FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 9/30/20

For the first time in MLB history, we are treated to eight playoff baseball games in one day. Who should we tap for the starting pitcher slot?

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

Kyle Hendricks, Miami Marlins

Vs Miami Marlins

FanDuel Salary: $10,600

What if I told you that this season, Kyle Hendricks of the Chicago Cubs, recorded a called+swinging-strike rate (CSW, coined by Alex Fast) that was only 0.3% lower than Tyler Glasnow? It's true, and that shows you how well the righty has been tossing the baseball so far in 2020.

The Miami Marlins are a great post-season story, but their bats need to wake up, and in a hurry. They are one of the worst offenses in the postseason, logging a .308 wOBA and a hefty 24.8% strikeout rate in 2020.

Trevor Bauer and his inflated $11,200 price tag are tough to swallow against a tough Atlanta Braves' offense, so pivot down to Hendricks and score big.

Mid-Salaried Play

Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres

Vs St. Louis Cardinals

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

Easy money seems to lie on Chris Paddack and the San Diego Padres, who face a moribund St. Louis Cardinals' offense in Game 1 of their Wild Card series.

A quick primer on the St. Louis offense -- they STINK. Among playoff teams, they clock in second-worst in wOBA (.306), they do not hit the ball hard with a .137 ISO mark, and have generally struggled with run production all year.

Among their regulars, only Paul Goldschmidt and Brad Miller posted wOBA marks of .340 or higher. With a league average wOBA of .306, six of the nine Cardinals' starters were under this mark.

Rock Paddack and expect a juicy day.

Low-Salaried Play

Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros

Vs Minnesota Twins

FanDuel Salary: $7,200

With Josh Donaldson notably absent from the Minnesota Twins' lineup, this offense was essentially a ghost. After Alex Bregman's gorgeous diving play to leave the bases loaded, Minnesota did basically nothing the rest of the day, and they could be out of the playoffs after Wednesday.

Jose Urquidy takes the ball for the Houston Astros, and he faces a Twins' lineup that's not all that scary. They have an average .319 wOBA, including a mediocre 8.6% walk rate and a 22.4% strikeout rate. Not the worst marks we want to target, but certainly nothing to be afraid of.

Urquidy, who missed time with the COVID-19 virus, has been solid upon his return. His strikeouts are down (14.7%), but his 6.7% barrel rate over 29 2/3 innings shows that he's been tough to square up.

For a cheaper option, which will allow you to load up on some big-time bats today, like the San Diego Padres, peep Urquidy.

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.