FanDuel Pitching Primer: Wednesday 10/7/20

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

Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves

Vs Miami Marlins

FanDuel Salary: $9,500

There are only three pitching options priced at $8,000 or greater, and of those choices, Ian Anderson of the Atlanta Braves seems to be the best bet. Let's dive into the why.

The Miami Marlins have really struggled at the plate, notching a .308 wOBA and 24.8% strikeout rate. That's tantalizing enough, but the precocious rookie has been outstanding so far in 2020, including a nearly 30% strikeout rate (29.7%).

If you want to pay up today, peep Anderson.

Mid-Salaried Play

Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees

Vs Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $7,500

In this pivotal Game 3, between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays, New York will give the ball to Masahiro Tanaka to try and gain the edge in the series.

Tanaka has been outstanding in his career in the postseason, and it's no big surprise that we project him as the second-highest scoring hurler on the day. While he did struggle against the Cleveland Indians in the Wild Card round, Tanaka owns a 2.70 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over 50 postseason frames.

As a team, these mercurial Rays showed some ups-and-downs at the dish, including a gaudy 26.9% strikeout rate (second-worst). Tanaka certainly presents an intriguing option in the mid-salaried range.

Low-Salaried Play

Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics

Vs Houston Astros
FanDuel Salary: $6,600

Trying to stave off elimination in the Divisional Round, Jesus Luzardo of the Oakland Athletics will take the bump against the Houston Astros, who have been blasting dingers left and right in these first two games of the series.

The power surge is a bit surprising -- during the regular season, the 'Stros logged only a .168 ISO and .311 wOBA. Like the Marlins, the Astros are one of the worst remaining offensive attacks in these playoffs and that's something we just can't ignore.

We did discuss the Astros low strikeout rate yesterday, and that does make them a challenge to target -- luckily, the lefty provides us some goodness in that regard with a 23.8% strikeout rate.

To save some coin, check out Luzardo.

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.