FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/12/20

Pitching is sorely lacking tonight, but Kenta Maeda should still be able to flash some upside against the Brewers. Who else should you consider rostering?

The pitching cupboard is rather bare tonight, and this slate feels like one of those night's where someone unexpected could emerge with the top score. We also get a break from Coors Field, although as one would expect from the lack of pitching, there's no shortage of enticing hitting spots.

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+
Zack Greinke $9,800 R SFG 3.98 22.8% 3.8% 24.1% 90
Kenta Maeda $8,700 R @MIL 4.00 27.0% 7.9% 23.9% 103
Blake Snell $8,500 L @BOS 3.51 33.8% 9.2% 20.1% 112
Masahiro Tanaka $8,300 R ATL 4.42 19.9% 5.2% 23.6% 102
Zach Davies $7,600 R @LOS 5.29 15.7% 7.1% 20.0% 122
Zach Eflin $7,300 R BAL 4.82 18.6% 6.8% 21.3% 88
Zack Godley $7,200 R TAM 5.13 17.7% 10.1% 24.4% 99
Anibal Sanchez $7,100 R @NYM 5.04 19.0% 8.1% 21.6% 104
Taijuan Walker $6,700 R @TEX 4.85 20.6% 9.5% 25.0% 88
Jordan Lyles $6,600 R SEA 4.64 23.8% 9.7% 25.3% 90
Wade LeBlanc $6,200 L @PHI 4.74 16.9% 5.6% 22.8% 113
Tony Gonsolin $5,800 R SDP 4.73 21.6% 9.1% 24.8% 91
Eric Lauer $5,700 L MIN 4.71 21.5% 8.1% 20.2% 119
Huascar Ynoa $5,500 R @NYY 4.75 16.0% 8.0% 23.4% 118
Trevor Cahill $5,500 R @HOU 4.95 17.8% 8.6% 16.8% 125

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


Zack Greinke ($9,800) tops the salary list but doesn't have the strikeout rate we normally see from a slate's most expensive arm. He's only managed an 18.6% strikeout rate over three starts, and his velocity has dropped to around 87 mph thus far. His swinging-strike rate is still hovering around 10%, so maybe he can still creep closer to last year's 23.1% strikeout rate, but that's still nothing to get excited about. He probably won't kill you in a plus matchup against the Giants, though, which keeps him in the conversation tonight. He's thrown 84 and 83 pitches in his last two starts.

Kenta Maeda ($8,700) has also been held to pitch counts in the 80s but is a bit more palatable for his above-average strikeout rate. He's carrying a 25.8% rate and 14.2% swinging-strike rate through three starts, which is in the ballpark of last year's marks (27.1% and 14.6%). Milwaukee doesn't necessarily make for an easy opponent, but they've scuffled on offense this season and are a plus matchup for strikeouts. Between Maeda's strikeout upside and lower price point, he's a more appealing choice over Greinke.

Blake Snell ($8,500) and Masahiro Tanaka ($8,300) might normally garner our attention, but neither one has seen a high pitch count in 2020. Both pitchers topped out at 59 pitches in their last starts.

That doesn't leave us with many exciting options, but if you're willing to dip into the bargain bin, you could take a chance on either Taijuan Walker ($6,700) or Jordan Lyles ($6,600), who both draw attackable matchups. There's a fairly good chance that tonight's top pitching score will be lower than usual, so Walker and Lyles won't need to be perfect to be useful.

Walker is a wild card after missing almost the entirety of the last two seasons, but he's managed a decent 20.3% strikeout rate so far, which includes an 8-strikeout performance over the Athletics. Just as importantly, he maxed out at 94 pitches in that outing, so he's fully stretched out.

Lyles admittedly has poor numbers over 11.1 innings, but he did produce a 24.4% strikeout rate across 28 starts in 2019. He's coming off a respectable 90-pitch outing against the Angels, so perhaps he can take the next step against Seattle.


Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies boast a 5.41 implied total in a cupcake matchup against Wade LeBlanc.

LeBlanc hasn't fooled anyone in three starts (6.91 ERA), and the underlying numbers paint a dreary picture, including a 4.84 SIERA and 13.1% strikeout rate. He's already given up 4 bombs in 14.1 innings and follows a 2019 campaign where he allowed 2.08 dingers per 9 innings -- tied for the worst mark among hurlers who logged at least 120 innings.

Citizens Bank Park is a friendly venue for home runs, too, so this is a really juicy spot for the Phillies to pile it on. Righty sticks naturally get a boost versus the southpaw, but LeBlanc hasn't been anything special against lefties, either, so you can still roster Bryce Harper ($4,000) with confidence. You won't have any trouble affording his services with Andrew McCutchen ($2,400), Rhys Hoskins ($2,900), and Jean Segura ($2,600) all seeing reduced salaries.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are also credited with a high implied total (5.46), drawing a bullpen game against the Atlanta Braves. This will be just the fourth MLB appearance of Huascar Ynoa's career, and the 22-year-old posted modest numbers in Triple-A last season, with a 5.33 ERA and 4.82 xFIP over 72.2 innings.

The Yankees have arguably been the league's top offense to this point, leading the league with a 124 wRC+, so it's not like we need much of an excuse to stack them to begin with.

Aaron Judge ($4,500) is the night's most expensive hitter, but with so much value on the slate, you shouldn't have much problem fitting him in. He's pacing the league with nine home runs and leads all qualified hitters with a .468 ISO.

Like always, you can stack just about anyone else in this deep Bronx Bombers lineup, and they're actually quite inexpensive after Judge. Guys like Aaron Hicks ($2,600), Luke Voit ($2,900), Gleyber Torres ($2,700), and Mike Ford ($2,300) all tend to bat in the middle of the order.

Houston Astros

Trevor Cahill is making his 2020 debut, and it's just his luck that he faces the Houston Astros.

Cahill is coming off a forgettable 2019 season, finishing with a 5.98 ERA over 102.1 innings. The peripheral numbers were poor across the board, with a 4.95 SIERA, 17.8% strikeout rate, and 8.6% walk rate. And if that wasn't enough, he was also eviscerated for 2.20 home runs per 9 innings -- worse than even the aforementioned LeBlanc.

A slumping Jose Altuve is expected to get the night off, leaving Alex Bregman ($4,000) as the only expensive Astro unless George Springer ($3,700) is able to return. There are still plenty of appealing bats in this lineup, though, including Kyle Tucker ($2,800), Michael Brantley ($3,000), Yuli Gurriel ($2,900), and Carlos Correa ($3,300).