FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 6/6/22
Monday's slate gets rolling a little earlier at 6:40 pm ET to include all six games on the MLB schedule, although the early game in Cincinnati could be at risk of a rainout. There are a few notable names taking the mound tonight, but good luck feeling truly comfortable about anyone you roster.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Cristian Javier ($9,000): Javier and Robbie Ray are the only arms salaried at $9,000 and above, and neither one has an ideal matchup. However, between the two, Javier's spot against the Mariners is slightly more inviting than Ray's versus the Astros.
Seattle's active roster may lack a lot of star power, but they've been an above-average offense all season and suppress punchouts with a 20.6% strikeout rate. However, the good news is that they're a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to barrels, which has contributed to a less imposing team ISO (.148). Between that and Javier starting at home in pitcher-friendly Minute Maid Park, the Mariners have a slate-low 3.61 implied total.
As for Javier, he flopped in his last start despite a plus draw versus the Athletics, and if we look strictly at his numbers as a starter this season, we see the good with the bad between a 28.2% strikeout rate and 10.5% walk rate.
But the 25-year-old has been brilliant when he can reel in the free passes, which was exactly the case just before that Oakland outing when he logged nine strikeouts in back-to-back starts.
Javier could have a tougher time racking up that many punchouts against a low-strikeout team like Seattle, but on a slate with little in the way of sure things, he's arguably our best bet.
Robbie Ray ($9,500): On most other nights, I would probably pass on Ray against a team like Houston, but few can match his underlying numbers tonight, which keeps him in play by default.
The results have been sorely lacking for Ray this season, but he's put up a solid 3.57 SIERA and 27.1% strikeout rate, and his 16.2% swinging-strike rate ranks fourth overall among qualified starters behind only Shane McClanahan, Corbin Burnes, and Kevin Gausman. That's some elite company, and these four are the only pitchers who crack 16% this season.
Walks (8.8% rate) and home runs (1.51 per nine innings) have been Ray's two major flaws, though, and unless he can get those free passes down to 2021 levels, he figures to remain inconsistent.
Making matters worse, this is a rough opponent for a southpaw, as the Astros have a 17.8% strikeout rate versus lefties, and even left-handed batters like Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker have strong track records in lefty-lefty matchups.
But given Ray's elite swinging-strike rate, we shouldn't rule out his ability to overcome this hurdle, and as noted with Javier, this is a good venue for pitchers. No, it won't feel good to click on Ray's name tonight, but he's in the mix at what could be a lower roster percentage.
Blake Snell ($7,500): We're only three starts in, but we've already gotten the full Blake Snell experience, with a 30.0% strikeout rate and 14.0% swinging-strike rate going alongside a 13.3% walk rate. A 3.99 SIERA suggests he's deserved slightly better than his results, but he's playing with fire if he continues to walk guys at such a high clip.
Still, this is pretty much identical to the version of Snell we saw in 2021, and he was still capable of shining on some nights and piling up double-digit strikeouts. The southpaw is already fully stretched out with pitch counts of 104 and 98 this season, too, so that kind of potential remains on the table.
Of course, similar to Javier and Ray, this isn't the greatest matchup against the Mets, another above-average offense with a low strikeout rate (19.6%) this season, though that mark does jump to 22.1% against lefties. But Snell also benefits from pitcher-friendly home digs, and he's getting the benefit of the doubt from oddsmakers (3.66 implied total).
Toronto Blue Jays
Lynch pretty much checks all the boxes with a 4.63 SIERA, 19.6% strikeout rate, 10.1% walk rate, and 37.0% ground-ball rate. Add in that he's a left-hander versus a team of almost entirely right-handed hitters, and it's easy to see why this is a top stack.
This is also a Blue Jays offense that seems to be finally matching preseason expectations with their recent play, and that's reflected by the rising salaries of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,200), George Springer ($4,000), Bo Bichette ($3,800), and Teoscar Hernandez ($3,700). They're the obvious priorities, and then the rest of the lineup comes in at $3,000 salaries and below.
Alejandro Kirk ($2,800) has settled in as the number-five hitter lately and is a tough out with an 8.6% strikeout rate and 12.3% walk rate. Matt Chapman ($3,000) has underwhelmed a bit, but he's still making lots of hard contact, which includes a 10.9% barrel rate.
Los Angeles Angels
Michael Wacha is a classic regression candidate, checking in with a silly .198 BABIP, and his 81.9% strand rate and 9.1% homer-to-fly-ball rate are both well off his career averages, as well. A 2.43 ERA isn't built to last off a 16.8% strikeout rate and 8.7% walk rate, and his 4.69 SIERA likely tells the real story.
Wacha has a low strikeout rate against both sides of the plate, but he's been substantially worse against lefties (5.54 xFIP), so Shohei Ohtani ($4,000) and Jared Walsh ($3,400) get a potential bump here, and Brandon Marsh ($2,600) has some appeal as a value play.
Mike Trout ($4,000) is going through a bit of a slump, but I see little reason to move away from one of the best hitters in baseball after a sluggish week.
Among some possible values, Max Stassi ($2,500) is hitting far too many grounders (60.6%) but is still hitting for some power due to a 15.2% barrel rate. Matt Duffy ($2,200) is about as boring as they come but is still a shoo-in value if he's batting leadoff. Former top prospect Jo Adell ($2,000) was called up from Triple-A over the weekend and should be in the lineup, too.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox and Angels seem to be headed in opposite directions, with Boston clawing their way back to .500, while the Halos have now lost 11 straight and find themselves with a losing record for the first time since mid-April.
Perhaps the Red Sox are catching the Angels at just the right time, and this isn't a bad spot against Noah Syndergaard. While Syndergaard has been respectable this season, he just isn't getting strikeouts like he used to, carrying a 15.9% strikeout rate through eight starts. He's been lit up in two of his last three outings against the Yankees and Rangers, and Boston is capable of punishing a low strikeout rate.
This version of Syndergaard is getting grounders at a 57.1% clip versus lefties and actually has a lower strikeout rate in same-sided matchups (13.1%), so the righties may very well have the edge tonight, which works out nicely for a Boston lineup with J.D. Martinez ($3,700), Xander Bogaerts ($4,100), Trevor Story ($4,200), and Enrique Hernandez ($3,000).
The high ground-ball rate shouldn't deter us from also rostering lefty Rafael Devers ($4,000) and his .265 ISO, and recent call-up Jarren Duran ($2,200) is getting a shot batting leadoff versus right-handed pitching.
For some other stacks, don't forget that the worries surrounding Ray and Snell mean that stacking against them is perfectly viable, which puts the Astros and Mets on the map. The Texas Rangers face a weak pitcher in Cal Quantrill (5.01 SIERA), too.