FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 5/13/21

Cristian Javier has a favorable matchup versus Texas this evening. Who else stands out on the main slate?

Thursday's main slate comprises six games, and with every pitcher coming in below $10,000, it shouldn't be hard to stack up Coors Field, perhaps making it even more popular than usual. The visiting Cincinnati Reds have the highest implied total by a sizable margin.

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!

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


Cristian Javier ($9,200): Javier enters the day with a 3.64 SIERA and 30.6% strikeout rate, and he draws an enticing matchup against the Texas Rangers. Although the Rangers have actually been an above-average offense versus righties this season, their active roster has a woeful 28.1% strikeout rate in the split, making this a golden opportunity for fantasy points. Javier's 9.7% walk rate isn't great, but it also isn't egregious on a slate lacking upper-echelon starters. The younger right-hander has a season-high of 107 pitches, so Houston hasn't been afraid to give him more leeway when he's dealing.

Trevor Rogers ($9,900): Rogers owns the slate's highest strikeout rate (33.1%), but his matchup isn't quite as inviting against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-backs are a tough opponent to punch out, as they carry a 19.1% strikeout rate versus lefties and posted a similar mark in 2020. Rogers also issues too many free passes (9.9% walk rate), and the Miami Marlins have also been content to limit his pitch count at times, with Rogers hitting 90 pitches just twice in seven starts. The high strikeout rate keeps Rogers in play on the smaller slate, but he has a tougher path to hit his ceiling.

Jameson Taillon ($7,700): Although Taillon continues to produce impressive peripheral numbers, which include a 3.25 SIERA, 28.8% strikeout rate, and 5.1% walk rate, it hasn't translated to results. Taillon is sitting on a poor 5.02 ERA, and that's been largely due to coughing up 2.2 home runs per nine innings. A high 17.9% home-run-to-fly-ball rate does suggest some poor luck, though, and the Yankee right-hander hasn't demonstrated long ball issues in past seasons. A date with a strikeout-prone Tampa Bay lineup (25.1% rate versus righties) at pitcher-friendly Tropicana Field could help right the ship.

Others to Consider: Zach Plesac ($8,400)


Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies: We've got two struggling pitchers going at Coors Field in Chi Chi Gonzalez and Luis Castillo, so this is a no-brainer spot to stack up tonight.

The Reds get the edge as the better offense with the better matchup, and that's reflected by a slate-high 5.89 implied total. Honestly, it's hard to come up with anything positive in Gonzalez's pitching line. He's only managed a 5.30 SIERA and 11.9% strikeout rate this season, and neither of those figures are far off from his career averages. He hasn't given up many home runs thus far, but with a 39.2% ground-ball rate and that low strikeout rate, it's hard to see that lasting.

In other words, stack up both sides of the plate any way you like. The heart of the order is where it's at in terms of power, but Nick Senzel ($3,000) is a fantastic value out of the leadoff spot.

Meanwhile, Castillo has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy, owning a 4.30 SIERA and 16.8% strikeout rate over his seven outings, both of which would easily be career-worsts if the season ended today. He's still showing a solid 51.4% ground-ball rate, and this is a Rockies lineup short on difference-makers, but on a smaller slate, it's easy to still view this as one of the top teams to stack.

You'll probably want to generally stick with the top five or six bats in the order, and only Trevor Story ($3,600) and Charlie Blackmon ($3,500) have salaries over $3,300.

Houston Astros: Outside of the Coors teams, it's the Astros that are the only other team with an implied total exceeding five (5.20), and it's pretty straightforward how you'll want to stack them. Mike Foltynewicz was brilliant in 2018, but ever since then, he's returned to mediocrity, and it's lefties who have especially held the upper hand. Over that span, Foltynewicz owns a 5.66 xFIP, 18.0% strikeout rate, and 8.2% walk rate in the split while allowing 2.3 home runs per nine innings.

Yordan Alvarez ($4,200) is the clear favorite in this spot, and we should also happily scoop up Michael Brantley ($3,200) and Kyle Tucker ($3,300). And while Foltynewicz is more effective versus righties, he's still allowed 1.8 dingers per nine to them off of a 41.6% hard-hit rate and modest 41.0% ground-ball rate, so mixing in the usual Houston righty sticks will do just fine, as well.

New York Yankees: A righty-heavy New York Yankees lineup is the conventional next choice against left-hander Rich Hill, who has turned things around nicely but will still give up power to right-handed batters. In the split, Hill is allowing 1.8 home runs per nine innings with just a 41.2% ground-ball rate, and he has a solid but unspectacular 23.5% strikeout rate.

Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600) and an especially low-salaried Aaron Judge ($3,200) top the list, of course, and nearly everyone else has a modest salary, including a now healthy Luke Voit ($3,000). As is often the case with the Yankees, this is truly a lineup where you can stack anyone from one through nine, so wrap-around stacks and the like are fully on the table.

Others to Consider: Oakland Athletics, Miami Marlins