FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 7/28/20
Pitching could be a bit tricky tonight, as the night's most talented pitcher just so happens to also have the worst matchup. Actually, that's an understatement. This is a pretty rotten all-around pitching slate. Note that the Orioles-Marlins game is once again postponed.
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On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel main slate. Below are tonight's projected starters with their 2019 stats. Opposing strikeout rate and wRC+ are last year's numbers against a given pitcher's handedness using active rosters, per FanGraphs.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
Let's check out the top spots on Tuesday's slate.
Walker Buehler ($10,500) is the most expensive arm tonight and is a no-brainer against the Houston Ast-- ah, shit.
Buehler would normally wipe the floor with this field of starters, but the Houston Astros are perhaps the worst lineup to face for DFS, as they strike out at far and away the lowest rate. It would perhaps be easier to justify Buehler at a lower price point, but we're not really getting any discount here, and worse yet, he'll likely be on pitch count to start the season. Sadly, there just doesn't seem to be much upside in taking the chance on Buehler tonight.
Following Buehler, we see a big dip in salaries, with no other pitcher priced above even $8,200, showing just how paper thin this pitcher slate is this evening. But that next arm is Kyle Gibson ($8,200), and under the circumstances, he's a person of interest.
Gibson's 2019 peripherals listed above roughly shake out to around league average, but what makes him intriguing is that he posted a stellar 13.1% swinging-strike rate that actually ranked 16th among starters with at least 150 innings. His swinging-strike rate -- and subsequently his strikeout rate -- has steadily risen the past couple seasons, which can be attributed to both an increase in breaking ball usage and an uptick in velocity. Additionally, he's always been good at inducing grounders, something he continued to do at a high clip (51.4%) last season.
Overall, there's a lot to like in Gibson -- at least for a slate where the bar is admittedly not very high. As for his matchup, the Diamondbacks are more or less a neutral matchup, and the Rangers' new ballpark may not be as dangerous for pitchers compared to years past.
Another guy we can consider is Tyler Mahle ($7,200). While the Cubs aren't an especially appealing opponent, Mahle should be stretched out for a solid workload, and his 23.2% strikeout rate ranks well in this weak field. Steamer projects him to maintain the punchouts in 2020, and most models see him with an ERA in the mid-to-low 4.00 range. He's struggled with the long ball the past two seasons (more on that later), which is hardly ideal in Great American Ball Park, but there are no easy paths to victory on this slate.
I doubt we'll see Alec Mills ($6,300) get a particularly high pitch count, but after the Cubs decided to use practically the entire bullpen yesterday, one would think they'll be compelled to get Mills to five innings. He's actually shown some nice firepower between the bullpen and rotation, producing a head-turning 30.0% strikeout rate and 6.9% walk rate over six career starts. However, considering he didn't show that kind of strikeout upside in the minors and doesn't throw especially hard, we should probably take those marks with a grain of salt. Frankly, I'm not sure I trust him enough to go here, but he may be worth a roll of the dice against the Reds.
Not surprisingly, with so many iffy starters going tonight, we'll have quite a few ways we can go for our bats.
The Milwaukee Brewers could hit the jackpot against Derek Holland, who checks off plenty of boxes for a tourney-winning stack. Holland was lit up for a 6.08 ERA last year, which was the result of a mediocre strikeout rate, double-digit walk rate, and loads of home runs. Holland allowed 2.13 homer runs per 9 innings, and it's easy to see why, as he coughed up a 43.7% hard-hit rate and 40.1% fly-ball rate to go with a whopping 12.2% barrel rate allowed.
The southpaw gave up most of that damage to right-handed bats, and the Brewers could roll out eight righty sticks against him today. That lone lefty? Oh, just some guy named Christian Yelich ($4,400).
Jedd Gyorko ($2,200) is a nice value if he gets a second straight start against a left-hander. He owns a career .344 wOBA and .189 ISO in the split.
New York Mets
Not only did Hall struggle as a reliever with the Tigers last year, but Detroit designated him for assignment over the offseason. Yeah, that's not a good sign when not even the Tigers want you -- although it also says something about Boston's dire situation if they're scooping up those scraps. Hall owns a career 9.48 ERA over 31.1 career innings in relief, and he didn't fare well in Triple-A last year, either.
Much like yesterday, Pete Alonso ($3,600) is the only batter who's remotely pricey, with everyone else coming in at $3K and below. Hopefully we get Yoenis Cespedes ($2,600) back in the lineup, and J.D. Davis ($2,200) is a bargain, too. Amed Rosario ($2,700) is value if he's batting leadoff again.
While Antonio Senzatela doesn't give up many fly balls due to a 53.8% ground-ball rate, that's about where the good news ends. He didn't give up a ton of barrels last year, but his Statcast numbers were otherwise dreadful across the board, and he sure doesn't miss bats off that 13.1% strikeout rate. His poor ERA wasn't merely the product of Coors Field, either, as he actually had a worse road ERA (7.29).
As a team littered with fly-ball hitters, the Oakland Athletics are well-equipped to punish that low strikeout rate. Matt Olson ($3,500) is our best bet with the platoon advantage, and guys like Mark Canha ($2,800) and Khris Davis ($2,700) pack some punch on the cheap.
Although Tyler Mahle is a pitching option tonight, his home run issues also seat the Cubs at the stacking table. Mahle has allowed 1.62 home runs per 9 innings over 52 starts, which is sure starting to look like a trend rather than a fluke. Most of that damage has come from left-handed bats, and he's giving up a career 40.0% hard-hit rate and 40.6% fly-ball rate in the split. Cha-ching!
This puts Anthony Rizzo ($3,700) and Kyle Schwarber ($3,100) firmly in play, and switch-hitter Ian Happ ($2,700) can do some damage even if he's batting ninth. Happ has produced a .253 ISO against right-handed pitching over his young career.