FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/22/20
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?
Framber Valdez, Houston Astros
At Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $10,000
It's one of the strangest main slates in recent memory when Zach Davies ($10,100), a hurler that strikes out almost no one, tops the leaderboard in terms of salary. 2020, y'all.
But tonight, for $100 cheaper, a very interesting option is Framber Valdez of the Houston Astros. While it's certainly been a murky year for this starting rotation -- Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery, Lance McCullers has been up and down, and Jose Urquidy missed time with COVID-19 -- Valdez has been a beast. He's averaged 36.5 FanDuel points-per-game (PPG), and he threw up a cool 59-spot his last time out.
His opponent, the Seattle Mariners, have been downright horrific this season against lefties, rocking a .269 wOBA and .134 ISO in this split. Spend up for Valdez.
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers
At Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
This slate ain't for the faint of heart, and tonight, we are going to try and leverage some upside opportunity with Tarik Skubal.
The Minnesota Twins are certainly a fearsome opponent, but they have been truly horrific against left-handed pitching. In 2020 in this split, they own a .291 wOBA, .106 ISO (league average is around .170), and 30.5% hard-hit rate.
Skubal will likely see low rostership due to the name factor of the Twins, but he makes for a solid option.
Seth Lugo, New York Mets
Vs. Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
Seth Lugo is being tested as a starter, and overall, the experiment has been a solid one if we ignore his last start. Lugo was hammered in his last outing, and that's likely going to lead to low rostership for the New York righty.
That's an opportunity to feast, fam, as the Tampa Bay Rays have been ugly at the dish over the last month, logging a .312 wOBA. Want more reasons to believe? The Rays own a whopping 26.1% strikeout rate against righties this season, despite their constant mixing and matching lineups.
If you need a salary saver, 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.