FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/2/21
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.
Tonight's six-game main slate doesn't have a single pitcher with a salary above $8,700, so feel free to load all the way up on bats.
Anthony DeSclafani ($8,700) - The former Cincinnati Reds right-hander is the most expensive arm on tonight's slate, and he's certainly worthy of your consideration. DeSclafani enters tonight's outing with a 3.10 ERA and a 23.3% strikeout rate, and his 3.74 xERA and 3.94 xFIP are still pretty solid. The 31-year-old has racked up 46-plus FanDuel points in four of his last nine starts, and he's managed at least 33 in 7 of his last 10. Tonight, he'll get a dandy of a matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks. On the season, Arizona's 80 wRC+ mark against right-handed pitching is the second-worst mark in the majors, per FanGraphs. The team's 24.3% punch-out rate in that split is good for 12th-worst.
Tylor Megill ($8,500) - The first 35 1/3 innings in Megill's big league career have gotten off to a swimming start. The 26-year-old has put up a 2.04 ERA, 2.32 xERA, and 27.1% K rate to date. Not too shabby. While his peripherals aren't quite that good, the rookie is still someone to target against an offense like the Miami Marlins. Since the start of July, Miami has posted the fourth-worst wRC+ (90) and second-worst strikeout rate (25.4%) in the majors. Megill, who has garnered 43 and 31 FanDuel points in his last two games, could be in for a career performance tonight.
Michael Wacha ($7,100) - Starting Michael Wacha in DFS is like watching a horror movie where the good guys aren't always as dumb as a doorknob. Over his last five starts, Wacha has accrued outputs of 36, 42, and 43 FanDuel points, but he was also limited to 12 and 15 in the other two outings. You're going to get a decent ceiling, but his floor is almost nonexistent. Wacha's 4.79 ERA is a bit inflated, as indicated by his 4.12 xFIP and 4.13 SIERA. The right-hander's 22.1% strikeout rate could also be good enough for a matchup like the one he has tonight versus the Seattle Mariners. On the season, Seattle's .298 wOBA and 26.1% punch-out rate rank fourth-worst and dead last in the majors, respectively.
San Francisco Giants: According to numberFire's Matchup Heat Map, San Fran's 5.43 implied run total ranks second on tonight's slate. The Giants will square off against DBacks righty Taylor Widener, and that's delicious news for their hitters.
Through 56 2/3 major league innings, Widener has stockpiled a 5.90 xERA, 5.43 xFIP, and 2.06 HR/9. And while the 26-year-old has been generous to hitters from both sides of the plate, those with the platoon advantage have treated him like a tee. To date, lefties have posted a .900 OPS, .378 wOBA, and 2.42 dongs per nine innings against Widener. That's #notgood.
Those numbers will be particularly problematic against a Giants team that absolutely smashes right-handed pitching. San Francisco's .202 ISO in that split ranks first in the bigs.
There are a plethora of hitters we can target, but let's try to narrow it down some. If he's in the lineup, LaMonte Wade Jr ($3,600) is a no-brainer. The 27-year-old has assembled a 1.009 OPS, .355 ISO, .418 wOBA, and 165 wRC+ against opposite-handed pitching in 2021.
Two more lefty boppers, Brandon Crawford ($3,200) and Mike Yastrzemski, need to be considered. Crawford has garnered a .973 OPS, .267 ISO, .408 wOBA, and 159 wRC+ against righties, and Yas has managed a .885 OPS, .303 ISO, .370 wOBA, and 134 wRC+ in that split.
In the value department, Darin Ruf ($2,400) and Steven Duggar ($2,200) are very much in play. The two have accrued wRC+ marks of 150 and 127, respectively, against right-handed pitching. We also can't entirely Kris Bryant ($4,200) or Buster Posey ($3,100), though Bryant's hefty salary does make me a bit hesitant, especially with a righty on the mound.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Pittsburgh Pirates recently acquired Bryse Wilson in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for closer Richard Rodriguez, and the righty will be making his debut for his new club against Milwaukee tonight.
In 69 1/3 big league innings since 2019, Wilson has struggled to the tune of a 5.84 ERA, 5.43 xFIP, a 16.9% strikeout rate, and 1.8 HR/9. Left-handed hitters have absolutely demolished the 23-year-old, posting a .336 average, 1.009 OPS, .421 wOBA, 2.3 dongs per nine innings, and just a 13.0% K rate. Yikes.
Milwaukee has a number of hitters we can target here, but let's start with Rowdy Tellez ($2,600). In 46 plate appearances as a member of the Brewers against opposite-handed pitching, Tellez has accumulated a 1.058 OPS, .359 ISO, .436 wOBA, and 174 wRC+.
Of course, catcher Omar Narvaez ($3,000) has raked in this split all year, with a .851 OPS and 128 wRC+. Newcomer Eduardo Escobar ($3,700) has a .229 ISO versus right-handed pitching since 2018. Finally, Willy Adames ($3,500) doesn't have the platoon advantage, but his .994 OPS, .282 ISO, .421 wOBA, and 164 wRC+ against righties in a Brewer uniform is borderline absurd.
New York Yankees: With a slate-leading implied run total of 6.04, the Yankees are bound to be extremely chalky tonight, but that doesn't mean we can completely ignore them.
Toeing the rubber against New York will be Baltimore Orioles' right-hander Jorge Lopez. Though his under-the-hood numbers aren't quite as bad, Lopez has pitched to the tune of a 6.33 ERA over 258 2/3 innings since the start of 2019. That's a rather large sample size. During that stretch, Lopez has struck out fewer than 20% of the hitters he's faced, and he's ceded 1.7 homers per nine.
Left-handed bats have utterly destroyed the 28-year-old, racking up a .307 average, .924 OPS, .386 wOBA, and 2.1 HR/9 against him during that stretch. Wowza.
Right off the top, newcomers Anthony Rizzo ($4,400) and Joey Gallo ($3,500) should have your attention. Since 2014, Rizzo has cumulated a .903 OPS, .239 ISO, .381 wOBA, and 140 wRC+ when he's had the platoon advantage. Meanwhile, Gallo has popped a .292 ISO against righties since 2017.
We also can't forget about Aaron Judge ($4,000), who has a 129 wRC+ against same-sided pitching this season.