FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/14/20

Tonight's main slate is loaded with pitching options. Who should we roster?

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

Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds

Vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $10,800

I feel straight out of Sophie's Choice, trying to pick between the best starting pitcher on this monster main slate. Holy catfish.

By the slimmest of margins, I am paying up for Sonny Gray of the Cincinnati Reds. While some folks may have thought that last season was a fluke, or that him being reunited with his college pitching coach was a one-time wonder, Gray has picked up from last season like the boss that he is and started dominating again.

Now, this recommendation of targeting the Pittsburgh Pirates went awry -- Anthony DeSclafani was tattooed yesterday to the tune of nine earned runs over two innings. Sorry about that.

But let's go back to this well again -- the Buccos rank have a poor .308 wOBA over the 2019-20 seasons, and their .155 isolated power (ISO) isn't anything to be scared of.

Following Gray's continued dominance to start this season, I am spending up in the ace tier for him.

Mid-Priced Play

Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics

At San Francisco Giants

FanDuel Price: $8,800

It's not that often that we get to consider Frankie Montas of the Oakland Athletics part of the mid-priced tier, but when the slate is this loaded, we get a lucky opportunity to roster the reasonably priced stud.

After holding the potent Houston Astros lineup down in his last outing, Montas now owns a 24.2% strikeout rate on the young season with a 41.4% ground-ball rate. That will play.

What's even better is this rough San Francisco Giants lineup he will attack in the battle of the Bay Area. The Giants clock in only with a .305 woBA and .165 ISO against right-handed arms, including a 24.2% strikeout rate that matches Montas's mark.

If you want to save some coin but need that high-upside potential, peep Montas -- we peg the righty for 34.2 points tonight.

Low-Priced Option

Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers

At Colorado Rockies

FanDuel Price: $7,000

While the price point seems nearly absurd for Lance Lynn of the Texas Rangers, it's very obvious that Coors Field is causing a major ripple here.

But here's why we can take solace in Lynn tormenting this home Rockies' offense -- there's no secret that playing in Denver is troublesome for pitchers, but the Rockies sport a .322 wOBA and .177 ISO in this split. Not exactly world-beating marks.

In addition, in the high altitude of Coors, where curveballs go to die, we have less to worry with Lynn. So far this season in peeking at his pitch mix, we can see that he's fired a fastball a very nice 69% of the time, mixing in a cutter 23% of the time. That's also consistent with his career marks.

Lynn has been other-worldly this season with a 33.3% whiff rate, and this is an option we don't get for $7,000 very often.

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.