FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/31/22
Tuesday brings us a talented group of pitchers, but most of them are in less-than-ideal spots, complicating things for DFS. Coors Field makes an appearance tonight, but poor weather could knock that game out, forcing us to look elsewhere for stacks.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Cristian Javier ($8,700): We have six arms with strikeout rates of 29% or better tonight, but all of them have tough matchups outside of Javier.
The Houston right-hander has bounced between the rotation and a multi-inning relief role this season, and he's been fantastic in both capacities, accumulating a 2.78 SIERA, 33.1% strikeout rate, and 7.6% walk rate over 37 innings. But he seems to finally be locked in as a starter, and after logging a season-high 96 pitches in his last outing, we can feel confident in his workload moving forward.
He takes on the Athletics, one of the league's worst offenses in 2022. Oakland owns the second-worst wRC+ (86) among active rosters, and they're sorely lacking in pop, ranking 28th in barrel rate (6.0%). The end result is a middling 3.07 implied total, one of the very lowest of the slate.
Throw in Javier's value salary, and he's definitely in the running for Tuesday's top overall pitcher.
Kevin Gausman ($10,200): If we toss matchups out of the window and look strictly at performance, Gausman has the most impressive overall marks. He checks in with a 2.55 SIERA and 29.3% strikeout rate, and his 17.4% swinging-strike rate leads all qualified starters this season. He's also produced a league-best 2.3% walk rate, issuing just 5 total walks in 56 innings.
Unfortunately, he's up against the White Sox, a team that has struggled (87 wRC+) but also has the seventh-lowest strikeout rate (19.8%), making them a less-than-ideal opponent for a ceiling game.
Still, Chicago's 3.38 implied total is one of the night's worst, so they're unlikely to do much damage, and Gausman's lack of walks always makes him a strong bet for the quality start bonus, which he's achieved in six of his last seven starts. While it isn't a perfect spot, another lengthy outing could lead to a big FanDuel score for Gausman.
Lucas Giolito ($10,000): Giolito leads the way with a 33.3% strikeout rate, but he gets a difficult draw against the Blue Jays, and that's reflected by their 4.12 implied total. While Toronto is another offense that has failed to meet expectations yet this season, they've strung together some big games over the past week and find themselves on a five-game win streak.
Giolito has enjoyed strong results that are backed by an encouraging 3.00 SIERA, but a 9.8% walk rate has held him back at times, occasionally preventing him from going deeper into games. He can rack up strikeouts with the best of them, though, and even with a stint on the injured list and a brief bout with COVID-19, he's posted at least seven strikeouts in five of his last six starts.
Despite the matchup, it's only a matter of time before Giolito puts it all together for a tournament-winning performance, so he's worth including in your player pool.
New York Mets
We have potential rain in the forecast at Coors Field, and even if it does play, temperatures in the 50s and 10 MPH winds blowing in make it less of a must-have spot than usual. The Colorado Rockies are expected to face the inexperienced Edward Cabrera, though, so they're worth considering if the weather clears up. Cabrera has struggled with walks in his young career and would be making just his eighth MLB start.
But even on a Coors Field night, it's actually the New York Mets that boast a slate-high 5.43 implied total. That's because they're up against Patrick Corbin, who's enduring another rough campaign.
While Corbin's .342 BABIP points to some poor luck in his bloated 6.30 ERA, a 17.9% strikeout rate and 9.4% walk rate isn't scaring anyone. As has been the case in recent seasons, right-handed batters are finding success with the long ball against Corbin, as all six home runs he's allowed have come to righties. Since the start of 2020, the southpaw's now given up 2.00 homers per nine innings in the split.
We should see a righty-heavy lineup from the Mets tonight, and Pete Alonso ($4,100) is the first guy to make room for as easily the best power option (.249 ISO).
Outside of Alonso, we have power/speed threats Francisco Lindor ($4,300) and Starling Marte ($3,700) as the other standout choices, and then Mark Canha ($3,100) and Eduardo Escobar ($2,400) can round out things as value plays. Canha and Escobar have underwhelmed from a power perspective but are projected to bat sixth and fifth, respectively, putting them in a good position to knock in the stars hitting ahead of them.
The Atlanta Braves are another team sporting a high implied total (5.21), and they've got a plus matchup against Humberto Castellanos.
The right-hander enters the night with a 15.7% strikeout rate and 34.6% ground-ball rate, which is a great combination for some dingers, particularly considering the Braves lead all active rosters with an 11.1% barrel rate. Castellanos also has poor marks versus both lefties and righties alike, making him that much easier to stack against.
Guys like Ronald Acuna ($3,900), Austin Riley ($3,600), and Matt Olson ($3,400) are great choices, but this is one of those lineups that's really easy to stack from top to bottom.
Although William Contreras ($3,300) could bat as low as eighth, he's been incredible at the plate this season and actually leads the team with a 17.5% barrel rate. Even recent call-up Michael Harris II ($2,000) could be worth a look at the minimum after showing power/speed upside in Double-A.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a high implied total -- what else is new -- so they're in the running for one of the night's top stacks, as is often the case.
But let's instead take a look at the Milwaukee Brewers (4.95 implied total), who benefit from a wind-enhanced Wrigley Field matchup against Justin Steele.
Steele hasn't had positive results, but he is by no means a bad pitcher, producing a 4.06 SIERA over nine starts. However, he struggles with walks (11.9%), and free base runners could get him into trouble if Milwaukee can cash in on the 12-plus MPH winds blowing out. Steele has done a fairly good job of limiting fly balls (29.7%), but he doesn't have the sort of elite ground-ball rate to deter us from going here.
Additionally, while the lefty has a high strikeout rate against lefties, that isn't the case versus righties. Dating back to last season, Steele has a 34.7% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups, but that drops to 21.0% against righty bats.
The Brewers could have an entire lineup of righty bats outside of Christian Yelich ($3,700), and most of the lineup comes in at value salaries.
We should see Andrew McCutchen ($3,100), Luis Urias ($3,400), Tyrone Taylor ($2,600), and Keston Hiura ($2,600) all bat in the top half of the order. Taylor has demonstrated good power when given opportunities, owning a .220 ISO this year. Oddly, Hiura has poor career marks against lefties in his career, but it's probably just small-sample noise, and he's showing a high barrel rate as usual in 2022 (18.8%).