FanDuel Pitching Primer: Friday 6/11/21

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
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

At Detroit Tigers
FanDuel Salary: $10,700

Ooh, mama -- there are some monster pitchers on tonight's slate. And while many parishioners at the church of Jacob deGrom ($12,000) may consider this recommendation full of blasphemy, let's dive into tonight's high-priced options.

DeGrom, Brandon Woodruff ($11,800), Max Scherzer ($11,000) and Lucas Giolito are all priced above $10,000, and that doesn't even include the guy who is arguably the most dominant pitcher of the last 10 years, Clayton Kershaw ($9,800). But why does Giolito stick out for me?

It's all about his matchup, baby. He faces a woeful Detroit Tigers lineup that clocks in with some of the league's worst marks in terms of wOBA (.295), strikeout rate (27.7%), and isolated power (.147). When you factor in Giolito's salary being just the fourth-highest on the slate, he's my pick among the several elite options we have available to us -- although you can make a strong case for any of the five we've mentioned.

Our projections have Giolito generating 35.9 FanDuel points.

Mid-Salaried Play

Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants

At Washington Nationals
FanDuel Salary: $7,000

Deviating from the five we mentioned above is a huge risk, but let's see what else is out there.

The Washington Nationals can't continue being this horrific at the dish -- can they? All signs would point to no given the offensive firepower at their disposal, but here we are.

Washington's .307 wOBA is one of the worst in the league this season, and over the last 14 days, their elevated strikeout rate of 25.3% makes them a team we want to target for DFS purposes.

Tony Disco, or Anthony DeSclafani as we also know him, has been pretty solid for the San Francisco Giants this year. He's averaged nearly a strikeout per inning, and his 1.12 WHIP highlights his solid command. He makes for a fine mid-range play, but the ceiling isn't there when you compare him to the top-shelf aces. And we need to check this game for rain issues once again.

Low-Salaried Play

Keegan Akin, Baltimore Orioles

At Tampa Bay Rays
FanDuel Salary: $5,800

If you're wanting to roll the dice on a value pitcher, Keegan Akin should be on your radar, although this isn't the slate to be throwing darts in your pitcher slot.

While, as a team, the Tampa Bay Rays have been hotter than the face of the sun, they haven't exactly been destroying the baseball at the plate. This season, they've struck out second-highest clip with a 27.2% strikeout rate.

A former second-round pick, Akin has shown some strikeout ability in his brief career, racking up a 26.6% strikeout rate, 12.9% swinging-strike rate and 3.74 SIERA in 45 2/3 career frames.

I would tread lightly trying to go with a value pitcher tonight, but if you must, Akin is at least worth a look.

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.