FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/11/20

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-Salaried Option

Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

Vs. Detroit Tigers

FanDuel Salary: $10,800

While he may not be in line to win the Cy Young award due to the brilliance of Shane Bieber, Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox has been outstanding in his own right, and he could blow up this evening.

Over 54 2/3 innings pitched, Giolito has been dominant. He added a no-hitter to his resume, and he's stepped things up a notch with a career-best 34.9% strikeout rate and 45.4% ground-ball rate.

The Detroit Tigers, Giolito's opponent tonight, are whiffing at a league-worst clip of 27.3%. With aces Kenta Maeda and Shane Bieber squaring up in a challenge matchup, opting for Giolito makes a lot of sense.

Mid-Salaried Play

Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners

At Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $7,900

We recommended that you roster Yusei Kikuchi of the Seattle Mariners a week ago, and he really shined -- racking up 46 FanDuel points by allowing a single run over six innings pitched versus the Texas Rangers.

His shine tonight sparkles even brighter when you consider his opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks. They rank as the league's worst offense with a .265 wOBA and .102 ISO against southpaws this season.

Kikuchi has improved across the board in 2020, posting a 27.4% strikeout rate, 11.9% swinging-strike rate and 3.66 SIERA -- numbers that are miles better than his rookie-year marks. He may only be a mid-priced option, but Kikuchi has top-end potential tonight in DFS.

Low-Salaried Option

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels

At Colorado Rockies

FanDuel Price: $6,000

Playing a starting pitcher at Coors Field is always a risky proposition, but at the value end of the pitcher pool, a very interesting play tonight is Griffin Canning of the Los Angeles Angels.

While Coors is it's own nightmare, the Rockies have been pretty poor against right-handed batters this season. They rank seventh-worst in wOBA (.308) while boasting a mediocre ISO (.167) and a hefty 23.7% strikeout rate in the split.

If you want to live on the edge and need a salary-saving option, Canning is worth a look, but given the aces on the bump today, it's not a good day to spend down.

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.