FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 9/29/20

The MLB postseason begins with a four-game American League slate. Who should you roster this afternoon?

Between an unprecedented 16 teams in this year's MLB playoffs and a best-of-three wild-card round, we should see some entertaining matchups over the next few days, and the field will be cut in half before we know it. Heck, some of the teams in play today could already be packing their bags by Wednesday night!

While those high stakes could provide some nail-biting finishes, it's pretty much business as usual from a DFS perspective. The postseason begins at 2:00 pm ET with all eight American League qualifiers in action on the four-game 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!

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+
Shane Bieber $11,200 R NYY 2.52 41.1% 7.1% 21.5% 123
Gerrit Cole $10,900 R @CLE 3.21 32.6% 5.9% 23.3% 86
Kenta Maeda $9,700 R HOU 2.92 32.3% 4.0% 19.8% 102
Lucas Giolito $9,200 R @OAK 3.51 33.7% 9.7% 23.2% 105
Zack Greinke $8,500 R @MIN 3.72 24.5% 3.3% 25.7% 107
Blake Snell $8,300 L TOR 3.57 31.0% 8.9% 23.6% 110
Jesus Luzardo $7,700 L CWS 4.05 23.8% 6.9% 21.9% 144
Matt Shoemaker $7,100 R @TAM 4.35 22.6% 7.8% 26.4% 104

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


The tricky thing about the postseason is there are rarely any easy matchups to exploit. Alas, no longer can we rely upon the like of the Pirates and Rangers as daily cannon fodder.

However, Gerrit Cole ($10,900) is the lone exception. He faces the only offense with a below-average split in wRC+, as Cleveland's active roster ranked just 26th against right-handers in the regular season. While Cole hasn't been quite as statistically dominant as he was in 2019, he was still pretty damn good and ranks third on the slate in SIERA, strikeout rate, and walk rate. He wrapped up the season on a high note, too, stringing together FanDuel scores of 49, 52, 58, and 49 points over his last four outings. He has the easiest path to a high floor.

On the other hand, Shane Bieber ($11,200) is arguably 2020's top overall pitcher, but he draws perhaps the most difficult matchup of the day against the Yankees. This might normally steer us towards an automatic stay-away designation, but Bieber leads all qualified starters in SIERA, strikeout rate, and strikeout-minus-walk rate. He averaged 53.66 FanDuel points over 12 starts and struck out at least 8 batters in all of them. The salary is high for such a difficult opponent, but we shouldn't underestimate his ability to still come away with the top score.

Lucas Giolito ($9,200) also deserves consideration, owning the day's second-best strikeout rate and a getting a comparatively less imposing matchup in the Athletics. Walks have arguably been his biggest foe this year, leading to inconsistent results, but the punchouts should be there, and the White Sox aren't afraid to give him a long leash. He exceeded 100 pitches in all four September starts and logged a season-high 119 in his final outing.

Blake Snell ($8,300) shakes out as the top value play. Snell has been frustrating for DFS, as he's yet to throw a full six innings even once in 2020. However, he did top out at 108 pitches in his last start, so perhaps the Rays are prepared to take off the shackles for the playoffs. The lefty earns the lowest implied total on the board against Toronto (3.22).


Tampa Bay Rays

There are no gimme matchups for our bats tonight, but the Tampa Bay Rays arguably get the softest one against Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker's peripheral numbers have run around league average, so he's performed better than his 4.71 ERA, but dingers have been an issue. He's coughed up 2.51 home runs per 9.0 innings while allowing a 10.0% barrel rate (16th percentile).

Shoemaker has pretty even splits, so we can comfortably roster righties and lefties alike. Brandon Lowe ($3,700) has a massive 17.5% barrel rate this season (98th percentile), and the rest of the lineup comes in on the cheap. Nate Lowe ($2,700) and Randy Arozarena ($3,000) have also been racking up the barrels this season -- albeit over limited samples -- while Hunter Renfroe ($2,600) has well-established pop.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox have been the best team against left-handers this season, so we should like their chances of getting to Jesus Luzardo.

Much like Shoemaker, Luzardo has one of the lowest strikeout rates of the slate, and we know Chicago packs plenty of punch when they make contact, combining for a league-best .238 ISO in the split. The White Sox lineup should be comprised entirely of right-handed batters and switch-hitters, too, given them the platoon advantage against the southpaw.

Tim Anderson ($3,800), Jose Abreu ($3,900), Eloy Jimenez ($3,600), and Edwin Encarnacion ($2,800) are all top-notch choices in the matchup.

Others to Consider

While I like the above teams the best, the top implied totals sit at just 4.38 (Tampa Bay), 4.17 (Minnesota), and 3.85 (Chicago), so the differences between all the offenses today are rather slim. Getting exposure to the aforementioned Twins makes sense, as the Astros' bullpen hasn't been great this season. Their relievers own the fifth-worst SIERA among active rosters.

If you're multi-entering tournaments, this is probably a slate to not be afraid to go off the board a bit, as it's entirely possible no team puts up a huge score. Stacking is still the way to go as usual with the hopes of catching whichever team comes out on top, but pairing a four-man stack with one-offs could be ideal.