FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/11/20

Which teams could have a big night at the plate on Friday's MLB 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.

PitcherSalaryL/ROpp.SIERAK%BB%Opp. K%Opp. wRC+
Shane Bieber$11,600RMIN2.2942.9%6.4%25.0%108
Lucas Giolito$10,800RDET3.2234.9%8.4%28.3%88
Kenta Maeda$9,500RCLE3.0830.9%4.4%23.4%86
Luis Castillo$9,100RSTL3.4431.1%8.8%22.0%100
Adam Wainwright$8,700RCIN4.5519.6%5.7%24.8%99
Johnny Cueto$8,000RSDP4.6322.9%9.5%20.7%136
Yusei Kikuchi$7,900LARI3.6627.4%8.1%22.7%56
Mike Fiers$7,800RTEX5.6413.5%7.0%23.2%67
Brandon Woodruff$7,600RCHC3.7628.8%7.9%25.5%101
Garrett Richards$7,400RSFG4.5521.6%8.0%23.4%115
German Marquez$7,100RLAA4.3622.2%7.7%21.0%118
Caleb Smith$7,100LSEA11.5720.0%40.0%25.4%64
Kris Bubic$7,000LPIT4.7320.0%8.4%22.4%99
Jon Lester$6,800LMIL5.0215.9%5.5%25.6%126
Steven Brault$6,500LKAN5.4619.6%13.7%21.5%107
Casey Mize$6,100RCWS4.6021.6%8.1%25.5%108
Griffin Canning$6,000RCOL4.9420.2%8.9%23.2%75
Luis Garcia$5,500ROAK4.1029.7%13.5%23.3%109

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


Lucas Giolito ($10,800) and Shane Bieber ($11,600) are the top pitchers of Friday's slate (which starts a little later at 8:05 pm ET), and Giolito gets the edge in both salary and matchup.

Giolito benefits from a date with the Tigers, whose active roster "leads" all teams with a 28.3% strikeout rate versus right-handers -- and it's not particularly close. The last time Giolito faced them, he racked up 13 punchouts on his way to 70 FanDuel points.

Bieber gets a far tougher test against Minnesota, but the Twins haven't prevented him from posting big scores, coughing up 52 and 73 FanDuel points in their prior matchups. He definitely needs to be rostered in tournaments. Note that there's rain to keep an eye on, though.

In that same game, Kenta Maeda ($9,500) is a worthwhile secondary option, enjoying the best numbers of his career over eight starts.

Maeda's biggest hurdle is a workload that's reached triple-digit pitches only once -- and that required a no-hit bid to get there -- but he gets a plus matchup versus Cleveland.

Luis Castillo ($9,100) kind of falls into no man's land, as the first three are more appealing raw plays and there are better values lower on the list. That could create an opportunity to roster him as a contrarian play, though, and the Cardinals aren't an imposing matchup.

Those aforementioned values are Yusei Kikuchi ($7,900) and Brandon Woodruff ($7,600), who have solid underlying numbers in fantasy-friendly matchups.

Kikuchi may still have the same subpar results as last season, but a vastly improved SIERA (3.66) and strikeout rate (27.4%) suggest he's performed better than his 5.23 ERA. Despite some bad outings, he's shown he can pop in the box score here and there, and the Diamondbacks are the perfect opponent for one of those ceiling games.

Woodruff has pretty much been in lockstep with his 2019 marks, and the Cubs are a top matchup for strikeouts.


Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels

The Colorado Rockies host the Los Angeles Angels at Coors Field tonight, and as is often the case, the two teams rank first and second, respectively, in tonight's implied totals.

The Rockies get the easier matchup against Griffin Canning, who's had an underwhelming 2020 campaign. His strikeout rate has plummeted from 25.0% in 2019 to just 20.2% this year, and a 44.9% hard-hit rate and 42.7% fly-ball rate doesn't bode well for an outing at Coors.

Canning's allowing that hard contact to both sides of the plate, so you don't need to be too choosy when stacking this one up.

Trevor Story ($4,400), Charlie Blackmon ($4,300), and Nolan Arenado ($4,200) are the gold standards of this lineup, but it might require some creative thinking to fit more than one in. Raimel Tapia ($3,200) has a modest salary if he's batting leadoff, and David Dahl ($3,000) is a value if he returns to the lineup following a stint on the injured list.

As for the Angels, German Marquez could prove troublesome for their righty sticks -- he has a 25.7% strikeout rate in the split -- but he's been far from dominant overall this year. We shouldn't hesitate to use their right-handed stars in Mike Trout ($5,000) and Anthony Rendon ($4,500), but otherwise, the focus can be more on lefties like Shohei Ohtani ($3,700), Jared Walsh ($2,500), and Matt Thaiss ($3,000).

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics are an excellent complement to any Coors stacks because they have mid-to-low salaries from top to bottom.

Luis Garcia will open for the Rangers, but the bulk of the innings are expected to go to Jordan Lyles, which is the main event we really want to see.

Lyles has been bad all-around this season, posting a 5.98 SIERA, 13.3% strikeout rate, and 10.9% walk rate across 35.2 innings. When thrown in with tonight's starters, you could argue his the worst of the entire lot.

Lefty slugger Matt Olson ($3,300) is the top choice, but with how affordable everyone is, anyone in the top order is easy to like. Sean Murphy ($2,300) offers some pop at the bottom of the order, and he's producing some encouraging Statcast data this season.

Others to Consider:

Following those three teams, the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, and should all pique our interest.

The Brewers have flopped against righties this season, but they're still packing plenty of punch against southpaws. Outside of Christian Yelich ($4,100), they'll almost certainly jam-pack their lineup with righty sticks against Jon Lester, who's getting crushed in the split. All nine of his home runs have come off right-handed batters.

Casey Mize is struggling in his first big league stint, combining a modest strikeout rate with poor Statcast numbers. The White Sox should be able to take advantage of both Mize and a subpar Tigers bullpen.

San Diego is one of the top offenses in the league and face a past-his-prime Johnny Cueto.