FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 6/15/21

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 Play
Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

vs. Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Salary: $9,600

There's a plethora of solid options at the top end tonight, but none are surefire studs. Let's parse out the details a bit.

Trevor Rogers ($10,000) has the highest salary, but he faces a St. Louis Cardinals squad has pounded left-handed pitching, putting up a .341 wOBA (third-best) with a 22.1% strikeout rate (seventh-lowest) in the split. Yu Darvish ($9,000) -- another of the top-end studs on this slate -- has been brilliant, but can he tame the beast known as Coors Field? Any Coors pitcher is scary even though our model has Darvish atop the slate.

For my scrilla, I am all over Julio Urias, who faces a Philadelphia Phillies team that's striking out at a 27.6% rate against lefties this year. Urias has a 27.6% strikeout rate himself to go with a 3.25 SIERA and 3.6% walk rate.

Urias is where I'll be going at the top end of the pitching player pool.

Mid-Salaried Play
Tucker Davidson, Atlanta Braves

vs. Boston Red Sox
FanDuel Salary: $7,600

While the Boston Red Sox have been a really tough offense, they've run into some hiccups as of late. Over the last 14 days, Boston clocks in with marks of a .291 wOBA, 24.4% strikeout rate, and .139 isolated power (ISO) -- all of which rank in the bottom 10 of the league in that time.

Can Tucker Davidson tame Boston's bats? It sure looks like it. While it's been a very small sample size (17 2/3 innings), Davidson has logged a sparkling 1.53 ERA, 14 strikeouts, and a sub-1.00 WHIP in his brief time in the bigs this season. Prior to that, Davidson racked up a 32.4% strikeout rate this year in 20 Triple-A frames.

If you're looking at a medium-salaried play, Davison makes a ton of sense, and he might be perfect for tourneys if the masses fade him due to the matchup.

Low-Salaried Play

Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds

At Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Salary: $7,300

As we saw last night, when Vladimir Gutierrez of the Cincinnati Reds dominated, the Milwaukee Brewers are a fantastic matchup. Can teammate Luis Castillo pull off the same feat?

In his last two starts, Castillo has been really good, recording a 3.09 ERA and elite 0.69 WHIP with 12 strikeouts over 11 2/3 innings. He may be emerging from his early-season slump.

He can keep it going in this matchup. Against righties, Milwaukee has logged a dreadful 25.8% strikeout rate with a measly .291 team wOBA. There is no denying how great this matchup is.

On a night when we need salary to load up on the Padres at Coors, Castillo is an appealing play, and he could hit for a ceiling game in this spot.

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.