FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 9/17/20

Shane Bieber could dominate the Tigers tonight. Is there any reason to fade him?

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

Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians

at Detroit Tigers

FanDuel Salary: $11,900

Tonight we are treated to Shane Bieber manning the hill for the Cleveland Indians, and he gets a spectacular matchup.

Pegged for the largest scoring evening, per our model, Bieber faces an absolute dream matchup against the Detroit Tigers, which makes him worthy of his hefty salary. The Tigers sport a .294 wOBA, 27.9% strikeout rate and ugly 30.7% hard-hit rate in against right-handed pitching. Bieber could go nuts here.

Aaron Nola and Framber Valdez are the other enticing arms priced at $9,000 or above this evening, but Bieber should outproduce both of them easily.

Mid-Salaried Play

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

Vs Toronto Blue Jays

FanDuel Price: $8,300

There's really only two mid-salaried options on Thursday's main slate, and Masahiro Tanaka appears to be the clear winner between the two.

With an offense that seems on the verge of exploding thanks to the return of both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge and contributions from bottom-of-the-order bats like Kyle Higashioka, Tanaka needs to simply keep rolling along like starters Deivi Garcia and Gerrit Cole have in the first two games of the series as the Yankees clobbered Toronto Blue Jays pitching.

The Blue Jays have a .327 wOBA and 35.8% hard-hit rate in this split (relatively pedestrian marks), and the Yanks are massive moneyline favorites (-215). Take a long look at Tanaka.

Low-Salaried Play

Seth Lugo, New York Mets

At Philadelphia Phillies

FanDuel Price: $7,200

The New York Mets may have found their next stud arm, but strangely enough, it's a guy who been in their system for quite some time -- Seth Lugo.

Lugo primarily worked as a bullpen ace for New York, but about halfway through 2020, the Mets thrust him in the rotation, and the results have been scintillating. It's been only two starts, but he's posted 22 and 42 FanDuel points in those two outings.

The Philadelphia Phillies don't strike out a ton against righties (20.6%), but they also have somewhat of an ugly batted-ball profile with a 34.6% hard-hit rate and .322 wOBA. If you need someone on the cheap, peep Lugo.

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.