FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 9/24/21

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

Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

at San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $9,000

The high-end arms are intriguing on this slate, which is chock full of a ton of teams. Let's examine some of the top options before diving into Dylan Cease, who I think has piles of upside tonight.

Gerrit Cole ($11,000) and Nathan Eovaldi ($10,000) are two top-end studs we normally don't think twice about rostering. Tonight, however, they are taking on each other, and both pitch against pretty strong offenses. I'll pass. Another quality arm is Frankie Montas. He has been good of late but gets a Houston Astros team that doesn't strike out much (18.0% strikeout rate over the last month). There's not enough upside there to consider rostering him.

I will be turning my attention over to Dylan Cease, who could be off-the-charts good tonight. He gets the Cleveland Indians, a team that has recorded a 25.3% strikeout rate (third-worst) over the last 30 days. They also carry only a .317 wOBA over that time.

With a 31.6% strikeout rate and 14.6% swinging-strike rate, Cease possesses the upside we're after, and he is the slate's top arm, per our projections.

High-Salaried Play

Jose Berrios, Toronto Blue Jays

At Minnesota Twins
FanDuel Salary: $9,700

Personally, while we project Cease for the top score of the slate, I think Jose Berrios could just as easily post a whopping score tonight.

The Minnesota Twins, his opponent, have really struggled as of late. They have logged a .307 wOBA over the last 30 days, including the seventh-highest strikeout rate (24.1%). That's pretty tantalizing - as is the Twins' 3.91 implied total.

Berrios is currently rocking a career-best 25.5% strikeout rate, and with the potential upside in this matchup, he makes for a great play.

Mid-Salaried Play

Carlos Hernandez, Kansas City Royals

At Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $8,200

Young upstart hurler Carlos Hernandez has been very solid this season. The Kansas City Royals' pitcher sports a solid yet unspectacular 4.01 FIP and has made a smooth transition to the rotation.

His opponent tonight -- the Detroit Tigers -- provides plenty of juice. Over the last month, the Tigers have recorded a 24.5% strikeout rate (fifth-worst) and an ugly .307 wOBA.

Hernandez keeps the ball in the yard (0.78 homers per nine), and his 21.6% strikeout rate and 11.1% swinging-strike rate are solid marks. Buoyed by the matchup with Detroit, Hernandez is a value arm who needs to at least be on our radar.

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.