FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/14/21

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

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

at Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Salary: $11,400

With the top salary on the main slate by $1,400, Gerrit Cole takes the ball for the New York Yankees. In his last start, he exited early with a hamstring issue.

But after throwing a pain-free bullpen session recently, Cole should be ready to roll, and that makes him super appealing, per usual. Cole's stat line this season ranks him among the league's elite in nearly every category. He's got a 2.65 FIP, 34.7% strikeout rate, 5.4% walk rate, and 31.0% hard-hit rate -- all of which are among the best in the business.

Not that you need more incentive to roster him, but the Baltimore Orioles are a nice matchup. Spanning the last 30 days, the O's 24.5% strikeout rate is the fifth-highest, and their .320 wOBA ain't much to chat about, either.

Cole is locked in as our top of the play of the evening, per our model, and if it is possible to get to his salary, you should.

High-Salaried Play

Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics

At Kansas City Royals
FanDuel Salary: $9,300

While you may have trouble fitting in Cole's hefty salary, Frankie Montas is much easier to jam in, and he's also an excellent play.

While the Kansas City Royals, his opponent tonight, don't whiff at an egregious rate (19.0% strikeout rate over the last 30 days), this ain't the '27 Yankees, either. They clock in only 19th in team wOBA (.309) for the past month, and their lowly .152 ISO in that time is intimidating no one.

Now, peep Montas and his recent run of form. He's improved and relied more on his devastating splitter, resulting in a 1.93 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in the last month (32 2/3 innings). He's fanned 35 over that time, making him an incredible value tonight.

Low-Salaried Play

Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers

vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $7,100

Some nights, it's a challenge to find viable low-salaried options. Tuesday will not be one of those nights.

Tony Gonsolin mans the bump for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he is in a prime spot to crush. His opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks, has recorded ugly marks of a .298 wOBA (fifth-worst), .156 ISO, and 23.6% strikeout rate in the last month.

Now, like last night with Clayton Kershaw, will Gonsolin be super limited in his workload? It doesn't appear so, and that could make him a great pick. But with that said, it's also hard to see him working incredibly deep into the game.

For the low salary, he's still a respectable play, but if you want ceiling today, you should find the salary for Cole or Montas.

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.