FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/27/22
We get a worry-free slate in terms of weather, and it's a good one for pitching, with viable options at multiple salary tiers. Implied totals continue to be somewhat muted due to mild temperatures and this year's deadened baseballs.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Shohei Ohtani ($10,500): Although his actual results are slightly marred by one poor start, Ohtani has a fantastic 1.48 SIERA, 44.1% strikeout rate, and 6.8% walk rate through three outings, and it's sure looking like he's going to be every bit the stud he was in 2021. His massive strikeout rate is backed by an impressive 16.5% swinging-strike rate and 37.7% called-plus-swinging-strike (CSW) rate.
Ohtani has a potentially troublesome matchup against Cleveland, though, which has an active roster that's surprisingly top 10 in wRC+ to begin the year and isn't a particularly great opponent for strikeouts.
While that isn't a great sign, this Guardians group was below average last season, and they have one of the slate's lowest implied totals (3.17), suggesting this team is playing over their heads.
We've yet to see Ohtani go past 81 pitches in a start, but that didn't stop him from blanking the Astros across six innings and notching a dozen strikeouts in his last outing (64 FanDuel points). While efficiency will be important for him to live up to his slate-high salary, that performance clearly shows that his ceiling remains incredible.
Joe Ryan ($9,200): Ryan isn't putting up Ohtani-level numbers, but a 3.59 SIERA, 26.7% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate isn't half bad. Considering he's also produced a 14.3% swinging-strike rate this year and had a 30.0% strikeout rate over five 2021 starts, there could be even more punchout potential in his arm.
Perhaps he can tap into that versus Detroit (3.00 implied total), a team that has the sixth-highest strikeout rate (24.3%) dating back to last season. Cool temperatures and the wind blowing in can only further help Ryan clamp down on the Tigers.
Ryan's pitch count bumped up to 85 in his most recent appearance, so he could be nearing a full workload. Even while being held in the 80s, that hasn't stopped him from going six innings in back-to-back outings, helping him to two quality starts.
Charlie Morton ($7,700): Morton has struggled thus far, though like we saw from Walker Buehler the other day, we shouldn't rule out a quick turnaround. However, the difference is that we're talking about a 38-year-old towards the end of his career, and Father Time always wins out eventually.
Morton's numbers are down pretty much across the board, but his velocity is still there, so maybe this is just the result of having tougher matchups against the Dodgers and Padres in his last two starts.
If this is still the same ol' Morton, then last year's 3.53 SIERA, 28.6% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate is what we're buying, and those are eye-popping marks at this sub-$8,000 salary. Pitch count also isn't an issue after logging 95 pitches in each of the last two outings.
The Cubs are off to a hot start, and while Seiya Suzuki could be for real, this is a lineup that should come back down to Earth and has a middling 3.61 implied total.
If you're afraid Morton is cooked, then Jordan Montgomery ($7,800) is another value option against a subpar Orioles lineup.
Atlanta Braves: The Braves own the slate's highest implied total (4.89), drawing a plus matchup against Mark Leiter Jr. while also enjoying some decent hitting weather in their home digs. While temperatures in the 70s won't move the needle in the summer months, that's pretty darn good compared to the 50s we see at other venues tonight.
Prior to this season, Leiter last appeared in the big leagues in 2018, and judging from early returns, maybe it should have stayed that way.
Although the 31-year-old put up solid marks in the minors last season, he hasn't been able to work that magic in his two 2022 starts, getting rocked to the tune of a 5.23 SIERA with a 20.0% strikeout rate and 17.1% walk rate.
One of those appearances did come in Colorado, so perhaps he deserves a pass for that outing, but until he proves otherwise, Leiter looks like a guy to attack with stacks.
That's especially the case when the opposing team is the Braves. Similar to a team like the Dodgers, this lineup is pretty easy to like from top to bottom, and there are some standout values in guys like Marcell Ozuna ($3,000) and Adam Duvall ($2,700).
Even near-minimum guys like Alex Dickerson ($2,100) and Travis Demeritte ($2,100) have enough pop in their bats to be relevant, and the absence of Eddie Rosario should lessen the threat of the latter being lifted for a pinch hitter. Dickerson owns a career .206 ISO while Demeritte projects for similar pop from some projection systems.
New York Yankees: The Yankees' bats woke up in a big way on Tuesday, and they could be at it again tonight against Tyler Wells.
Wells was fairly effective as a reliever in 2021, but that hasn't translated to success in the rotation this year. The righty's looking at a 4.89 SIERA, 15.4% strikeout rate, and 10.3% walk rate through three starts, and a 40.7% ground-ball rate could also leave him susceptible to dingers.
You can always go with Aaron Judge ($3,600) or last night's DFS hero, Anthony Rizzo ($3,500), but you can also create a dirt-cheap stack with Giancarlo Stanton ($2,900), Josh Donaldson ($3,000), Gleyber Torres ($2,300), and Joey Gallo ($2,700). Sure, these low-salaried bats are off to sluggish starts, but like we saw last night, this lineup is far more potent than they've shown to this point.
Los Angeles Angels: There's arguably a bit of drop-off after those two stacks, so I'm guessing they draw the most attention tonight. If you're looking for an alternative, though, the Angels could be one of the better choices versus Zach Plesac.
Plesac has actually had positive results in his three outings, but this still looks like the same low-strikeout hurler we got in 2021; he's got an underwhelming 14.5% strikeout rate. Plesac posted a 5.13 xFIP against lefties last year, but he also allowed 1.88 home runs per nine innings to righties, so we really can't go wrong here.
Unfortunately, with Ohtani pitching tonight, he's unavailable to roster as a hitter, but we still have Mike Trout ($4,500) sitting there, and he's looked like his superstar self this season.
While this isn't the deepest lineup, we can surround Trout with Taylor Ward ($3,000), Jared Walsh ($3,300), and Anthony Rendon ($3,300) for a solid foursome.