FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 8/14/21
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.
There are three pitchers I'm really into -- Walker Buehler ($11,500 on FanDuel), Luis Garcia ($7,900) and Joe Musgrove ($9,600). Each has the strikeout upside we crave, and two of the three are in a super friendly matchup. The one who isn't is Buehler, and he's been so great this year that it just doesn't matter.
Amazingly, Buehler has gone at least six innings in all but one start this season. Over his last four outings, he's allowed a total of three earned runs across 26 1/3 frames while striking out 30. He's put up at least 49 FanDuel points in five of his past six starts. Dude has been a machine. The matchup at the New York Mets could be better, but the Mets haven't been good of late, holding just the 24th-highest wOBA (.296) over the last 14 days. Buehler is the top arm for me.
After Buehler, I prefer Garcia to Musgrove, although I'll have some of both. Garcia has broken out in a big way this season, pitching to a 3.49 SIERA and 29.8% strikeout rate. He's been a legit ace. Garcia produced a ceiling game in his last start, racking up 52 points over six shutout frames versus the Minnesota Twins. He can deal today against the Los Angeles Angels. Over the last 14 days, the Angels sit 26th in wOBA (.272) with the 10th-highest strikeout rate (23.7%).
Musgrove has been better suited for tournaments, and his recent outings highlight that. After putting up exactly 12 FanDuel points in three of four starts in a span covering the end of June and mid-July, he's ripped off outings of 34, 64, 34 and 49 in his last four games. Inefficiency plagued him during the poor run, but he's completed at least six innings in four consecutive turns. In a matchup with an Arizona Diamondbacks offense that is a great target for DFS -- last 30 days: 21st in wOBA (.312) with the 5th-highest strikeout rate (24.3%) -- Musgrove could have another spike game. Arizona's 3.59 implied total is a slate-low clip as of Saturday morning.
Dylan Cease ($8,900) and James Kaprielian ($8,500) are worth mentioning, too.
Cease has as much upside as anyone if he's on, sporting a 30.8% strikeout rate and 14.7% swinging-strike rate this season. While the New York Yankees aren't as good of a matchup as they were before the trade deadline, they still have a lot of swing and miss in their lineup. Cease has five games of at least 55 FanDuel points, and he's unlikely to be too popular given who he's facing. Our model is higher on him than I am, ranking him thir.
Kaprielian draws a dream date with the Texas Rangers. Across the last 14 days, Texas is last -- by a country mile -- in wOBA (.234) with the fourth-highest strikeout rate (24.3%). Kaprielian owns a 25.9% strikeout rate and 4.14 SIERA, so he's capable of doing some damage in this spot and is plenty viable.
Stacks to Target
The Oakland Athletics will be up against Jordan Lyles, who has struggled to a 4.93 SIERA while generating an 18.2% strikeout rate. The contact he allows -- a 39.1% hard-hit rate and 42.9% fly-ball rate --paired with the low strikeout rate is exactly what we're looking for when stacking. The Athletics' 5.19 implied total is the second-highest on the slate.
Starling Marte ($4,400) and Matt Olson ($4,000) are up there in salary. You should try to get to them. Marte has swiped a bag in four of his last six games while Olson has a .376 wOBA, 39.6% hard-hit rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate this season against righties. Olson will be a big-time priority for me as he's our algorithm's fifth-best point-per-dollar play despite his $4,000 salary.
I'll pair Olson with three of Mark Canha ($3,500), Jed Lowrie ($3,200), Mitch Moreland ($2,900), Sean Murphy ($2,500) and Seth Brown ($2,300).
Using at least two of Lowrie, Moreland, Murphy and Brown eases a lot of the cap concerns when stacking Oakland. With the platoon advantage, Moreland has a 38.2% fly-ball rate. After posting a .373 wOBA in July, Brown has a .382 wOBA so far in August. Murphy carries a .343 wOBA in righty-righty matchups. Brown and Murphy are the two best point-per-dollar bats, per our projections. Lowrie will be in the middle of the lineup and has two taters this month.
San Diego Padres
The Diamondbacks are scheduled start lefty Tyler Gilbert, who has worked as a starter in the minors but hasn't thrown more than 32 pitches in any MLB appearance. It should be something of a bullpen game for the D-Backs. Well, Arizona is third-worst in reliever SIERA (4.41), and the San Diego Padres' offense is good. As such, San Diego boasts a 4.71 implied total.
We don't need to worry too much about matchups, so we have a lot of freedom with Padres stacks.
Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,500) may be back from the injured list for this game. Not only would he be an elite play if he does return, Tatis also lifts the outlook for the entire lineup. But even if Tatis is held out, this offense can eat.
Manny Machado ($4,100), Tommy Pham ($3,300) and Adam Frazier ($3,200) are all top-notch plays. Pham and Frazer have been cemented atop the lineup and come with modest salaries. Machado mashed his way to a .479 wOBA in July.
Trent Grisham ($3,500) is starting to get going. He's recorded a .451 wOBA in August and may retake the leadoff spot from Pham eventually, although that's unlikely today with a lefty starting.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a fun team to stack against lefties, because they have a lot of good right-handed bats, some of whom come with low salaries. They'll host Kyle Freeland tonight.
Against a southpaw last night, the Giants slotted Austin Slater ($2,500) and Darin Ruf ($2,700) first and fourth, respectively, and they're going to be two core plays for me. Not only do their salaries make it easier to get to a high-salaried arm, both are doing work versus left-handers. Ruf has a .424 wOBA in the split while Slater owns a .346 wOBA. Our projections have them as top-10 point-per-dollar sticks.
Wilmer Flores ($3,000) is another value bat I will be heavy on. He went deep against a lefty yesterday, and he's got a .334 wOBA and 15 homers this season. Kris Bryant ($3,900) and Buster Posey ($3,300) are harder to get to but offer good pop with the platoon advantage.