FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 8/13/21

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. Cincinnati Reds
FanDuel Salary: $11,200

Can Zack Wheeler tame the surging offense of the Cincinnati Reds?

Man, Wheeler has some downright incredible numbers this season, doesn't he? He has been everything -- and more -- that the Philadelphia Phillies could have wished for. He has already won 10 games, logging a 2.42 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 156 innings. He's fanned a whopping 181 batters, and his 2.42 FIP is the best mark in baseball among qualified starting pitchers.

The matchup is a tough one. Cincinnati has been straight cookin' of late. In the last month, their .359 wOBA and .221 ISO is among the league's elite offenses.

But our projections have Wheeler in his own galaxy. We project him for 39.0 FanDuel points -- 8.0 points clear of anyone else.

Mid-Salaried Play

Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals

Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,000

Death. Taxes. Finding a pitcher to throw against the St. Louis Cardinals. It's just a thing, fam.

Tonight, let's use Mike Minor and reap the benefits of all of that juicy goodness.

Minor is certainly no stud, as indicated by his 5.18 ERA. But the Cardinals are mediocre, at best. Over the last 30 days, they've logged a .331 wOBA, including a 23.0% strikeout rate and .172 ISO mark. In August, they are averaging just 4.3 runs per game.

The matchup makes Minor a solid mid-range play.

Low-Salaried Play

Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs

At Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $6,700

A low-salary option who could pay off in a big way is Adbert Alzolay of the Chicago Cubs.

The matchup is a big reason why as he's taking on the Miami Marlins. The Marlins a dreadful bunch at the plate. Over the last 30 days, they've logged an ugly 25.3% strikeout rate along with a lowly .308 wOBA and .150 ISO. Their .400 slugging percentage shows they are putting up little to no resistance at the dish.

Alzolay comes with his warts, for sure -- he's recorded a 4.88 ERA this season, giving up too many homers. But he offers strikeout upside at a low salary.

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.