FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 9/23/20

Will Brandon Belt and the Giants capitalize on a fantastic matchup against Ryan Castellani? Which other spots should we consider on Wednesday?

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+
Kyle Hendricks $10,600 R @PIT 3.85 21.3% 2.4% 26.0% 61
Tyler Glasnow $10,300 R @NYM 3.06 38.4% 9.7% 22.1% 121
Kenta Maeda $10,000 R DET 3.00 31.6% 4.4% 28.1% 81
Max Fried $9,100 L MIA 4.22 22.9% 8.7% 22.4% 119
Sixto Sanchez $8,800 R @ATL 3.75 22.0% 5.0% 23.1% 133
Nathan Eovaldi $8,400 R BAL 3.58 25.0% 3.4% 22.9% 107
Dean Kremer $8,000 R @BOS 4.41 30.8% 13.8% 24.5% 102
Julio Urias $7,800 L OAK 4.89 19.8% 7.9% 22.7% 98
Sean Manaea $7,600 L @LOS 3.84 20.8% 3.6% 21.4% 104
Michael Wacha $7,300 R TAM 3.89 24.8% 5.3% 26.2% 104
Danny Duffy $7,200 L STL 4.65 24.1% 9.7% 19.9% 111
Carlos Martinez $6,400 R @KAN 5.17 17.7% 10.1% 24.8% 88
Logan Webb $6,300 R COL 4.67 20.5% 9.6% 23.7% 71
Casey Mize $6,200 R @MIN 5.00 19.8% 9.9% 25.6% 110
Trevor Williams $6,000 R CHC 4.75 19.7% 7.9% 25.5% 96
Ryan Castellani $5,600 R @SFG 6.11 14.5% 12.7% 21.8% 119

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


At the top of the pitching food chain, we've got Kyle Hendricks ($10,600), Tyler Glasnow ($10,300), and Kenta Maeda ($10,000) all checking in with five-figure salaries. Glasnow leads the slate by a wide margin in strikeout rate, while Hendricks and Maeda draw elite matchups.

It's maddening that the Twins don't unleash Maeda past a pitch count in the 80s or 90s very often -- in fact, just once has he hit triple-digits, and that required a near no-hitter on the line -- but his stellar per-inning numbers and a dream matchup against Detroit still opens up the potential for a big fantasy score.

Despite his pitch count limitations, Maeda's incredibly efficient, allowing him to notch quality starts in 7 of 10 starts. His 3.00 SIERA is tied for the third-best among qualified starters, and no one has a lower hard-hit rate allowed (21.5%). Although he let up three earned runs in each of his prior starts against Detroit, he also tallied eight strikeouts in both contests. Maeda has the easiest path to a high floor tonight.

Glasnow is a bit riskier, in a tougher spot against the Mets, and his higher walk rate often prevents him from pitching as deep into games. Even so, that massive 38.4% strikeout rate is hard to ignore, firmly putting him in play for tournaments. He's been allowed to throw over 100 pitches in two of his last three starts, too.

Hendricks is tougher to buy into at the slate's highest salary because his strikeout rate is just so meh. And yet, he has two 64-point games this season, including his last start against the mighty Twins. Hendricks makes up for a lack of punchouts with pinpoint control and rarely giving up hard contact. His 2.4% walk rate is tied for the lowest among qualified starters, and his hard-hit rate allowed is the fifth-lowest (26.3%). His overall efficiency has allowed him to log 8.0, 7.2, and 8.0 innings in his last three appearances.

Again, Hendricks has never been a big strikeout guy, so chances are he doesn't post a tournament-winning score, but it also isn't out of the realm of possibilities against the punchless Pirates.

It's a sizable step down to the lower ranks, and we don't necessarily need to pay down on tonight's offering, but Nathan Eovaldi ($8,400) might be worth a gander.

Since returning from injury, Eovaldi has recorded 11 strikeouts and no walks over his last 8.0 innings (two starts) while allowing just one earned run, and he got up to 76 pitches the last time out. With the Red Sox having nothing to play for, there's the risk that they don't bump his pitch count up much further, but he still managed to put up 42 FanDuel points in his most recent start. Baltimore's season numbers at the plate remain pretty good, but they've posted a 69 wRC+ and 26.8% strikeout rate over the last couple weeks.

Dean Kremer ($8,000) could also be worth a contrarian dice roll in large-field tournaments. His 30.8% strikeout rate ranks third on the slate -- albeit over just three starts -- and he's been allowed a solid workload at 95, 99, and 88 pitches. The strikeouts have come at the expense of a 13.8% walk rate, though, and his strikeout rate wasn't as high in the minors.


Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins own the highest implied total on the slate (5.15) against Tigers right-hander Casey Mize, who hasn't performed well over six starts (6.08 ERA).

Mize hasn't really found success in any area, and he's allowing 1.90 home runs per 9.0 innings off a 12.2% barrel rate.

And while we aren't talking about a large sample, his underlying numbers are notably worse versus lefties with a 6.51 xFIP, 16.7% strikeout rate, and 13.3% walk rate. Eddie Rosario ($3,100) and Max Kepler ($2,900) are two of the big winners in this matchup.

Mize actually has some decent peripherals in same-sided matchups, but we shouldn't let that deter us from rostering righty sticks against a mediocre Detroit bullpen. Even if Nelson Cruz ($3,900) sits again, Byron Buxton ($3,000), Josh Donaldson ($3,000), and Miguel Sano ($3,100) are all easy to like at reasonable salaries.

San Francisco Giants

Ryan Castellani has the worst SIERA (6.11) and strikeout rate (14.5%) on the board, and he also has the second-worst walk rate (12.7%). If that wasn't enough, he's also allowing the most home runs per 9.0 innings (2.56) off a 46.1% hard-hit rate and 40.9% fly-ball rate.

Yeah, I'd say the San Francisco Giants are firmly in play.

Alex Dickerson ($2,800) and Brandon Belt ($3,000) are performing well, have the platoon advantage, and bat high in the order. Brandon Crawford ($2,800) is another affordable lefty, and while he doesn't have the pop of those two, he is showing an improved 8.8% barrel rate in 2020.

You won't find a great deal of pop in the rest of the order, but you can mix and match them in at low salaries of $3k and below.

Chicago Cubs

Trevor Williams is another hurler struggling with dingers (2.54 per 9.0 innings), and most of that damage has come in his last five starts. Over that span, he's given up 11 home runs over 25.1 innings, which comes to just under 4 bombs allowed per 9.0 innings. He's also showing a rough .575 xSLG and .394 xwOBA in that timeframe.

Historically, Williams has worse career marks versus left-handed batters, but it's actually the righties who have gotten to him in 2020, as 10 of his 14 homers have come off right-handed bats.

Really, we can probably feel comfortable rostering bats on either side from the Chicago Cubs, and Ian Happ ($3,100), Anthony Rizzo ($3,300), Willson Contreras ($2,900), and Kyle Schwarber ($2,900) are the primary targets. Javier Baez ($3,000) has been a disappointment, but he did post a .250 ISO in same-sided spots the prior two seasons, so we know what he's capable of.