FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 4/25/21
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
Woodruff has a Wrigley Field date with the Chicago Cubs, a team with the fourth-highest strikeout rate (27.7%). In 96 2/3 innings since the start of 2020, Woodruff has a 30.8% strikeout rate, 6.3% walk rate and 3.27 SIERA. He's thrown exactly 95 pitches in each of his last two outings, so workload isn't a concern. We project Woodruff for 32.4 FanDuel points.
Castillo is our model's top arm as we forecast him to post 34.0 FanDuel points in a road matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals. Castillo has been uncharacteristically bad so far in 2021, but we're talking about a sample of 19 1/3 innings. This is a guy who owned a 30.5% strikeout rate and 3.35 SIERA across 70 frames last season. The Cards, who sport a meh .302 wOBA, could help Castillo get back on track.
Our model isn't super into Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,300), pegging him to score just 27.6 FanDuel points, but I'm intrigued by him in his home clash with the Seattle Mariners. E-Rod, who missed all of 2020, recorded a 24.8% strikeout rate in 2019 and got up to 90 pitches last time out. Seattle holds a .299 wOBA with a 26.4% strikeout rate, so the matchup is good.
Matt Shoemaker ($7,400) and Jesus Luzardo ($6,700) are two value options I don't mind. Normally I'm not a fan of moving out of the top tiers at pitcher, but I can rationalize it more on a slate that is sans a true top-shelf ace. Between these two, I side with Luzardo for his game with the Baltimore Orioles, although Shoemaker's matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates is a delicious one. A top prospect, Luzardo has pitched to a 24.2% strikeout rate and 12.7% swinging-strike rate over 77 1/3 innings since the start of 2020. The O's are a dream matchup as they sit next to last in wOBA (.280) with the fifth-highest strikeout rate (27.4%.
I want to briefly touch on Hyun-jin Ryu ($9,500) and John Means ($8,400). Both guys are quality hurlers, but I'm not a fan of them today due to their matchups. Means gets the red-hot Oakland Athletics while Ryu takes on the Tampa Bay Rays. While you can maker a case for either as a leverage play in tournaments, I won't use them.
Stacks to Target
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are going to be the go-to stack of the afternoon, and they boast a slate-best 5.14 implied total against southpaw Nick Margevicius. In 111 career innings, Margevicius has surrendered a 4.87 SIERA with an 18.3% strikeout rate. He's been bad against both righties and lefties, so we have plenty of flexibility in how we can attack him.
J.D. Martinez ($4,300), Xander Bogaerts ($3,400) and Enrique Hernandez ($3,000) are core pieces to a Boston stack. Hernandez has long been a lefty killer and will likely hit leadoff. Martinez has put up a .488 wOBA with seven homers already this season. Bogaerts is a fantastic point-per-dollar pick who tagged lefties for a .431 wOBA and 40.4% hard-hit rate a season ago.
Marwin Gonzalez ($2,400) and Hunter Renfroe ($2,500) will hit from the right side and are low-salary ways to get exposure to the Red Sox. Lefties Alex Verdugo ($3,500) and Rafael Devers ($4,000) may not be all that popular given their salaries and the lefty-lefty spot.
The Minnesota Twins get to face young righty Wil Crowe, who has only nine MLB frames to his name. In 54 innings in Triple-A back in 2019, Crowe registered a measly 16.4% strikeout rate, so this may not go well for him.
Byron Buxton ($4,500), Nelson Cruz ($4,100) and Josh Donaldson ($3,400) will be in the meat of the lineup, and our algorithm projects all three as top-10 sticks. Luis Arraez ($3,100) might lead off with Max Kepler out, and Jorge Polanco ($2,700) offers stolen-base upside at a modest salary.
If Jake Cave ($2,100) gets into the lineup, he'll be one of my favorite value bats of the slate. Our projections have him as the second-best point-per-dollar hitter.
Chicago White Sox
I plugged the Chicago White Sox yesterday in a nice matchup with Kyle Gibson. That didn't go well as Chicago plated just two runs. But I'm back on the saddle today for their game against Kohei Arihara, and hopefully Saturday's stinker lower Chicago's popularity.
Arihara hasn't shown much in his first 20.1 MLB innings, sporting a 17.1% strikeout rate and 44.1% hard-hit rate. Obviously, the sample-size is tiny, but Steamer projects Arihara for a 4.70 ERA the rest of the way. The White Sox have a 4.49 implied total.
Yasmani Grandal ($2,700) and Luis Robert ($2,800) are a great two-man stack or can be building blocks to a bigger White Sox stacks. Grandal will have the platoon advantage, and he's the top White Sox bat today, per our model. Robert has power (.362 wOBA) and speed (four steals) upside at a low salary.
Yoan Moncada ($3,100) has been better against right-handers in his career, mashing his way to a .345 wOBA and 39.5% hard-hit rate in the split. Lefty Adam Eaton ($3,400) should be high in the order and has a .386 wOBA this season versus righties.
Jose Abreu ($3,500) and Tim Anderson ($4,000) are worth a look anytime we're stacking the Pale Hose. Anderson has three dingers and three swipes and will probably lead off. Abreu's .309 wOBA this year is misleading as he carries a career-worst .255 BABIP despite a career-best 41.2% hard-hit rate.