FanDuel Pitching Primer: Tuesday 9/21/21

Kevin Gausman has been a delight on the mound this season, but is he worth rostering on Tuesday's main slate?

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

Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants

at San Diego Padres
FanDuel Salary: $9,900

Tuesday's main slate is chock full of games but has some land mines at the top end. Brandon Woodruff faces a St. Louis Cardinals offense that has been smoking hot, winning 11 of their last 12 games and ranking inside the top-12 of many offensive marks.

Other at the top end like Alek Manoah and Marcus Stroman have been lights out recently, but face two of the top-five offenses in the league in the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, respectively, which make them hard to trust as well.

On the other hand, the San Diego Padres -- Kevin Gausman's opponent -- couldn't be in a larger free fall. Over the last 30 days, they rank at the bottom of the league in terms of wOBA (.277) and isolated power (.117 ISO), which makes Gausman a brilliant play. We peg Gausman as our second-highest projected pitcher, and even though the salary is hard to get to, he makes for a great ace to choose for Tuesday.

Mid-Salaried Play

Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees

vs. Texas Rangers
FanDuel Salary: $8,800

While lefty Nestor Cortes wasn't able to complete five innings for the Yankees last night in order to get the win, he was solid. Hopefully tonight, we get just a little bit longer effort from Jordan Montgomery.

Montgomery's 3.56 FIP matches well with his 3.63 ERA this season in 144 innings pitched. He's racked up a healthy 24.8% strikeout rate, and his 42.6% ground-ball rate limits the big fly damage that could occur. Montgomery's strong results match his peripherals, and his matchup tonight is excellent.

The Texas Rangers stink at the plate, but especially lately. They have just a 75 wRC+ and league-worst .129 ISO against left-handed pitching since the trade deadline. They should be a weaker opponent for Montgomery to post yet another strong outing.

Mid-Salaried Play

Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros

at Los Angeles Angels
FanDuel Salary: $8,700

On this slate, upside is abundant, so another mid-salaried option is on the table instead of a budget one. That second mid-salaried pitcher is Jose Urquidy of the Houston Astros, who gets to attack a woefully inept Los Angeles Angels offense tonight.

Over the last month, the Angels, in spite of Shohei Ohtani's magical excellence, have been horrific at the plate. They've logged a .285 wOBA and .136 ISO, and both marks are third-worst in the league over that time frame. Their 24.5% strikeout provides some whiff upside to target as well.

Over Urquidy's 90 and 2/3 innings pitched, his outstanding command control (4.8% walk rate) has been his greatest asset. Urquidy has been working his way back from the injured list, but with 81 pitches and 6 innings in his last start, he is back on the radar, and his matchup could not be better.

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.