FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/2/20

A monster slate requires some prudence at the pitching position tonight. Who do we like?

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

Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $10,300

After unexpectedly skipping his start last week and heading to the Injured List due to a blister that wouldn't heal up, Walker Buehler of the Los Angeles Dodgers returns to make a start Wednesday and it should be a big fantasy scoring evening, assuming he doesn't have many limitations.

Buehler faces the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are sure to struggle without Starling Marte, now of the Miami Marlins. As a team, the Snakes sport a 45.2% ground-ball rate, and they own an ugly .297 wOBA and .152 isolated power (ISO) mark against right-handed pitching.

With other top-end aces like Max Scherzer facing the Philadelphia Phillies and Zac Gallen lining up against the Dodgers, Buehler seems like a top-flight option inside the pricey tier.

Mid-Priced Play

Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Indians

At Kansas City Royals

FanDuel Price: $8,000

Averaging 35.0 FanDuel points per game after his first two big-league starts, Triston McKenzie of the Cleveland Indians has provided a major shot in the arm to the Cleveland rotation. Wednesday should be no different for the young arm.

The Kansas City Royals will likely provide little in the way of resistance for the hurler -- they clock in among the league's worst with a .301 wOBA, .164 ISO, and an inflated 24.9% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. McKenzie relies heavily on a fastball-slider combo, and the Royals rank 18th and 27th, respectively, against these two pitches.

We've got him pegged as one of our highest-scoring arms on the day, so consider the righty to be in a strong spot.

Low-Priced Option

Cristian Javier, Houston Astros

Vs. Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $7,600

The extreme low-end of the pitching pool features some arms we just don't trust -- guys like Reynaldo Lopez, Jake Junis, Kolby Allard, and Derek Holland get the ball tonight. There's obviously a reason their price point is so cheap.

To stay out of that mix, we may want to operate at the high end of that tier and focus on Cristian Javier. Despite this team being savaged by injuries, Javier has been a mainstay in the rotation with a 25.4% strikeout rate and three wins in his last five starts.

The Texas Rangers, Javier's opponent on Wednesday, have struggled mightily on offense. They are nearly the league's worst across the board, including a paltry .135 ISO against righties.

If you need to find a spot to save on for DFS tonight, consider Javier at the pitcher slot.

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.