FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/4/20
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+|
|Lance McCullers Jr.||$8,400||R||@LAA||4.11||20.3%||8.2%||20.8%||110|
Let's check out the top spots on tonight's main slate.
Yu Darvish ($11,200) was shaky in his 2020 debut back in July, but he's been dealing ever since, allowing just four earned runs total over his last six starts (39.0 innings). It sure looks like his strong finish to last season wasn't a fluke, and in 2020 he ranks fifth among qualified starters in strikeout-minus-walk rate and sixth in SIERA. He has one of the top strikeout rates on tonight's slate, and while a matchup against the Cardinals isn't anything special, Darvish produced a rock-solid FanDuel performance against them a few starts back (46 points).
Carlos Carrasco ($9,300) hasn't been nearly as consistent as Darvish, but he's coming off a strong outing against St. Louis and now gets a soft matchup against the Brewers. Milwaukee's active roster owns the third-worst wRC+ versus righties in 2020 and the fifth-worst strikeout rate. As long as his 11.1% walk rate doesn't rear its ugly head, Carrasco should be line for a big score.
Flaherty's strikeout rate doesn't jump off the page, but it's come over just four starts, and his swinging-strike rate remains elite (14.4%). Let's not forget he owned a strikeout rate above 29% in each of the past two seasons. Flaherty's pitch count is a slight concern, but he moved up to 83 in his last outing, so he could be close to a full workload. While the Cubs may be a dangerous lineup, they also whiff like crazy, giving Flaherty an easier path to more punchouts.
Bundy has cooled off following a hot start to the season, but his overall marks remain strong pretty much across the board. His date with the Astros might seem like a pass, but Houston's actually been more of a league-average offense against righties this year. I doubt Bundy gets much attention on a deep pitching slate, making him a potential contrarian play in large-field tournaments.
Dunning has 14 strikeouts over his first two big league starts (9.1 innings), which certainly gets our attention even if it came against the lowly Tigers and Royals. He faces those same Royals again tonight, though, and while back-to-back starts against the same team usually isn't a positive, this is still Kansas City we're talking about. The main hurdle will be Dunning's pitch count (79 and 73).
Burnes has piled up the strikeouts against the woeful Pirates over his past two starts, racking up a season-high 10 punchouts and 58 FanDuel points most recently. He'll have a tough time repeating that feat against Cleveland, but this is still a plus spot for him. He got up to 93 pitches the last time, and as long as he can keep the walks down, there could be tournament-winning upside here.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Senzatela surprisingly has a 3.32 ERA, but the last time he faced the Dodgers, he was lit up for six earned runs and four dingers -- and no, that wasn't at Coors Field, either.
The right-hander induces grounders at a 51.1% clip, which is normally a deterrent when it comes to stacks, but a 15.9% strikeout rate against a powerful lineup like the Dodgers simply isn't going to get it done. Los Angeles' active roster has a massive .246 ISO versus right-handed pitching that sits behind only the Padres -- giving up contact to LA doesn't tend to end well.
This really is a lineup you can mix-and-match from top to bottom, and plenty of value lies in the lower half, with A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, and Will Smith all coming in with sub-$3k salaries. Although Smith is usually stuck near the bottom or the order, he has a .309 ISO dating back to last year and boasts a 15.9% barrel rate in 2020.
New York Mets
Jake Arrieta's peak feels like forever ago now, as 2020 is trending toward his worst season in recent memory. He just took a beatdown from the Braves, who piled on 7 earned runs in just 1.1 innings, ballooning his season ERA to 6.49.
There isn't much to suggest better days are ahead. Arrieta's strikeout rate (16.2%) and swinging-strike rate (6.1%) continue to decline, and his Statcast data is a disaster pretty much everywhere. If the season finished today, his 4.98 SIERA would be his worst mark since his rookie year in 2010.
Since joining the Phillies in 2018, he's fared far worse against left-handed batters (4.90 xFIP), and it just so happens the New York Mets are loaded with appealing lefties. Any of Brandon Nimmo ($2,900). Michael Conforto ($3,300), Dominic Smith ($3,500), and/or Robinson Cano ($3,500) make for a great starting point in a Mets stack.
Chicago White Sox
The young Royals righty has posted mediocre numbers over seven starts, but he's starting to show stark platoon splits that clearly point to an advantage for lefty sticks.
While Singer has a 27.1% strikeout rate against right-handed batters, that plummets to just 17.1% versus lefties. Similarly, we also see sizable bumps in walk rate (11.4%) and fly-ball rate (34.9%) for left-handers.
This gives us an incentive to roster switch-hitters Yoan Moncada ($3,200) and Yasmani Grandal ($2,800), and while Nomar Mazara ($2,300) has struggled this year, he typically has respectable pop, so he can be utilized as a salary-saver.
Singer is still giving up a lot of hard contact to right-handed batters, too, so Chicago's right-handed sluggers could still do plenty of damage. Eloy Jimenez ($3,400) and Luis Robert ($3,600) are living up to their elite prospect pedigree with barrel rates exceeding 18%.