FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/24/19

Gerrit Cole has been dominant in 2019, and with the Mariners on tap, he should be primed for a big night. What other pitching plays should we think about?

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?

High-Priced Option

Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

at Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $12,300

It's getting to Pedro Martinez and Clayton Kershaw levels of insanity now with Gerrit Cole, and y'all are witnesses to some absolute greatness on the bump right now.

Presumably already locking up the AL Cy Young award, there's not really a way to quantify how good the right-hander has been other than insane. He has topped 50 or more FanDuel points in seven consecutive starts. He has a 39.1% strikeout rate, tops on tonight's main slate. Among qualified starters, he also leads the league's in statistics like K-BB% (33.2%), skill-interactive ERA (2.70, SIERA), and swinging-strike rate (16.7%).

He surpassed 300 strikeouts in his last start, and he faces a Seattle Mariners team that has been really poor over the last month, ranking 23rd in team wOBA. Spend up for Cole and you won't regret it.

Mid-Priced Option

Homer Bailey, Oakland Athletics

at Los Angeles Angels

FanDuel Price: $8,500

To say that acquiring Homer Bailey was a smart trade for the Oakland Athletics is an understatement -- the righty has been damn good while in the Bay, and he has another juicy matchup we should take advantage of tonight.

If you are unfamiliar with Bailey's body of work, peep this -- since August 7th, spanning seven starts, the righty has crushed to the tune of a 1.88 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 41 innings pitched, firing in 45 strikeouts to go with those outstanding ratios. He struck out 11 in his last outing, showcasing the swing-and-miss ability we need for DFS purposes.

Tonight, he gets to face a middling Los Angeles Angels that's without the services of wunderkind Mike Trout -- as hefty moneyline favorites (-225), Bailey looks primed for picking up a quality start and a win, so think about the mid-priced arm.

Low-Priced Play

Jeff Hoffman, Colorado Rockies

at San Francisco Giants

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Things didn't likely go as planned for the Colorado Rockies in 2019, and they will finish out the final week with a road series in San Francisco. That could make Jeff Hoffman a sneaky play tonight.

The right-hander has shown that he can be solid in spots, sporting a 21.8% strikeout rate this year over 61 2/3 innings pitched. Likely other Colorado pitchers, Hoffman has found success away from Denver, recording a 28.2% strikeout rate and .266 batting average against outside of Coors.

While Hoffman hasn't been great this year, it's this poor San Francisco Giants offense that we want to target. Over the last month, they clock in dead last in team wOBA (.264) and ISO (.103), striking out 25.3%. That's awful.

If Hoffman can control the walks (he owns a bloated 10.0% walk rate this year), he could make for a solid cheap option against a very bad team.

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.