FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 6/21/21
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?
Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics
At Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
It's a small main slate on Monday, but there are four very high-end pitching options priced at $8,800 or above. But, one of those clearly sticks out from the rest -- I don't want any part of Yu Darvish and Julio Urias as they lock horns, as those are two excellent offenses and they don't whiff a ton. Tyler Mahle has been brilliant so far in 2021, and while the Minnesota Twins strike out at a hefty clip (23.1%), but they sport a .322 wOBA.
For my money, I am rostering Frankie Montas. He's locked into a sweet matchup with the Texas Rangers, who rank 28th in wRC+ (86). They also strike out a TON (ninth-most, 25.1%).
Montas has been a bit up-and-down this season, but he's recorded back-to-back eight strikeout efforts, posting 40-plus FanDuel efforts in each. Montas is where I'll be going at the top end of the pitching player pool.
Aaron Civale, Cleveland Indians
At Chicago Cubs
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
One of the league leaders in innings pitched and corresponding to wins, Aaron Civale has been a mainstay in a tumultuous rotation for the Cleveland Indians -- Shane Bieber is hurt, as is Zach Plesac.
Civale, and his 93 innings pitched, has posted brilliant marks of a 3.48 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The matchup is what makes this super tempting -- over the last 14 days, the Chicago Cubs have posted the third-worst in team wOBA (.264) and a horrific 28.0% strikeout rate.
Civale is a worthwhile option in the mid-range.
Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks
Vs. Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Salary: $6,200
This is not going well for the Arizona Diamondbacks -- they have now lost 24 consecutive road games, and shockingly, they do not have the worst record on the road in baseball -- that belongs to the Colorado Rockies.
But tonight, they get to return home, and they could right the ship against the Milwaukee Brewers. While they have moved some pieces in and out of the lineup, they still rank fourth-worst in terms of team strikeout rate (26.2%).
Kelly has been solid, averaging 24 FanDuel points per game this season, and he makes for a nice cheap option.
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.