FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 7/7/21
Tonight's eight-game slate has a clear top option at pitcher, and the salary gap reflects this. Similarly, the Toronto Blue Jays' bats have, far and away, the highest implied total, but you'll need a fair bit of cap space to roster their best sluggers.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Zack Wheeler ($11,200): Wheeler's salary is $1,500 higher than the next highest option, but that's probably an accurate representation of the talent gap on this slate. The Phillies righty is enjoying a career year, showing career bests in SIERA (2.98) and strikeout rate (31.3%) while maintaining a low walk rate (5.6%) and solid ground-ball rate (49.3%). He's also demonstrated incredible consistency and efficiency, recording quality starts in 13 of 17 outings and logging at least seven innings 11 times. To top it all off, he's up against a Cubs team with a 26.6% strikeout rate versus righties, and the winds won't be blowing out at Wrigley as they were in last night's slugfest.
Chris Paddack ($7,600): If you aren't getting all the way up to Wheeler, there's a strong argument to going in the opposite direction and shooting for straight-up value, particularly if you want to stack the high-salaried Blue Jays bats tonight. Paddack fits the bill perfectly, as his salary doesn't reflect how much better his numbers have been lately. Excluding a recent dud against the Diamondbacks, Paddack has produced positive results, putting up a 29.5% strikeout rate and 4.5% walk rate since the start of June. That will certainly get our attention, and this isn't a bad matchup at home against a Nationals team that just lost the red-hot Kyle Schwarber to injury. Washington has a modest 3.75 implied total.
Alex Wood ($8,300): Wood is another value option to consider, coming in with a solid 3.70 SIERA, 25.5% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate. But where he really shines is his ability to induce grounders, as his 55.0% ground-ball rate is one of the best marks in the league. The Cardinals don't provide an amazing matchup for extra punchouts, striking out at just a 22.4% clip versus lefties, but they aren't the most formidable offense, either, leading to a 3.69 implied total. It's worth noting that while Wood will likely need to face a lineup of entirely righties, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing for his upside because he's sporting a 27.3% strikeout rate in the split this year.
Others to Consider: Luis Garcia ($9,700)
Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto boasts a 5.93 implied total on Wednesday, which is more than a full run higher than any other team on the board. The reason? They're up against Matt Harvey, who ranks dead last in ERA (7.34) among pitchers with at least 70 innings this season. Sure, ERA estimators aren't quite as harsh on the veteran right-hander, but we've seen Harvey struggle for years now, and there's no reason to overthink this.
Harvey does a decent job of getting grounders versus righties (48.6%), but he still doesn't miss many bats in the split (17.9% strikeout rate), and we know what this predominantly right-handed lineup is capable of when they make contact. Add in the fact that the Blue Jays have faced Harvey twice in his last three starts -- the familiarity can only benefit them -- and a warm evening at hitter-friendly Camden Yards, and it all lines up to a potential blow-up spot.
Much like yesterday, it's great if you can make room for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,600) and the other high-salaried bats in this star-studded lineup, but that will be difficult if you're rostering Wheeler. Luckily, we can still get exposure to this lineup with the lower salaries of Teoscar Hernandez ($3,400), Randal Grichuk ($3,100), Lourdes Gurriel ($3,000), and Cavan Biggio ($2,800), with Biggio also having the added platoon advantage against Harvey.
San Diego Padres: The Padres are another logical stack, showing an appealing 4.75 implied total against left-hander Patrick Corbin. Although Corbin had improved results in May and June, he's still not getting a ton of strikeouts, and he's coming off a poor outing against the Dodgers.
Not surprisingly, most of the damage has been from right-handed batters. He's posted a 4.72 xFIP and 16.2% strikeout rate in the split, and righties have also accounted for 16 of 17 home runs allowed. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,500), Manny Machado ($4,000), and Tommy Pham ($3,300) are the top right-handed options, and while this isn't the best lineup in terms of value, we can get Wil Myers ($2,300) at a discount salary.
San Francisco Giants: The Giants arguably face the weakest non-Harvey arm on the slate in Johan Oviedo. The young Cardinals righty owns a 5.35 SIERA, 16.5% strikeout rate, and 11.6% walk rate in 2021, and it wasn't like he was any better in five starts last year, either. While Oviedo has managed to induce grounders versus lefties this season, he's otherwise produced a horrific 5.27 xFIP, 11.1% strikeout rate, and 13.7% walk rate in the split. Uh, yeah, that isn't going to cut it.
The Giants have plenty of lefties to take advantage, and the best part is that none of their salaries will take up much cap space. Brandon Crawford ($3,300), Mike Yastrzemski ($3,200), LaMonte Wade Jr ($2,900), and Alex Dickerson ($2,500) are an easy foursome to like, and Steven Duggar ($2,800) is another guy to include lower in the order. Also, it's not like Oviedo is some impervious wall versus righties (5.15 xFIP), either, so Buster Posey ($3,000) is firmly in play if he returns to the lineup.