FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 7/26/20
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate, which starts at 1:05 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
I love this pitching slate, and for me there's a clear top trio -- Blake Snell ($10,400 on FanDuel), Trevor Bauer ($9,700) and Zack Greinke ($9,400). All three are facing a team that ranked in the bottom 12 in wOBA and the bottom six in strikeout rate a year ago, so you can make a strong case for any of them. I'd rank them in the order they're listed above: Snell, Bauer and Greinke.
Snell gets the edge due to his immense strikeout upside. The stud lefty posted a 33.3% strikeout rate and 17.7% swinging-strike rate in 2019, numbers that are a good bit better than what Bauer (27.8% and 12.2%) and Greinke (23.1% and 10.4%) put up last season. Snell gets a Toronto Blue Jays offense that had the sixth-highest strikeout rate (24.9%) this past season along with the eighth-worst wOBA (.310).
Carlos Carrasco ($9,100) deserves a look in his home clash with the Kansas City Royals. KC had the fourth-worst wOBA in 2019 (.302) and has scored a total of three runs across its first two games. Carrasco tossed 86 pitches in an exhibition back on July 16th, so he might be close to full go today. He's registered a strikeout rate of at least 28.0% in each of the last three years.
We can also give some thought to Shohei Ohtani ($8,000) in GPPs. While his matchup versus the Oakland Athletics is a tough one, Ohtani's salary doesn't capture his ceiling as he flashed elite swing-and-miss stuff with a 29.9% strikeout rate and 15.2% swinging-strike rate across 51 2/3 frames back in 2018. It's worth noting that Ohtani didn't throw more than 75 pitches in any exhibition appearance, so his pitch count might be capped a tad in his return to the bump.
Stacks to Target
It's the Houston Astros against a lefty. Yes, please. Southpaw Yusei Kikuchi had a rough debut season in 2019, misfiring to a 5.17 SIERA. Righties hammered him for a .374 wOBA while striking out only 15.3% of the time. The Astros hold a 5.64 implied total.
Houston has a bunch of righties who demolish left-handers. The only negative is that Houston's top bats are pricey. George Springer ($4,000), Jose Altuve ($3,800) and Alex Bregman ($3,900) will likely hit 1-2-3 while fellow righties Yuli Gurriel ($2,900) and Carlos Correa ($3,200) will likely slot in behind clean-up hitter (and lefty) Michael Brantley ($3,000). We could see righty Abraham Toro ($2,200) enter the lineup in place of the injured Aledmys Diaz. Toro racked up a .402 wOBA with 16 bombs in 435 Double-A plate appearances in 2019. Toro would make it much easier to stack Houston and use Snell.
Boston Red Sox
As one of Saturday's most popular offenses, the Boston Red Sox turned in a clunker in a date with Alex Cobb. Will it happen again, this time versus Wade LeBlanc? I'm betting on the Red Sox to bounce back, and so are oddsmakers as Boston's 6.34 implied total is a slate-best clip. LeBlanc has been a meh pitcher for a long time, and last year righties bashed him for a .356 wOBA with a mere 15.4% strikeout rate.
Righties J.D. Martinez ($4,000) and Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) are expensive, but Boston has some cheap right-handed hitters after those two, which makes it possible to stack both Houston and Boston and use Snell if you want to go that route. Christian Vazquez ($2,800), Michael Chavis ($2,600), Jose Peraza ($2,600) and Kevin Pillar ($2,600) could all be in the lineup.
Jose Urena checks just about every box we're looking for when trying to find a pitcher to stack against. He allows a lot of hard contact (43.4% hard-hit rate in 2019), and he struggles to get whiffs (16.0% strikeout rate over 573 2.3 career innings). That makes the Philadelphia Phillies a premier stacking play, and they boast a 5.20 implied total.
Lefties have been a real source of woes for Urena as he's got an ugly 12.4% career strikeout rate in the split, and lefty bats tagged him for a .376 wOBA and 44.5% hard-hit rate last season.
The Phils' projected lineup has just three left-handed bats in it -- Bryce Harper ($3.800), Didi Gregorius ($3,100) and Jay Bruce ($2,400). All three are enticing plays, and Bruce has big power upside at a cheap price. As for righties, Andrew McCutchen ($2,700) will likely hit leadoff, and Rhys Hoskins ($3,400) had a 43.5% hard-hit rate and 51.2% fly-ball rate in righty-righty matchups a campaign ago.
I plugged the Cincinnati Reds yesterday versus Ivan Nova, but we didn't get the performance we were looking for. I think we can go back to the well again for the Redlegs' matchup with Spencer Turnbull, who has surrendered a 41.9% hard-hit rate across 164 2/3 career innings. The Reds' 5.17 implied total is a number we can attack.
This is a much better spot for Cincy's lefties as southpaws got to Turnbull for a 43.8% hard-hit rate and .347 wOBA while striking out just 18.8% of the time last year -- compared to a .308 wOBA, 38.7% hard-hit rate and 26.0% strikeout rate for righties.
Lefties Mike Moustakas ($3,500), Joey Votto ($3,100), Shogo Akiyama ($2,600) and Jesse Winker ($2,300) will likely be in the lineup. Winker hit leadoff yesterday, but he's prone to getting yanked for a pinch-hitter later in the game, which is exactly what happened Saturday. Dude punks righties, though, to the tune of a 371 wOBA and 42.7% hard-hit rate against them last year. Right-hander Eugenio Suarez ($3,200) is worth considering, too. He finished 2019 with a .373 wOBA, 45.3% hard-hit rate and 43.0 fly-ball rate versus righties.