FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/5/20
Due to some afternoon games, the main slate on Wednesday night is a little smaller than most days in this condensed baseball season. As a result, it's going to more difficult to find an ideal pitcher to roster, even if you're willing to spend top dollar.
Our daily helper is available every day to help you sort through your best options on FanDuel's main slate. In addition to this helper, be sure to check out our daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to help fill out your lineups.
Since it's still early in the season, all stats referenced are from the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined unless otherwise noted.
Pitchers to Target
Lance McCullers ($8,100), Houston Astros
In his first two starts after missing the entire 2019 season, McCullers looked a little rusty. But the Astros didn't hold him back, as he topped 90 pitches in both outings, and he'll draw a more favorable matchup against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Arizona ranks last in the majors with a .266 slugging percentage and have hit just two home runs. McCullers has allowed just 0.72 home runs per nine innings in his career, the fifth-best rate among active starters. So there's a good chance McCullers keeps the ball in the park tonight and puts together a strong outing against this weak Diamondbacks lineup.
Randy Dobnak ($7,100), Minnesota Twins
Any starting pitcher facing the Pittsburgh Pirates this season has to be on your shortlist of considerations. Pittsburgh is scoring just 3.4 runs per game while posting an anemic .262 on-base percentage.
Dobnak has tossed just nine innings through two starts, but he reached 94 pitches in his last outing, so there are no concerns about the team limiting his workload. This will be just the eighth career start for the Minnesota Twins' rookie, who was first called up late last season, but it's impossible not to be encouraged by his one home run allowed through 37 innings of work in the big leagues.
You'll probably want to wait and see more from Dobnak before using him in other matchups, but it's safe to trust him against the Pirates.
Hitters to Target
Jose Abreu ($3,200), Chicago White Sox
It's a little early to put too much stock in 2020 stats, but it's hard not to take notice of Jose Abreu's 12 balls in play versus righties with an exit velocity of at least 100 mph -- that's 30 percent of his at-bats versus righties ending with a scorched hit.
The Chicago White Sox will face Milwaukee Brewers' righty Adrian Houser, who pitched well in his season debut but has allowed a 34 percent hard-hit rate throughout his career.
Abreu's teammate, Eloy Jimenez ($3,400), who has also has 12 balls in play over 100 mph versus righties, is worth considering for the same reasons.
Josh Bell ($2,900), Pittsburgh Pirates
Avoid Bell if you're using Dobnak in your pitcher slot, but if not, Bell appears to be the one Pirate worth consideration for your lineups. Dobnak relies heavily on his sinker, throwing it over 40 percent of the time, and Bell has a strong track record against the pitch. Over the last three years, Bell has generated a .615 expected slugging percentage (xSLG) against sinkers.
Corey Seager ($3,500), Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager is locked in right now, posting an xSLG of 1.017 through the Dodgers' first 12 games. He'll have a chance to keep that hot streak going against San Diego Padres' starter Garrett Richards, who relies on a fastball/slider combo on just over 80 percent of his pitches.
Against that fastball/slider combo from right-handed pitchers, Seager has a .583 xSLG since the start of last season -- well above his .473 xSLG versus all other pitches.
The Colorado Rockies draw a favorable matchup with San Francisco Giants' rookie Logan Webb taking the field at Coors Field on Wednesday night. With an inexperienced right-hander on the mound, this puts most of the Rockies lineup in play.
Here's a breakdown of a few key guys to consider based on their stats versus righties in Coors over the last two seasons.
The Pirates send Trevor Williams to the mound to take on the dangerous Twins' lineup. Williams allowed 1.7 home runs per nine innings last season, and he's already given up two in just over eight innings of work in 2020. Any of the Twins' sluggers are worth considering in this matchup, but Williams has particularly struggled against lefties, giving up a .518 xSLG, compared to .465 versus righties.
Here's a look at the Twins lefty hitters (including switch-hitters) and their performance against right-handed pitchers since the start of 2019.
|Hitter||FanDuel Salary||xSLG vs RHP|
Players to Avoid
Ozzie Albies ($3,100), Atlanta Braves
Normally, you need keep an eye out for the Atlanta Braves facing a lefty and be sure to slide Albies into some lineups. Albies has a career .960 OPS versus lefties, compared to .739 against righties.
However, Albies is dealing with a wrist injury, which apparently makes it difficult to bat right-handed. On Tuesday night against the Jays, the switch-hitter chose to face lefty Anthony Kay from the left side of the plate. If his injury is this significant, it's probably best to avoid Albies for now.
Justin Upton ($2,600), Los Angeles Angels
Individual batter/pitcher matchups usually aren't a reliable predictor because the sample size is so small, but Justin Upton's 9 strikeouts in 23 plate appearances against Marco Gonzales are tough to ignore. That 39 percent strikeout rate is far above his career average of 25 percent versus lefties, which seems to indicate Gonzales holds some advantage over him. On a deep slate of good outfielder options, it's best to stay away from Upton, even at this reasonable price tag.