FanDuel Pitching Primer: Monday 6/24/19
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. Each day we will highlight a starter to consider from each pricing tier, and we'll also look at one contrarian play for tournaments. Who should you consider on today's main slate?
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
at Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $11,000
With such a small main slate, it's easier to parse through the tiers, and there's only a few truly expensive options on tonight's docket. Clayton Kershaw stands out head and shoulders above the rest of that group.
And, boy, has Kershaw been on top of his game this season. Spanning 79 innings, he has dazzled his way to a 23.6% strikeout rate and strong 3.76 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) -- which is built on the premise of a 29.7% fly-ball rate.
While that strikeout rate isn't at the level of past Kershaw seasons, his 12.1% swinging-strike rate is actually up from his 11.0% clip last year, meaning more strikeouts could be on the way.
Steven Matz, New York Mets
at Philadelphia Phillies
FanDuel Price: $7,700
In the midst of a massive back slide in the standings, the Philadelphia Phillies continue their stretch of games against teams in the NL East, and Steven Matz could continue to make life miserable on them.
Prior to allowing some late runs to the Atlanta Braves, Matz was going strong again, recording 31 and 52 FanDuel points in back-to-back outings.
In comparing Matz to his peers on this main slate, he clocks in tied for fourth (23.1%) in strikeout rate. And that doesn't factor in the struggling Phillies' offense, which ranks ninth-worst in wOBA (.304) and ISO (.168) over the last 14 days, and 11th-worst in hard-hit rate (36.3%) in that span.
For a mid-range option, peep Matz.
Drew Pomeranz, San Francisco Giants
vs Colorado Rockies
FanDuel Price: $6,800
Thanks to the benefit of a lengthy homestand, the Colorado Rockies rank second in team wOBA (.367) over the last two weeks. But when the Rox are outside of Denver, rostering a pitcher against them becomes significantly more palatable.
Against southpaws like Drew Pomeranz, the Rockies' warts are even further exposed, with an elevated strikeout rate (24.9%) paired with a 37.2% hard-hit rate that ranks only 19th.
Tonight's matchup is not in just any regular non-Coors venue, either -- Oracle Park ranks dead-last in home run factor over the last three years, giving a bit more helium to Pomeranz in this spot. His 23.1% strikeout rate (tied for fourth-best) ain't too shabby, either.
Pomeranz is an interesting GPP play on a slate without much in the way of good value arms.
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.