FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 7/28/21
While Wednesday may only have a handful of upper-tier pitching options, there are also some intriguing arms in the value range. On offense, the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox enter the night with the highest implied totals, though they're hardly the only offenses in inviting matchups.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Zack Wheeler ($10,600): Of the three pitchers with salaries above $9,000, Wheeler deserves top billing in a solid spot against the Nationals. Not only has Washington been a below-average offense against right-handed pitching this season (96 wRC+), but they'll now be without Trea Turner (COVID-19), which leaves their lineup pretty bare once you get past Juan Soto. As a result, the Nats are looking at a ho-hum 3.32 implied total.
Meanwhile, Wheeler continues to enjoy a banner year, and it's hard to find many holes in his numbers, coming in with a 3.07 SIERA, 30.4% strikeout rate, 5.7% walk rate, and 49.7% ground-ball rate. He also consistently sees a high workload and pitches deep into games. Across his 20 starts, he's logged over 100 pitches 11 times and fallen under 90 only once. That's helped him tally 7.0 or more innings in a dozen of those outings, which has him leading the league in innings pitched.
Walker Buehler ($11,500): Although Buehler curiously underwhelmed in plus matchups against the Marlins and Cubs recently, he's now put up 49 or more FanDuel points in five of his past seven starts, which includes 50 and 51 FanDuel points against the Giants, his opponent on Wednesday night.
While facing San Francisco yet again in a short period probably isn't a positive, this also isn't necessarily a bad matchup for Buehler. The Giants have been an above-average offense this year, but as currently constructed, they're missing key contributors like Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Brandon Belt, so this isn't a super deep lineup (3.56 implied total).
Buehler lacks the elite strikeout upside of other aces, but his 3.64 SIERA, 26.4% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate are nothing to scoff at. And despite the Dodgers often holding him below 100 pitches, he's made up for it with incredible efficiency, as he actually ranks third overall in innings pitched.
Andrew Heaney ($7,600): With a 5.32 ERA and his usual home run issues, Heaney hasn't exactly found a ton of success in 2021. So it says something when his opponent is being credited with a mere 3.94 implied total.
The reason? Heaney is up against one of the league's worst offenses in the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies own a 70 wRC+ versus righties this season and their road splits are even worse (66 wRC+).
And despite the lackluster overall results, Heaney's actually put up fairly strong underlying numbers between a 3.71 SIERA, 27.9% strikeout rate, and 7.4% walk rate. That's helped him maintain some upside through all the clunkers, exceeding 45 FanDuel points six times this season.
There's no question Heaney is a risky, boom-or-bust option, but this is definitely the right spot to take a chance in tournaments.
Los Angeles Angels: It's a no-brainer to stack against Colorado's Chi Chi Gonzalez whenever we can, and tonight is no different with the Angels. Gonzalez is getting lit up for a 6.06 ERA this season and carries a 5.14 SIERA, 13.5% strikeout rate, and 38.8% ground-ball rate. A low strikeout rate paired with a low ground-ball rate should lead to plenty of fly balls and line drives, and it isn't shocking to see that it's resulted in 1.59 home runs per nine innings.
We may not be at Coors Field, but the Angels are still being credited with a robust 5.56 implied total, and Shohei Ohtani ($4,400) is easily one of the top overall bats on the slate. While this might not be the most exciting lineup to stack, it's littered with low salaries once you get past Ohtani, with Jared Walsh ($3,100) and Justin Upton ($2,700) being two of the better values as heart-of-the-order bats with some pop.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox are right up there with the Angels in terms of implied team total (5.59) against middling left-hander Kris Bubic. It's no secret Chicago has a fantastic track record against southpaws, and their active roster boasts a 116 wRC+ in the split.
Bubic is another pitcher who struggles with home runs, allowing 1.83 per nine innings this season. Against right-handed batters, he's produced a 4.94 xFIP, 18.4% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate, and we should expect close to an entire lineup of righties from the Sox.
Jose Abreu ($3,600) has always hit lefties well, but you don't necessarily need to spend all your cap space on this stack with Eloy Jimenez ($3,300), Yoan Moncada ($3,000), and Andrew Vaughn ($2,900) all likely to hit in the top half of the order. And while leadoff man Tim Anderson ($3,700) has a high salary, his 16 stolen bases rank top-10 in the league and provide some added upside.
Cincinnati Reds: Zach Davies has a respectable 4.30 ERA over 21 starts this season, and he's coming off one of his better starts of the season, but there's little to suggest he should have a sub-5.00 ERA. Davies is displaying a ghastly 5.62 SIERA with a 15.5% strikeout rate and 11.9% walk rate, and his curiously low 8.8% homer-to-fly-ball rate suggests some good fortune in the home run department that should regress over the long haul.
He's recorded a 5.85 xFIP versus lefties, so we'll definitely want Jesse Winker ($4,200) and Joey Votto ($3,700) in stacks when possible, and Tyler Naquin ($2,700) will also benefit. Of course, Davies is only slightly better in same-sided matchups (4.83 xFIP), so you can mix and match value righty sticks like Eugenio Suarez ($2,800) and Tyler Stephenson ($2,600), too, and leadoff man Jonathan India ($3,200) is still at a mid-range salary.