FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/16/22
We may have 11 games to peruse on Monday's main slate, but good luck finding more than a handful of pitchers to like. Things are much rosier on the hitting side, though, with Coors Field on tap and some top offenses in good matchups.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Freddy Peralta ($9,700): Among the four pitchers with salaries above $9,000, three of them have strikeout rates below 20%. The other is Freddy Peralta.
That sums up the nature of this slate, and despite a tough matchup against Atlanta, this places Peralta at the front of the line by default. While results have been mixed for the right-hander, he's sporting a fantastic 3.02 SIERA and 30.6% strikeout rate, and even his 8.9% walk rate is a smidge lower than what we usually see out of him.
The Braves are among the league leaders in barrels, but their active roster also has a massive 26.4% strikeout rate, so this is a bit of a boom-or-bust spot. But with the top of the board lacking much upside, the rewards outweigh the risks. It doesn't hurt that Atlanta is looking at a modest 3.50 implied total, as well.
Luis Severino ($8,100): Although Severino isn't putting up pre-injury numbers, under the circumstances, it's hard to complain about a 3.40 SIERA, 25.0% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate over six starts. The leash keeps getting longer, too, with the righty getting up to a season-high 97 pitches his last time out.
All of that alone would make Severino interesting at this salary, but throwing in a matchup against the Orioles and a slate-low 3.24 implied total makes the deal that much sweeter. Not only does Baltimore's active roster have a 94 wRC+, but they're also a great opponent for punchouts with a 24.3% strikeout rate.
Particularly on a night with few high-upside arms and Coors Field in play for stacks, Severino is an easy alternative for lineups forgoing Peralta.
Kyle Bradish ($7,700): Honestly, stopping at Peralta and Severino might be the prudent thing to do because it's hard to get terribly excited about anyone else. There's a case for Garrett Whitlock when you look at his outstanding underlying numbers, but the Red Sox appear steadfast in limiting his workload, and the Astros won't do him any favors tonight.
Perhaps we can talk ourselves into Bradish following an 11-strikeout outing (58 FanDuel points) against the Cardinals, but he was pretty meh in his prior two starts, so the truth is we really don't know what we're going to get from him moving forward. He did post a 27.8% strikeout rate in Triple-A last season, though, so he could have some staying power.
Overall, the 25-year-old owns an encouraging 3.19 SIERA, 25.0% strikeout rate, and 4.7% walk rate over his first three MLB outings. He hit a season-best 90 pitches against St. Louis, as well.
There's no question the Yankees could absolutely smash Bradish, and they're more of a middle-of-the-road matchup for strikeouts this year, too. Still, on a slate lacking much in the way of sure things, you could do worse than sprinkle Bradish into some lineups.
San Francisco Giants
In a season with muted offense, a 6.45 implied total will get our attention real fast, and that's what we're seeing from the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field.
Antonio Senzatela continues to struggle mightily with strikeouts, logging just one in each of his past three starts. Overall, he's posted a 6.2% strikeout rate across six outings, and that's just playing with fire in general, let alone when taking the mound at Coors.
He also isn't even getting grounders, with a 40.9% ground-ball rate roughly 10 percentage points lower than his career average.
Unsurprisingly, the end result is a 5.42 SIERA, and things could get ugly tonight. This will be Senzatela's second straight start against the Giants, and he was knocked around for five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings the first time around in pitcher-friendly Oracle Park.
Senzatela has historically produced worse metrics versus left-handed batters, and that's how things have played out so far in 2022 with a 4.2% strikeout rate and 5.48 xFIP in the split.
We have no shortage of lefty sticks to choose from between Brandon Belt ($3,800), Joc Pederson ($3,400), Brandon Crawford ($3,500), Mike Yastrzemski ($3,200), and LaMonte Wade Jr ($2,900). Pederson has an excellent .280 ISO and 20.0% barrel rate thus far, while Wade is a standout value as the projected leadoff man.
Of course, righties hardly need to be ignored when Senzatela is struggling so much to generate whiffs. Evan Longoria ($3,000) is finally back from injury, and he's another easy way to gain exposure to this incredible spot.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner can thank the baseball gods for gifting him a .205 BABIP because that's the only thing preventing him from getting lit up thus far.
Bumgarner's 16.1% strikeout rate and 9.7% walk rate aren't scaring anyone, and a 46.7% fly-ball rate should lead to the home run issues we've seen in recent campaigns. There is a giant chasm between his 1.78 ERA and 4.91 SIERA, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are the type of team that can bridge the gap.
Mookie Betts ($4,100), Trea Turner ($3,700), and Will Smith ($3,200) are the top righties, though the latter two have disappointed in terms of power this season. But none of these guys strike out very often, so they shouldn't have any trouble putting the ball in play against Bumgarner. Justin Turner ($3,300) enjoyed some big performances last week and seems to finally be turning his season around, too.
But much like the Giants, we shouldn't hesitate to stack both sides of the plate against a low-strikeout pitcher, and lefty Freddie Freeman ($4,000) has arguably been L.A.'s best hitter this year.
Los Angeles Angels
Between Coors Field and others teams with higher implied totals, the Los Angeles Angels might not draw as much attention. But this active roster leads all of baseball with a 136 wRC+, so we shouldn't leave them on the sidelines against the likes of Jon Gray.
Gray has been better than his 5.51 ERA, but he has an uninspiring 22.1% strikeout rate and 10.3% walk rate through four outings. A 50.0% ground-ball rate is a positive for him, but that may not do him much good against a team that has the league's third-lowest ground-ball rate (38.7%).
Additionally, Gray is dealing with a recent knee issue and has yet to reach 80 pitches in a game, so there could be a whole lot of bullpen for this game, as well.
Given the high salaries of the top Angels bats, Anthony Rendon ($3,000) is a welcome sight as a value cleanup hitter. He isn't making as much noise as some of his teammates but is still humming along with a 113 wRC+.