FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 8/27/20

Max Scherzer headlines an otherwise rather bland pitching slate. Is there any reason to fade him tonight?

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

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

vs Philadelphia Phillies

FanDuel Price: $10,600

it's a tricky main slate today with not as many top-end pitching options for us to choose from. We need to be very careful and precise with our pitching slot, and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals can give us some assurance at the top in date with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Only Scherzer and Hyun-jin Ryu are above $9,000, and Ryu's matchup gives us some pause -- it's in Buffalo, a very hitter-friendly environment, and he faces a surging Boston Red Sox lineup that seems to be picking things up.

Scherzer, meanwhile, keeps dialing things up. He's posted 40-plus FanDuel points in three of his last four starts, and he's hit 10 strikeouts in two of his last five. Spend up for Mad Max.

Mid-Priced Play

Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics

at Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $7,800

The Oakland Athletics have surged to a lead in the AL West, and surprisingly, it's been their ace pitching -- not their explosive offense -- that's led the way.

Quietly, Chris Bassitt has been pretty dirty as a starting pitcher. He's averaged 27.9 FanDuel points per game this season. But how? He's limited the long ball (only three jacks in his last five starts), and he's kept his walk rate down (6.5) -- all while topping 20% from a strikeout-rate perspective.

And, the road matchup with the Texas Rangers is juicy. Texas's new home digs have been very pitcher-friendly thus far, and the Rangers rank second-worst in team wOBA (.275) and last in wRC+ (62) while striking out 24.0% of the time.

If you need to save some dollars, peep Bassitt.

Low-Priced Option

Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins

at New York Mets

FanDuel Price: $6,600

If you want to get a little nuts today, think about Sixto Sanchez of the Miami Marlins.

Now, this is certainly a matchup that has some risk, as the New York Mets have been solid against righties this year, owning a 40.9% hard-hit rate and .346 wOBA in the split.

But, at the same time, this is a matchup that Sanchez can exploit. The Mets also carry only a .161 ISO and .431 slugging percentage against righties, so it's not like they are slamming the ball. They also sport only a 31.9% fly-ball rate, which means homers may not be an issue.

If you are looking for a low-cost play, Sanchez could deliver a solid night.

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.