FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 9/3/20
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?
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $10,900
One of the constants of roughly the last decade of fantasy baseball is that Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been outstanding. In 2020, that seems to still be the case, and he's primed for a big night tonight.
Kershaw, like his teammate Walker Buehler did yesterday, faces the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are sure to struggle without Starling Marte, now on the Miami Marlins. As a team, the Snakes sport a 48.6% ground-ball rate, and that is compounded by an incredibly high 19.8% soft-hit rate. They also own an ugly .269 wOBA and .112 isolated power (ISO) against left-handed pitching.
At the rest of the top end, there aren't a bevy of outstanding options -- Mike Clevinger makes his debut in a San Diego Padres uniform, but it's been an up-and-down year for the righty. Taijuan Walker makes his second start for Toronto, but it comes against a Red Sox offense that has been resurgent.
The smart choice is using Kershaw.
Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox
At Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Price: $8,900
Normally, an $8,900 pitcher is not a mid-tier option, but with such a tiny slate, this salary is smack in the middle of all of the hurlers tonight.
That gives us an opportunity to roster Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox, and his matchup against the Kansas City Royals is an intriguing one. The Royals are an offense we definitely want to target. Against righties, they are striking out 25.0% of the time. Oh, and slugger Jorge Soler left yesterday's game early, and KC has a .297 wOBA and .161 ISO. Yeesh.
Cease has been nothing but consistent as of late. He has posted 20-plus FanDuel points in each of his last five starts, making him a decent mid-range option to think about.
Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
Vs Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Price: $8,000
This ain't for the faint of heart y'all, so stay with me here.
Danny Duffy certainly has his work cut out for him tonight. He faces a White Sox offense that is flat out stellar against southpaws, rocking a .268 ISO and .574 slugging percentage against lefties in 2020.
So why on earth are we recommending him? Well, there's a few reasons. This small slate is very challenging, and the South-Siders do own a decently high strikeout rate (22.6%) in this split. In addition, Duffy has been pretty darn good this season. He's sporting an average of 27.6 FanDuel points per game, and he's hit 36-plus points three times in his last five starts.
If you can spend up at the other options, those are far safer bets, but if you are feeling frisky, peep Duffy.
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.