FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/28/20

Which teams are in the best spots to excel on Friday's MLB slate?

As of this writing, it appears MLB will play all games as normal today, and FanDuel has posted a 12-game main slate for 7:05pm ET.

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!

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+
Max Scherzer $10,600 R @BOS 3.59 32.1% 9.5% 24.3% 92
Zac Gallen $10,000 R SFG 3.69 29.4% 8.4% 21.6% 103
Zack Wheeler $9,800 R ATL 4.35 15.8% 4.7% 26.2% 120
Kyle Freeland $8,900 L SDP 4.36 16.4% 6.9% 22.8% 110
Triston McKenzie $8,700 R @STL 1.63 50.0% 5.0% 22.5% 104
Kyle Hendricks $8,500 R @CIN 4.08 18.7% 2.7% 23.5% 96
Danny Duffy $8,000 L @CWS 3.79 28.3% 7.5% 21.6% 171
Lance McCullers Jr. $7,800 R OAK 4.40 18.5% 8.9% 25.6% 107
Chris Bassitt $7,800 R @HOU 4.54 20.1% 6.5% 20.7% 93
Corbin Burnes $7,200 R PIT 4.02 33.0% 14.7% 24.9% 56
Dustin May $6,900 R @TEX 4.55 16.7% 5.8% 22.8% 61
Andrew Heaney $6,900 L SEA 4.31 24.8% 8.8% 27.2% 70
Zach Davies $6,800 R @COL 4.11 23.0% 5.2% 21.3% 82
Nick Margevicius $6,700 L @LAA 3.86 23.1% 3.9% 24.4% 69
Ryan Yarbrough $6,700 L @MIA 4.9 15.9% 6.8% 27.1% 80
Mike Minor $6,600 L LOS 4.47 22.3% 7.7% 22.0% 87
Sixto Sanchez $6,600 R TAM 3.8 19.1% 0.0% 24.0% 111
Tyler Anderson $6,600 L @ARI 5.54 16.2% 9.2% 19.7% 67
Tyler Mahle $6,500 R CHC 4.12 29.2% 11.1% 27.3% 110
Derek Holland $6,400 L @MIL 4.49 22.8% 8.9% 23.6% 109
Reynaldo Lopez $6,300 R KAN 6.54 19.1% 19.1% 23.8% 88
Daniel Ponce de Leon $6,100 R CLE 4.96 30.4% 17.9% 24.7% 91
Robbie Erlin $5,800 L @PHI 3.98 28.8% 5.1% 20.4% 127

Let's check out the top spots on tonight's 6main slate.


Max Scherzer ($10,600) would've been the top option on yesterday's slate, and he retains the pole position on Friday. Despite some recent missteps, he still holds strong peripherals and now draws an easier matchup versus the Red Sox.

Zac Gallen ($10,000) has remarkably similar numbers to Scherzer this season, and while he's showing one of the slate's lowest implied totals (3.72), the Giants haven't been total pushovers at the plate this season. Against right-handers, their active roster is roughly league average in wRC+ but also ranks 10th in strikeout rate and 6th in hard-hit rate. Gallen has been fantastic, so it's not enough to move off him, but it arguably places him behind Scherzer in the pecking order.

Following those two, there are several lower-salaried hurlers worth taking a chance on between Triston McKenzie ($8,700), Corbin Burnes ($7,200), and Andrew Heaney ($6,900).

McKenzie impressed with 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings in his MLB debut (80 pitches), although it's worth noting that it came against the lowly Tigers. Still, his 16.3% swinging-strike rate is encouraging, so you could do worse than see if he can find similar success against the Cardinals.

Burnes' walk rate is concerning, but a tantalizing 33.0% strikeout rate over 26.1 innings puts him in play against one of the league's worst offenses. He tallied 7 strikeouts and allowed 3 earned runs over 5.1 innings against these same Pirates in his last start.

Heaney hasn't gotten the results, but his underlying numbers are promising. A .338 BABIP explains some of his 5.52 ERA, and while he's still giving up too much hard contact, a matchup versus the Mariners could put him back on track. Seattle's active roster has the third-highest strikeout rate against southpaws this year.


San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies

The San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are combined for a hefty 12-run over/under, so getting some exposure is pretty much a no-brainer.

Kyle Freeland has experienced a bit of a resurgence in 2020, with a stellar 59.4% ground-ball rate helping him to a surprising 2.87 ERA over six starts. He's also only allowed two barrels all season. That being said, he's been assisted by a .255 BABIP -- his middle-of-the-road 4.36 SIERA is telling -- and he still isn't getting many strikeouts (16.4%).

While there's a chance Freeland can continue to escape damage by inducing bad contact, this is a tough test against the Padres. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,900), Manny Machado ($4,200), and Wil Myers ($3,500) are all crushing it this year with high barrel rates and have strong track records against lefties.

Meanwhile, the Rockies face right-hander Zach Davies, who has solid enough numbers but nothing to prevent us from also loading up against him.

Davies has only produced a 16.9% strikeout rate versus left-handed batters this year, so consider bumping up Charlie Blackmon ($4,300), and guys like Raimel Tapia ($3,100), Daniel Murphy ($3,200), Ryan McMahon ($3,400), and Sam Hilliard ($3,100) are all fairly cheap for Coors.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Given that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the league's top offense in 2020 (120 wRC+), I'm not exactly worried about their lackluster splits against left-handers, which is likely more the result of small sample noise.

Mike Minor is pretty much league average in SIERA, strikeout rate, and walk rate, but he's been getting rocked by the home run ball lately. Minor is allowing a 56.3% hard-hit rate and 42.2% fly-ball rate to righty sticks, so Mookie Betts ($4,400), Justin Turner ($3,200), A.J. Pollock ($3,000), and Chris Taylor ($2,700) lead the charge.

Cody Bellinger ($4,200) owns a career .244 ISO in lefty-lefty matchups, so you don't need to downgrade him, either.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers have been absolutely dreadful against right-handed pitching in 2020, but they've held their own when it comes to lefties.

As noted with the Dodgers, this could just be the small sample talking, but Milwaukee still carries an above-average 106 wRC+ in the split if we expand to last season, which is encouraging. Oddsmakers are also believers, giving them a 5.46 implied total against Derek Holland.

Holland struggled to a 6.08 ERA in 2019, and he looks to be well on his way to a similar finish this season, presently sitting on a 6.17 mark. While his SIERA is a more respectable 4.49, opponents are absolutely mashing the ball against him. He is bottom of the barrel in several Statcast categories, including a brutal 52.2% Statcast hard-hit rate.

The stacking upside couldn't be more apparent than his five-dinger game against the Tigers a few starts back. And seeing as Holland coughed up 2.13 home runs per 9 innings in 2019, we should expect plenty more balls to leave the park.

Christian Yelich ($4,100) handles lefties just fine (.401 wOBA and .273 ISO from 2018-20), and he can be paired with righties like Ryan Braun ($2,700), Keston Hiura ($3,500), Jedd Gyorko ($2,200) and Avisail Garcia ($2,700).