FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 6/9/22
We've got our usual smaller Thursday slate, but at least we won't have to worry about weather like we have all week. The festivities get started at 6:40 pm ET for what should be a fun six-game main slate.
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 ($10,800): Cole continues to produce at a high level, entering Thursday with a 2.71 SIERA, 31.5% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate. He's now logged at least nine strikeouts in six of the last eight starts and has tallied seven quality starts over that span.
Cole's workload is about as good as one could ever hope, too, as he's recorded at least 97 pitches in six straight outings while going over 100 four times.
This isn't necessarily the best matchup against a capable Twins offense, but this team doesn't suppress strikeouts against righties (22.9%), and a 3.38 implied total suggests that Cole will have the advantage.
On a slate lacking many high-strikeout pitchers, Cole is arguably in a class of his own tonight.
Shohei Ohtani ($9,900): On paper, the only guy who can go toe to toe with Cole is Ohtani, who may be the Angels' only hope of ending this horrific 14-game losing streak. In fact, Ohtani's season-long metrics are even better than Cole's, checking in with a 2.61 SIERA, 33.0% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate.
However, Cole has a sizable edge when it comes to pitch count, as Ohtani tends to be capped in the low 90s, making it difficult for him to pitch deep into games. The Japanese superstar has exceeded six innings just once in nine tries, and that coincided with a season-high 99 pitches, the only time he's gone above 94 this season.
Additionally, this is a tough spot against an improved Red Sox offense that only has a 20.6% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching. Ohtani's been inconsistent from start to start, as well, further adding risk to his profile.
Still, despite all that, Ohtani's massive strikeout rate shows just how much upside he has when things go right, and among pitchers with at least 40 innings, only Shane McClanahan has a better mark.
Boston's 3.85 implied total is one of the slate's lowest, and the Angels' ace is undoubtedly a top option for tournaments.
Nick Pivetta ($9,100): It was the same old Nick Pivetta at the beginning of the season, but he's turned things around since the start of May, posting a 3.52 xFIP, 24.6% strikeout rate, and 4.7% walk rate over his last seven starts. No doubt, his 1.79 ERA during this stretch has benefited from a lucky BABIP and homer-to-fly-ball rate, but it's been a promising turnaround from a pitcher who's often shown promising peripherals but with underwhelming results.
The Red Sox have also given Pivetta more leeway as the season's gone, as he's cracked 100 pitches in three of the last four starts.
This diminished Angels offense continues to look like a team to attack with opposing pitchers, and that's particularly the case tonight if Mike Trout sits again. Their active roster has a 26.4% strikeout rate against right-handers, and their unremarkable 4.15 implied total reflects their current predicament.
If you're looking for even more savings, Konnor Pilkington is worth a look at just $7,700 against Oakland. Pilkington has an eye-popping 29.1% strikeout rate over 17 innings this season, but it comes with a worrisome 12.7% walk rate and a pitch count that's likely limited to the low 90s at best.
JT Brubaker has often carried respectable underlying numbers, but the results have never followed, as he's compiled a lackluster 5.12 ERA across 223 1/3 career innings.
This season has been no different (4.70 ERA), with his issues stemming from a double-digit walk rate (10.2%) and the home run ball (1.39 per nine innings).
Both of those issues could haunt him against a powerful Atlanta Braves lineup that leads all active rosters in barrel rate (11.6%), and that will especially be the case due to hitter-friendly conditions in Atlanta. Not only should temperatures reach the low 80s, but we could see winds nearing 10 mph blowing out to center.
The end result is a slate-high 5.16 implied total, which should lead to the Braves being a popular but potent stack.
As always, Atlanta's deep lineup deserves consideration from top to bottom, but Brubaker is allowing way more fly balls to left-handed batters (53.2%), making Matt Olson ($3,600) the star of the show. Ozzie Albies ($3,200) hasn't hit for as much power this season, but he could also take advantage.
You can also stack the Braves at a fairly low cap hit if needed; all five hitters projected to bat fifth through ninth have salaries of $3,200 and below.
It's been an ugly campaign for Bubic, and the numbers don't lie. The southpaw's put up a 5.91 SIERA, 14.3% strikeout rate, 15.4% walk rate, and 42.2% ground-ball rate, and he's been absolutely devastated by dingers, coughing up 2.45 per nine innings.
While a 25.0% homer-to-fly-ball rate points to some poor luck, Bubic has struggled with home runs throughout his young career, so this is nothing new.
The best part about stacking Baltimore is that they don't have a single player above a $3,200 salary, and nearly all of them will bat right-handed.
Trey Mancini ($3,100), Austin Hays ($3,200), Anthony Santander ($3,100), and Ryan Mountcastle ($3,100) form the meat of the order, and lefty leadoff man Cedric Mullins ($3,100) can be included in full stacks. Mountcastle and Mancini lead the way in terms of barrels per plate appearance.
The Cleveland Guardians are another uncommon offense to see atop the implied totals (5.06), and we once again see a scuffling hurler on the other side.
Right-hander James Kaprielian checks all the same boxes as the aforementioned Kris Bubic with a 5.16 SIERA, 15.6% strikeout rate, 9.2% walk rate, and 32.7% ground-ball rate. The lack of grounders has led to a sky-high 48.1% fly-ball rate, and as a result, he's allowed 1.93 home runs per nine innings.
This isn't exactly a star-studded cast in Cleveland beyond Jose Ramirez ($4,500), but this does leave most of the lineup at lower salaries. Josh Naylor ($3,100) will have the platoon advantage and comes in with a solid .205 ISO this season while Myles Straw ($2,900) and Amed Rosario ($2,600) are value plays atop the order with speed upside.
Andres Gimenez ($3,600) is over-salaried, but he shouldn't be overlooked if you can fit him in, too. He's been crushing it at the plate lately and has a solid 9.8% barrel rate to back up his .234 ISO.