FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 9/5/21
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.
We've got an excellent pitching slate this afternoon. Our model projects five guys for at least 32 FanDuel points, including three for 36-plus.
The cream of the crop is Zack Wheeler ($11,000 on FanDuel). In addition to a 3.23 SIERA and 28.6% strikeout rate, Wheeler has a lovely matchup versus the Miami Marlins. Miami's .300 wOBA over the last 30 days ranks 24th while they carry the 2nd-highest strikeout rate in the split (26.8%). The Marlins' implied total isn't yet posted, but it'll surely be a very low clip. Our algorithm slots Wheeler first with a projection of 38.9 FanDuel points.
Corbin Burnes ($11,500) is another superb play. His 2.65 SIERA and 34.6% strikeout rate are insanely good, and he's tossed at least 93 pitches in seven of his past eight outings. While a matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals isn't a cakewalk -- the Cards are fourth in wOBA (.340) over the last month -- oddsmakers are giving St. Louis a meager 3.19 implied total.
Cease is taking on the Kansas City Royals. KC usually limits punchouts fairly well, but Cease fanned 11 Royals in six innings the last time these two faced off. He has posted a 33.3% strikeout rate in the second half. With a few high-salary stacks in outstanding spots, Cease's salary is super appealing, and he has the swing-and-miss stuff to put up a slate-high score. One word of warning: Kansas City's 4.03 implied total is higher than we'd like.
Castillo has a solid matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Over the last 30 days, Detroit is 20th in wOBA (.304) with the 12th-highest strikeout rate (24.2%). In the second half, Castillo has ranked up a 27.8% strikeout rate, and he's produced at least 35 FanDuel points in four straight. The Tigers' 3.46 implied total is a clip we can attack.
Lastly, Robbie Ray ($11,200) is probably my least favorite arm of the five we're breaking down, but he's also well worth considering for GPPs. The reason I'm down on him today is a date with the Oakland Athletics, a lineup with the third-lowest strikeout rate (19.5%) in the past 30 days. But Ray brings plenty of strikeout juice on his own, boasting a 31.9% strikeout rate, and Oakland is getting a lowly 3.72 implied total. Our model has Ray pegged for 36.3 FanDuel points, the third-most.
Stacks to Target
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees will be the chalk stack of the slate. They show a 6.26 implied total against Keegan Akin. That is nearly a full run higher than everyone else. Akin has been bombed for a .372 wOBA and 44.4% fly-ball rate by right-handers, and he's got a 17.8% strikeout rate in the split. That's where I'll focus.
DJ LeMahieu ($3,600), Aaron Judge ($4,400) and Giancarlo Stanton ($4,100) should hit first, third and fourth, respectively. Rostering both Judge and Stanton is hard to do if you're using Wheeler, Burnes or Ray, but they're both top-10 sticks on the slate.
A more economical route is stacking lower-in-the-order righties Luke Voit ($3,300), Gleyber Torres ($3,000), Gary Sanchez ($2,900) and Gio Urshela ($2,500). They are projected to hit 6-9 and can be jammed in alongside an ace.
Anthony Rizzo ($3,800) isn't a guy we have to fade in lefty-lefty spots. We project him as the third-best Yankees bat.
Toronto Blue Jays
Most of what I just said about the Yanks can be said about the Toronto Blue Jays. They're in a smash spot, will likely be popular and are even higher in salary.
Toronto will see Cole Irvin. For the year, Irvin owns just a 15.6% strikeout rate, and that mark is 14.8% against righties. The Jays have a bunch of right-handed sticks who can do damage.
The big hurdle is that five of the Jays are listed at $3,900 or higher -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,500), George Springer ($4,100), Marcus Semien ($4,100), Bo Bichette ($4,000) and Teoscar Hernandez (3,900). Hernandez has the lowest salary of this group, but he might be the best play. Against southpaws this season, he's produced an absurd .469 wOBA with 11 jacks in 113 plate appearances.
Randal Grichuk ($2,800) and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,300) are handy as low-salary ways to get a piece of this offense. Grichuk hasn't been good this campaign, but he had a .399 wOBA with the platoon advantage last year. While Gurriel hasn't been good in this split, he does have a .377 wOBA in the second half.
New York Mets
We need to find some low-salary options to pair with a high-salary arm and the stacks above. That's where the New York Mets come in. I'm not sure I'll full-on stack the Mets, but they have some guys who interest me. They match up with Josiah Gray and check in with a 4.67 implied total.
No one on the Mets is more than $3,500. Pete Alonso ($3,500) and Francisco Lindor ($3,300) offer upside at modest salaries. Lindor is the main attraction for me. He's got a 44.4% hard-hit rate and 41.7% fly-ball rate in the second half.
I'm also into Michael Conforto ($2,700). In the midst of an uncharacteristically down season, Conforto has picked it up lately, popping three dingers across his last seven games. In the second half, he's slugged his way to a .345 wOBA and 46.9% hard-hit rate, and he's recorded a .343 wOBA with the platoon advantage over the course of the year.