FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/10/21
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate.
Pitchers to Target
There is a clear top two in my eyes -- Chris Paddack ($6,900 on FanDuel) and Ian Anderson ($8,600). If the salaries were the same, I might still side with Paddack, but given the $1,700 difference, Paddack is an easy call for me, although our projections give a slight edge to Anderson.
Paddack is up against the Texas Rangers, and there's no doubt this is a money matchup. FanGraphs' rest-of-season WAR projections have Texas as baseball's worst offense, and they hold a 28.5% strikeout rate so far in 2021, the seventh-highest. Texas carries a 3.98 implied total, the second-lowest of the slate. As for Paddack, he sports a 25.7% strikeout rate and 11.4% swinging-strike rate over 203 2/3 career innings. He went 89 pitches in his season debut, so workload shouldn't be too much of a concern. We have him scoring 32.1 FanDuel points, and his salary gives you a lot of freedom with your sticks.
Anderson is taking on a Philadelphia Phillies team he faced in his 2021 opener. In that one, Anderson fanned seven and allowed one run over five innings (88 pitches). He showed big-time swing-and-miss stuff last postseason, racking up a 31.2% strikeout rate in 18 2/3 frames, which followed a 32 1/3-inning regular season in which he recorded a 29.7% strikeout rate. Our model projects Anderson for a slate-best 34.9 FanDuel points, and the Phils' 3.80 implied total is the slate's lowest.
Zach Eflin ($9,600) and Julio Urias ($10,000) are the only other hurlers I can stomach, and with Paddack and Anderson at lower salaries, neither will be very popular. Urias has a date with the Washington Nationals while Eflin gets the Atlanta Braves, so Urias has the softer matchup, though it's not an easy one. The Los Angeles Dodgers' southpaw has a 23.2% strikeout rate for his career (246 innings), and he amassed a 13.6% swinging-strike rate in his 2021 debut.
There is a chance Patrick Corbin ($8,600) starts today for the Nats against the Dodgers. It would be his season debut, and while Corbin can generate whiffs when he's on, I'm not touching him against the Dodgers.
Stacks to Target
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays were a popular stacking pick on Friday, and they flopped versus lefty Andrew Heaney. But they have a lineup that's good against left-handers, so we can hop right back on the saddle today against Jose Quintana. Toronto's 5.78 implied total is a slate-best mark (as of Saturday morning).
Marcus Semien ($3,600), Randal Grichuk ($3,100), Bo Bichette ($3,000) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,300) will all have the platoon advantage, and they held the top-four spots in the lineup -- in that order -- yesterday against a lefty. Grichuk had a .399 wOBA and 42.0% hard-hit rate versus left-handers in 2020. Vladdy put up a .363 wOBA and 39.1% hard-hit rate in the split a year ago while Bichette had a .354 wOBA against southpaws. Semien registered a 37.1% hard-hit rate and 45.7% fly-ball rate in the split last year.
Jonathan Davis ($2,000) is a minimum-salary piece who hit seventh last night.
Los Angeles Angels
On the flip side of the Jays-Angels game, we can stack the Halos, too. They're up against lefty Steven Matz, who dominated the Rangers in his 2021 debut but hasn't had a SIERA under 4.00 since 2016. The Angels have a 5.00 implied total.
Mike Trout ($4,500) and Anthony Rendon ($3,500) are the big boppers to hone in on. Trout is Trout, and Rendon is at a pretty modest salary for a hitter of his caliber, especially against a lefty. In 2020, Rendon finished with a .420 wOBA, 51.0% hard-hit rate and 49.0% fly-ball rate in 73 plate appearances in the split.
Justin Upton ($2,800) and David Fletcher ($2,600) are quality value targets, and both have the platoon advantage versus Matz. Fletcher will likely be atop the order while Upton posted a 50.0% hard-hit rate and 47.6% fly-ball rate last year against left-handers. Lefty Jared Walsh ($3,000) is an option, too. He's on fire so far this season and managed to muster a 47.4% hard-hit rate in same-sided matchups in 2020, although the sample size was just 48 plate appearances.
The Cincinnati Reds plated six runs last night and have now scored at least five runs in every game, including four outings of nine-plus runs. They get to face Riley Smith, a righty who is making his first-ever MLB start and had just a 16.8% strikeout rate in 62 2/3 Triple-A frames in 2019. Cincy boasts a 5.29 implied total and has to be on the stacking radar.
The Reds will likely have four lefties among their first six bats -- at least that was the case against a right-handed pitcher yesterday -- and all four of Jesse Winker ($3,000), Tyler Naquin ($3,400), Joey Votto ($2,600) and Mike Moustakas ($3,300) are firmly in play.
Winker hit leadoff Friday and mashed his way to a .398 wOBA and 49.4% hard-hit rate in the split in 2020. He's a premier point-per-dollar play if he's back in the leadoff spot. Naquin has long been a good stick against righties, although he's not the value play he once was. Moustakas put up a .360 wOBA and 43.8% fly-ball rate against right-handed pitchers a season ago while Votto had a .358 wOBA in the split.
Nick Castellanos ($4,200) has the highest salary among Reds hitters by $800. That and the righty-righty matchup could scare away some people, but his batted-ball numbers in the split last year -- 38.5% hard-hit rate and 40.4% fly-ball rate -- were solid. He's also smoking the ball this year with career-best clips in barrel rate (20.0%) and average exit velocity (92.0 MPH).