FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 9/1/20

Will Aaron Nola post another strong start against the Washington Nationals? Who else should we roster on Tuesday's 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.

Note that Michael Pineda and Ariel Jurado are making their first 2020 appearances, so last year's numbers are listed (italicized).

Pitcher Salary L/R Opp. SIERA K% BB% Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Aaron Nola $10,200 R WAS 2.90 34.8% 6.5% 20.1% 97
Framber Valdez $9,900 L TEX 3.23 26.0% 5.8% 26.3% 65
Zach Plesac $9,700 R @KAN 2.96 31.2% 2.6% 24.9% 88
Patrick Corbin $9,600 L @PHI 3.86 22.8% 5.4% 21.1% 128
Ian Anderson $9,000 R @BOS 3.97 27.3% 9.1% 25.8% 83
Dallas Keuchel $8,400 L @MIN 4.35 14.9% 5.8% 20.0% 75
Jon Lester $8,300 L @PIT 4.72 16.2% 3.7% 22.9% 105
Michael Pineda $7,800 R CWS 4.18 23.3% 4.7% 25.8% 107
Masahiro Tanaka $7,500 R TAM 4.19 20.2% 3.6% 23.6% 116
Julio Urias $7,300 L ARI 4.79 20.5% 8.6% 21.0% 61
Jon Gray $7,200 R SFG 5.49 13.4% 7.0% 22.5% 103
Kevin Gausman $7,100 R @COL 3.12 31.6% 5.3% 21.9% 78
Josh Lindblom $6,800 R DET 3.80 31.6% 10.5% 28.4% 92
Chad Kuhl $6,500 R CHC 5.05 20.6% 11.3% 27.8% 110
Asher Wojciechowski $6,100 R NYM 4.82 20.9% 8.7% 21.8% 109
Alex Young $6,000 L @LOS 3.73 24.5% 5.1% 22.6% 89
Matt Harvey $5,600 R CLE 5.49 20.7% 13.8% 23.3% 88
Ryan Weber $5,500 R ATL 5.75 10.4% 10.4% 25.0% 124
Michael Fulmer $5,500 R @MIL 5.46 15.9% 10.1% 27.7% 74
Trevor Richards $5,500 R @NYY 5.10 15.8% 7.9% 23.0% 118
Luis Garcia $5,500 R @HOU 4.14 30.8% 15.4% 20.8% 99
Ariel Jurado $5,500 R @BAL 5.10 15.0% 6.7% 23.2% 96

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


Aaron Nola ($10,200) and Framber Valdez ($9,900) lead the way as tonight's top-two hurlers, followed by Zach Plesac ($9,700) and Ian Anderson ($9,000) as intriguing secondary choices.

Given how great Nola has performed this year, he deserves the top spot in terms of pure ceiling, although Valdez is arguably the "safest" choice (more on him in a second).

Nola ranks fourth overall in strikeout rate behind only Shane Bieber, Trevor Bauer, and Jacob deGrom, putting him in some elite company this season. His walks are down, too, while his ground-ball rate remains excellent as always (50.6%). He has a middle-of-the-road matchup against a Nationals lineup that doesn't give away strikeouts, but Nola racked up eight strikeouts against them in his last start (49 FanDuel points), so he's fully capable of a big score.

Meanwhile, Valdez is blessed with a particularly delightful matchup versus the Rangers, who have been one of the worst offenses of 2020. Although the southpaw doesn't match Nola in strikeout rate, Texas has the third-highest strikeout rate against lefties, which gives him a healthy boost in upside tonight. He's also been remarkably consistent this season, with 40 or more FanDuel points in five straight starts, which includes tougher matchups against the Rockies at Coors Field and the Athletics.

Plesac only has three 2020 starts under his belt, and his last outing came way back on August 8th, so it's hard to know what to expect from him tonight. Still, that 31.2% strikeout rate jumps off the page and is supported by an encouraging 13.5% swinging-strike rate. We can point to a drop in fastball usage in favor of his off-speed stuff as an explanation -- he only had an 18.5% strikeout rate in 2019 -- so perhaps he can pick up where he left off. The matchup is certainly right against the Royals.

Atlanta top prospect Ian Anderson is making his second MLB start following an impressive debut against the Yankees. He allowed just one earned run over six innings while striking out six batters and even had a no-hitter going through five frames. He gets an easier spot this time around against the Red Sox, so another strong performance may await. Anderson stumbled in five Triple-A starts last season, but he's otherwise shown tantalizing strikeout rates throughout the minors.


Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves get another opportunity to beat up on shoddy Boston Red Sox pitching, with Boston now rolling out Ryan Weber for Tuesday's start.

Weber's 10.4% strikeout rate and 10.4% walk rate tell you just about everything you need to know -- he also has an abysmal 4.9% swinging-strike rate -- and he's bottom of the barrel in pretty much every Statcast metric. He has a 52.4% ground-ball rate, but that won't get you very far when you're missing bats this infrequently.

As noted yesterday, the Braves are pretty deep when it comes to power, and high-strikeout sluggers like Austin Riley ($2,500) and Adam Duvall ($2,300) will especially benefit from Weber's lack of swing-and-miss stuff. Lefty sticks have historically pummeled Weber (career 5.24 xFIP), too, so Freddie Freeman ($4,000) and Nick Markakis ($2,700) also get a boost.

New York Mets

Asher Wojciechowski goes hand-in-hand with home runs, serving up 1.92 per 9.0 innings over his career and 2.39 per 9.0 this season. He has a low ground-ball rate as always (32.1%) and doesn't have a particularly imposing strikeout rate (20.9%), giving opposing batters plenty of opportunities for dingers.

Wojciechowski is getting rocked by both sides of the plate, but those with the platoon advantage have historically, well, taken advantage of him for a 5.67 xFIP and 2.06 homers per 9.0 innings. The New York Mets have plenty of lefty bats with pop, including Brandon Nimmo ($2,900), Michael Conforto ($3,100), Dominic Smith ($3,600), and Robinson Cano ($3,500).

Although Pete Alonso ($3,600) hasn't matched last year's torrid home run pace, he's an obvious choice at this salary, too. A slower first month shouldn't take us off a guy with 53-homer power.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants have been a pleasant surprise at the plate this season, and they get the Coors Field bump against Jon Gray.

Gray managed to hold the Giants to three earned runs (four total) over six innings at Coors earlier this season, but his numbers have been down pretty much everywhere in 2020. Most notably, Gray's strikeout rate has plummeted to 13.4% and his ground-ball rate sits at 36.6%. While he hasn't been giving up a ton of barrels, he's still allowing a lot of hard-hit balls, so we should expect his home run total to rise.

Mike Yastrzemski ($4,300), Alex Dickerson ($3,200), and Brandon Belt ($3,800) will have the platoon advantage, and Belt in particular has marvelous Statcast numbers, including an absurd 19.0% barrel rate.

The Colorado Rockies are expected to face Kevin Gausman, and while he's a fly-ball pitcher -- good news for the Rockies -- he also has a 31.6% strikeout rate. While I certainly won't tell you to flat out fade the Rockies, there could be merit to chasing dingers through one-offs or mini-stacks rather than a full-stack.

As for another great spot, Jordan Lyles is expected to follow opener, Luis Garcia, tonight, so the Houston Astros are firmly in play. The Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and even the Milwaukee Brewers are also in enticing matchups with high implied totals on this deep hitting slate.