FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/19/20
We get even parts quality pitching and stackable offenses on Wednesday's main slate, including a return to Coors Field.
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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+|
Let's check out the top spots on tonight's slate.
Gerrit Cole ($10,900), Jacob deGrom ($10,700), and Lance Lynn ($9,700) all enter tonight with fantastic numbers and are in advantageous spots. Although the Rays, Marlins, and Padres have actually performed pretty well against right-handers in 2020, they've still been ideal opponents for strikeouts, and all three were plus matchups in 2019.
It's a toss-up between Cole and deGrom for top honors, but the slight edge arguably goes to Cole considering deGrom is coming off a minor neck issue that caused him to be scratched from his last start.
Lynn is a distant third but figures to also see a lower draft percentage in tournaments. The lone blemish on his resume is a 9.9% walk rate, but he didn't issue any free passes in a complete game victory against the Rockies at Coors Field last week.
Lopez has a tough matchup against the Mets, but a nasty changeup has helped him put up some eye-popping numbers over three starts, including a 28.4% strikeout rate and 17.0% swinging-strike rate. His pitcher-friendly home venue should help, too.
Paddack has disappointed thus far, but four of his five games have come against low-strikeout opponents in the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, so that could partially explain his middling strikeout rate. Perhaps the Rangers can help him get on track -- their active roster has produced a mere 72 wRC+ against righties this season.
That pitcher is Ryan Castellani, who's actually held his own in his first two starts, allowing just one run over 8.2 innings while recording 10 strikeouts. However, those results came against the Rangers and Mariners -- two of the weaker offenses in the league -- and his minor league numbers don't back up his recent success. In 2019, he was downright awful in Triple-A, posting a 6.26 SIERA, 21.8% strikeout rate, and 13.9% walk rate.
The Astros have collectively struggled against right-handed pitching this year -- cue the banging trash can jokes -- but they're far too talented to stay down forever. George Springer ($4,100), Alex Bregman ($4,300), and Carlos Correa ($3,600) have strong track records in same-sided matchups, and Kyle Tucker ($3,300) is a solid value for his power/speed upside. Josh Reddick ($3,100) is boring but remains cheap as a potential number-two hitter at Coors.
The Colorado Rockies are less appealing in a tough spot against left-hander Framber Valdez (25.5% strikeout rate; 57.1% ground-ball rate), but they will likely come in at a lower draft percentage than the Astros. He's allowing a lot of hard contact, so you could still opt for one-offs even if you don't stack the Rockies.
Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals
The Nats have Erick Fedde taking the mound, who has an annoying 58.5% ground-ball rate, but it's still a small miracle he's still showing a 2.55 ERA through 17.2 innings. He sure isn't missing bats with a 6.3% strikeout rate and 5.3% swinging-strike rate, and it's even worse when you consider he also has a 11.3% walk rate.
Home runs might be harder to come by off the ground-ball specialist, but Atlanta's power sluggers shouldn't have any problem making contact, so trust Freddie Freeman ($3,800), Marcell Ozuna ($3,100), Adam Duvall ($2,400), and Austin Riley ($2,400) to take advantage. Dansby Swanson ($3,200) won't break the bank out of the leadoff spot, too.
Meanwhile, Kyle Wright is Atlanta's starter tonight, and his ugly 7.20 ERA is nearly identical to his 7.21 SIERA. He's really struggled over 40.2 career innings, with a combined 6.33 SIERA, 17.9% strikeout rate, and 17.9% walk rate from 2018-20. Not great, B-- you get the point.
Unleash Juan Soto ($4,800) if you can afford the exorbitant salary, who has a truly absurd .521 ISO while topping the Statcast leaderboards. Trea Turner ($3,400) has turned things around after a sluggish start, and Adam Eaton ($2,400) and Eric Thames ($2,300) are among a slew of inexpensive Nats hitters tonight.
Steven Brault is starting for Pittsburgh, and he's frankly never been a very good MLB pitcher. He finished with a 5.10 SIERA, 19.8% strikeout rate, and 10.5% walk rate in 2019, and early return in 2020 hasn't inspired much confidence.
As one might expect against a southpaw, righty sticks are the preferred way to go, and it just so happens the Cleveland Indians will likely have an entire lineup of right-handers and switch-hitters.
In addition to the usual Cleveland stars, there's a lot of value in the lower half of the order between guys like Franmil Reyes ($2,800), Jordan Luplow ($2,100), Domingo Santana ($2,500), and Roberto Perez ($2,000), who are all capable of knocking one out.