FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 9/16/20

Following a massive outburst at the plate on Tuesday, will the Yankees have another strong performance tonight? Which other teams stand out?

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 Cole Hamels is making his first 2020 start, so his 2019 stats are listed below (italicized).

Pitcher Salary L/R Opp. SIERA K% BB% Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Jacob deGrom $11,700 R @PHI 2.73 37.8% 6.2% 20.6% 98
Gerrit Cole $11,500 R TOR 3.21 33.2% 6.3% 22.1% 107
Dylan Bundy $9,800 R ARI 3.48 29.3% 5.7% 21.0% 86
Zack Wheeler $9,600 R NYM 4.13 17.7% 4.4% 21.8% 121
Lucas Giolito $9,600 R MIN 3.40 34.2% 9.2% 25.1% 109
Aaron Civale $8,600 R @CHC 3.81 23.8% 4.3% 25.4% 101
Lance McCullers Jr. $8,100 R TEX 4.51 19.6% 9.8% 24.2% 69
Brady Singer $8,000 R @DET 4.41 21.8% 8.4% 27.7% 85
Jon Lester $7,600 L CLE 4.77 18.1% 5.9% 20.2% 84
Cole Hamels $7,500 L @BAL 4.55 23.2% 9.1% 22.6% 100
Drew Smyly $7,100 L @SEA 3.13 35.9% 9.4% 25.1% 69
Caleb Smith $6,900 L @LAA 7.72 22.2% 25.9% 22.4% 88
Keegan Akin $6,600 L ATL 4.68 26.2% 13.1% 25.8% 87
Jake Odorizzi $6,500 R @CWS 4.39 19.6% 4.4% 25.0% 110
Tarik Skubal $6,400 L KAN 5.04 22.7% 10.7% 21.8% 100
Kyle Gibson $6,300 R @HOU 4.86 18.4% 9.9% 20.6% 101
Tanner Roark $5,900 R @NYY 5.44 19.4% 11.9% 21.8% 118
Ljay Newsome $5,800 R SFG 3.53 21.2% 0.0% 23.5% 113

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


Among qualified starters, Jacob deGrom ($11,700) ranks second overall in SIERA, strikeout rate, and strikeout-minus-walk rate to only Shane Bieber. His ridiculous 21.2% swinging-strike rate also bests the field by a wide margin (no one else exceeds 18%). He's the night's top option in a neutral matchup against Philadelphia.

Gerrit Cole ($11,500) is a pretty close second and is coming off his best FanDuel performance of the season (58 FanDuel points versus Baltimore). He's taken a slight step back compared to his absurd 2019 marks, but he remains one of the best in the business. The Blue Jays aren't enough of a threat to deter us from rostering Cole with confidence.

Following a late-August lull, Dylan Bundy ($9,800) is back to dealing again, and he draws a weaker opponent in the Diamondbacks. Really, his underlying numbers aren't a big step down from Cole, making him a solid value at a $1,700 discount.

Lucas Giolito ($9,600) arguably has the toughest opponent of this foursome but remains firmly in play for tournaments. Minnesota may have a strong lineup, but they're also striking out at the seventh-highest clip in the league versus right-handers. Giolito notched eight strikeouts in five innings against the Twins a few starts back, so despite the obvious risks, there's a ton of potential here at what should be a lower draft percentage.

If you're looking to pay down, Lance McCullers ($8,100) and Brady Singer ($8,000) have perhaps the best matchups on the entire slate.

McCullers faces a Rangers lineup that just got dominated by Jose Urquidy last night and has been perhaps the worst offense in all of baseball. Note that McCullers is coming off the injured list, though, so he might not have as long a leash as usual.

Singer was fantastic in his last outing against Cleveland (58 FanDuel points), and Detroit is the perfect opponent to keep that momentum going. No team strikes out more often against right-handed pitching that the Tigers.


Atlanta Braves

Left-hander Keegan Akin posted strong strikeout numbers in his first two MLB starts, but it all unraveled against the Yankees in his last one, coughing up 4 earned runs in just 0.2 innings.

Considering he produced a 5.17 xFIP in Triple-A last season and has always held a high walk rate (13.1% this season), it wouldn't be surprising to see him once again struggle.

The Atlanta Braves have a slate-best 5.60 implied total, and a shoddy Baltimore bullpen only adds more potential to this spot.

The Braves are loaded with right-handed batters, and in addition to obvious top options like Ronald Acuna ($4,400) and Marcell Ozuna ($3,900), there's still plenty of value in guys like Travis d'Arnaud ($3,200), Adam Duvall ($3,000), and Austin Riley ($2,600).

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees went off for a crazy 20-run outburst last night, so hopefully, they still have some bullets left in the chamber against Tanner Roark.

Roark has an unsightly 5.44 SIERA through eight starts and is issuing too many walks (11.9%), but the real appeal of this matchup is the home run ball. Roark is allowing 2.55 dingers per 9.0 innings, giving up multiple bombs four times this year. He's showing a 44.0% hard-hit rate and 42.6% fly-ball rate, and from a Statcast perspective, his 13.8% barrel rate is among the league's worst (5th percentile).

DJ LeMahieu ($3,700) and Luke Voit ($3,800) are no-brainers up top, but like Atlanta, the low-salaried sticks are quite appealing, too, including Aaron Hicks ($3,000), Clint Frazier ($3,200), and Gio Urshela ($3,000).

Cleveland Indians

We've got high implied totals for teams like the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels, so they're also in play, but if you're looking for a team that might get less attention, the Cleveland Indians are worth a look versus Jon Lester.

Lester is enduring one the worst campaigns of his career, and Wrigley Field has neutral winds today, and yet, Cleveland has a middling 4.32 implied total, which just doesn't add up. This offense may not be moving the needle much in 2020, but they should be able to field an entire lineup of righties and switch-hitters, giving them a sizable advantage against the veteran southpaw.

Against right-handed batters this year, Lester has only managed a 5.32 xFIP and 16.7% strikeout rate while allowing a 41.2% hard-hit rate and 39.0% fly-ball rate. He's also allowed a .382 xwOBA and .565 xSLG in the split.

Only Jose Ramirez ($3,700) and Francisco Lindor ($3,300) have salaries over $3k, and several Cleveland bats are barely above minimum salary, making this an ideal pairing with Jacob deGrom. If you aren't going with a full stack, Franmil Reyes ($2,900) is a perfect one-off in other tourney lineups.