FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/29/20
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?
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
At Oakland Athletics
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Playoff DFS becomes a bit of a different animal, as our tiers and mindset need to shift upward with so many quality arms going.
In this top tier, studs like Shane Bieber and Gerrit Cole will lock horns, but if I am paying up for a stud, it's got to be Lucas Giolito that we need to roster without a doubt. Giolito faces an Oakland Athletics' offense that has struggled a bit this season with a .314 wOBA and .171 ISO.
In addition, Oakland's home park, the site of this three-game series, was a very pitcher-friendly environment. Among the eight playoff stadiums, it ranked second-friendliest in park factor (0.755) and was the hardest place to hit a dinger (0.628).
Spend up for Giolito and get ready to smash.
Zack Greinke, Houston Astros
At Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
While we feared the Minnesota Twins' offense at the start of the year, it definitely slammed into the skids as things went on. With injuries to Josh Donaldson, Mitch Garver, Nelson Cruz, and Byron Buxton, Minnesota slammed back to only a .319 wOBA and .186 ISO, a far cry from the .350 wOBA they posted early on.
In addition, like Oakland, Minnesota's home digs (Target Field) are also pitcher-friendly with a 0.936 park factor and 0.821 home run factor. If you're looking for a sneaky pivot, peek at Greinke.
Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics
Vs Chicago White Sox
FanDuel Salary: $7,700
Alright, it's time to get a little nuts.
The Chicago White Sox have absolutely hammered southpaws this year. We knew they were good on offense, but peep this: against righties in the sprint season, the South Siders ripped off marks of a .376 wOBA (second-best), 10.1% walk rate, and a massive .238 ISO. Whoo doggy.
But, they can also be pitched to -- as a team, they have the highest strikeout rate among American League playoff teams (25.2%), which should lead to low rostership for Jesus Luzardo. And remember, all those things we said about the park factor and home run factor ring true for Luzardo, and it's not a surprise that as we look at oddsFire, the over/under has been set at a meager 7.5 runs.
If you can stomach the risk, Luzardo could be a less popular play with mega upside.
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.