FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 8/13/20

A four-game main slate gives us limited pitching options. How should you approach your pitcher slot?

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?

High-Priced Option

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Vs Milwaukee Brewers

FanDuel Price: $9,600

On this very small main slate at FanDuel, there's extremely limited options in general. However, Yu Darvish provides a top-shelf pick against a Milwaukee Brewers offense that hasn't been clicking yet.

Darvish gets the pick for me over Tyler Glasnow, who has been rough with a 15.7% walk rate this season and been knocked around a bit. Darvish has been strong this year, and the Brewers clock in fifth-worst (.293) in wOBA with a juicy strikeout rate (27.5%) and only a .141 isolated power (ISO) mark.

Darvish has also showed an impressive gain in walk rate. One of the keys to his second-half breakout in 2019 was a low walk rate, and he has continued that so far this season with a 3.1% mark.

If you want to spend up, Darvish is your guy.

Mid-Priced Play

Anthony DeSclafani, Cincinnati Reds

vs Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $7,100

Despite being far cheaper than Darvish, Anthony DeSclafani of the Cincinnati Reds may be my favorite pitching option of the day.

Disco has made two starts this year (11 innings) and has been solid with a 2.6% walk rate, 41.4% ground-ball rate, and 11.2% swinging-strike rate. He's been very strong so far.

These Pittsburgh Pirates, the opponent today for DeSclafani, are a bad offense. Like, putrid. They rank -- by far -- as the worst offense in terms of team wOBA (.266), second-worst in ISO (.119) and are striking out a 22.5% clip.

DeSclafani is worth a look today in a really nice matchup.

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.