FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 8/15/20
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 7:07 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
There's a few pitchers I'm drawn to on this slate, and Patrick Corbin ($10,600 on FanDuel) tops the list. Corbin had a 28.5% strikeout rate in 2019, and he's got a 27.8% clip in 18 frames this season. He offers the upside we crave, and although the Baltimore Orioles have been a tougher-than-expected matchup so far this campaign (second-best wOBA and sixth-lowest strikeout rate), the O's carry a meager 4.00 implied total. Corbin is a priority for me on this slate.
Despite a slow start to the year, Walker Buehler ($9,600) has to be on our radar in his date with the Los Angeles Angels. Buehler got up to 87 pitches last time out and should be inching toward a full workload. His 11.7% swinging-strike rate tells us he's likely in store for some positive regression on his 20.7% strikeout rate. He can mow through any lineup when he's locked in, and the Halos' 4.07 implied total isn't too scary.
I like the idea of using German Marquez ($8,400) even in a Coors game. He's up against the Texas Rangers, an offense that holds the third-worst wOBA. Marquez has been outstanding so far in 2020, posting a 26.5% strikeout rate and 14.1% swinging-strike rate. He can thrive in this spot and actually had a better xFIP at home (3.30) last season than he did on the road (3.71). Obviously any Coors start could go south in a hurry (Texas has a 5.13 implied total), but I'm intrigued by Marquez today.
Cristian Javier ($7,800) is worth a peek, too. The Houston Astros are -220 favorites over the Seattle Mariners, and the M's own the sixth-worst wOBA. Javier doesn't possess a huge ceiling, but he could turn in a solid outing at a decent price. Plus, if Corbin doesn't deal and Buehler is limited to 90-some pitches, Javier's lack of big-time upside may not matter as much. Seattle's 3.95 implied total is a slate-low mark as of Saturday morning.
Early in the day, I'm not sure what the Oakland Athletics' plan is at pitcher, but if Frankie Montas ($8,800) starts after being scratched on Friday, he'd be my favorite pitching play of the slate -- at worst equal to Corbin. FanDuel has Montas listed as the A's starter, but Oakland's website slots Sean Manaea as their probable pitcher. It's a situation to monitor.
Stacks to Target
Kyle Gibson is a fine pitcher, but the Colorado Rockies carry a 6.37 implied total -- tops on the slate -- and are the top stack of the night. Gibson's strikeout rate was just 20.0% against lefties last year, compared to 25.4% in righty-righty battles, and lefties tagged him for a .347 wOBA.
The Rox have plenty of lefty bats we can go after, and Charlie Blackmon ($4,200) leads the way. If you want to dodge some ownership and save coin, you can target a stack of Daniel Murphy ($3,300), Raimel Tapia ($2,500), Ryan McMahon ($3,200) and David Dahl ($3,200) -- all lefties who hit 5-6-7-8 last night. Sam Hilliard ($3,000) would be worth a look as a power-speed guy if he gets in the starting nine.
The Astros have come in at some modest ownership lately, but after Friday's 11-run outburst and with a good matchup today (5.55 implied total), they should be a go-to stack for the masses. Houston is taking on southpaw Nick Margevicius, and the Astros have some lefty killers in their lineup.
Left-handed hitters Michael Brantley ($3,100) and Yordan Alvarez ($3,500) could be lesser-owned ways to get exposure to this lineup, and both dudes have shown they can hit southpaws. Alvarez mashed his way to a .422 wOBA and 49.4% hard-hit rate in lefty-lefty matchups in 2019 while Brantley had a 42.0% hard-hit rate in the split. And don't forget about Martin Maldonado ($2,200), who recorded a 52.9% hard-hit rate over 114 plate appearances versus lefties in 2019.
Los Angeles Dodgers
This seven-game slate doesn't have a slew of awesome stacking options. At the same time, there aren't a bunch of quality hurlers, either. It's a weird slate. After the Astros and Rockies, I'm not sure which stacks will be popular.
I do think the Los Angeles Dodgers could sneak under the radar today in their bout with Andrew Heaney. The Dodgers have a 4.93 implied total, and while Heaney can generate whiffs, he gave up a 47.6% hard-hit rate and 43.6 fly-ball rate across 95 1/3 frames in 2019. Righties should be our focus as they got to him for a 46.7% hard-hit rate and 45.3% fly-ball rate last season.
Outside of Mookie Betts ($4,100), the Dodgers' right-handed bats are modestly priced, so you can easily stack them with Corbin. Justin Turner ($3,300), A.J. Pollock ($2,900), Enrique Hernandez ($2,600), Chris Taylor ($$2,400) and Will Smith ($2,400) will all hit from the right side if they're in the lineup. Turner put up a .385 wOBA, 56.4% hard-hit rate and 48.4 fly-ball rate against lefties last season. Pollack had a .375 wOBA and 46.2% hard-hit rate in the split. In his brief career, Smith owns a 42.5% hard-hit rate and 55.5% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage.