FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/18/20

Will Yu Darvish continue his strong play against the Cardinals tonight? Who else should we consider rostering?

Tonight's Reds-Royals has been postponed, but we still have a packed 10-game slate to sort through.

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 2020 stats. Opposing team strikeout rate and wRC+ 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+
Yu Darvish $9,900 R STL 3.22 30.0% 4.4% 23.6% 94
Carlos Carrasco $9,800 R PIT 3.85 32.3% 11.8% 20.9% 89
Kenta Maeda $8,800 R MIL 3.68 23.9% 4.6% 23.9% 101
Blake Snell $8,400 L NYY 2.85 37.0% 7.4% 23.7% 126
Dylan Cease $8,200 R DET 5.08 16.9% 7.2% 26.5% 81
David Peterson $8,000 L MIA 4.93 19.3% 9.1% 26.0% 80
Zach Eflin $7,900 R BOS 2.69 34.9% 4.7% 20.7% 103
Masahiro Tanaka $7,800 R TAM 4.09 22.9% 6.3% 24.3% 101
Marco Gonzales $7,500 L LOS 4.42 18.5% 3.3% 21.8% 103
Tony Gonsolin $7,100 R SEA 3.59 29.0% 6.5% 25.2% 90
Nate Pearson $7,000 R BAL 5.93 20.0% 16.4% 21.5% 88
Corbin Burnes $6,700 R MIN 3.87 36.4% 16.7% 21.2% 115
Zack Godley $6,500 R PHI 4.72 19.7% 8.5% 23.4% 94
Austin Voth $6,400 R ATL 5.24 15.8% 5.3% 23.7% 102
Daniel Ponce de Leon $6,300 R CHC 3.36 44.4% 16.7% 23.4% 105
Tarik Skubal $6,000 L CWS -- -- -- 23.8% 123
Wade LeBlanc $5,900 L TOR 5.50 12.5% 6.3% 24.3% 95
JT Brubaker $5,600 R CLE 3.92 25.7% 8.6% 22.5% 94
Josh Tomlin $5,500 R WAS 2.38 38.1% 7.1% 21.4% 94
Humberto Mejia $5,500 R NYM 2.93 54.6% 18.2% 21.4% 108

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


Yu Darvish ($9,900) seems to have picked up right where he left off last year, posting excellent numbers across the board. He's coming off an 11-strikeout game against the Brewers, and the Cardinals haven't been anything special on offense this season. St. Louis has the slate's lowest implied total tonight (3.43).

Carlos Carrasco ($9,800) is coming off a lackluster start where he issued five walks, but his overall numbers look like the same ol' Carrasco we've seen over the years. Between the recent walks and a rather high 52.9% hard-hit rate, he falls a step behind Darvish, but the upside isn't in question for tournaments. The Pirates have actually been one of the worst offenses against right-handers this season, with their active roster producing a pitiful 51 wRC+ and 24.5% strikeout rate.

Kenta Maeda ($8,800) gets another go at the Brewers, who have a 28.0% strikeout rate versus righties this season. Maeda's strikeout rate is down a bit -- he only tallied 5 punchouts against the Brewers last time -- but his 14.5% swinging-strike is right where it normally is, so expect more strikeouts to come around. Although Maeda's yet to exceed 85 pitches in any start this year, he's been efficient enough to notch three straight quality starts.

Blake Snell ($8,400) hit a season-high 70 pitches and 5.0 innings in his last start, so maybe the Rays finally let him crack 80 pitches tonight. I don't know if that's enough to justify using him against the Yankees, but there's merit to it if you're taking a contrarian angle.


Philadelphia Phillies

Zack Godley had a promising seven-strikeout 2020 debut in July, but it's been pretty much downhill ever since. He's produced an ugly 12.7% strikeout rate and 10.9% walk rate in the three starts since and was absolutely wrecked by Tampa Bay in his most recent outing for 8 earned runs and 3 bombs.

Considering Godley wasn't any good in 2019, either, it's hard to see things improving much for Godley moving forward. The Philadelphia Phillies own one of the night's highest implied totals (5.46).

Godley wasn't effective against either side of the plate last season, so all the top Philadelphia bats are a go, with Bryce Harper ($4,200) arguably being one of the top overall hitters of the slate. He and J.T. Realmuto ($3,700) are the only expensive players in the entire lineup, too, making this stack even more appealing.

The usual value hitters in the top half of the order are all viable but also consider prospect Alec Bohm ($2,400) as part of some of your tournament stacks. He's been hitting lower in the order but put up a .377 wOBA and .231 ISO in Double-A last season.

New York Mets

Humberto Mejia had an impressive 6 strikeouts over 2.1 innings against the New York Mets in his MLB debut, but it would be wise to side against him in the rematch.

That lone outing is Mejia's only experience above Single-A, so we shouldn't expect lightning to strike twice. He produced a 3.10 xFIP and 23.3% strikeout rate over 23.2 innings in High Single-A last season -- solid marks but not anything super exciting, either.

Furthermore, Mejia probably won't pitch deep into this game, and the Marlins' bullpen already got rocked by the Mets in an 11-4 blowout last night. Miami's relievers have combined for the second-worst SIERA and third-worst xFIP this season.

The only downside is a pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, but that clearly didn't stop the Mets from piling it on yesterday. This group is even more affordable than the Phillies, with even Pete Alonso ($3,400) checking in at a mid-range salary.

Outside of maybe the bottom order hitters in the eight or nine hole, pretty much everyone is on the table. Dominic Smith ($3,200) has been crushing it with a .431 ISO and 17.8% barrel rate.

Toronto Blue Jays

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc enters the night with a middling 12.5% strikeout rate, and while his Statcast batted ball marks are actually pretty positive so far, he gave up 2.08 home runs per 9 innings in 2019, so I'm not holding my breath.

And wouldn't you know it, the Toronto Blue Jays are yet another inexpensive stack, and they're likely to deploy a lineup almost entirely of righty sticks. Randal Grichuk ($2,400), Lourdes Gurriel ($2,400), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($2,900), and Teoscar Hernandez ($3,200) are easy to like at their salaries.

LeBlanc also wasn't all that effective against lefties last year, so don't hesitate to roster Cavan Biggio ($3,400) out of the leadoff spot, too.