FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 9/21/20

Brad Miller and the Cardinals get a great matchup against Carlos Hernandez on Monday. Which other spots 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.

Pitcher Salary L/R Opp. SIERA K% BB% Opp. K% Opp. wRC+
Jacob deGrom $11,500 R TAM 2.84 36.4% 6.4% 25.6% 106
Adam Wainwright $9,500 R @KAN 4.33 21.0% 5.7% 24.5% 87
Lance McCullers Jr. $8,700 R @SEA 4.14 21.5% 8.6% 24.2% 107
Marco Gonzales $8,500 L HOU 3.81 23.7% 2.2% 19.4% 101
German Marquez $8,300 R @SFG 4.35 21.7% 7.9% 23.3% 114
Johnny Cueto $8,000 R COL 4.84 21.1% 9.7% 23.4% 70
Jon Lester $7,900 L @PIT 4.86 17.0% 5.8% 22.9% 101
Trevor Rogers $7,200 L @ATL 3.96 29.6% 10.2% 27.5% 95
JT Brubaker $6,800 R CHC 4.39 22.9% 8.9% 25.4% 97
Carlos Hernandez $5,900 R STL 4.90 15.8% 5.3% 23.5% 94
Huascar Ynoa $5,500 R MIA 5.39 18.6% 14.0% 24.3% 95
Pete Fairbanks $5,500 R @NYM 3.53 32.0% 11.7% 22.1% 121

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


Jacob deGrom ($11,500) is coming off an injury-shortened outing (hamstring), but he threw a side session over the weekend and is good to go for tonight's start. While there's always the concern of a setback, deGrom is easily the top arm on an otherwise bland pitching slate. The Rays aren't a cupcake matchup, but they strike out plenty and only have a 3.00 implied total.

Lance McCullers ($8,700) doesn't have amazing overall numbers this season, but he's still popped at times, with four starts of at least 40 FanDuel points, including a season-high 49 points most recently against the Rangers. Although the Mariners have been an above-average team against righties, they're still a plus matchup for punchouts and don't have a ton of power, ranking just 23rd in ISO. Seattle has the second-lowest implied total on the board (3.81).

It doesn't feel great to roster Adam Wainwright ($9,500) at this salary, but he does draw a softer matchup than both deGrom and McCullers. Wainwright has actually shown some surprising upside this season, exceeding 50 FanDuel points twice, so it's not the craziest thing to consider in tournaments.

Trevor Rogers ($7,200) has a tantalizing 29.6% strikeout rate over five starts, and his 3.96 SIERA is significantly better than his 6.00 ERA. It wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see him get knocked around by the Braves, but they do whiff a whole bunch, so there's also a path to a bevy of FanDuel points. Rogers posted a 10-strikeout game against the Rays a few starts back.


St. Louis Cardinals

I can't say I've written up the St. Louis Cardinals very often in this space this season, but they check in with the night's highest implied total (5.37) against right-hander Carlos Hernandez, who's making just his second MLB start (fourth appearance).

That first start was pretty forgettable, as Hernandez coughed up three solo shots in just three innings of work, and it came against the lowly Pirates of all teams. The Pirates have been truly dreadful against righties this year, ranking dead last in wRC+ (61) and ISO (.126), so that's saying something.

Hernandez never pitched above Single-A prior to this season, and with just a 15.8% strikeout rate and 8.8% swinging-strike rate over his first 9.1 MLB innings, it doesn't look like his stuff is fooling many batters.

Outside of Paul Goldschmidt ($3,600), the Cardinals' bats have affordable salaries of $3,100 and below, making them an excellent pairing with deGrom lineups.

And while we probably can't read too much into Hernandez's limited splits, it's worth noting that all three dingers came off left-handed batters, so perhaps give an extra boost to someone like Brad Miller ($2,900), who's been a pleasant surprise this season (13.8% barrel rate).

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have the next highest implied total behind the Cardinals (5.00), taking on the aforementioned Trevor Rogers.

Yes, Rogers has that amazing strikeout rate, but he's also struggled with walks (10.2% rate) and home runs (2.14 per 9.0 innings), so we could see this going either way. Just a couple starts ago, the Phillies obliterated Rogers for eight earned runs over just three innings. Even in his strong start against the Rays, he gave up three solo home runs.

The Braves technically have worse splits against southpaws this season, but with Freddie Freeman ($4,100) being the only everyday lefty, we should probably chalk that up to being a small sample size fluke.

Like always, everyone is fair game in this deep lineup, and while it'll be hard to fit in Ronald Acuna ($4,500) or Marcell Ozuna ($4,200), you can still gain exposure through cheaper options like Adam Duvall ($3,200), Travis d'Arnaud ($3,200), and Austin Riley ($2,800).

Chicago Cubs

The implied totals drop off after those first two teams, but the Chicago Cubs have a solid mark (4.61) and are certainly in play against a mediocre rookie in JT Brubaker.

Brubaker has roughly league-average numbers and was just lit up by the White Sox a couple starts ago for 7 earned runs and 2 dingers in just 5.1 innings. His underlying numbers have been worse versus lefties, where he's posted a 4.72 xFIP, 22.1% strikeout rate, and 12.8% walk rate.

Ian Happ ($3,100), Anthony Rizzo ($3,400), Kyle Schwarber ($2,900), and Jason Heyward ($2,800) stand to benefit the most from the matchup.