FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 10/2/21
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 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 have a handful of quality pitching options at a variety of salaries.
At the top of the heap -- both in salary and projection -- are Corbin Burnes ($10,600 on FanDuel) and Lucas Giolito ($9,900). Burnes tops the slate, per our model, with a projection of 38.8 FanDuel points, but the matchup is a rough one versus a Los Angeles Dodgers team that has a lot to play for. That pushes me to Giolito as my top choice.
Giolito doesn't have a matchup problem as he is at home against the Detroit Tigers. Detroit owns the 12th-highest strikeout rate over the last 30 days (23.5%), and they're 23rd in wOBA (.306) with the 3rd-highest strikeout rate (25.3%) for the season. Giolito sports a 3.68 SIERA and 28.2% strikeout rate. The Tigers' 3.28 implied total is a slate-low clip, and Giolito can crush in this spot. Just make sure the weather is OK.
Julio Urias ($8,900), Zac Gallen ($8,400) and Triston McKenzie ($8,200) are solid picks in the midrange. Urias gets the Milwaukee Brewers, Gallen hosts the Colorado Rockies and McKenzie is at the Texas Rangers. Of the three, I prefer Gallen.
The Rockies are last in road wOBA (.280) with the fourth-highest strikeout rate in the split (25.5%). Gallen has a 3.79 xFIP in the second half and a 3.45 xFIP this year at home. He's coming off a pair of nice outings against the Dodgers and Houston Astros, fanning 15 over 12 innings in those two starts. We project him for 32.4 FanDuel points and rate him as the best point-per-dollar play among all pitchers.
Stacks to Target
The Astros are at home against Paul Blackburn and are showing a 5.23 implied total, the slate's highest. Blackburn has pitched 136 innings in the bigs, and he's got a 4.87 SIERA and 12.7% strikeout rate. He's had a hard time with lefties and righties, so we have flexibility.
The issue with Houston, as always, is that they cost a pretty penny. The Astros have five guys listed at a salary of as least $3,700 -- Jose Altuve ($4,100), Kyle Tucker ($3,800), Carlos Correa ($3,700), Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) and Alex Bregman ($3,700).
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox boast a 5.20 implied total for their home clash with Matt Manning. A highly touted prospect, Manning is having a difficult rookie year as he has a 5.42 SIERA with an ugly 13.6% strikeout rate. Righties have rocked him for a .364 wOBA and lefties have a 40.2% hard-hit rate against Manning.
Much like Houston, Chicago puts a dent in your wallet if you want to stack the top guys. Tim Anderson ($4,100), Jose Abreu ($3,900), Luis Robert ($3,800), Yasmani Grandal ($3,800), Eloy Jimenez ($3,600) and Yoan Moncada ($3,500) are all at least $3,500, but they're outstanding plays if you have the salary.
Playing for a shot at a Wild Card berth, the Seattle Mariners will see rookie lefty Jhonathan Diaz. This is Diaz's second career start. He came on in long relief in his last appearance and performed well, firing seven frames of one-run ball. But Diaz managed a mere 19.4% strikeout rate in a brief Triple-A stint (15 1/3 innings), and Seattle holds a 4.79 implied total.
With only one bat -- Mitch Haniger ($3,900) -- above $3,300, the M's are easy to stack alongside Giolito or Burnes. Haniger has mashed his way to a .370 wOBA, 40.4% hard-hit rate and 42.4% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage. He's an excellent play if you can get to him.
Ty France ($3,300), Luis Torrens ($2,300) and Abraham Toro ($2,500) will be core plays for me as righties with easy-to-like salaries. Kyle Seager ($3,200) hasn't been good in lefty-lefty matchups, but he does have a 48.0% fly-ball rate in the split and could see a righty out of the 'pen.