FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/21/20
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?
Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $10,700
We could have been treated to an even larger slate of options, but with a COVID-19 postponement, our slate is a bit smaller.
Despite that, Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies could be in line for a banner evening. His opponent, the Atlanta Braves, rank in the middle of the pack with a .326 wOBA, but we notice that they have a poor walk rate (8.6%) and a very high strikeout rate (26.7%).
In addition, they are missing plenty of regulars with Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and Nick Markakis all on the injured list. He's projected as our highest play of the day, so if you have the salary, peep Nola.
Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers
Vs Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $8,500
There's not much to say about the 2021 season for Walker Buehler -- he has stunk so far with a 5.21 ERA and 6.38 FIP. He has not been good.
Part of Buehler's problem is that he has not pitched deep into games -- averaging less than five innings per start -- and his control has been all over the place with an 11.3% walk rate.
Now here's the good news -- his swinging-strike rate has been very solid at 11.3%, and he faces a Colorado Rockies offense that was one of the worst in the league on the road last season.
If you want to bank on some upside, Buehler looks like a solid choice.
Chad Kuhl, Pittsburgh Pirates
Vs. Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Price: $6,600
This Milwaukee Brewers offense, despite all of its talented hitters, is still struggling to figure things out. They rank as one of the league's most anemic attacks, and even though they have picked things up recently, their .289 wOBA over the last seven days ranks as the seventh-worst int he league.
They also are striking out a very aggressive clip -- much higher for the season but at a mark of 23.6% over the last seven days and only a .163 isolated power (ISO).
The park also provides some insulation -- long known as a pitcher's park, PNC ranks only 20th so far on the year in home run factor. If you need to save and need an interesting play, consider Kuhl and his 33.3% strikeout rate (albeit a small sample size) tonight.
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.