FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 6/30/22
With just five games on Thursday's slate, pitching is especially thin, so you may just want to stick with the obvious options and look to differentiate elsewhere. On the hitting side, a windy evening at Wrigley Field will take center stage.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
The Seattle righty comes in with a 3.65 SIERA, 24.9% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate, and despite a fairly tough schedule lately, Gilbert has logged quality starts in seven of his last eight outings.
Oakland isn't expected to do much damage, getting credited with a mere 3.08 implied total. They're one of the league's worst offenses, with their active roster owning a pitiful 81 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching. The A's also aren't a bad matchup for punchouts, carrying a 23.1% strikeout rate in the split.
Given the dearth of other strong options, Gilbert is easy to like in this plus spot.
Joe Musgrove ($11,100): Musgrove may very well be the top overall talent on the board, but this salary is tough to stomach, particularly in a difficult draw against the Dodgers. Beggars can't be choosers on this slate, though, so Musgrove remains in play by default.
While the right-hander's strikeout rate (24.6%) has dipped compared to the past couple of seasons, Musgrove has made up for it with excellent efficiency, benefiting from a 5.4% walk rate and 49.1% ground-ball rate.
He's gone at least six innings in all 13 of his starts this season, and prior to his dud last week, he had logged 12 straight quality starts, allowing fewer than three earned runs in all of them.
The Dodgers are one of the top offenses in the league, so Musgrove will have his work cut out for him, but L.A.'s 4.20 implied total isn't too scary. If you want to pivot away from Gilbert in tournaments, Musgrove is your man.
Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds
We have a classic Wrigley Field wind game tonight, giving both the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds plenty of stacking potential. This game has a 10.5 over/under, which is easily the highest on the slate.
Both teams have fairly low salaries, too, making them ideal candidates to roster with Gilbert or Musgrove.
The Cubs are facing right-hander Graham Ashcraft, who's coming off a sensational eight-strikeout win over the Giants. However, even with that start, he's only produced a 15.8% strikeout rate and 8.5% swinging-strike rate over seven outings, so this looks more like an outlier than anything else.
Ashcraft's true strength has been his ability to induce grounders, but he's curiously been more effective against lefties (66.7% ground-ball rate) compared to righties (46.8%).
With that in mind, righty sticks like Willson Contreras ($3,400), Patrick Wisdom ($3,100), and Nico Hoerner ($2,500) should have a better chance of taking advantage of the windy conditions. Christopher Morel ($2,900) was dropped to ninth in the order on Wednesday, but he's sporting a .193 ISO and 13.0% barrel rate, and he's even chipped in 7 stolen bases.
Lefty Rafael Ortega ($2,300) and switch-hitter Ian Happ ($3,000) could have a tougher time getting loft on the ball versus Ashcraft, but they should both bat high in the order and have appealing salaries to round out stacks.
On the other side, the Reds get Kyle Hendricks, who is struggling for the second straight season. He's put up a lackluster 4.57 SIERA and 17.2% strikeout rate through 14 starts, and his ground-ball rate has plummeted to 36.3%.
Hendricks is particularly vulnerable to left-handed batters, posting a 5.07 xFIP and 29.6% ground-ball rate in the split, so Joey Votto ($2,600) is a clear starting point for Reds stacks. Fellow lefty Mike Moustakas ($2,500) could be worth a look if he starts, as well.
It's not like Hendricks is doing anything notable in same-sided matchups, though, so we can also check out Brandon Drury ($3,400), Tommy Pham ($3,100), and Jonathan India ($2,900) as solid power options. Drury leads the team in barrels per plate appearance this season.
Brubaker is having a decent campaign (4.16 SIERA), but he also doesn't stand out in any way, sitting on a league-average strikeout rate (22.0%) while issuing a few too many walks (9.0%).
Attacking him lefties appears to be the preferred way to go. Brubaker may have a slightly better strikeout rate in the split (23.7%), but he's also displaying a 4.49 xFIP and is allowing a whopping 48.6% fly-ball rate.
Christian Yelich ($3,400), Rowdy Tellez ($3,200), and Kolten Wong ($3,000) are the top lefties in the lineup, and much like the Cubs and Reds, these are hardly crippling salaries. Jace Peterson ($2,500) bats at or near the bottom of the order, but he's flirting with both double-digit dingers and stolen bases this year.
Brubaker has a 50.0% ground-ball rate in same-sided matchups, but that isn't enough to scare us off from rostering Willy Adames ($3,500), who leads the team with a .259 ISO and only hits into grounders 35.6% of the time. Luis Urias ($2,900) and Tyrone Taylor ($2,500) have enough pop to consider as value plays, too.
Adrian Martinez only has one MLB start under his belt, so this matchup is a bit of a wild card for the Seattle Mariners, but Martinez only managed three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings in his debut against the Tigers. He also didn't do anything in Triple-A to suggest he's ready for the big leagues, recording a 4.63 xFIP over 13 starts this year and 4.84 xFIP in 9 starts in 2021.
Julio Rodriguez ($3,800) has a pretty exorbitant salary, but with 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases on the year, the upside is there if you can find the room.
After that, it gets a lot more cap-friendly, with everyone else coming in at $3,300 and below. Eugenio Suarez ($3,300) is one of the better home run threats (.201 ISO), while Jesse Winker ($3,100), J.P. Crawford ($2,700), Cal Raleigh ($2,500), and Carlos Santana ($2,400) will all have the platoon advantage.