FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/6/21
We're getting a large Friday slate as usual, but it's actually lacking in top-tier pitching, with arguably only one elite hurler on the board. That could lend itself towards picking through some of the mid-tier or value pitching options on a night that's pretty deep for offense.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Corbin Burnes ($11,000): There were some concerns surrounding Burnes following the crackdown on sticky stuff, but he's now produced a 2.95 SIERA, 31.7% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate dating back to the start of June. While there have been some clunkers along the way -- including his most recent start against Atlanta -- he's also demonstrated massive upside with two starts hitting 70 FanDuel points.
The Giants are far from an easy matchup, but they do whiff a fair amount, checking in with a 25.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, and their 3.44 implied total is one of the night's lowest. If Burnes is on his game, it's hard to see anyone else on the slate matching his fantastic ceiling.
Chris Bassitt ($9,800): Bassitt has solid if unspectacular underlying numbers, but his matchup against Texas is what should have us interested in his services. This is a pretty bare-bones lineup that collectively has a 79 wRC+ versus righties, leaving them with a slate-low 2.91 implied total.
While Bassitt's 24.9% strikeout rate pales in comparison to someone like Burnes, he's capable of making up for that through efficiency. The Oakland right-hander consistently pitches deep into games, recording at least six innings in 15 of his 22 starts while reaching seven or more innings 10 times. For the season, he ranks fourth overall in innings pitched and is tied for ninth in quality starts.
Kyle Muller ($7,700): Although Muller has plenty of red flags, that's baked into his low salary, and he possesses some upside through a 27.0% strikeout rate. He's yet to record six full innings in any of his six starts, owns an ugly 12.3% walk rate, and has definitely lucked out with a .250 BABIP and 2.9% homer-to-fly-ball rate. A mediocre 4.41 SIERA is probably a better indication of how he's performed.
All that being said, he's up against a Nationals lineup that has little left beyond Juan Soto after selling off most of its parts at the trade deadline. And even with some of the concerns surrounding Muller, Washington is being credited with a mere 3.86 implied total, one of the evening's lower marks. On a slate with really just one elite arm in Burnes, it's not a bad spot to take a chance on Muller and load up on your bats.
New York Yankees: It's been a long year for Marco Gonzales, and while he's enjoyed decent results of late, this is a rough spot for him against the Yankees. Gonzales has been getting pummeled by right-handed hitters with an ugly 5.65 xFIP, 19.1% strikeout rate, and 10.4% walk rate. That low punchout rate paired with a 48.4% fly-ball rate has also led to 2.36 homers per nine innings in the split. Ouch.
The Yankees' lineup is no longer as righty-heavy as it was before the deadline, but Aaron Judge ($3,800) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600) are clear priorities tonight, and DJ LeMahieu ($3,200) and Gleyber Torres ($2,900) will also enjoy the platoon advantage.
Newcomers Anthony Rizzo ($4,000) and Joey Gallo ($3,600) can both hold their own in lefty-lefty matchups, so they can also be added to the mix, as well. Although Gonzales has produced better results in same-sided matchups, he still holds just an 18.6% strikeout rate in the split.
Oakland Athletics: Not only has Mike Foltynewicz allowed the most home runs in the league (31), but he's the only one to crack 30 this year. He's giving up dingers to both sides of the plate, but he's been particularly poor versus left-handed sticks, where he's showing a 5.96 xFIP and 14.3% strikeout rate.
That should put us on Matt Olson ($4,200) as a fantastic play, and he's a stellar one-off, as well. Unfortunately, the Athletics are short on lefties after him, but we can look to Jed Lowrie ($3,100) and Mitch Moreland ($2,500) as value plays.
And like I said, Foltynewicz ain't so hot in same-sided matchups, either, as he's allowing well over two dingers per nine innings against lefties and righties alike. Starling Marte ($4,100), Ramon Laureano ($3,400), and Mark Canha ($2,900) are some of the other standouts.
Cleveland Indians: We've got Coors Field and loads of high implied totals on this slate, so you can make arguments for quite a few stacks tonight. That could leave Cleveland out of the limelight, and while they don't have the most exciting lineup, they draw perhaps the best matchup of them all.
Matt Manning has shown little over eight starts, entering the day with a 5.54 SIERA and 11.6% strikeout rate. Manning's worst start of the year came against these same Indians in late June, where he coughed up nine earned runs and two home runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Manning has poor numbers against both sides of the plate, but he gets fewer grounders against righties, which has led to four of his five dingers allowed coming in that split. If nothing else, that means you'll want some exposure to Franmil Reyes ($3,600) and his massive .311 ISO.
The lefties also have a plenty good matchup, though, as Manning's showing a 5.80 xFIP in the split. Look to Jose Ramirez ($3,900) and Bobby Bradley ($2,500) as top candidates to cash in, and then round things out with the low-salaried options in the lineup -- every other batter comes in under $3,000.