FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/14/18
We have a full 15-game slate on Friday's menu, with a clear-cut top option at pitcher in Max Scherzer, but there are also some enticing options we can drop down to. The New York Yankees lead the way on offense, but we're not exactly short on alternatives with every team taking the field tonight.
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On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel main slate.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer ($12,000 on FanDuel): Like practically any day he pitches, Max Scherzer is the top dog on Friday, bringing with him his usual array of gaudy numbers in a 2.71 SIERA, 34.4% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate. While we have other high-strikeout hurlers on the board, no one can hold a candle to Scherzer's overall marks, and outside of a minor misstep against the Philadelphia Phillies, he's put up at least 49 FanDuel points in five of the last six games. He draws a neutral matchup on the road against the Atlanta Braves, but Atlanta is showing just a 3.68 implied total tonight. Due to Scherzer's massive price tag, there's plenty of merit to looking elsewhere in tournaments, but he's perfect for your cash games.
Jack Flaherty ($9,300) and Walker Buehler ($8,900): Going toe-to-toe against each other in the same game at around the same price, we'll loop Jack Flaherty and Walker Buehler together as two tournament pivots off Scherzer. Both of these young fireballers have turned heads this season, with Flaherty displaying a 3.50 SIERA and 29.9% strikeout rate, while Buehler has a 3.28 SIERA and 27.6% strikeout rate. Neither the Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals make for particularly great matchups, but Busch Stadium is a pitcher-friendly venue, and both offenses have implied totals under 4.00. At a sizable discount, these two arms have the goods to keep pace with Scherzer tonight.
Tyler Anderson ($6,300): We've mentioned how the San Francisco Giants are a team we want to attack with opposing hurlers the rest of the season, and the latest one to benefit is Tyler Anderson. As a reminder of just how poorly the Giants have hit lately, they've posted a putrid .241 wOBA and 28.3% strikeout rate over the last 30 games, with no other team even coming close. Anderson's season has been a mixed bag -- hardly unusual for a Colorado Rockies pitcher -- but he has a reasonable 4.21 SIERA and 22.4% strikeout rate, and as one would expect, he's performed far better on the road (4.52 ERA) than at Coors (5.37). In getting swept at home by the Atlanta Braves this week, the Giants allowed FanDuel scores of 49, 55, and 31 to Braves starters Sean Newcomb, Mike Foltynewicz, and Anibal Sanchez. Anderson has shown a nice ceiling at times this year, and this is the right spot for a spike performance.
Hitters to Target
Giancarlo Stanton ($4,400): Coming off such a massive 2017 campaign, it was perhaps inevitable that Giancarlo Stanton would come back down to Earth, and he's often been a frustrating player to roster in DFS this season. But with the Yankees taking on fly-ball pitcher Marco Estrada at Yankee Stadium with a slate-high 5.53 implied total, it might be hard to resist going down this road once again tonight. Among pitchers with at least 130 innings, Estrada is allowing by far the highest fly-ball rate (56.4%), which when combined with a 5.41 SIERA and 16.9% strikeout rate, doesn't bode well for him in a hitter-friendly venue. Part of why Stanton has underwhelmed this year has been his modest numbers versus righties, but he owns a career 133 wRC+ in the split, and since the start of June, he's posted a 40.3% hard-hit rate, 40.3% fly-ball rate, and .244 ISO against them.
Rhys Hoskins ($3,600): Despite his power upside, Rhys Hoskins' salary never seems to get too high, often making him a solid mid-range value when the right matchup rolls around. Well, southpaw Wei-Yin Chen certainly fits the bill, who is posting an unimposing 4.63 SIERA and 19.4% strikeout rate, and has drastic home/road splits, with a 1.77 ERA at Marlins Park compared to a 9.13 ERA on the road. Like Estrada, he allows a high rate of fly balls (42.6%), which puts Hoskins in a good position to take him deep tonight. While Hoskins isn't quite putting up the massive marks he posted over a small sample last year, he's still producing a solid 50.3% fly-ball rate with a .247 ISO and .368 wOBA.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,000): Matt Harvey is a guy we love to attack with lefty bats, against whom he's allowing a 42.5% hard-hit rate, 43.6% fly-ball rate, and .362 expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo is doing his usual thing this year, and has a .405 xwOBA and .221 ISO against right-handers. Rizzo also hit leadoff on Thursday, which never hurts if this becomes a trend.
Wilson Ramos ($2,800), Jose Bautista ($2,100) and Aaron Altherr ($2,000): Depending on how the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup shakes out, there may also be plenty of cheap pieces we can grab against Chen. Wilson Ramos owns a career 122 wRC+ against lefties, and is posting a 42.5% hard-hit rate and .413 xwOBA in the split this year. Jose Bautista typically gets in there against lefties, and is putting up a respectable 38.7% hard-hit rate and .355 xwOBA in the platoon split himself. Aaron Altherr has endured a poor season, but he put up good numbers (121 wRC+) in 2017 and hit third the last time the team faced a lefty.
Jake Cave ($2,600): Jake Cave came through last night with a dinger, and we shouldn't hesitate to go back to him in another promising spot against Jorge Lopez. Lopez may have shut down the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, but he has a less than stellar 4.77 SIERA, 18.4% strikeout rate, 11.0% walk rate and 43.3% hard-hit rate allowed, so we shouldn't be surprised by the Twins' 4.74 implied total. Lopez is also allowing a .367 xwOBA to left-handed hitters, which sets up well for Cave, who is posting a rock-solid .377 xwOBA and .226 ISO against righties this season.
Jay Bruce ($2,700): The New York Mets may not have a particularly noteworthy implied total (3.97) against Hector Velazquez, but they get a nice park upgrade at Fenway, and Velazquez is only showing a 4.59 SIERA and 14.3% strikeout rate this year. Left-handed hitters have posted a .378 xwOBA against Velazquez as well, so it's not a bad spot to take a shot on the hot-hitting Jay Bruce. Since coming off the DL on August 24, he's put up a 40.4% hard-hit rate, 55.3% fly-ball rate, .383 wOBA, and .310 ISO.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. 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.
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