FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 6/17/22

With a large slate and very few standouts, we have to study up thoroughly tonight. Which pitchers and stacks can give us an edge on Friday's slate?

A large slate is back on the menu for Friday's slate. The main slate features 11 matchups overall with plenty of big stacks and arms to sort through.

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.


Frankie Montas (FanDuel Salary: $10,200) - Frankie Montas sets up as the top pitcher in my model for today's slate. There's really just one drawback for Montas, and it's that the Kansas City Royals' active roster holds a 19.5% strikeout rate, the 5th-lowest in the Majors. That does, though, rise to 20.2% against right-handed pitching.

Besides that, everything else is there, as Kansas City's 91 wRC+ ranks 26th, and their barrel rate of 6.8% ranks 21st. It's also a plus pitcher's park.

But it's not all about the matchup for Montas, as there is plenty to like in his own profile. Montas ranks 3rd among the 22 main-slate starters in SIERA (3.17), 2nd in fly-ball rate (30.7%), and 6th in strikeout rate (26.1%). There's enough of a floor and ceiling for me to rank Montas at the top.

Carlos Rodon ($10,700) - Quickly, Rodon also rates out very well today against the Pittsburgh Pirates and has the best expected strikeout rate on the day (34.0%). Rodon's strikeout prop of 6.5 has -146 odds on the over.

Pittsburgh's 3.40 implied run total is a number we can attack, and Rodon is capable of a ceiling game in this matchup.

Rodon is in the same tier as Montas for me, but considering salary, he's not my second option.

Jon Gray ($8,600) - Gray is available at a very affordable salary of just $8,600 and gets an envious matchup against the Detroit Tigers.

Detroit's 24th in strikeout rate (23.6%), 30th in wRC+ (72), and 27th in barrel rate (5.5%) among active rosters. Their strikeout rate against righties is 24.1%, and their wRC+ in that split actually falls to 68.

That helps us overlook Gray's blemishes, namely a 10.0% walk rate and a 36.0% fly-ball rate. Also, the ERA (4.85) is inflated, and Gray's SIERA (3.83) and xFIP (3.76) are a full run better than that number. He's the second option for me considering salary, as the best stacks require some cash.

Tarik Skubal ($9,900) - If you aren't sold on Gray's ability to take advantage of the matchup, you can also look to the opposite starter in that meeting between the Tigers and Texas Rangers.

Skubal definitely passes the test with his own ability (2.95 SIERA, 27.6% strikeout rate, and 29.3% called-strike-plus-whiff rate -- all top-five marks on the slate).

The Rangers' active roster brings with it only a 100 wRC+ and an 8.1% barrel rate (super average marks). They do, however, hold a 114 wRC+ and a .325 wOBA against lefties, both top-10 rates in the MLB. I've got Skubal fourth among these four, but he's still very viable. His strikeout prop is 6.5 (but with -132 odds on the under).

All this said, Montas, Gray, and Rodon are my top three when factoring in salary.


San Diego Padres
The chalk stack of the night should come out of the matchup at Coors Field where the temperatures are over 90 degrees and the wind is blowing out.

The San Diego Padres lead the slate in implied run total (6.38), and only one other squad is above a 5.05 (the Colorado Rockies).

Against lefty Kyle Freeland, San Diego has plenty of reason to be treated as the slate's top offense. Freeland ranks 19th in both SIERA (4.61) and strikeout rate (16.4%) among the 22 main-slate starters and is also 13th in fly-ball rate allowed (34.7%).

San Diego themselves is just middling in active-roster strikeout rate (21.3%) and wRC+ (107), but they do improve from a .141 ISO against righties (ranking them 22nd) to a .154 ISO against lefties (16th).

Jurickson Profar ($3,900), Jake Cronenworth ($3,800), Manny Machado ($4,300), Luke Voit ($3,600) make for a high-salaried top four, but some salary-relief options exist lower in the order with Eric Hosmer ($3,000), Austin Nola ($2,900), and Ha-Seong Kim ($2,900).

The Rockies are also in the conversation for a top-four stack, but I'll move to other parks.

Minnesota Twins
After the Padres, things are pretty tight as far as stacks go, so we have a lot of flexibility to get different with whichever teams are not getting buzz by the time the slate locks.

That said, I like the Minnesota Twins against Madison Bumgarner, who is allowing a 43.1% fly-ball rate and earning just a 16.4% strikeout rate this season (ranking 20th and 19th, respectively, among the 22 main-slate starters). That's paired with an unimpressive 4.78 SIERA and a 24.9% called-strike-plus-whiff rate.

Minnesota sits 4th in wRC+ (116) and 3rd in barrel rate (10.0%) offensively, though their numbers against lefties do fall back a bit toward the league average. Even with that, they own a 4.79 implied run total and will face a below-average bullpen.

The salaries help buy into the Twins, too. Yes, we've got Byron Buxton ($4,200) and Carlos Correa ($4,000) but can balance out those salaries with Jorge Polanco ($3,300), Gio Urshela ($2,300), Gary Sanchez ($2,600), and Jose Miranda ($2,200).

St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals draw Michael Wacha tonight at Fenway Park and hold a solid 4.96 implied run total despite being slight underdogs. Runs should be had in that game as the weather looks solid for hitting.

St. Louis' low-strikeout ways (18.5%, 2nd in the Majors) should lead to tons of contact as Wacha ranks 18th on the slate in strikeout rate (16.9%) and last (i.e. 22nd) in called-strike-plus-whiff rate (22.9%).

The Cards' active roster owns a 113 wRC+ against right-handed pitching to rank 11th in the Majors.

The switch-hitting Tommy Edman ($3,800) pairs with lefties Nolan Gorman ($3,000) and Brendan Donovan ($2,800) in the top five, and then we can always rely on Paul Goldschmidt ($4,000) and Nolan Arenado ($3,600), too. All five rank above the MLB average in expected wOBA, and all but Donovan are above the league average in expected slugging.