FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 7/30/20
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?
Dinelson Lamet, San Diego Padres
at San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $9,200
On a shortened main slate, we are getting into some tricky situations with selecting our pitchers.
It's difficult for me because of how much I want to gush superfluously on Shane Bieber, but it's really hard recommending the most expensive arm on tonight's slate against the juggernaut Minnesota Twins' offense. Peep this: the Twins rank 10th in team wOBA (.331), they are the seventh-hardest team to strike out (20.0%), sixth in isolated power (ISO, .206), and are fifth in slugging percentage (.253). If you want to be a contrarian and pay up for Bieber, you have larger stones than me.
That pivots us to Dinelson Lamet of the San Diego Padres, who was absolutely brilliant in his first turn in 2020. Over five innings, he whiffed eight hitters and allowed only five hits and a walk. The San Francisco Giants, his opponent, are a bit tougher than expected, with Mike Yastrzemski doing his best impression of former family members, but they aren't that strong overall.
Save some bucks and pivot down to Lamet.
Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers
at Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $8,200
Again, the middle tier is a stratum that I think you want to operate in, and there's actually several close choices. If you want to go with Dylan Bundy here, who looked great escaping the bandbox of the Baltimore Orioles, you would have my vote.
My pivot to Ross Stripling of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes from a few key metrics -- the Arizona Diamondbacks, Stripling's opponent tonight, are absolutely putrid in terms of ISO (a league-worst mark of .073), and they are still swinging and missing at an above-average rate (24.8%). Their team wOBA also shows that they are still getting their feet wet with this sprint season (.253, second-worst).
For a more moderately priced option, with a team with a great chance at a win, Stripling is a great option.
Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals
at Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Price: $7,200
Singer comes with a massive pedigree from the University of Florida -- he was an ace for the Gators, and despite only being drafted in 2018 (18th pick overall), he dominated two levels in 2019 before starting 2020 in the majors.
If Singer's first turn is any indicator, ooh mama, the kid is gonna be special. Over five innings, Singer allowed only five base runners, whiffing seven, producing a tidy 17.5% swinging-strike rate. Want more good news? Singer flashed a very plus slider 47.5% of the time.
Tonight, he attacks a Detroit Tigers team with a silly 33.5% strikeout rate so far this season. Singer makes for a very sneaky, but high-upside 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.