FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 8/17/20

We are nearing the midpoint of the 2020 sprint season, and there's a pile of good pitching options to parse through. Who's on our radar screen?

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

Zac Gallen, Arizona Diamondbacks

Vs. Oakland Athletics

FanDuel Price: $9,700

Zac Gallen of the Arizona Diamondbacks was a season-long target of mine all this off-season -- the pedigree was outstanding, and he boasted so many peripherals that made him just a tantalizing starting pitching option I wanted to draft.

Now fast forward to a few weeks into the season, and Gallen is ballin'. He owns a 2.57 ERA through four starts, which is backed by solid ERA estimators and a 29.8% strikeout rate, and 7.4% walk rate.

He's especially juicy for DFS purposes tonight. While the Oakland Athletics have gotten off to a better start offensively, there's a lot of reasons we can think about rostering the stud tonight. The A's are whiffing at a pretty healthy clip (23.2%) in this split, and Chase Field continues to prove itself as a pitcher-friendly ballpark, ranking 15th in park factor.

With only two high priced arms on the slate tonight, I want Gallen.

Mid-Priced Play

Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers

Vs. Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $8,100

So far this season, Ross Stripling hasn't been the pitcher we had hoped. He's logged a 3.94 ERA and 5.17 FIP, and that's largely due to a 1.99 home runs per nine (HR/9) innings allowed.

That could get a bit more in line tonight against a Seattle Mariners team that's been slightly more adept offensively than we anticipated, thanks to a shot in the arm from youngsters Dylan Moore and Kyle Lewis. Despite being a bit more punchy than anticipated, Mariners have only a team wOBA of .299 and a 32.4% hard-hit rate in this split.

If Stripling can improve on his 7.9% swinging-strike rate, he could post a monster fantasy evening.

Low-Priced Option

Brandon Bielak, Houston Astros

Vs. Colorado Rockies

FanDuel Price: $6,300

The first of two starts that Brandon Bielak will make this week, the young pitcher has stepped into the Houston Astros' rotation and performed admirably so far. Can he keep up this hot streak?

While we are all well aware of how dangerous the Rockies can be at home, it's a far different offense on the road when they leave the friendly hitting confines of Denver. The Rockies boast only a .320 wOBA in this split and showed last year that they were one of the worst offenses in baseball on the road (.276 wOBA).

Bielak has showcased some warts. He has never been a big strikeout guy, as his 17.7% strikeout rate shows, and his walk rate has been unusually high (11.3%) given his career marks. But given their status as heavy favorites tonight, Bielak becomes a great cheap option to consider.

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.