FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/25/20

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+
Yu Darvish $11,200 R CWS 3.04 32.4% 4.8% 26.2% 105
Carlos Carrasco $10,800 R PIT 3.92 28.8% 9.3% 25.5% 64
Clayton Kershaw $9,700 L LAA 3.10 29.2% 4.0% 22.5% 102
Jose Berrios $9,200 R CIN 4.43 24.5% 9.6% 25.4% 102
Andrew Heaney $8,700 L LOS 3.92 26.1% 6.6% 20.8% 105
Chris Bassitt $8,600 R SEA 4.58 20.8% 7.2% 24.3% 105
Tyler Mahle $8,500 R MIN 4.02 29.6% 10.1% 25.4% 109
Brad Keller $8,300 R DET 5.06 15.5% 8.8% 28.0% 81
Sandy Alcantara $8,100 R NYY 4.67 20.7% 9.0% 21.4% 123
J.A. Happ $7,700 L MIA 4.39 22.4% 7.5% 22.4% 122
Spencer Turnbull $7,400 R KAN 5.03 21.1% 12.4% 24.5% 92
Dylan Cease $7,300 R CHC 5.97 16.7% 13.7% 25.6% 94
Yusei Kikuchi $7,200 L OAK 4.23 24.6% 9.9% 22.9% 93
Jose Urquidy $6,800 R TEX 5.88 13.8% 9.2% 24.7% 67
Kyle Wright $6,400 R BOS 5.85 18.2% 14.7% 24.4% 103
Mitch Keller $6,300 R CLE 5.90 19.7% 15.2% 23.5% 86
Kyle Cody $5,700 R HOU 5.06 23.6% 13.9% 20.0% 102
Chris Mazza $5,600 R ATL 5.08 20.2% 11.4% 23.0% 132

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


The night's top spot arguably goes to Carlos Carrasco ($10,800) against the Pirates, whose active roster ranks 30th in wRC+ and 25th in strikeout rate against right-handers. Carrasco has been inconsistent at times, but he capitalized on a juicy matchup against Detroit last time (64 FanDuel points), so he's certainly capable of coming away with the night's top score. Pittsburgh has the slate's lowest implied total (3.00).

Yu Darvish ($11,200) has the best overall numbers of the slate but gets a tougher opponent in the White Sox. Chicago does strike out at a high clip, though, so a ceiling performance is in the realm of possibilities. Darvish put up 58 FanDuel points earlier this season against the White Sox.

The group that follows Carrasco and Darvish in the $9k-$8k range just about all have their merits, but there isn't necessarily one who stands out. Jose Berrios ($9,200) and Chris Bassitt ($8,600) should have fairly high floors in their respective spots.

Really, if you aren't paying up, though, the go-to move might be to straight-up punt the position with Jose Urquidy ($6,800). His peripheral numbers are frankly pretty miserable after four starts, but he produced a 24.0% strikeout rate over 41.0 innings last season and also showed high strikeout numbers in the minors. Most importantly, he faces the Rangers, which just so happens to be the same opponent that netted him his best start of 2020 (49 FanDuel points).


Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have a slate-high 5.85 implied total and are the clear top stack against Chris Mazza.

Mazza hasn't shown much in 2020, and when you tack on his 16.1 innings from last season, you get a 5.08 SIERA, 18.1% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate across 41.1 career innings. Meh.

It comes as a surprise that he's only given up two home runs over that span, but with a sub-40% ground-ball rate and lackluster strikeout rate, that looks more like a small-sample fluke than anything else.

As one would expect, Mazza is slightly worse versus left-handed batters (career 5.65 xFIP), so Freddie Freeman ($4,400) is especially appealing, but all the usual Atlanta stars are strong plays. Fitting in Freeman, Ronald Acuna ($4,500), and Marcell Ozuna ($4,400) together won't be easy, though, which does give merit to the strategy of punting at pitcher with Urquidy.

Adam Duvall ($3,200) has multi-homer upside and remains a fantastic mid-range play, too.

Boston Red Sox

On the other side of that game, the Boston Red Sox are a solid bet to score some runs against Kyle Wright.

Like Mazza, we don't have a huge sample of MLB innings for Wright, but what we do have isn't so hot. Dating back to 2018, Wright has compiled a 5.84 SIERA, 18.6% strikeout rate, and 15.2% walk rate through 57.0 innings. Through it all, he's also coughed up 1.89 dingers per 9.0 innings.

Frankly, Wright has equally poor splits against righties and lefties alike, so we can comfortably mix and match the Red Sox however we like. Despite such an advantageous matchup, Boston has a good-but-not-great 4.67 implied total, so hopefully, that prevents them from being wildly popular.

The first four batters in the order are probably the best way to go between Alex Verdugo ($3,000), Rafael Devers ($3,900), Xander Bogaerts ($3,900), and J.D. Martinez ($3,600). Although Martinez is wrapping up a pretty forgettable campaign, he's strung together some solid performances down the stretch is still displaying a double-digit barrel rate for the season.

Bobby Dalbec ($3,500) has seen his salary climb in recent slates, but the home run power is worth rostering in tournaments.

Chicago Cubs

The worst SIERA and strikeout-minus-walk rate of the slate belong to Dylan Cease despite a baffling 3.52 ERA. He's declined in just about every category compared to last season and yet somehow has a better ERA? Baseball is weird sometimes.

Regardless, this is a better spot for the Chicago Cubs than their 4.38 implied total would suggest. That particularly holds true for their left-handed bats, as Cease has egregious numbers against them this season, with a 6.64 xFIP, 10.9% strikeout rate, and 14.5% walk rate.

Hopefully switch-hitter Ian Happ ($3,000) is back in the lineup to combine with lefties Anthony Rizzo ($3,400), Kyle Schwarber ($2,900), and Jason Heyward ($2,800). This lineup's salaries can also help you pay up for Carrasco or Darvish at pitcher.