FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/23/22
One pitcher clearly stands out above the rest, but there are worthwhile alternatives on Monday's 10-game slate. We're also seeing some promising implied team totals for stacks, as some notable offenses have plus matchups.
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.
Gerrit Cole ($11,000): Cole comes in with a 2.99 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and 6.7% walk rate, and while the strikeout rate is a smidge lower than usual, his 15.2% swinging-strike rate is actually better than last year's mark. The veteran right-hander has also logged 114, 97, and 97 pitches over his last three starts, which is about as good a workload as you could hope for these days.
Although this will be Cole's second straight start versus Baltimore, the Orioles are hardly a matchup to shy away from, and they have a slate-low 2.79 implied total. He's the clear top option tonight, with the only downside being that his hefty salary leaves an average of just $3,000 for each of your hitting slots.
Zack Wheeler ($10,300): Wheeler got a late start to the season due to injury and also had a stint on the COVID-19 list, but he's gotten better and better as the season goes, now sporting a 3.25 SIERA, 25.9% strikeout rate, and 6.3% walk rate.
He's racked up at least seven strikeouts in four consecutive starts and is coming off his best outing of the season in a 58-point performance versus the Padres. Perhaps just as importantly, Wheeler also tallied a season-high 97 pitches, which is great news for a workhorse pitcher who routinely went deep into games in 2021, leading the entire league in innings.
However, his matchup is much more difficult than Cole's, taking on a potent Braves lineup that's among the league leaders in barrels. But the good news is that Atlanta has the highest strikeout rate among active rosters (26.4%), so if Wheeler is on his game, there's plenty of upside to this spot -- particularly now that he's fully stretched out.
This makes him an ideal pivot in tournaments, and the Braves' 4.02 implied total is fairly modest, as well.
Alex Cobb ($7,200): When you look at Cobb's underlying metrics, it's frankly unbelievable that he has a 5.61 ERA. Beneath that lies a 2.55 SIERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate, and 69.4% ground-ball rate. This simply isn't a guy who should be getting lit up.
But much of the damage came in a poor outing at Coors Field -- which can certainly be forgiven -- and he also checks all the "bad luck" boxes with a .394 BABIP, 49.7% strand rate, and 15.4% homer-to-fly-ball rate. There's no question that better days are ahead.
Unfortunately, this isn't a great matchup for punchouts against a Mets with the league's seventh-lowest strikeout rate (19.8%), and that number drops to just 18.2% versus righties. While that isn't great for Cobb's upside tonight, this isn't the scariest offense for power, with the Mets sitting 23rd in team ISO (.131) and 30th in barrel rate (5.8%).
Pitcher-friendly Oracle Park should only further help Cobb turn things around, and the Mets have a 3.70 implied total.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a slate-best 5.22 implied total, and in the context of this 2022 season, that's quite a number to see outside of Coors Field.
But the matchup checks out against righty Joan Adon, who owns a 5.02 SIERA, 18.1% strikeout rate, and 13.5% walk rate across eight starts. Outside of managing a solid 50.9% ground-ball rate in same-sided matchups, Adon's profile doesn't contain anything to suggest he can handle the Dodgers.
But this is a stackable lineup from top to bottom, as usual, and even Adon's ground-ball rate versus righties shouldn't be as much of an issue against a team with the third-lowest ground-ball rate in the league (39.5%). Trea Turner ($4,000) is the only right-handed regular with a higher ground-ball rate (46.8%), and it's not like we're super worried about a guy with a 99th-percentile sprint speed.
New York Yankees
Another slate, another night to stack the New York Yankees.
In a shocking turn of events, Jordan Lyles has actually performed pretty well in 2022, and he even shut down these same Yankees in his most recent start. But this will already be his fourth start against New York, and that familiarity doesn't bode well for him. He coughed up three dingers versus the Bronx Bombers in late April -- his worst outing of the season -- and that's the type of performance we're hoping for tonight.
The key to Lyles' improved performance has been a decrease in fly balls, notably bumping up his ground-ball rate against righties to 48.2%. That being said, he still isn't getting grounders versus lefties, and four of his five dingers allowed have come from that side of the plate.
Considering Lyles also had worse metrics in lefty matchups last year (5.63 xFIP), too, Anthony Rizzo ($3,800) could be the big winner tonight.
Of course, seeing as Lyles isn't exactly mowing down righty bats, posting a meager 18.8% strikeout rate in the split, Aaron Judge ($4,400) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800) remain building blocks, and the rest of the prominent righties come in at salaries of $3,100 or lower to help round things out.
The Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies are two other stacks that stand out against inexperienced pitchers in Elvin Rodriguez and Tucker Davidson, respectively. We'll give the nod to the Twins here, though, as Rodriguez has been the less impressive pitcher in the minors.
The 24-year-old righty only has 2 2/3 innings of MLB experience from one appearance in April, and considering he coughed up four earned runs, it wasn't anything to write home about. The more relevant sample comes from his 22 2/3 innings in Triple-A this season, and that's where we find a telling 5.21 xFIP, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 13.4% walk rate.
Even his 2021 numbers in Double-A were pretty meh, posting a 5.05 xFIP, 24.2% strikeout rate, and 8.8% walk rate over an even larger span of 75 2/3 innings. There just isn't anything to suggest good things are coming for Rodriguez at the highest level, and a low ground-ball rate at every stage could also lead to home run issues, too.
Byron Buxton ($4,000) is a fantastic one-off or starting point for stacks, while Carlos Correa ($3,400), Jorge Polanco ($3,200), Max Kepler ($3,000), and Gary Sanchez ($3,100) have all been above-average performers at the plate this year and have varying degrees of power. Sanchez owns the second-best barrel rate on the team (16.9%) and should have an easier time making contact in this type of matchup.