FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 7/23/21

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

Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies

Vs. Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Salary: $10,200

Two mega aces line up tonight, with Gerrit Cole looking to replicate his previous start against the Boston Red Sox.

But the arm I am eyeing up is Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies. Here's why -- while Wheeler has been every bit as good as Cole, the matchup is a bit juicier. The Braves, since losing superstar Ronald Acuna, have been poor at the dish. Over the last 14 days, they are only 18th in team wOBA. The Red Sox, meanwhile, are a far tougher opponent.

We project Wheeler as the top arm tonight, so if you're spending up, he's the top option.

Mid-Salaried Play

Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics

Vs. Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $8,600

It's really hard ignoring how bad the Seattle Mariners are at the plate, so let me remind you in case you may have forgotten. On the season, the Mariners rank second-worst in team wOBA with a 26.3% strikeout rate. More recently, spanning the last two weeks, they sit 23rd in team wOBA (.299) with a 24.2% strikeout rate.

This is a great spot for Frankie Montas. He's been pretty saucy, too. In his last 10 starts, he's struck out seven or more batters six times. Look for him to add to that today against the M's.

Low-Salaried Play

Chad Kuhl, Pittsburgh Pirates

At San Francisco Giants
FanDuel Salary: $7,800

We have some quality value options tonight, and guys like Joe Musgrove ($7,900) and Tyler Mahle ($7,600) may wind up being rather popular. A value play who won't be chalky at all is Chad Kuhl, and I'm into him.

Check these stats -- over the last month of the season, he's recorded a 2.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. That'll definitely play.

While the San Francisco Giants are indeed an excellent offense, they do provide us with some of the strikeout upside we crave. Against righties in 2021, they've logged a 25.3% strikeout rate, good for seventh-highest in the league. Peep Kuhl if you need to save some coin and want to dodge the chalk value picks.

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.