FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 7/29/20
After enduring a Tuesday slate of mostly undesirable bottom-of-the-rotation starters, we flip over to a Wednesday slate with much more palatable options. Tonight's Rays-Braves game looks to be the only one with any potential rain issues.
Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!
And don't forget to take a listen to The Solo Shot podcast with Jim Sannes, who breaks down the MLB daily fantasy slate each morning.
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+|
|Daniel Ponce de Leon||$5,800||R||@MIN||4.50||24.8%||11.6%||20.9%||119|
Let's check out the top spots on tonight's slate.
Gerrit Cole ($11,700) is easy to like in a cupcake matchup against the Orioles tonight. He only threw 75 pitches in his 2020 debut against the Nationals, but that contest was shortened by rain, and there's little reason to think he wouldn't have kept going. The numbers speak for themselves, and the sky-high salary shouldn't deter us from making Cole our top choice tonight.
Jacob deGrom ($11,200) also deserves a mention, of course, but he may be more of a contrarian piece in tournaments. The spot against the Red Sox isn't nearly as enticing, but more importantly, deGrom only threw 72 pitches in his first start, which was by design. We know what deGrom is capable of, but we're not getting much of discount from Cole, and deGrom has both the more concerning workload and tougher opponent. Ultimately, he shakes out as more of a secondary multi-lineup option.
We get a nice dip in salary following those top two, and I'm inclined to go with Chris Paddack ($9,700) in this sub-$10k range. Charlie Morton ($9,400) has tantalizing marks, but he showed decreased velocity in his opening start and may still not being ready for a full workload.
Paddack doesn't have the strikeout rate of Cole or deGrom -- not many do -- but his 26.9% rate is solid, and he draws perhaps the top overall matchup on the board. The rebuilding Giants lack punch, strike out often, and play in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. It doesn't get much better than that, and Paddack has the goods to take advantage.
If you want to drop another rung in salary, Brandon Woodruff ($8,700) is probably the way to go. Woodruff put up strong numbers across the board in 2019, and after throwing 85 pitches in his season debut, he should be at or close to a full workload against the Pirates. It's a neutral matchup at best, though, perhaps limiting his upside.
New York Yankees
Wojciechowski owns a career 5.76 ERA over three seasons, and there isn't anything to suggest things will go well in 2020. He's about league average when it comes to strikeout rate and doesn't issue too many free passes, but man does he give up fly balls, allowing over a 51% rate in each of the past two seasons. Giving up a plethora of fly balls isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but not when you're allowing a 10.7% barrel rate as Wojciechowski did in 2019.
In short, we shouldn't be shocked if the Yankees unleash a barrage of home runs tonight. They also aren't priced up beyond Aaron Judge ($4,100) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800), so you can still roster a bunch of Bronx Bombers even if you use Gerrit Cole. Wojciechowski gives up a higher rate of dingers to lefty sticks, so switch-hitter Aaron Hicks ($2,500) is an especially good value.
Los Angeles Angels
Justin Dunn only threw 6.2 innings last year, so it's hard to read too much in his above numbers -- although he was clearly lucky to escape with a 2.70 ERA. He's otherwise never pitched above Double-A, and season-long projections are universally unfavorable, per FanGraphs.
I'll take the experience of Mike Trout ($4,500) and the Los Angeles Angels, who are sporting a hefty 5.58 implied total. Similar to the Yankees' pricing, Trout and Anthony Rendon ($4,000) are the lone expensive Angels bats, though with their lineup not being quite as deep, you'll probably still want to fit at least one of them into any stack.
Shohei Ohtani ($3,100) and Justin Upton ($2,800) are affordable power bats, and David Fletcher ($2,900) gives us a cheap leadoff man, too. Jason Castro ($2,600) bats low in the order but put up an impressive 17.2% barrel rate in limited playing time last season.
The Detroit Tigers certainly aren't a team we'll be looking to stack often this year, but they're dirt cheap if you're paying up at pitcher, and it should pique our interest when we see a lesser team with a high implied total. This is a lineup filled with right-handed bats and switch-hitters, so Detroit may be well-suited to take out left-hander Danny Duffy. Against righties last season, Duffy allowed a 41.4% hard-hit rate and 41.0% fly-ball rate, leading to 1.51 home runs per 9 innings.
Duffy's velocity has evaporated following an outlier 2016 campaign, leading to a pedestrian strikeout rate ever since, and his 2020 debut showed a fastball yet another couple ticks down from last year. Maybe he ramps back up to his 2019 levels, but this may be a great time to pounce -- even if it's the Tigers.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Javier has put up some electric strikeout numbers in the minors, but he's also shown a high walk rate throughout, which could get him in trouble at the top level. It doesn't get much tougher than the Dodgers, but even if Javier comes out on fire, he isn't likely to pitch deep in this one. And if narratives are your thing, it sure looked clear that the Dodgers want to stick it to the Astros in this series.
The Dodgers are deep enough to stack just about anyone outside of a light-hitting Austin Barnes -- hopefully Will Smith ($2,800) draws the start instead. Joc Pederson ($2,900) remains a great tourney play at this salary.