FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 8/3/21

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

Sean Manaea, Oakland Athletics

Vs. San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $10,000

There are a few big-time arms worth considering today -- Walker Buehler is looking to extend his brilliance this season, and Zack Wheeler has put up some big fantasy outputs lately. But I'm rolling with Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics.

Why Manaea? Well, consider that Buehler faces a Houston Astros team that's the toughest in the league to strike out, and that Wheeler is taking on a Washington Nationals offense that is scorching at the dish.

Manaea, however, attacks a San Diego Padres team that's missing superstar Fernando Tatis Jr.. Over the last week, the Padres clock in in seventh-worst in strikeout rate (24.4%).

All in all, Manaea is a guy we can feel good about in terms of a floor/ceiling combination.

Mid-Salaried Play

Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

Vs. Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Our top-projected hurler tonight is none other than Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox. Cease faces an up-and-down Kansas City Royals team.

KC has been struggling in a major way at the plate lately. They've logged an elevated 24.3% strikeout rate in the last week, and their .137 isolated power (ISO) is among the league's worst over the same time.

Cease is currently on pace for a career-best 29.3% strikeout rate this year, and with the Royals' offense struggling mightily, this could be an incredible matchup to exploit. Given the matchup, projection and salary, Cease is super appealing.

Low-Salaried Play

Max Fried, Atlanta Braves

At St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $7,700

Living in St. Louis, I know that us St. Louis Cardinals fans want to believe in the metrics that point to an improving Cards offense -- but the jury is still out.

In the last week, the offense has backslid to a 90 wRC+, including a hefty 23.9% strikeout rate in that span. And the power? It's non-existent as the Red Birds own an ISO of .139 in that split.

Enter Max Fried.

The southpaw has quietly been brilliant recently. While he hasn't found last season's footing of a 2.25 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, he's been averaging better than a punchout per inning and dominated in his last start, piecing together seven scoreless frames. He posted a 25.4% strikeout rate and 3.56 xFIP in July.

All of this makes Fried a decent value option on this full slate.

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.