FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 8/12/20
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. Which pitchers should you consider on today's main slate?
Zack Greinke, Houston Astros
Vs San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Price: $9,800
There are only three pitchers priced at $8,500 or more on today's main slate, and of that grouping, it's a no-brainer that the veteran right-hander in Houston should get the baseball. He's done an outstanding job limiting offenses, posting a .282 wOBA allowed to righties, and only a .266 mark to lefties.
The Giants have really struggled against right-handed pitching, logging only a .306 wOBA and .165 isolated power (ISO) mark in this split. After a rough first turn, Greinke seems to have found his form and should be ready to soar.
Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
vs Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $8,300
This one goes against the grain just a hair, as the Atlanta Braves have been one of baseball's best teams against right-handed pitching. They rock a .355 wOBA and .227 ISO dating back to 2019 in this split.
But tonight's squad may not be the same Braves team that you are used to seeing. They likely will be without Ronald Acuna, who is having some wrist discomfort. We know they won't have Ozzie Albies, who's already on the Injured List. And they face a pitcher that's been downright nasty to start the season in Masahiro Tanaka.
It's been certainly a small sample size given he's only fired 7 2/3 innings, but the right-hander has recorded a 27.6% strikeout rate this season against a 3.5% walk rate. He's also posted a 50% ground-ball rate with a whopping 14.5% swinging-strike rate.
At such a low price, I'm definitely interested in Tanaka.
Jordan Lyles, Texas Rangers
vs Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Price: $6,600
Well, it's been a bit of Jekyll and Hyde for the Seattle Mariners offense. One night after exploding on Kyle Gibson for 10 runs, they mustered only eight total base runners and two runs against Mike Minor and the Texas Rangers.
Tonight, that makes Jordan Lyles pretty tempting against a Mariners offense that has mustered only a .300 wOBA and 32.2% hard-hit rate against righties. Lyles' command has been a bit off with a 16.3% walk rate so far this year, but he showed major improvement in his second start with five whiffs over the Los Angeles Angels over 5 1/3 innings.
If you are looking for a tantalizing low-priced option, check out Lyles.
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.