FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/24/22
We have a fun Tuesday main slate that's littered with big-name pitchers, but a few stand out amongst the rest. Luckily, we also get plenty of offenses in appealing spots, as well, and eight different teams have implied totals above 4.40.
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.
Corbin Burnes ($10,600): Burnes is coming off a mediocre outing against the Braves, but it's hard to find many pitchers who have been as consistent as him in 2022. Prior to that bump in the road, Burnes had rattled off six straight quality starts with at least seven strikeouts in each, helping him to six consecutive games of 40 or more FanDuel points and highs of 55 and 57 points.
There's never truly a "high floor" when it comes to pitchers because weird things can happen on any given night, but Burnes comes about as close as we could ever hope for.
Overall, he's put together a stellar 2.45 SIERA, 31.5% strikeout rate, and 4.1% walk rate, and while he's allowed more home runs this year, his 17.3% homer-to-fly-ball rate is very much out of character from what we've seen over the past two campaigns, suggesting it could be just poor luck. Additionally, he leads the league with a 17.9% swinging-strike rate, so those punchouts could reach even greater heights.
Burnes' pitch counts have been consistent, as well, going 95 or higher in seven straight outings.
As for the matchup, the Padres aren't an amazing opponent for strikeouts, but they're a middle-of-the-pack offense this season with an attackable 3.32 implied total. Burnes should be able to bounce back nicely and take care of business tonight.
Dylan Cease ($9,600): For pure strikeout upside, Cease is someone we can turn to. He comes in with a league-best 36.8% strikeout rate. He's failed to reach eight strikeouts only once in eight starts this season, and only Burnes, Shane McClanahan, and Kevin Gausman have a higher swinging-strike rate than Cease's clip of 16.1%.
The only problem? Cease also has a 9.3% walk rate that's often prevented him from pitching deep into games. Despite pitch counts consistently in the 90s, he's gotten to six or more innings only twice, leading to just two quality starts.
Still, the ceiling is immense on nights when he can put it all together, and in his lone seven-inning game against a tough Angels lineup, he racked up 11 strikeouts for a cool 64 FanDuel points.
This is a tricky matchup to predict against the Red Sox, though. While Boston has underperformed for most of the year, they've suddenly woken up over the last dozen games, going 9-3 over that span and coming in on a five-game win streak. Over the last two weeks, they lead MLB with a 144 wRC+ and .221 ISO.
Obviously, it's silly to read too much into this small sample, but it's simply a reminder that the Red Sox were supposed to be a plus offense entering the season and could finally be starting to show it. Additionally, they're also a low-strikeout team, with their 20.8% strikeout rate ranking in the league's bottom-third among active rosters.
All of this is to say that despite his potential, Cease feels like the riskier play compared to Burnes. But between the tantalizing ceiling and salary discount, he remains firmly in play for tournaments. And despite Boston's recent success, their 3.57 implied total is on the lower side.
Sonny Gray ($8,200): Burnes and Cease are hardly the only ace-level arms taking the mound, so forgoing all of them for a value play may not be ideal.
However, Gray has posted strong marks while healthy this year, and matchups don't get much better than the Tigers. Detroit's active roster comes in with a league-worst 75 wRC+ while simultaneously owning the third-highest strikeout rate (24.9%). Unsurprisingly, they have a poor 3.25 implied total.
Meanwhile, Gray's produced a 3.37 SIERA, 28.7% strikeout rate, and 50.9% ground-ball over five starts, and while he's unlikely to see 100 pitches, he got up to a season-high 84 in his most recent outing. His main weakness is a 10.3% walk rate, but the Tigers might lend him a hand in that department, as they have the league's third-lowest walk rate (6.7%).
There's plenty of value surrounding the top stacks on this slate, so you may not need to go here, but Gray checks a lot of boxes if you want to load up on high-salary bats.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Yankees are pretty much a stacking option on just about every slate, and tonight is no different. Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann has performed pretty well this season, but his 4.61 xFIP and 15.1% strikeout rate against righties sounds like all sorts of trouble versus this righty-heavy lineup. There's little doubt that New York should be popular tonight and rightfully so.
But the Dodgers are another team that draws near-daily attention, and Josiah Gray's splits against lefties are particularly alluring for us. Dating back to last season, Gray owns an egregious 5.61 xFIP, 21.8% strikeout rate, and 12.7% walk rate versus left-handed batters, and he's given up a whopping 2.84 home runs per nine innings in the split.
The lefty sticks of Freddie Freeman ($3,900), Max Muncy ($3,000), Cody Bellinger ($2,800), and Gavin Lux ($2,500) should be our primary focus, and this isn't a bad combined salary for a potent team like the Dodgers, too.
Gray's tougher on righties with a 27.7% strikeout rate, but he still allows plenty of fly balls for possible dingers, so sprinkling in L.A.'s righties is still viable, especially with most of them carrying low strikeout rates.
As of this writing, it's actually the Diamondbacks that come in with the slate's highest implied total (4.91), which tells you just how good this spot is against Jonathan Heasley.
Heasley has made five career MLB starts going back to last year, and his underlying metrics have been abysmal, coming away with a 6.14 SIERA, 8.0% strikeout rate, and 10.0% walk rate. In his two outings in 2022, he's logged 2 strikeouts to 7 walks in 8 1/3 innings. Yikes.
While the D-backs' bats don't jump off the page, we're looking at a lineup made up entirely of hitters at $3,200 or below. Christian Walker ($3,000), Pavin Smith ($2,300), and Daulton Varsho ($3,200) pop in terms of barrel rate, producing marks of 15.7%,14.3%, and 10.0%, respectively.
Additionally, Ketel Marte ($3,000) has bounced back with a strong month (185 wRC+ in May), Josh Rojas ($2,700) is showing solid plate skills (18.2% strikeout rate and 14.5% walk rate), and David Peralta ($2,700) is hitting more fly balls (48.5%).
In all, it gives us plenty of ways to attack Heasley, and all of these guys will have the platoon advantage outside of Walker.
The Twins have the next-highest implied total (4.75) in a mouthwatering spot against Beau Brieske.
Brieske made his MLB debut towards the end of April, and the results haven't been pretty, putting up a 5.44 SIERA, 13.2% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate. The low strikeout rate and a 50.0% fly-ball rate have contributed to him allowing multiple dingers in three of five starts.
And while it's still a fairly small sample, it also doesn't hurt that Brieske has struggled against both sides of the plate.
Leadoff man Byron Buxton ($3,900) is one of the top overall plays again tonight, and we don't have to break the bank for the hitters who follow him in the order between Luis Arraez ($2,800), Carlos Correa ($3,400), Jorge Polanco ($3,200), Max Kepler ($3,100), and Gary Sanchez ($3,100).