FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 10/8/20
Oakland lives to play another day, giving us another four-game MLB slate to dive into (2:08pm ET). This doesn't look to be the prettiest slate, with most teams either putting their fates in the hands of young hurlers making their first postseason starts or opting for bullpen games.
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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+|
Let's check out the top spots on today's slate.
It's tough to feel super excited about any of Thursday's hurlers, but Jordan Montgomery ($8,300) posted solid peripherals during the regular season and could have strikeout upside against the Rays. However, his underlying numbers didn't translate into great real-life results (5.11 ERA), and in a must-win Game 4, the Yankees won't hesitate to jump ship if Montgomery struggles early. Still, the left-hander did perform well down the stretch with a 36.4% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate over his final three starts. Tampa Bay has a somewhat modest 4.27 implied total.
Sixto Sanchez ($9,500) faltered a bit down the stretch, resulting in solid but unspectacular final numbers. Still, he flashed his potential in the early going, which included a 10-strikeout performance against the Rays in his second MLB start (55 FanDuel points). He still ultimately produced a 58.0% ground-ball rate and 12.8% swinging-strike rate over seven starts, and his first postseason outing was encouraging against the Chicago Cubs, with 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs over 5.0 innings (33 points). The Braves could prove to be too much today, but on this slate, betting on Sanchez's talent isn't the worst way to go.
Frankie Montas ($8,100) has one of the better strikeout rates on the slate, which puts him in play by default despite his matchup against the Astros. Most of those punchouts came against right-handed batters (28.9%), which theoretically improves his chances of dispatching Houston's top righty sticks.
Kyle Wright ($9,200) deserves a mention as the pitcher with the easiest matchup in the Marlins, but his regular season numbers were... not good. He did finish up with three straight quality starts, but I can only see going here in large-field tournaments.
I'm not sure there's a single hitting spot that truly pops today, so this could be a matter of taking a stand on a few teams and letting it ride in tournaments.
The Miami Marlins of all teams face the weakest starter on the board, so we shouldn't rule out an outburst from them. Kyle Wright has poor marks against both sides of the plate, so we don't have to be too picky here, but with the Marlins' light-hitting lineup, it's probably best to primarily focus on the top half of the order in Jon Berti ($2,900), Corey Dickerson ($2,800), Jesus Aguilar ($2,800), Brian Anderson ($3,000), and Garrett Cooper ($3,000).
Houston's left-handed bats could perform well against Montas, who struggled against that side of the plate this year (5.44 xFIP, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 12.9% walk rate). That boosts the chances of Michael Brantley ($3,200) and Kyle Tucker ($3,600), who can be paired with the Astros' top righties.
We don't have an official starter for the Astros, but the Athletics' bats remain inexpensive from top to bottom. If Zack Greinke starts, he presents a mediocre on-paper matchup but is coming off an arm issue, potentially presenting an opportunity for Oakland. (UPDATE: Greinke is officially starting for Houston. He only held a 16.3% strikeout rate and 34.3% ground-ball rate versus right-handed batters this season.)
The Braves and Yankees hold implied totals hovering around 4.70 as elite offenses in so-so matchups.
Sanchez's elite ground-ball rate should be a concern when stacking Atlanta, but a lack of control led to his downfall in his last couple regular season starts, which is what we have to hope for here. And while I'm not sure how much I'd read into the small sample, Sanchez oddly performed worse in same-sided matchups (4.96 xFIP; 17.9% strikeout rate), which could be a positive sign for Ronald Acuna ($4,500) and this righty-heavy lineup.
The Bronx Bombers draw a Tampa Bay bullpen game, so we're just hoping their power shines through. Giancarlo Stanton ($4,400) has now homered in all five postseason games (six total home runs), so you can be forgiven if you feel inclined to chase another one tonight. Aaron Hicks ($3,100) continues to be a strong value as long as he keeps hitting third.
The Dodgers and Padres are in similar boats as the Yankees. San Diego is also opting for a bullpen game, while Los Angeles could go with any of Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urias, or Dustin May (or a combination). It's hard to play matchups here, so much like the Yankees, you're just rostering your favorite bats and hoping one of these teams goes off.