FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 8/31/20

It's a small main slate, but it's got some interesting arms. Where should we pivot to?

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

Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians

At Kansas City Royals

FanDuel Price: $12,000

Is there anything more soothing in this 2020 sprint than rostering Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians and just letting him loose?

Bieber has been unreal so far this year, and with a matchup against the poor Kansas City Royals today, it could be another big scoring effort. Bieber has topped 50-fantasy points in each of his last three starts, and he is averaging 58.3 (yup, you read that right) points-per-game this year.

The over-matched Royals could struggle quite a bit in this matchup -- they rank fifth-worst in team wOBA against righties (.305), and they still sport a healthy 24.5% strikeout rate in this split.

He will cost a bit, but Bieber is definitely worth it.

Mid-Priced Play

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves

At Boston Red Sox

FanDuel Price: $8,600

There's four mega aces in the top tier that are priced at $9,000 or more on FanDuel, and after that, there are some interesting arms, including Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves.

The young Fried showcased a mini breakout in 2019, and he's taken things to a whole new level this season. He's popped for 30-plus FanDuel points for five straight starts, and his whiff rate is what gets you excited -- he's striking out nearly 25% of batters faced (24.8%).

The Sox, meanwhile, are pretty mediocre against southpaws, sporting a .335 wOBA and 37.6% hard-hit rate. If Bieber is out of your price range, consider the young lefty.

Low-Priced Option

Adrian Houser, Milwaukee Brewers

At Pittsburgh Pirates

FanDuel Price: $7,000

On Friday, we recommended another member of the Milwaukee Brewers, Corbin Burnes, and he absolutely dominated Pittsburgh with six brilliant, scoreless innings on his way to a win. For Monday's four-game series finale, we are going to recommend another Brewer, Adrian Houser.

So far, against righties in 2020, the Buccos clock in with a .256 wOBA, .123 ISO, and 26.1% strikeout rate. That checks all of the boxes that we crave for a starting pitcher.

He's not as sexy as the aforementioned options, but he could be in line for a high-scoring effort.

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.