FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/4/20

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?

High-Priced Option

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Vs. St. Louis Cardinals

FanDuel Price: $11,200

The Chicago Cubs' rotation has been very up and down so far in this 2020 season, but there's been one constant -- Yu Darvish has been an absolute beast at the top of the rotation.

But first, let's discuss this ridiculously moribund St. Louis Cardinals offense. Against righties, they own a .331 wOBA, which may look decent, but peep their .145 isolated power (ISO) and 43.2% ground-ball rate.

Also inside of the high-priced tier, Jack Flaherty was solid in his last outing, but the Cubs' offense has plenty of pop, and Zach Davies ($8,900) doesn't have the same swing-and-miss potential that Darvish does.

On the season, Darvish has a 30.8% strikeout rate, and his 4.7% walk rate is particularly juicy. He brings his own upside to the table and faces a poor Cardinals offense, so take a long look at spending up for the Cubs' number-one.

Mid-Priced Play

Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers

At Cleveland Indians

FanDuel Price: $7,600

Despite posting a 58-point FanDuel effort in his last start, Corbin Burnes remains only a $7,600 option tonight. Should we be scared?

Nah, fam.

Like Darvish, Burnes possesses massive strikeout upside -- maybe even more so than Darvish, as he owns a 35.1% strikeout rate. While we typically think of the Cleveland Indians, Burnes's opponent, as a strong offense thanks to mega stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, they sport a .147 ISO and .313 wOBA, including a 38.5% hard-hit rate against righties.

We have Burnes pegged as the second-highest scoring option on the slate despite his cheap price, so don't be afraid to dip your toe in here.

Low-Priced Option

Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners

Vs. Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $6,300

At the low end of the slate, Yusei Kikuchi sits there at a tantalizing salary of only $6,300. Is he worth the risk?

Let's peek at Kikuchi's opponent tonight, the Texas Rangers. They clock in as one of the league's worst offenses with a .276 wOBA, .142 ISO and 25.8% strikeout rate against southpaws. Box number-one definitely checked.

Despite Kikuchi sporting an ugly 6.12 ERA, his 25.7% strikeout rate ain't too shabby -- nor is his 48.5% ground-ball rate. If you're looking for a cheap option and can't afford one of the earlier mentioned names, the Seattle Mariners' lefty could be your man.

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.