FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 8/27/20

The Oakland Athletics are in a plum spot against Jordan Lyles on Thursday. Which other teams should we hone in on tonight?

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.

(UPDATE: The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays are in discussion about not playing tonight's game as a protest social injustice, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.)

Pitcher Salary L/R Opp. SIERA K% BB% Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Max Scherzer $10,600 R PHI 3.59 32.1% 9.5% 19.8% 110
Hyun Jin Ryu $9,100 L BOS 3.49 26.8% 7.3% 21.6% 105
Chris Bassitt $7,800 R @TEX 4.55 20.1% 6.5% 22.8% 61
Matthew Boyd $7,300 L MIN 4.29 24.1% 8.0% 19.6% 86
Randy Dobnak $7,200 R @DET 4.43 13.5% 5.9% 29.5% 84
Ryan Yarbrough $6,700 L BAL 4.91 15.9% 6.8% 19.6% 132
Sixto Sanchez $6,600 R @NYM 3.81 19.1% 0.0% 20.1% 122
Spencer Howard $5,900 R @WAS 5.04 18.6% 8.5% 20.3% 93
John Means $5,700 L @TAM 4.72 16.7% 4.2% 26.9% 114
Jordan Lyles $5,600 R OAK 6.04 13.6% 11.0% 25.6% 107
Chris Mazza $5,500 R @TOR 4.23 25.0% 10.7% 21.5% 100

Let's check out the top spots on tonight's 6:37 pm ET main slate.


On this smaller slate, Max Scherzer ($10,600) is an easy top choice despite inconsistent results and a less-than-stellar matchup against Philadelphia. The Phillies are one of the league's toughest teams to strike out, but no one can sniff Scherzer's 32.1% strikeout rate and 15.0% swinging-strike rate. He's still seeing robust workloads, too, with 108, 111, and 105 pitches over his last three starts -- an uncommon occurrence in 2020. Best of all, this isn't a bad salary for a player who often exceeds $11k. (UPDATE: Tonight's Phillies-Nationals game has been postponed.)

Hyun-jin Ryu ($9,100) and Chris Bassitt ($7,800) are the next best choices practically by default.

Ryu owns the slate's second-best strikeout rate and boasts a fantastic 58.2% ground-ball rate, but much like Scherzer, he faces a Boston lineup that suppresses punchouts. He'll have a difficult path to a ceiling game but should be able to post a solid FanDuel score -- which could be enough if Scherzer falters.

Bassitt has similar underlying numbers as 2019, putting him right around league average. That isn't terribly exciting, but he faces a Rangers team that's been one of the worst offenses of 2020 and has a home venue that's no longer hitter-friendly. Bassitt logged a season-high 105 pitches in his last start, so he could come through if he's able to pitch deep into the game.

Finally, we have a boom-or-bust contrarian special in Matt Boyd ($7,300).

It's been a whole lot of "bust" for Boyd this year, but he's still putting up a 24.1% strikeout rate through six starts and has a nine-strikeout game on the ledger. On a larger slate, we wouldn't even consider him against the Twins, but they haven't been quite as dominant at the plate this year and are dealing with injuries. If Boyd can avoid the long ball against the likes of Nelson Cruz ($4,300) and Miguel Sano ($3,400) -- admittedly, a big if -- he could surprise tonight.


Oakland Athletics

Jordan Lyles arguably has the worst numbers on the board, checking just about every box you want for a stack. He doesn't get strikeouts, walks too many batters, doesn't induce ground balls, and gives up loads of hard contact.

It's all good news for the Oakland Athletics, and one could only imagine what their implied total would look like in the old Globe Life Park. But as things stand, they're still displaying a healthy 5.38 total.

The typical top seven in the Oakland order all have power potential, and there's plenty of value if you need it.

Robbie Grossman ($3,200) has been a pleasant surprise this year with a.287 ISO, and it's been backed up by a 41.0% hard-hit rate and 39.3% fly-ball rate. Matt Chapman ($3,700) and Matt Olson ($3,500) are naturally the top pay-up options, with Chapman showing a tantalizing 18.1% barrel rate.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays face a Boston Red Sox team that's already looking to next season, and Chris Mazza is getting called up to make his second MLB start. In his first start earlier this month, he allowed 4 earned runs and 8 hits over 3.0 innings to the Yankees.

Last year, Mazza was ineffective as a reliever for the Mets (4.93 SIERA), and his numbers as a starter in Triple-A weren't terribly exciting, either, with a 4.04 xFIP and 20.6% strikeout rate. The Blue Jays have the night's highest implied total (5.79) and figure to be one of the most popular stacks alongside the Athletics.

And much like with Oakland, you can comfortably mix and match one through seven in the order, with Travis Shaw ($2,500), Rowdy Tellez ($2,700), and Lourdes Gurriel ($2,900) being the cheapest of the group. Teoscar Hernandez ($3,600) is really lighting up his Statcast page this year.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays get to attack left-hander John Means, who's flopped over four starts and is struggling with home runs.

Dating back to last season, the southpaw has been far more effective in same-sided matchups, but he'll almost certainly be met with a Rays lineup made up almost entirely of right-handed sticks. Means owns a 5.80 xFIP and 17.2% strikeout rate versus righties from 2019-20.

Tampa Bay loves to play matchups, leaving most of this lineup below $3k. Michael Brosseau ($2,500) should bat leadoff, and Jose Martinez ($2,500) and Hunter Renfroe ($2,900) have always excelled with the platoon advantage.

Brandon Lowe ($3,700) is crushing it this year, ranking fourth overall in barrel rate, so don't shy away from him despite the lefty-lefty spot.

The Minnesota Twins are another option against the aforementioned homer-prone Matt Boyd -- particularly for one-offs -- and the Washington Nationals are also in the conversation against struggling Phillies prospect Spencer Howard.