FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/6/22
Poor weather is the theme of the day, and both Rangers-Yankees and Mets-Phillies are already postponed. Games in Baltimore and Cleveland could also be affected, so keep close tabs on the news throughout the afternoon.
Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!
Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
(Update: The Blue Jays-Guardians game has been postponed.)
Kevin Gausman ($10,400): Both Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole are already off the table due to weather, but we can still pivot to Gausman up top. While Cleveland's weather also isn't perfect, this game looks far more likely to play.
Gausman's been phenomenal in 2022, logging a 1.82 SIERA and 33.6% strikeout rate across five starts. Remarkably, he's yet to issue a single walk or allow any home runs.
At first glance, this isn't necessarily the best matchup against a Guardians team that's been fantastic at the plate to begin the season. But if we expand out to 2021, Cleveland's active roster is much closer to a league-average offense, and they have one of the night's lowest implied totals.
Gausman has produced 49 or more FanDuel points in three straight starts, and he could very well add to that streak tonight.
Eric Lauer ($9,500): Following Gausman, the conventional move is to roster Yu Darvish ($10,200) or Shane Bieber ($9,800). Darvish has been up and down, but a 12.0% swinging-strike rate suggests that his punchouts ought to be fine over the long haul. And while Bieber is throwing at lower velocity, he's still getting results and showing a 3.17 SIERA and 25.4% strikeout rate.
But if you want to get crazy, Lauer has been one of the biggest early-season surprises.
The southpaw has tallied double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back starts, and he now carries a 2.13 SIERA, 36.6% strikeout rate, and 5.4% walk rate over four outings. He's showing a career-best 13.8% swinging-strike rate, and we can point to an uptick in velocity and change in pitch mix as reasons for this dramatic change.
Unfortunately, in addition to the uncertainty of whether or not Lauer's improvements can be trusted, he has a tough matchup versus the Braves, and we're seeing warm temperatures and strong winds out to left in Atlanta.
This feels about as boom-or-bust of a pick as they come, but the roll of the dice could be well worth it if this new Lauer is for real.
Nathan Eovaldi ($8,500): Eovaldi has been a bright spot for a struggling Boston team, recording a 2.57 SIERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, and 2.6% walk rate across his five outings. He's coming off perhaps his best start of the young season, throwing seven scoreless innings and racking up eight strikeouts against the Orioles.
On paper, this figures to be a tougher draw against the White Sox, a team whose active roster sports the fifth-lowest strikeout rate this season (19.6%). But the crazy thing is, they've actually struggled quite a bit as an offense thus far with a poor 81 wRC+.
Given the talent in this lineup, Chicago should perform better than they've shown, but perhaps Eovaldi is catching them at the right time to take advantage.
Right-hander Beau Brieske is making just his third big league start, and while he's had solid early results, his underlying metrics don't back it up. Enter the Houston Astros.
Brieske is showing a 15.0% strikeout rate, 10.0% walk rate, and 4.3% swinging-strike rate over his first 10 innings, and he put up modest strikeout numbers between Triple-A and Double-A. He also hasn't demonstrated the ability to get ground balls, allowing a 60.0% fly-ball rate thus far.
Lefties Yordan Alvarez ($4,300) and Kyle Tucker ($3,600) are both priorities with the platoon advantage, and Alex Bregman ($3,600) has been the Astros' best righty. After those three, every other Houston bat is at $3,000 or below, making it easy to find value to round out stacks.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels have been one of the league's top offenses in 2022, and they should keep that momentum going against the likes of Joan Adon. The 23-year-old is incredibly short on experience, as he has only six career MLB starts and just four starts between Double-A and Triple-A.
Unsurprisingly, he's getting crushed this season while posting a 4.71 SIERA, 18.9% strikeout rate, 11.7% walk rate, and 39.7% ground-ball rate.
Mike Trout ($4,300) has been phenomenal with a 26.8% barrel rate, and Shohei Ohtani ($4,200) will have the platoon advantage, so they're obvious core plays. It still feels weird to see Taylor Ward ($4,000) at such a high salary, but his 15.7% barrel rate backs up the power we've seen from him.
Similar to the Astros, the salaries drop off quite a bit after that trio, and lefties like Brandon Marsh ($2,800) and Jared Walsh ($2,900) should be able to take advantage of the overmatched Adon.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have underwhelmed as an offense, and it's a big reason why they're tied for last place in the AL East. But Vincent Velasquez could help them break out of their slump.
Velasquez is showing an above-average 24.1% strikeout rate, per usual, and he's capable of shutting down opposing bats here and there.
But a slew of walks and home runs always lurk right around the corner, and he's recorded an 8.9% walk rate and 28.8% ground-ball rate through four starts. In 2021, Velasquez owned an 11.8% walk rate and 31.2% ground-ball rate while giving up 2.19 home runs per nine innings.
Rafael Devers ($3,700) and J.D. Martinez ($3,900) are two of the more trustworthy Boston bats, as both are still putting up double-digit barrel rates. Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) is also having a successful 2022 campaign so far, putting up a 166 wRC+.
Admittedly, it's hard to feel as great about the rest of the Sox, but at least they won't cost you much for their services. Trevor Story ($3,200) has a reasonable salary out of the leadoff spot, and Alex Verdugo ($2,800) regularly puts the ball in play (8.8% strikeout rate).