FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 6/21/22
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our projections and batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate.
Despite this being a big slate, the pitching options aren't all that great.
Sean Manaea ($9,900 on FanDuel) checks the most boxes among tonight's starters. He's facing an Arizona Diamondbacks offense that ranks just 20th in wOBA (.300) against lefties with the 9th-highest strikeout rate (23.4%) in the split. He also gets them at Petco Park, the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the bigs this season, per ESPN's Park Factors.
Manaea has the goods to come through in this spot. He boasts a 3.70 SIERA, 25.5% strikeout rate and 13.3% swinging-strike rate in 2022. He's thrown at least 91 pitches in seven of his past eight starts and has a single-game swinging-strike rate of at least 11.0% in seven straight outings. We project him to score a slate-leading 37.2 FanDuel points.
Strider has shown immense upside and leads the slate with a massive 38.6% strikeout rate. He's punched out 19 across 11 1/3 frames over his past two starts, and he got up to 106 pitches last time out. There are two issues with Strider tonight -- he's got a tough matchup with the San Francisco Giants, and he's inefficient, going only 5 2/3 innings in his past start despite the 106 pitches. Still, at a salary of $8,700, Strider is easy to like and is more than capable of a slate-high score, but he's a tier below Manaea in my eyes.
After Manaea and Strider, I can talk myself into a few guys as my number-three pitcher. Gausman and Dylan Cease ($9,600) always have upside but are in difficult matchups in the same game. Joe Ryan ($8,800) is in a soft matchup with the Cleveland Guardians but was pulled at 74 pitches last outing in his first start off of the IL. I think the aforementioned Cortes is where I'll land.
The New York Yankees' breakout southpaw is taking on a Tampa Bay Rays offense that is just 19th in wOBA (.303) against left-handers, although their 18.5% strikeout rate in the split is the 4th-lowest. Cortes owns a 27.8% strikeout rate and 3.29 SIERA on the year, and he's permitted just two earned runs and seven hits in 13 1/3 innings versus the Rays this season, fanning nine. Our model is into Cortes, pegging him to total 35.8 FanDuel points (second-most).
Stacks to Target
Boston Red Sox
Jarren Duran ($2,700) could wind up as the slate's most popular bat. He hit leadoff against a righty last night and swiped two bags with a walk and a double en route to 30.4 FanDuel points. He's an economical way to get a piece of the heart of Boston's lineup, the rest of which -- Rafael Devers ($4,200), Xander Bogaerts ($3,800), Trevor Story ($3,600) and J.D. Martinez ($3,500) -- are up there in salary.
Slotted fifth last night, Alex Verdugo ($3,100) can get you exposure to the slate's top implied total without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, he's got a measly .291 wOBA versus righties this season. I would rather take a shot on Franchy Cordero ($2,300), who hasn't been much better in the split (.294 wOBA) but comes in at an $800 discount.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels were a chalky stack last night because they had a sweet matchup and their salaries weren't that hard to get to. It's the same story on Tuesday, and they'll likely be pretty popular once more.
The Halos will see Jon Heasley, the owner of a 5.43 SIERA and 14.7% strikeout rate in 51 career innings. As a result, LA has been handed a 4.92 implied total. The righty has been especially massacred by lefties to the tune of a .376 wOBA and 2.52 homers per nine innings.
Hello, Shohei Ohtani ($3,500). Ohtani has a .377 wOBA and 44.7% hard-hit rate this year with the platoon advantage. He's also at his lowest salary (as a hitter) of the season. Yes, please.
Every other Angels bat is salaried at $2,400 or lower, and taking a flier on someone like Matthew Duffy ($2,200) or Brandon Marsh ($2,400) lowers the cap hit of a four-man LA stack even more. Duffy is eligible for three positions.
St. Louis Cardinals
Seven teams have an implied total of at least 4.70 runs. All of them can't be popular, and I think the St. Louis Cardinals might slip through the cracks a bit as their lofty salaries make it hard to pair them with another top stack.
The Red Birds can do a lot of damage against Chi Chi Gonzalez. The veteran right-hander is making his debut for the Milwaukee Brewers after being claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. While Gonzalez's career numbers are hurt by his three-year stint with the Colorado Rockies, he's just not good, sporting a career SIERA of 5.46 with a lowly 13.4% strikeout rate.
The Cards' usual suspects -- Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200), Tommy Edman ($3,900) and Nolan Arenado ($3,700) -- are superb plays if you have the salary to mak it work. I'll mix and match them with Brendan Donovan ($3,500), Nolan Gorman ($2,900), Dylan Carlson ($2,800) and Juan Yepez ($2,300).
Gorman and Yepez are two of my favorite plays on the slate. Yepez should be in the lineup now with Tyler O'Neill back on the IL, and he offers big-time power at a small salary. Gorman is projected to hit fifth and has a 45.3% fly-ball rate against right-handers in a small sample this year. There is, however, a chance Gorman gets yanked for a pinch-hitter if he comes up against a southpaw.
I wanted to touch on the Pittsburgh Pirates real quickly.
Pittsburgh is facing Matthew Swarmer, and they have a 4.94 implied total. They are a great place to look for low-salary mini-stacks or one-off plays. You can even full-on stack them if you want.
Oneil Cruz ($2,000) Dan Vogelbach ($2,500), Bryan Reynolds ($2,900), Ke'Bryan Hayes ($3,000) and Michael Chavis ($2,200) are super handy pieces who can help you roster a stud arm alongside plenty of high-salary bats. Cruz made Monday's perfect lineup and will likely be popular after his headline-grabbing performance.