FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/26/20

Will the Chicago Cubs take advantage of a struggling Michael Fulmer tonight? Which other spots stand out in DFS?

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 now show this year's splits 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+
Clayton Kershaw $10,700 L @SFG 2.64 32.2% 4.4% 20.4% 142
Jacob deGrom $10,700 R MIA 2.92 32.1% 4.6% 23.9% 103
Sonny Gray $10,200 R @MIL 3.19 34.9% 8.9% 28.0% 71
Mike Clevinger $9,400 R MIN 5.46 22.1% 14.7% 25.4% 103
Dinelson Lamet $9,300 R SEA 3.32 34.1% 8.3% 23.5% 102
Jose Berrios $9,000 R @CLE 4.44 25.2% 10.7% 24.6% 88
Elieser Hernandez $8,200 R @NYM 3.14 32.9% 4.0% 20.0% 121
Kevin Gausman $8,000 R LOS 3.06 31.6% 4.5% 18.8% 135
Taijuan Walker $7,900 R @SDP 4.42 22.3% 7.1% 22.1% 120
Jon Lester $7,500 L @DET 4.90 15.2% 3.6% 22.5% 142
Dakota Hudson $7,300 R KAN 4.07 25.0% 7.7% 24.2% 89
Robbie Ray $7,200 L COL 5.84 26.1% 18.7% 22.3% 92
Adrian Houser $7,000 R CIN 4.06 18.0% 8.6% 23.7% 89
Mike Fiers $6,800 R @TEX 6.05 10.1% 6.5% 22.3% 64
Jon Gray $6,700 R @ARI 5.55 12.0% 6.0% 20.6% 95
Asher Wojciechowski $6,300 R @TAM 4.55 21.7% 7.2% 23.8% 113
Kolby Allard $5,900 L OAK 4.87 23.0% 9.8% 28.6% 111
Jakob Junis $5,800 R @STL 6.02 10.3% 10.3% 23.1% 104
Trevor Richards $5,600 R BAL 4.93 16.3% 7.5% 22.7% 101
Michael Fulmer $5,500 R CHC 5.10 17.9% 8.9% 28.2% 107
Colten Brewer $5,500 R @TOR 4.69 20.7% 12.2% 21.9% 96

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


Yesterday's top pitchers didn't disappoint, and we have another loaded slate on Wednesday.

Jacob deGrom ($10,700), Clayton Kershaw ($10,700), Sonny Gray ($10,200), and Dinelson Lamet ($9,300) are the headliners, with all four sporting strikeout rates in the 32-34% range.

deGrom hasn't had many truly eye-popping FanDuel performances yet this season, but his status as one of the league's best remains unquestioned. He's doing his usual thing, and only Shane Bieber has a higher swinging-strike rate among qualified starters (18.3%).

This will be his third straight start against Miami, who actually haven't been total pushovers this season, but we should still expect deGrom to take care of business in pitcher-friendly Citi Field. The Marlins have a minuscule 2.92 implied total.

Kershaw has seen a bit of a resurgence in 2020 -- albeit over just four starts -- putting up the kind of strikeout numbers we used to see with regularity during his peak. A 15.3% swinging-strike rate is particularly promising, and he's also inducing ground balls at a fantastic 61.4% clip.

However, a matchup against the Giants may put Kershaw fourth in this grouping. San Francisco's platoon numbers against lefties should be taken with a grain of salt in a fairly small sample size, but the truth is they've actually been one of the top overall offenses of 2020, too. Oracle Park is no longer acting like the pitching haven it once was, either, so that's also no longer a plus in Kershaw's favor.

Ultimately, I wouldn't be surprised if Kershaw still performs well tonight -- the Giants have a 3.24 implied total after all -- but he'll have a much harder time reaching his ceiling.

Gray gets the best matchup of the four against the Brewers, who continue to be a delightful opponent for right-handers. Considering the way Gray has been dealing this year, you could make an argument for putting him over deGrom in tournaments. An 8.9% walk rate is one of the few nitpicks, but the Brewers should help him there, too, as they have the fifth-lowest walk rate in the split.

Lamet's typically been held to pitch counts in the 80s, but he was allowed to go a season-high 97 in his last start, which should be music to our ears. We saw him pop for 11 punchouts against the Diamondbacks a few starts back, and there's little reason to think he can't have that kind of ceiling against the Mariners.

It'll be tough to top those four, but if you're feeling lucky tonight, Robbie Ray ($7,200) stands out in the bargain range.

His 18.7% walk rate is soul-crushing, and he continues to give up bombs left and right -- I know you're already super excited about this -- but the strikeouts still hint at a possible big game at some point. Although walks remained a sour spot in his last start, he did have a much improved 57.7% first-pitch strike rate, which could be a positive sign.

The real reason to give him a shot, though, is a matchup against the Rockies away from Coors. The Rockies' historical road-tripping woes are no secret, and sure enough, their 68 wRC+ in away games is the third-worst among active rosters.


Chicago Cubs

Michael Fulmer continues to struggle in his journey back from Tommy John surgery, and he's been getting hit hard as shown by an ice-cold Statcast page. He's bottom of the barrel everywhere -- so to speak -- already allowing 6 barrels over 40 batted balls (15.0% rate).

The Chicago Cubs remain easy to stack, too, with no batter showing a salary above $3,300. Javier Baez ($3,300) isn't exactly having a banner year at the plate (32.5% strikeout rate), but he can still crush it when he does make contact, as shown by his two-homer game on Monday. His 116 mph max exit velocity ranks fourth overall this year.

Ian Happ ($3,200), Anthony Rizzo ($3,100), Kyle Schwarber ($2,700), Willson Contreras ($2,700), and even Jason Heyward ($2,500) are all easy to like at their respective salaries.

Oakland Athletics

Left-hander Kolby Allard will have his hands full against a predominantly right-handed Oakland Athletics lineup. In fact, Matt Olson ($3,300) might be the only left-handed batter he faces tonight.

That doesn't bode well for the young lefty, as he comes in with a 15.6% strikeout rate and 13.3% walk rate against righties over four starts, and he was similarly ineffective in 2019.

There's loads of power potential here, and we get plenty of bang for our buck with guys like Marcus Semien ($2,800), Ramon Laureano ($2,800), Mark Canha ($3,200), and Stephen Piscotty ($2,900). Olson still packs punch in same-sided matchups, so you don't need to skip over him, either.

Detroit Tigers

Teams like the Diamondbacks, Rays, and Cardinals are also in stackable spots, but let's touch on the Detroit Tigers, who could fly under the radar because... well, they're the Detroit Tigers.

But Detroit has actually been one of the league's best against southpaws this year, and even if we push out to last season, the Tigers' active roster still ranks eighth in wRC+ from 2019-20.

Meanwhile, Cubs starter Jon Lester simply isn't getting strikeouts this season and just got annihilated by the White Sox in his most recent start. Even with a lucky .220 BABIP, his ERA has ballooned to 5.06, and his Statcast data is ugly.

All seven of the home runs Lester's allowed have come off right-handed batters, and the Tigers should have an entire lineup of righties and switch-hitters.

Not a single Detroit batter even reaches the $3k threshold, either, allowing you to grab high-priced batters elsewhere. You can find decent pop between Jonathan Schoop ($2,900), Miguel Cabrera ($2,600), Jeimer Candelario ($2,600), and Niko Goodrum ($2,800).