FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 8/9/20
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 12:35 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
You should use Jacob deGrom ($11,100 on FanDuel) today. It's that simple. DeGrom is up against the Miami Marlins, and while Miami hasn't been terrible so far in 2020, they're still just 16th in wOBA (.314) with the 13th-highest strikeout rate (24.1%).
DeGrom has a 35.5% strikeout rate and 19.7% swinging-strike rate through 17 frames this season, and those numbers were at 31.7% and 15.4%, respectively, over a full season in 2019. He tossed 104 pitches last time out -- and put up 52 FanDuel points -- so he should be full go today. The ceiling/floor combination is unrivaled. The only negative here is that he'll likely be popular, but we should be more willing to swallow chalk on the bump than we are with bats.
While I love deGrom on this slate, that's not to say there aren't other solid options. They're just not quite deGrom.
Sonny Gray ($10,800) is a pivot off deGrom at just $300 cheaper, and if you want to miss the deGrom ownership, Gray makes sense. He's been lights out so far this season (41.2% strikeout rate and 2.06 SIERA), and the matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers is a great one. The Brew Crew is riding the struggle bus this season, carrying a league-worst 29.1% strikeout rate with a poor .284 wOBA.
I think Jose Berrios ($8,900) is worth a look, too, in a decent mid-range tier that includes appealing options such as Brandon Woodruff ($9,100) and Spencer Turnbull ($8,100). Berrios is up against the Kansas City Royals, so the matchup is there. The issue with Berrios is he just rarely gets enough punchouts to pop for the upside of the true aces.
Also, I should at least mention Stephen Strasburg ($10,000). A full-strength Strasburg would certainly be in play in a matchup with the Baltimore Orioles, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him held to somewhere around 60 to 70 pitches in his debut, which was delayed due to injury.
Stacks to Target
Boston Red Sox
It seems like every time I plug the Boston Red Sox as a stacking option this year, it doesn't work out. But the process leads me here again as Boston owns a 5.45 implied total for their clash with Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker has been decent in the past, but he's barely pitched since 2017. The early returns so far in 2020 are not good as he's got a mere 13.0% strikeout rate and is allowing a 51.4% hard-hit rate across 10 2/3 innings. Yes, that sample is super tiny, but oddsmakers are expecting Boston to do some damage today.
You can get a cheap four-man stack of Boston lefties by using Rafael Devers ($3,300), Alex Verdugo ($2,600), Mitch Moreland ($3,100) and Andrew Benintendi ($2,400). That makes them perfect to use alongside deGrom. Verdugo hit leadoff against a righty the past two games.
Of course, J.D. Martinez ($3,700) is in play, too. He had a 46.4% hard-hit rate last year in righty-righty matchups.
Oddsmakers have given the Minnesota Twins a 5.28 implied total against Brady Singer. Singer has been solid so far across 15 frames in his rookie season, but there are some concerns. His 29.5% strikeout rate is out-pacing his 11.4% swinging-strike rate, so he's due for a little negative regression there. He's also surrendering a 40.5% hard-hit rate. And getting away from his 2020 small sample, Singer never showed big-time strikeout upside in the minors, recording just a 22.1% strikeout rate over 90 2/3 Double-A innings last season.
The two best options on the Twins are Nelson Cruz ($4,100) and Max Kepler ($3,700), who should be slotted third and first, respectively. They're studs, but it might be tough to jam both of them in with deGrom. Luckily Minnesota has some other appealing bats we can get for cheaper -- Eddie Rosario ($3,000), Jorge Polanco ($3,000), Miguel Sano ($3,200), Jake Cave ($2,800). Marwin Gonzalez ($2,600) and Luis Arraez ($2,400) will both hit from the left side, as well, and can be part of any Twins stack.
This one is a little off the radar, but the Detroit Tigers can put up some crooked numbers today against lefty Steven Brault. Brault pitched to a 5.10 SIERA and 19.8% strikeout rate last season, and right-handed hitters got to him for a .351 wOBA. And while Brault will likely be serving in a shorter opener-type role, the Pittsburgh Pirates' bullpen has the sixth-worst xFIP this season.
The Tigers have a few righties who maul lefties. Niko Goodrum ($2,600), Jonathan Schoop ($3,000), Miguel Cabrera ($2,700) and C.J. Cron ($3,100) are a 1-2-3-4 stack that's easy on the wallet. Even if you don't want to full-on stack Detroit, Cron is a great one-off play. He's jacked four homers and owns a 43.5% hard-hit rate and 43.5% fly-ball rate so far in 2020. In 2019 he punked southpaws for a .412 wOBA.
Jeimer Candelario ($2,100) is dirt cheap and hitting seventh, and JaCoby Jones ($3,100) had a 50.0% hard-hit rate across 66 plate appearances versus lefties last year, though Jones is in the nine hole today.