FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/31/20

Which pitchers and stacks stand out on Monday's main slate?

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+
Shane Bieber $12,000 R @KAN 2.10 42.9% 5.1% 24.5% 89
Gerrit Cole $10,700 R TAM 3.06 32.9% 5.0% 23.6% 113
Lucas Giolito $10,600 R @MIN 3.42 34.1% 10.0% 25.4% 100
Tyler Glasnow $9,500 R @NYY 3.17 39.3% 11.5% 22.7% 119
Max Fried $8,600 L @BOS 3.85 24.8% 7.8% 20.9% 106
Brad Keller $8,100 R CLE 5.04 21.6% 12.5% 24.4% 92
Garrett Richards $7,400 R @COL 5.18 18.4% 10.3% 22.0% 79
Trevor Williams $7,200 R @MIL 4.73 19.4% 7.5% 27.7% 71
German Marquez $7,000 R SDP 4.27 22.4% 7.3% 20.9% 134
Rich Hill $6,800 L CWS 5.65 15.7% 11.8% 22.6% 160
Erick Fedde $6,000 R @PHI 5.98 5.9% 9.8% 19.5% 109
Spencer Howard $5,900 R WAS 5.04 18.6% 8.5% 20.1% 93
Colten Brewer $5,500 R ATL 4.68 21.0% 12.0% 24.9% 122

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


Shane Bieber ($12,000) has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this year, leading all qualified starters in both SIERA and strikeout rate. He's exceeded 50 FanDuel points in all but one of his seven starts and has notched at least eight strikeouts in all of them. He draws an easy opponent in the Royals (3.08 implied total), making him the no-brainer top option.

We do get some pretty good depth behind Bieber, though, as Gerrit Cole ($10,700), Lucas Giolito ($10,600), and Tyler Glasnow ($9,500) possess slate-winning upside despite some difficult matchups.

Of the bunch, Giolito is arguably the most intriguing. A date with the Twins may scare some off -- he struggled in his 2020 debut against them -- but they're actually league average in wRC+ versus righties and have the sixth-worst strikeout rate. Giolito is coming off back-to-back dominant performances against the Pirates (76 FanDuel points) and Tigers (70), and while Minnesota will likely put up a better fight than those doormats, I'm more than happy to ride with a guy who has a combined 26 strikeouts, 2 walks, and zero earned runs over his last two starts.

Surprisingly, Cole has reached 50 FanDuel points just once this season, but his numbers remain elite. The Rays can be dangerous, but Cole has tallied 10 strikeouts in both of his starts against them this year.

Glasnow is the riskiest of the bunch, but he's coming off his best performance of 2020, with season-highs in FanDuel points (64), strikeouts (13), and pitches (96) against Baltimore.

After those four, Max Fried ($8,600) slots in as the best of the rest. I'm not sure he'll be able to post huge numbers against the Red Sox, who aren't a great opponent for punchouts, but Fried has solid peripherals across the board, including a 56.4% ground-ball rate. He's yet to allow a home run this year, and his Statcast data pops off the page.


San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies

We probably don't need to dwell too much on a Coors Field game with a 12.5 over/under, as both the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are displaying slate-high implied totals.

The Padres get the tougher matchup of the two against German Marquez, but that isn't enough to scare us off a team that leads all active rosters in wRC+ versus righties.

Marquez has generally been effective this year, but his strikeout rate has only been league average, and he's allowing a fair amount of hard contact. He was demolished by the Astros in his last Coors start for 10 earned runs, so the stacking upside is readily apparent for a team that boasts the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,800) and Manny Machado ($4,200).

Marquez has a far lower strikeout rate (19.6%) and ground-ball rate (34.3%) against lefty sticks -- which falls in line with his career norms -- so give a boost to guys like Trent Grisham ($3,700), Eric Hosmer ($4,000), Jake Cronenworth ($3,300), and newcomer Mitch Moreland ($3,700).

Meanwhile, the Rockies face Garrett Richards, who has a disappointing strikeout rate (18.4%), double-digit walk rate (10.3%), and low ground-ball rate (41.7%). Richards has lackluster peripherals against both sides of the plate, so all the usual suspects are all in play. Raimel Tapia ($3,200) is a top value out of the leadoff spot, and Sam Hilliard ($3,000) has power/speed upside if he starts.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are another easy stack to like tonight against Erick Fedde, who has the worst underlying numbers of tonight's pitchers.

Fedde has just 6 strikeouts over 22.2 innings, giving him a laughable 5.9% strikeout rate, and a poor 9.8% walk rate only further makes it baffling that he somehow holds a 3.57 ERA. His ERA estimators are all well over 5.00, and outside of not allowing many barrels, his Statcast data is also ugly throughout.

His lone saving grace is a 54.1% ground-ball rate, but everything else points to a sizable ERA course correction. The Phillies scored 4 runs in 5.0 innings against Fedde in his last start, and Philadelphia's familiarity with him can only help their chances of even more success this time around.

Everyone in the top half of the order has nice power potential, and low-salaried leadoff man Andrew McCutchen ($3,100) has really turned things on after a slow start to the season.

Didi Gregorius ($3,000) and Alec Bohm ($2,500) are inexpensive bats with some pop lower in the order, too.

Atlanta Braves

Starting opposing teams against the Boston Red Sox has worked out more often than not in 2020, with the rebuilding Sox getting pummeled for a 6.04 ERA.

Colten Brewer gets the ball tonight, and while his 4.68 SIERA could be worse, he's struggled with walks (12.0%) and hard-hit balls (48.5%). Despite a 53.0% ground-ball rate, he gave up three bombs against the Blue Jays in his last start, and like others we've touched on, his Statcast page isn't pretty.

Best of all, the Atlanta Braves are especially appealing for having solid-to-great power up and down the lineup, and a majority of them come in at modest salaries. That makes them an ideal fit if you're rostering Shane Bieber, or it can help you afford the top Atlanta bats of Ronald Acuna ($4,100) and/or Freddie Freeman ($3,900).