FanDuel Pitching Primer: Thursday 7/7/22

Spencer Strider has been lights out for the Braves. Should you take the salary savings he offers tonight?

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 where 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 Plays
Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox

vs. Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $10,400

Projected to be the top arm of the day, according to our model, Dylan Cease boasts plenty of upside, and he's my pick at the top. The other big names on the slate just aren't as appealing for one reason or another.

Gerrit Cole is Gerrit Cole, but he faces a red-hot Boston Red Sox offense. Similarly, Joe Musgrove ($11,100) has a challenging matchup with the San Francisco Giants. Kevin Gausman ($9,900) seems unlikely to pitch after leaving his last start with an ankle injury.

As for Cease, the dude is in the midst of a true breakout season, striking out 34.3% of batters and racking up double-digit strikeouts in two of his last three starts. And the Detroit Tigers, Cease's opponent tonight, are a very nice matchup. They rank second-worst in team wOBA and dead last in isolated power (ISO) while sporting the eighth-highest strikeout rate.

Cease checks all the boxes.

Logan Webb, San Francisco Giants

At San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $9,700

One of the larger disappointments in baseball this year has to be the San Diego Padres' offense. Let's take a quick peek at their warts. They lack pop (.135 ISO), and their .304 wOBA also ranks among the league's worst.

Enter Logan Webb of the San Francisco Giants, who's been pretty good lately. He struggled with strikeouts early in the year, but his strikeout rate is 26.5% over his past four starts. Webb's batted-ball numbers are nice, too. He owns a 26.1% hard-hit rate, and his 29.2% CSW rate is strong.

Salaried a bit lower than Cole, Musgrove and Cease, Webb is a solid alternative.

Value Play
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves

Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,600

Are we sure that Spencer Strider isn't just the right-handed version of Shane McClanahan?

The rookie righty has been really good since being inserted into the starting rotation. Over 59 2/3 innings pitched, Strider has been basically untouchable -- posting a silly 37.7% strikeout rate and 2.50 SIERA. He has been so good.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been very good at the plate this year, but they've struggled as of late. In the last two weeks, the team has posted a .316 wOBA (16th) and an elevated 23.1% strikeout rate.

If you need to save a little bit of coin, Strider offers juicy upside at a modest 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.