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 Play #1
Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
At Baltimore Orioles
FanDuel Salary: $11,100
I really cannot believe how good Justin Verlander has been coming off a major surgery like this.
Let's review some of these numbers that, quite frankly, read like a typo. Spanning 157 innings, he's allowed only a 0.69 HR/9 and 29.2% hard-hit rate, and he's posted a 22.7% K-BB% rate.
He also gets to attack a Baltimore Orioles offense that ranks in the league's bottom third over the last 14 days in wOBA (.289) and ISO (.115).
We project Verlander as the third-best pitcher on the day, but given his stellar matchup and run of excellence, this could easily push him to the top of the charts.
High-Salaried Play #2
Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers
Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
FanDuel Salary: $10,100
After the Arizona Diamondbacks had a nice little surge at the plate, they've returned to their dreadful ways.
Over the last two weeks, they've recorded a .266 wOBA and a 24.2% strikeout rate, and when you add in that their .134 ISO is downright awful, they make for an easy target to attack.
While Julio Urias was incredible last season, he's followed it up with another stellar campaign. Spanning 28 starts, he's recorded a 24.4% strikeout rate and 5.9% walk rate while allowing a 28.2% hard-hit rate.
Urias projects as one of the better plays on the slate (33.2 FanDuel points), and he makes for a solid option.
Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds
Vs. Milwaukee Brewers
FanDuel Salary: $8,200
While Hunter Greene has been up a bit up-and-down this year, he has demonstrated some incredible potential.
Take a peek at his last outing. In his return from the injured list, he spun six scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, striking out 11 batters in a dominant victory.
And maybe it's just taken a little bit of maturity on Greene's part, as he's improved late in the season. Over his last three starts, he's allowed a .209 wOBA while striking out 35.2% of batters.
The Milwaukee Brewers, Greene's opponent, have been solid over the last 14 days with a .316 wOBA, but they also have struck out at a sturdy 24.8% rate.
If you want to pivot a little lower, peep Greene.
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.