FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 6/13/22
A new week of MLB DFS kicks off with a 10-game slate. One player in particular, though, could really alter the slate. Who is it and why? We'll get there.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Aaron Nola (FanDuel Salary: $10,200) - There's a trio of studs tonight with Alek Manoah ($10,800), Aaron Nola ($10,200), and Sandy Alcantara ($11,300), listed in order of how numberFire's model projects them. For me, it's Nola at the lowest salary that's drawing my attention first.
Nola faces the Miami Marlins, a team with an active roster wRC+ of 99 (ranking 21st in the Majors) with a 7.9% team barrel rate (16th in the bigs). They're a worse-than-average strikeout team (23.9%, ranking 24th). One major drawback of this matchup is that Alcantara is on the other end of the game. That bumps down Nola's win odds, yet he still sits at 0.35 projected wins, via numberFire's model.
Nola himself has a slate-best 2.75 SIERA and a third-ranked strikeout rate (out of 20 starters on the slate) of 29.3%. In total, I have him second in expected strikeout rate for tonight. Again, he's the one who stands out most here, but all three are viable plays.
Alex Wood ($8,600) - With a trio of big arms and a very intriguing value that we'll get to in a second, the mid-range options should go largely overlooked. Wood, though, sets up well enough to consider. He is in a low-strikeout matchup against the Kansas City Royals, who are fifth in active-roster strikeout rate. Other than that, though, things are good.
Wood ranks fourth on the slate in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (29.4%), and he draws a positive park factor for pitchers. Wood is also doing well to suppress hard contact (22.0% hard-hit rate allowed this season).
We can get very different with our pitchers tonight, and that includes looking into the middle of the salary tier.
Lance Lynn ($5,500) - Lynn is taking the mound for his first game of the 2022 season and can be found at a salary of just $5,500. Using last year's data compared to the other pitchers' current-season data, Lynn would sit fourth in strikeout rate (27.5%) and eighth in xFIP (3.82).
What really helps is the matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Detroit's active roster is 23rd in strikeout rate (23.8%) and 30th in wRC+ (73). It'll be hard to ignore Lynn entirely, of course, but with the expectation that optimizers and value-seekers will love him, the real play in tournaments could be fading him and hoping for a dud outing while focusing on the three big arms.
Even if you don't go a full-fade route, you can still roster Lynn and differentiate with the stacks you choose to use.
Gray has allowed a 50.3% fly-ball rate (18th on the slate among 20 starters) and a 31.9% hard-hit rate (11th). He has some juice in terms of the whiff department (a 29.0% called-strike-plus-whiff rate and a 25.9% strikeout rate, both ranking fifth on the slate) while the Braves' active roster does rank 28th in strikeout rate.
Although Ronald Acuna ($4,300), Dansby Swanson ($3,500), Austin Riley ($3,800), and Matt Olson ($3,500) make for a pretty hefty top four in terms of salary, we can also look to Ozzie Albies ($3,200) and Marcell Ozuna ($2,900) for some relief. Or just stack the top of the order with one of the mid-range or value pitchers.
Another big-name stack ranks second for me, yet there are values within the lineup to be found.
Why stack the Houston Astros, though (aside from the obvious)?
Taylor Hearn ranks 18th on the slate in hard-hit rate allowed, 17th in walk rate, 13th in strikeout rate, and 18th in SIERA. Houston should either get walked or get the bat on the ball, as they rank well in strikeout rate (4th) and barrel rate (8th).
If you want an offense in a positive hitting park against the slate's worst pitcher by xFIP while boasting an implied run total north of 5.0 runs, the Arizona Diamondbacks are your stack.
Among main slate starters, Mike Minor ranks 19th in fly-ball rate allowed, 15th in hard-hit rate allowed, and 15th in SIERA. In fairness to him, he's 8th in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (26.9%) and 12th in strikeout rate (21.1%), and the Diamondbacks rank 27th in strikeout rate themselves (24.2%).
But other than that, things are set up well for their bats: especially the salaries.
Some combination of David Peralta ($2,700) Jordan Luplow ($2,500), Josh Rojas ($3,100), Ketel Marte ($3,200), and Christian Walker ($3,100) should be the top four with Pavin Smith ($2,600) inside the top six, as well.
It's a value stack that can round out a lineup built around a stud pitcher and a better stack such as the Braves, Astros, or Toronto Blue Jays.