FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/3/21
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 projections and 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.
It's an interesting slate for pitching. Despite it being a 15-gamer, there are no elite-level aces from which to choose. At the same time, our model has eight hurlers pegged for at least 30 FanDuel points, so there are a lot of good options -- just not a standout one.
The high-upside guy with the fewest red flags is Dylan Cease ($8,300 on FanDuel), and he's easy to love at his salary, which is just the seventh-highest. That will likely push a lot of people his way, especially on a Coors slate.
Cease has been really good this season, posting a career-best 3.77 SIERA. With a 29.3% strikeout rate and 14.6% swinging-strike rate, Cease certainly has the punchout upside we're looking for. There are a few reasons to be hesitant -- namely his 9.3% walk rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate -- but the Kansas City Royals don't pack much of a punch and sport an attackable 3.66 implied total. We rank Cease as the night's top arm, projecting him for 36.6 FanDuel points.
Zack Wheeler ($10,700) is the other guy I'm really into tonight. He's got a 3.12 SIERA and 29.8% strikeout rate. Wheeler has put up at least 52 FanDuel points in three of his last five starts, so the ceiling is there. The floor is, too, as Wheeler has just two outings with fewer than 31 FanDuel points across his past 15 starts. He's taking on a Washington Nationals team that is sans Trea Turner and holds a 3.56 implied total. Wheeler is close to Cease for me but is $2,400 more.
The slate's highest-salaried pitcher is Walker Buehler ($11,100), and he's got a brutal matchup with the Houston Astros, a team that has the lowest strikeout rate in baseball (19.4%). The salary and matchup should keep Buehler's draft percentage down, making him a worthwhile target in tournaments. Buehler has gone at least six innings in all but one start this campaign and has been on a heater over his last four -- 55, 50, 49, and 49 FanDuel points. Two of those games were versus the high-powered San Francisco Giants and one was at Coors, so Buehler can smash in tough spots.
Walker faces the Miami Marlins, who were a bad offense before the trade deadline and then got worse. Miami's 3.38 implied total is the slate's lowest, but we have Walker -- who has permitted at least five runs in three straight starts -- scoring only 25.8 FanDuel points. Ryu's numbers are down across the board (4.16 SIERA and 20.0% strikeout rate) compared to the last few seasons, but a matchup with the Cleveland Indians gives him a boost. Cleveland's implied total is only 3.59, and our projections have Ryu recording a decent 30.3 FanDuel points.
There are two low-salary arms I kinda dig -- Adrian Houser ($6,800) and Luis Patino ($6,800). I'm not sure I'll have any of either, but they're at least worth a mention as possible value picks. Houser is taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates, and while the Pirates are not good (28th in wOBA), they don't strike out much (2nd-lowest strikeout rate). So of these two, Patino interests me more.
Patino gets the Seattle Mariners. Seattle is 27th in wOBA (.299) with the 2nd-highest strikeout rate (26.0%). They're a great matchup for DFS. Patino's season-long numbers don't align with his $6,800 salary as he boasts a 3.94 SIERA and 26.7% strikeout rate. He just fanned eight over six innings versus the New York Yankees last time out. The issue with using Patino is that he doesn't go deep into games. That Yankees outing was his first time pitching six innings this year, and his season-high pitch count is 98. But he can rack up strikeouts today for however long he's in there.
Stacks to Target
Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs
We've got a Coors game between the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs. The total is 11.5, which is 1.5 runs higher than the total for any other game. We project 12.1 runs to be scored. That should be of no surprise given that low-strikeout hurlers Zach Davies and Kyle Freeland are taking the bump.
In short, you want pieces from this game. One caveat -- rain could potentially be an issue, so keep an eye on that. This game getting washed out would have a big impact on the slate.
I'm not going to run through all the viable plays on each side, because everyone who starts is in play. But I will hit on a few non-stud bats.
On the Cubs (5.27 implied total) side, Rafael Ortega ($3,400) has a modest salary and should be hitting around the top of the order. He's got 66.1 and 34.4 FanDuel points over his last two, including a triple-dong game. Ortega might wind up as the night's most popular stick. David Bote ($3,000) and Matt Duffy ($3,000) are projected to hit fifth and third, respectively, and will have the platoon advantage at easy-to-fit-in salaries.
For the Rox, whose 6.23 implied total is a slate-high mark, Brendan Rodgers ($3,300) may finally be living up to his prospect billing, homering four times across his last seven games -- none of which were in Coors. Raimel Tapia ($3,200) is low-salary access to a leadoff hitter if he is able to play (toe). Sam Hilliard ($2,600) is someone I'll be overweight on if he gets in the lineup. The lefty has been playing more of late and has two jacks and a swipe over his last five starts.
New York Yankees
The Yankees made a flurry of deadline moves to add lefty pop to their lineup, yet their offense just keeps disappointing. They managed just one run last night in a game started by Jorge Lopez. It's not going well. Surely they'll pounce on lefty Alexander Wells -- right?
Oddsmakers think so as the Yanks' 5.69 implied total is the slate's second-highest clip. Nothing in Wells' profile suggests he's very good. He amassed a meager 20.6% strikeout rate in 43 Triple-A innings this season and has struck out only 16.7% of hitters en route to a 5.72 SIERA in 15 1/3 MLB frames.
The foursome of Anthony Rizzo ($4,000), Aaron Judge ($4,000), Giancarlo Stanton ($3,400). and Joey Gallo ($3,500) offers gobs of pop and upside, but they also cost an arm and a leg. DJ LeMahieu ($3,000), Gleyber Torres ($2,900). and Gary Sanchez ($2,800) can be put into Yankees' stacks to save some salary. Greg Allen ($2,300) needs to be on the radar if he gets back into a starting role. He stole five bases in 10 games prior to getting dinged up and can be a vital source of cap relief.
The Rockies, Cubs. and Yankees will be three of the chalkier stacks tonight, so I want to go off the grid a bit with this one. The Milwaukee Brewers have a 5.22 implied total, so I'm not digging through the dumpster here, but that implied total is just the seventh-highest. They shouldn't be crazy popular.
Milwaukee -- who finished July fifth in wOBA (.338) for the month -- is taking on rookie right-hander Max Kranick, the owner of an 18.7% strikeout rate in 16 MLB innings. Prior to getting the call to the bigs, Kranick had just a 19.0% strikeout rate over 26 1/3 Triple-A innings.
Kolten Wong ($3,600), Willy Adames ($3,500), Omar Narvaez ($3,000). and Avisail Garcia ($3,600) are projected to hit 1-4. Adames just keeps mashing, popping 13 jacks with a .389 wOBA since being traded to Milwaukee. Narvaez has a .366 wOBA against righties. Rowdy Tellez ($2,600) is a stellar point-per-dollar play. He'll have the platoon advantage and has slugged his way to four dingers and a .426 wOBA over 58 plate appearances since being acquired by the Brew Crew.