FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/14/20

The Rangers figure to be popular in a standout matchup at Coors Field. Which stacks and pitchers should you target on a deep Friday slate?

It's pitching galore on Friday's slate, not to mention it's also a Coors Field night. Rain could affect the games in Cincinnati and Minnesota, so be sure to monitor the forecast this evening.

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+
Jacob deGrom $11,200 R @PHI 3.26 31.8% 5.5% 23.5% 93
Gerrit Cole $11,000 R BOS 2.68 38.9% 5.9% 20.6% 103
Sonny Gray $10,800 R PIT 3.83 29.9% 9.5% 20.7% 89
Clayton Kershaw $10,000 L @LAA 3.70 26.9% 5.6% 20.3% 100
Aaron Civale $9,600 R @DET 4.22 22.9% 6.0% 26.2% 81
Dinelson Lamet $9,200 R @ARI 3.56 33.0% 9.2% 21.6% 98
Stephen Strasburg $9,000 R @BAL 3.52 29.4% 6.6% 21.4% 89
Frankie Montas $8,800 R @SFG 3.88 25.8% 6.6% 24.2% 90
Framber Valdez $8,600 L SEA 4.38 21.8% 11.8% 23.3% 102
Merrill Kelly $8,500 R SDP 4.65 20.3% 6.8% 24.9% 90
Brandon Woodruff $8,400 R @CHC 3.51 29.3% 6.1% 23.1% 106
Tyler Chatwood $8,200 R MIL 4.14 24.9% 10.5% 23.9% 102
Tommy Milone $7,700 L WAS 4.21 21.5% 5.1% 20.0% 107
Pablo Lopez $7,400 R ATL 4.36 20.7% 6.1% 23.6% 102
Lance Lynn $7,000 R @COL 3.83 28.6% 7.4% 22.2% 84
Jake Odorizzi $6,900 R KAN 4.18 26.8% 8.2% 22.4% 93
Yusei Kikuchi $6,700 L @HOU 5.05 16.9% 7.2% 16.3% 136
Kyle Wright $6,500 R @MIA 5.79 19.1% 15.1% 24.4% 96
Patrick Sandoval $6,300 L LOS 4.41 23.9% 10.1% 21.7% 103
Chad Kuhl $6,200 R @CIN 3.02 34.3% 8.6% 24.3% 96
Johnny Cueto $6,000 R OAK 5.47 18.4% 12.2% 23.1% 109
Ivan Nova $5,900 R CLE 5.19 13.9% 6.2% 22.7% 93
Jakob Junis $5,800 R @MIN 4.69 20.7% 7.7% 21.2% 115
Spencer Howard $5,500 R NYM 4.53 18.2% 4.6% 21.5% 105
Ryan Castellani $5,500 R TEX 4.17 21.4% 7.1% 24.9% 88

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


Jacob deGrom ($11,200) dealt with a minor finger issue in his last start, but he downplayed it after the game and didn't have to miss any time, so he shouldn't have any limitations against the Phillies. The ace right-hander is doing his usual thing in 2020, compiling a 3.01 SIERA, 32.6% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate over four starts. Fire him up against Philadelphia. (Update: deGrom has been scratched from tonight's start.)

deGrom is hardly our only option, though, as Gerrit Cole ($11,000) and Sonny Gray ($10,800) are plenty damn good, too. Cole needs little explanation after his monstrous 2019 campaign, and while he has "just" a 29.6% strikeout rate this year, we all know what he's capable of. Against a scuffling Red Sox lineup, there's an argument for Cole being the night's top overall option.

Meanwhile, Gray actually owns the best 2020 strikeout rate of the entire bunch (36.8%), and the Pirates have been absolutely dreadful on offense so far, as their active roster comes in with a league-worst 54 wRC+ versus righties.

I don't know how much to trust Aaron Civale's ($9,600) newfound 31.1% strikeout rate this year, but it could the result of some changes in pitch mix. If nothing else, though, a matchup against the Detroit Tigers might be worth exploiting in tournaments. The Tigers' active roster has the league's worst strikeout rate versus righties this season (31.6%).

On the value side, Brandon Woodruff ($8,400) and Tyler Chatwood ($8,200) are showing nice strikeout upside but without the premium pricing. Although Chatwood was an utter disaster his last time out, he's still showing a 35.4% strikeout rate and 14.8% swinging-strike rate over three starts, and he faces a Brewers team that's striking out nearly as often as the Tigers against right-handers (29.0%). If you can stomach it, he figures to see a low roster percentage.


Texas Rangers

We probably don't need to spend too much time on the Texas Rangers, who have a massive 6.55 implied total at Coors Field against Ryan Castellani.

Castellani is making just his second MLB start and his first at Coors. While he performed pretty well in his debut against the Mariners, his Triple-A numbers left a lot to be desired last season, submitting a 6.26 xFIP, 21.8% strikeout rate, and 13.9% walk rate over 10 starts. He didn't even show much in Double-A from 2017-18, either.

There's little reason to think Castellani will be able to handle big league hitters at the league's most hitter-friendly venue. Joey Gallo ($4,000) is one of the top overall plays on the board, and fellow lefties Shin-Soo Choo ($3,800), Willie Calhoun ($3,300), and Rougned Odor ($3,500) all have solid power.

New York Yankees

Of course, the trouble with the Rangers is they'll almost certainly be the most popular team to stack tonight. The New York Yankees figure to get some attention, too, but not to the same extent as Coors.

The Red Sox are opting for a bullpen game tonight, with Colten Brewer as the first sacrificial lamb. Brewer has been respectable over 10.0 innings out of the bullpen this year, but a 22.2% strikeout rate and 11.1% walk rate isn't anything to write home about. This will be his first MLB start. The last time he started a game? 2016 in Single-A.

The Bronx Bombers' active roster tops the league in wRC+ (125), and this could be another long night for a beleaguered Boston team that just got knocked around in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Rays.

A deep Yankees lineup gives you all sorts of roster flexibility from top to bottom. Keep an eye on whether Aaron Judge ($4,300) starts after sitting out the last game, though.

Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians get a cupcake matchup against Ivan Nova, who enters tonight with a 5.52 SIERA, 11.4% strikeout rate, and 10.0% walk rate, and wasn't any good in 2019. His lone positive thus far is a 55.6% ground-ball rate, but he's also allowing a 45.5% hard-hit rate, and his Statcast data is terrible across the board. Hard contact and a minuscule strikeout rate is a recipe for disaster.

Jose Ramirez ($3,800) and Francisco Lindor ($3,600) top the list, of course, and the rest of the lineup come at bargain pricing. Carlos Santana ($2,900) and Franmil Reyes ($2,700) are great values for their pop.

If the weather holds up, the Minnesota Twins are definitely on the table against the Jake Junis, too. Junis has poor peripherals over two starts (5.91 SIERA) and has struggled to keep the ball in the park over his career. He allowed 1.59 home runs per 9 innings last season off a 42.6% hard-hit rate and 42.4% ground-ball rate.