FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/3/21

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

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $10,200

The highest-salaried option on Friday's mega slate is the one I am going to recommend, and there's some interesting things to consider.

Let's start with some of the other big names. Alek Manoah has given the Toronto Blue Jays' rotation a major shot in the arm, but he's got his hands full with an Oakland Athletics offense that clocks in 10th in team wOBA (.328) in the last month with a robust .180 isolated power (ISO) in that time.

Moving down the list, there's no doubting that Adam Wainwright has logged a very impressive season, especially when you consider he's 40. But he has some pretty wild home/road splits (tonight's start is in Milwaukee), including a 2.58 home ERA, compared to a 3.65 mark on the road.

While you can make a good case for Shohei Ohtani, Freddy Peralta is the guy I'm going with. Peralta carries some risk, as well, in his first start off the disabled list, but he has the strikeout upside we crave if he's operating with his usual pitch count. He's posted a 34.0% strikeout rate this season, and he's got at least 40 FanDuel points in three straight outings.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been good of late, but the Cards' 3.07 implied total is a slate-low clip.

High-Salaried Play

Kyle Gibson, Philadelphia Phillies

At Miami Marlins
FanDuel Salary: $9,400

Will the real Kyle Gibson please stand up?

Look -- I'm as big of a Gibson stan as there is. He pitched at Mizzou (my home state), but it's hard discerning what the reason for his success is. His arsenal has not changed wildly, but the results have. From previously being a 5.00-plus ERA pitcher, Gibson has dazzled this season to the tune of a 3.75 FIP as a member of the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies, and he is heavily supported by an outstanding 52.8% ground-ball rate.

And the matchup? Oh, baby, it's spicy. The Miami Marlins have been one of the worst offenses in the league all season, and their last-30-day marks have been ugly. They are rocking a .302 wOBA in that time and also carry a very juicy 26.4% strikeout rate.

All of this makes Gibson a great option.

Mid-Salaried Play

Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros

At Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $9,000

It's odd calling a $9,000 pitcher a mid-range play, but on this slate, Jose Urquidy -- with the sixth-highest salary -- is sort of squeezed into that range with so many high-salaried arms available.

At the beginning of the season, we wouldn't have been recommend targeting the San Diego Padres' offense, but holy cow, they have been struggling lately. Over the last month, they sport a .291 wOBA -- which is impressively bad given the names in their lineup. That wOBA ranks third-worst in the league over that stretch.

Urquidy has sparkled brightly this season. Over 77 1/3 innings, the right-hander has emerged with a solid 4.01 FIP, limiting hard contact to a gorgeous 26.0% mark this season. He also boasts a 21.8% strikeout rate and 11.8% swinging-strike rate.

Like Peralta, Urquidy is making his first start off the injured list, but he's still someone I'm interested in at his 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.