FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 7/28/20
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?
Mid-Priced Option #1
Kyle Gibson, Texas Rangers
Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Price: $8,200
A word on the lack of high-priced options -- there are no high-priced options for tonight I can recommend. Only Walker Buehler is above $8,500, and he is making his season debut against the Houston Astros. That's not a place I went to spend.
What I will recommend for you is the Texas Rangers' starter, Kyle Gibson, in his new pitcher-friendly digs in the Lone Star state. It's probably a bit early to call it a true pitcher-friendly park, but the results have been clear from early contests that it's not the same launching pad as their past home.
We can see that the over/under sits at a moderate 9.0 runs, and with the game virtually a toss-up from a betting perspective, this is a legit opportunity to roster Gibson. The Arizona Diamondbacks have scored a total of nine runs in four contests so far, and if he can limit left-handed batters -- who smacked him for a .347 wOBA and .456 slugging percentage a year ago -- Gibson could be primed for a big score.
Mid-Priced Option #2
Homer Bailey, Minnesota Twins
Vs. St. Louis Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $8,000
I'm going to go on the record right now and say that this St. Louis Cardinals offense lines up to be one of the worst in the league, and expect Minnesota Twins' hurler Homer Bailey to take full advantage of this poor attack tonight.
While the Birds put some runs on the board against a mediocre Pittsburgh Pirates team this weekend, keep in mind that they were held in check in Sunday's finale by the illustrious Mitch Keller. And for the weekend, the Cardinals still whiffed at an alarming rate -- they struck out 26 times against some pretty average pitching.
The Cardinals bottom five hitters of Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler, Tyler O'Neill, and Harrison Bader may be the worst attack in all of baseball. If Bailey can deal appropriately with them and dominate with his splitter (.169 batting average against in 2019), he could soar.
Yonny Chirinos, Tampa Bay Rays
Vs. Atlanta Braves
FanDuel Price: $7,400
The Atlanta Braves are going to be a prolific offense in 2020 -- we knew that going into the year. What we likely didn't expect is that through their first four games, Atlanta has racked up an absurd 52 strikeouts, including 19 last night.
This all leads to Tampa Bay Rays' hurler Yonny Chirinos lining up to be a sneaky play, especially for GPP purposes. Some may be scared from this matchup because of the Braves' propensity to make hard contact when they are hitting the ball -- their .229 isolated power (ISO) ranks them fourth in the league. The contact is certainly noisy.
That said, those swings and misses are super valuable, and let's not forget that Chirinos is pretty damn good -- he logged a 5.3% walk rate and 33.5% hard-hit rate last year. If there is one concern, it's Chirinos' (in)ability to work deep into the game due to his recent return from COVID-19, but he can put up a good FanDuel total if he can keep his pitch count down.
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.