FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 6/2/22

It's been a trying season for Alex Wood, but his underlying numbers reason encouraging. Can he come through against the Marlins on tonight's main slate?

We may not have the cream of the crop taking the mound tonight, but we still have some rock-solid guys to choose from on Thursday. For stacks, Coors Field should be immensely popular, leaving us with a tough decision to make when factoring in roster percentages.

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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.


Sandy Alcantara ($11,000): At first glance, Alcantara's season-long metrics firmly fall under "solid if unspectacular," entering the day with a 3.67 SIERA, 24.0% strikeout rate, 8.4% walk rate, and 51.8% ground-ball rate. Outside of having a slightly higher walk rate, he's pretty much exactly the same guy as last year, and this salary is a tough sell for these kinds of numbers.

But where Alcantara shines is through his ability to churn out innings with incredible efficiency. The right-hander has gone at least six innings in six of 10 starts, and he's gone eight or more a whopping four times, which is pretty much unheard of in 2022. In fact, Alcantara leads all pitchers in innings this season despite some already having an 11th start under the belt.

Alcantara is also coming off his best stretch of the year, posting 58 and 73 FanDuel points in back-to-back outings against the Braves.

The downside is a matchup against an above-average San Francisco offense that only has a 20.1% strikeout rate. That being said, the Giants have a slate-low 3.01 implied total, and considering the alternatives, Alcantara may not need a boatload of strikeouts to come away with a slate-high score.

Sean Manaea ($10,200): On a slate lacking elite strikeout rates, it's actually Manaea who leads the way at a 26.4% clip, and his matchup against the Brewers is a good one. Despite a 4.29 implied total, Milwaukee's active roster comes in with the second-worst wRC+ (72) and ninth-worst strikeout rate (23.1%) versus lefties this season.

Manaea's gone on a run of six straight starts allowing at least three earned runs, so the results have generally been lacking from a DFS perspective lately.

But he still has an encouraging 3.55 SIERA, and he's regularly logging at least six innings, snagging the quality start bonus in seven of nine outings. Manaea's cracked 50 FanDuel points twice this season, too, so it's not like the upside isn't there.

On most slates, the lefty might be more of a secondary play, but he's in contention for the top spot with Alcantara tonight.

Alex Wood ($7,400): If you're not feeling those salaries for Alcantara and Manaea, hopping way down to Wood isn't a bad way to go. Frankly, Wood's underlying numbers closely mirror Alcantara's with a 3.40 SIERA, 23.7% strikeout rate, 6.8% walk rate, and 49.6% ground-ball rate.

But the reason for the giant gap in salaries is a slew of underwhelming results. Remarkably, even with the above marks, Wood's yet to hit even 40 FanDuel points in any of his nine starts.

While that doesn't necessarily inspire confidence, we can point to an unlucky .360 BABIP as the main culprit for the southpaw's undoing, which is all the more surprising when you see that he's allowed just a 23.8% hard-hit rate.

A lack of innings has also contributed to his modest scores, with Wood failing to go six innings in any of his appearances.

It's easy to point to his low pitch counts as part of the issue, but over the last month, this looked to be more based on performance than any workload restrictions. In the left-hander's best May starts, he's gone 104 and 96 pitches, suggesting that he should have a longer leash if things are going his way.

This is also a great matchup against a Marlins team with a ridiculous 29.6% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season. All signs point to better days ahead for Wood, and this could be the right time to buy low.


Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves -- the team that ranks second in barrels this year -- are at Coors Field on a short slate with an astronomically high 6.43 implied total. Hello, mega chalk.

Lefty Austin Gomber is better than his 5.51 ERA, but he still looks overmatched versus a team like the Braves. Against righties this year, he's posted an 18.2% strikeout rate, 9.7% walk rate, and 48.1% ground-ball rate, and none of that is going to scare us off.

Unsurprisingly, most of Atlanta's bats get your typical Coors bump, so either rostering Alex Wood or opting for lower-salaried guys like Travis d'Arnaud ($3,300) and Adam Duvall ($2,900) could be necessary to get the full stack.

But this is one of those teams that's truly stackable from top to bottom, so picking guys at the bottom of the order or including lefty Matt Olson ($4,000) could be ways to avoid being too obvious while still getting exposure to this inviting spot.

The Colorado Rockies are also plenty viable on the other side against Ian Anderson. Anderson has some name value, but he has a disappointing 4.83 SIERA, 17.6% strikeout rate, and 11.3% walk rate this season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

In a real shocker, the Los Angeles Dodgers are a top option yet again tonight. Yeah, they somehow got swept by the Pirates in their own ballpark this week (lol), but this is the Dodgers we're talking about, and they should get back on track against Taijuan Walker.

It feels like there have been a lot of smoke-and-mirrors ERAs popping up on these slates lately, and Walker is firmly in that camp.

The right-hander checks in with a 2.83 ERA over seven starts despite a 4.91 SIERA, 13.2% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate. Oh, and look at that, he also has a lucky 5.7% homer-to-fly-ball rate that's less than half his career average (13.0%). I can't imagine what's going on here.

Anyway, Walker's due for regression, and the Dodgers are the right team for the job. Mookie Betts ($4,500), Freddie Freeman ($3,900), and Trea Turner ($4,200) are great and all, but the rest of the lineup pairs well with a high-salaried pitcher or Braves stack, as everyone else comes at mid-to-low salaries.

Edwin Rios ($2,600) is perhaps the best value of the bunch. He should bat fifth, and his poor 40.4% strikeout rate will be less concerning against a low-strikeout pitcher, giving him a better shot of utilizing his 14.9% barrel rate.

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds go toe to toe at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, and this game has the second-highest over/under (10.0) after Coors Field. Both teams should be on your list of potential stacks -- particularly when you factor in their low salaries -- but perhaps the Nationals fly under the radar as the underdog with the lesser implied total.

Graham Ashcraft is making his third MLB start, and while he's enjoyed good results while producing a head-turning 58.3% ground-ball rate through two outings, he otherwise has suspect numbers. Despite allowing just two earned runs over 10 2/3 innings, an 8.9% strikeout rate and 4.8% swinging-strike rate isn't a good sign, and even more so when paired up with an 8.9% walk rate.

In Triple-A this season, Ashcraft posted an elite 71.4% ground-ball rate, so the grounders check out. But he also only managed a 20.0% strikeout rate and 11.2% walk rate, which leaves a lot to be desired.

We're dealing with small samples, so there's a lot of guesswork going on here, and it's not like the Nats are some powerhouse offense. But if the BABIP gods favor Washington with those grounders, they could cash in against a guy who's likely to allow both a lot of contact and walks.

Juan Soto ($3,800) is the lone star of this lineup, and then the rest of the Nats come at salaries of $3,100 and below. Josh Bell ($3,100) and Yadiel Hernandez ($2,800) have been above-average hitters this season and will have the platoon advantage. Nelson Cruz ($3,000) isn't the terror he once was, but he does have a respectable 11.0% barrel rate, so perhaps he still has more pop in his bat than he's shown so far.