FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/20/22
Tonight's main slate begins roughly an hour earlier than usual at 6:07 pm ET, giving us 10 games in all. With the Coors Field game taking place earlier in the day, we have generally lower implied totals across all 10 contests, with no team exceeding five implied runs.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Carlos Rodon ($10,800): Rodon has been brilliant over his first two starts, allowing just two earned runs over his first dozen innings with a 46.7% strikeout rate and 35.2% called-plus-swinging-strike (CSW) rate. Sure, those punchouts won't stay this high, but last year's 34.6% clip is looking more and more like a reality if he keeps things up.
When healthy, the southpaw was one of the top pitchers in baseball last season. Among pitchers with at least 130 innings, Rodon's 2.96 SIERA ranked fourth behind only Corbin Burnes, Max Scherzer, and Gerrit Cole.
He faces a solid Mets lineup, but with mild temperatures at pitcher-friendly Citi Field, the home team is looking at a slate-low 3.13 implied total. Rodon's logged 89 and 90 pitches in his two 2022 outings, so we should see at least that many tonight.
Particularly on a slate with lower implied totals across the board, spending up for Rodon's salary is easy to like on Wednesday.
Luis Severino ($9,000): While Chris Bassitt ($10,500) has also gotten off to a hot start, he feels over-salaried for a guy who posted a 25.0% strikeout rate last year and otherwise has a career 21.7% rate. Maybe he'll be able to build off last year's improvements, but I would rather just roster Rodon at almost the same salary.
Instead, a more intriguing option is to hop down to Severino, who sure looks like the elite starter we saw prior to injuries derailing the past few seasons. In his last full season (2018), Severino posted a 3.26 SIERA, 28.2% strikeout rate, and 5.9% walk rate over 32 starts.
Over his first 2022 appearances, the right-hander has logged a 31.4% strikeout rate and 5.7% walk rate, and his velocity is back up to pre-injury levels, too.
While he's still unlikely to get pushed too hard in terms of pitch count, he did get up to 83 in his most recent start, so it's possible that he flirts with around 90 tonight.
He gets a plus matchup for punchouts versus the Tigers, so we could see his best performance yet after opening with tough draws against the Red Sox and Blue Jays. The Tigers have a 3.37 implied total, one of the evening's lowest.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,100): On the other side of that same game, we find Rodriguez, who's gotten off to a rocky start with his new team.
Frankly, it's been bad all around for E-Rod. He's allowed five earned runs in just 7 2/3 innings, and both his strikeout and walk rates have been significantly worse than usual.
However, those poor outings came in tough spots against the White Sox and Red Sox, which could at least partially explain his struggles.
Things won't get much easier versus the Yankees, a lineup littered with right-handed sticks. Still, if Rodriguez is anything like last year's version, we're getting a lefty who produced a 3.65 SIERA, 27.4% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate at a whopping $3,700 discount from Rodon.
And as a Boston starter, E-Rod faced the Bronx Bombers plenty of times in 2021 and had his share of fruitful starts. It remains to be seen if we get one of those tonight, but New York is showing only a 4.13 implied total in Detroit.
Toronto Blue Jays: Nick Pivetta has teased with promising peripherals for much of his career and occasionally shown flashes of greatness, but he ultimately always ends up performing worse than his ERA estimators year after year.
Home runs have been one of his biggest annual issues (1.39 per nine innings in 2021), and he's stumbled out of the gates in 2022, already coughing up three dingers over 7 2/3 innings. The other problem has been free passes (9.8% walk rate in 2021), and he's issued five of those already, too.
Therefore, it isn't too shocking to see a potent Toronto offense getting a slate-high 4.93 implied total at Fenway Park.
But you can also get solid power from the projected four through seven hitters in the order in Lourdes Gurriel ($3,400), Zach Collins ($2,300), Matt Chapman ($3,300), and Alejandro Kirk ($2,300). Gurriel and Chapman have both exceeded a .200 ISO over their careers, while Collins and Kirk are close to the minimum salary.
That makes them a top value stack against left-hander Daniel Lynch, and rostering them will make it easy to find the space for Rodon and/or some of Toronto's elite bats.
Lynch performed poorly in just about every metric in 2021, logging a 5.19 SIERA, 17.7% strikeout rate, 10.0% walk rate, and 38.8% ground-ball rate.
Against the lefty, Carlos Correa ($3,000) and Jorge Polanco ($3,100) are ideal choices, and Gio Urshela ($2,700) will likely move up the order and bat third. Kyle Garlick ($2,000) is minimum-salaried and hit cleanup versus a lefty on Monday, but keep in mind that he's a pinch-hit risk.
Boston Red Sox: I'm guessing the Blue Jays are the chalk stack, and Minnesota's low salaries could make the Twins popular, as well. After that, we may see things a bit more spread out, and the Red Sox are one such alternative.
I would normally have suggested the Los Angeles Angels versus Jake Odorizzi, but with Shohei Ohtani pitching, he's not eligible to roster as a hitter, and if we don't get Mike Trout back, we're left with far less to work with as a stack.
Boston's matchup is far from ideal versus Jose Berrios, but he's performed well below his standard in back-to-back starts, allowing seven earned runs and three round-trippers in 5 1/3 innings. He has an ugly 16.1% strikeout rate and 16.1% walk rate thus far.
Berrios also posted a far lower ground-ball rate versus lefties last year (37.1%), which contributed to him allowing 1.51 home runs in the split. That makes Rafael Devers ($4,000) the top pick, and Alex Verdugo ($3,500) gets a boost, as well.
You might even consider Jackie Bradley ($2,600), who is coming off a horrible season but hasn't been a total zero in the power department over the years with a career .164 ISO.
Beyond that, it's just picking the best righty sticks and banking on Berrios failing to turn things around against a difficult opponent.