FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/11/20

With Max Scherzer coming off a hamstring injury, should we trust him on Tuesday's slate? Who else is worth a look on the mound?

We have another Coors Field slate on our hands, although one side clearly has the advantage in tonight's matchup. Max Scherzer is the big name on the pitching side, but there are some awfully interesting alternatives for tournaments, as well.

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 2019-20 stats. Opposing strikeout rate and wRC+ also date back to last year and are against a given pitcher's handedness using up-to-date active rosters, per FanGraphs.

Pitcher Salary L/R Opp. SIERA K% BB% Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Max Scherzer $10,700 R @NYM 2.94 35.3% 5.5% 21.50% 104
Dylan Bundy $9,700 R OAK 4.33 24.0% 7.7% 23.10% 109
Zack Wheeler $9,000 R BAL 4.25 23.0% 6.2% 21.40% 88
Ross Stripling $8,300 R SDP 3.82 24.6% 5.4% 24.90% 91
Marco Gonzales $8,200 L @TEX 4.97 17.4% 6.2% 26.50% 96
Jon Lester $8,100 L @CLE 4.52 21.1% 6.7% 21.00% 104
Mike Minor $7,500 L SEA 4.48 23.1% 7.8% 23.20% 105
Touki Toussaint $7,400 R @NYY 4.31 25.5% 11.8% 23.40% 118
Josh Lindblom $7,300 R MIN 3.30 34.3% 11.4% 21.30% 117
Mike Fiers $7,200 R @LAA 5.23 16.0% 6.8% 20.40% 110
Zac Gallen $7,100 R @COL 4.11 29.2% 10.7% 22.30% 83
Martin Perez $7,000 L TAM 5.06 18.2% 9.5% 27.10% 101
Kyle Freeland $6,900 L ARI 5.12 16.6% 8.3% 21.90% 107
Alex Cobb $6,800 R @PHI 4.17 18.9% 6.6% 23.80% 91
Rick Porcello $6,800 R WAS 4.87 18.5% 6.2% 21.30% 93
Jordan Montgomery $6,800 L ATL 4.09 18.3% 3.3% 24.00% 101
Brandon Bielak $6,600 R SFG 5.35 17.1% 14.6% 24.20% 90
Garrett Richards $6,600 R @LOS 4.23 25.7% 10.5% 20.10% 122
Tyler Alexander $6,600 L CWS 3.87 23.0% 3.1% 23.70% 120
Adam Plutko $6,400 R CHC 5.12 17.0% 5.3% 23.00% 105
Tyler Anderson $5,800 L @HOU 5.31 19.0% 12.0% 16.30% 136
Gio Gonzalez $5,700 L @DET 4.89 20.9% 10.2% 24.70% 105
Tyler Clippard $5,500 R @MIL 3.82 26.4% 6.3% 23.90% 103
Andrew Kittredge $5,500 R @BOS 3.43 25.5% 5.9% 20.50% 103

Let's check out the top spots on tonight's slate.


Max Scherzer ($10,700) is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of talent, and a mediocre matchup against the Mets shouldn't deter us. He's showing the immense firepower we're accustomed to seeing, boasting a 37.9% strikeout rate and 17.6% swinging-strike rate through 13.2 innings.

The only early-season concerns are a 13.8% walk rate and the fact he's coming off an injury-shortened outing due to a tweaked hamstring. That latter note is what's most worrisome, but it sounds like Scherzer is good to go, so I'm still willing to take the plunge.

Ross Stripling ($8,300) doesn't have that elite strikeout upside, but he's notched seven punchouts in two of three starts and the Padres tend to give a boost in whiffs. Stripling has always put up rock-solid numbers, and San Diego is showing one of the night's lowest implied totals (3.88).

If you're willing to take a more boom-or-bust approach in tournaments, Dylan Bundy ($9,700) and Touki Toussaint ($7,400) are intriguing in difficult matchups.

As shown by his salary, Bundy is experiencing a resurgence with the Angels, with a 2.70 SIERA, 31.3% strikeout rate, and 2.5% walk rate through three starts. A newfound reliance on his slider and a decrease in fastball usage appears to be paying dividends. Bundy has a dangerous opponent in the Athletics, but he handled them quite nicely in his 2020 debut last month.

Toussaint is the far riskier of the two, but that's baked into his price point. Unlike Bundy, the results haven't been there for Toussaint (6.08 ERA), but a 2.65 SIERA, 35.1% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate should get our attention. The young righty has suffered from some poor luck (.345 BABIP, 59.2% strand rate), and his improvements coincide with a change in pitch mix, too.

The Yankees are obviously a brutal matchup for Toussaint, but they aren't a bad opponent for strikeouts if you're willing to roll the dice. Toussaint threw 83 pitches in his last start, so he should be close to a full workload moving forward.


Arizona Diamondbacks

The Colorado Rockies are up against a tough customer in Zac Gallen, who comes in with a 31.3% strikeout rate over three starts. Anything can happen at Coors Field, but this definitely puts the Rockies below the Arizona Diamondbacks among tonight's stacks.

That's because the D-backs are facing Kyle Freeland, who has a fraudulent 2.41 ERA over three starts. His 4.75 SIERA, 15.7% strikeout rate, and 8.6% walk rate sure don't look that different from his 2019 marks, which ultimately led to a ghastly 6.73 ERA over 22 starts.

The top half Arizona's lineup should be comprised entirely of righty sticks and switch-hitters to combat the southpaw, but we can also look lower in the order to values like Carson Kelly ($2,500) and Nick Ahmed ($3,000). Kelly produced a mammoth 58.5% hard-hit rate versus left-handers in 2019, while Ahmed has consistently performed well with the platoon advantage dating back to 2017 (.231 ISO).

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs get a massive bump in going from facing Mike Clevinger to Adam Plutko, and they should be near the top of your list, as well.

To put it lightly, Plutko has had a bit of a home run issue over his career, and at this point it seems safe to say it isn't a fluke. The right-hander allowed 1.81 home runs per 9 innings last season, and the season before that, he coughed up 2.47 per 9. Over his career, he's given up fly balls at a 50.2% clip with a 14.6% home-run-to-fly-ball rate. True to form, he gave up two dingers in his lone start this year.

Add those high homer rates to a middling strikeout rate, and it's easy to like the Cubs' upside tonight. You can feel comfortable attacking Plutko from either side of the plate, and Kyle Schwarber ($2,700) looks like a steal for his power potential. Ian Happ ($2,700) will likely bat low in the order, but that career .259 ISO versus righties is enticing for tournaments.

Houston Astros

Similar to the aforementioned Freeland, left-hander Tyler Anderson's 2.19 ERA appears to be living on borrowed time. A 6.31 SIERA, 13.5% strikeout rate, and 15.4% walk rate is... not good. A quick look at his .229 BABIP and 98.7% strand rate show what's really going on here.

While some of Anderson's prior woes undoubtedly have to do with spending most of his career with the Rockies, he's never had an especially high strikeout rate (21.6%) or ground-ball rate (42.3%) over his career, making him susceptible to the long ball.

Against a Houston Astros team with tough righties like Alex Bregman ($3,900), Jose Altuve ($3,800), and Carlos Correa ($3,400), the course correction could begin tonight.