FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/17/21

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

at New York Mets
FanDuel Salary: $10,700

Trying to stake his claim as the National League Cy Young winner, Zack Wheeler has been a man on a mission this season. On the precipice of 200 innings (195 1/3 to be exact), the right-hander has dazzled opposing hitters for a 2.67 FIP -- driven by a 28.4% strikeout rate and 49.6% ground-ball rate.

And his opponent? The New York Mets have been pretty average, at best, at the plate. They sport marks of a .177 isolated power (ISO) and .325 wOBA over the last 30 days. This team was recently wiped out by a pretty average St. Louis Cardinals staff in a three-game sweep, and Wheeler hung 70 FanDuel points on the Mets the last time they faced off.

Wheeler is our top-projected pitcher, and even though the salary is hard to get to, you should make him a priority.

High-Salaried Play

Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

Vs. Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Salary: $10,000

Let me try to make an argument as to why we should be rostering Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox fresh off his bout with COVID-19.

First, by all accounts, Sale remained asymptomatic during his 10-day quarantine period. Plus, he's got a really good matchup awaiting him as he does battle with the Baltimore Orioles. The O's have been swinging and missing at a rapid clip lately. They sport a 26.3% strikeout rate in the last 30 days, and they have double-digit strikeouts in each of the last two contests, with lefty Jordan Montgomery carving them up last night.

All of that makes Sale a pretty tantalizing play who offers intriguing upside. He's got a 27.5% strikeout rate this season and could go off tonight if he's allotted his usual workload.

Low-Salaried Play

Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals

vs. Seattle Mariners
FanDuel Salary: $8,000

Fighting for their playoff lives, the Seattle Mariners are certain to be locked in and ready for tonight's contest. Brady Singer will try to stop that momentum.

The right-hander was blasted in his last start -- the five homers allowed were the most of his career -- but he had been brilliant of late outside of that clunker. Leaning more heavily on a vicious slider, Singer had struck out six or more in four of his last five starts.

The Seattle Mariners haven't exactly been lighting it up, either. Over the last month, they sport a .298 wOBA and 24.1% strikeout rate.

If you need a low-salary option, Singer is worth checking out.

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.