Baltimore Orioles, it's not a coincidence that Cole is projected for the highest score on the slate by our model. Cole has a propensity to work deep into games (6.43 innings per start in 2019), and as we saw a season ago, he has the ability to whiff a ton of bats (a 39.9% mark a year ago). That's a great thing.

If we peep our heat map, the Yankees are heavy favorites to win as well, which puts Cole even higher up the charts. He's expensive, but likely worth the investment.

Mid-Priced Option

Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers

at Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $8,700

This one was a toss-up for me -- in a slate with a ton of great pitchers available, and a pitcher like Matt Boyd going against the Kansas City Royals for $300 cheaper.

However, I can't ignore how good Brandon Woodruff of the Milwaukee Brewers is against a Pittsburgh Pirates offense that is pretty weak, especially after the top of the lineup. The Pirates are slated for the fourth-lowest implied team total (3.92 runs).

Woodruff showed a great strikeout rate in 2019 (29.0%), a gorgeous 44.6% ground-ball rate, and an 11.6% swinging-strike rate. Against a poor offensive team, Woodruff makes for a very interesting option.

Low-Priced Play

Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels

at Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $7,100

If Joe Maddon takes the leash off of Andrew Heaney and the Los Angeles Angels, this could make for a monster night for the southpaw.

Heaney takes on the Mariners tonight, who ranked 18th in team wOBA (.318) a season ago, and struck out aplenty at 25.5% of the time. And to look at this at an even closer lens, against lefties, they were pretty mediocre still with only a .324 wOBA.

Like the Pirates, the Mariners boast a paltry 3.92 implied team total, and Heaney and the Halos are heavy favorites. With Anthony Rendon back in the fold, the Angels pummeled their way to 10 runs in a blowout victory a night ago.

Expect Heaney and the Angels to make it back-to-back wins tonight.

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.