FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/1/22

Coors Field is the headliner for stacks on tonight's 10-game main slate, but we also have some strong pitching that we can pay up for. Is it possible to do both tonight?

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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.


Corbin Burnes ($10,900): Burnes is in the midst of another sensational season, and we should happily click on his name against a team like the Pirates.

Among qualified starters, the elite right-hander is top-three in just about any relevant metric, including SIERA (2.69), xFIP (2.78), strikeout rate (32.4%), swinging-strike rate (16.7%), and CSW rate (33.5%).

On top of all that, he's routinely pitching deep into games, logging quality starts in 11 of 15 outings and going seven or more innings 7 times.

And then there's the matchup. Pittsburgh should counter with a lefty-heavy lineup, but they still come in with an active roster showing a lackluster 96 wRC+ and 24.3% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching.

Even better, Burnes actually has a higher strikeout rate against lefties this year (34.4%), further enhancing his potential upside. The Pirates' 3.40 implied total is one of the worst on the slate.

Between the talent, workload, and matchup, it all shakes out to Burnes being the top option on Friday's slate.

Gerrit Cole ($10,600): Cole is right there with Burnes when it comes to his season-long metrics, and his only downgrade is a far less appealing spot versus the Guardians. Cleveland has been an above-average offense against righties, and the real kicker is that their active roster has just a 16.3% strikeout rate in the split.

That's a serious hurdle for Cole to overcome, but few can bring it like he can, and he did just that when he faced the Guardians in April, putting the clamps down and scoring 57 FanDuel points. Cleveland's middling 3.55 implied total favors Cole, as well.

Overall, the veteran righty has put together a 2.85 SIERA, 31.8% strikeout rate, and 6.6% walk rate, and he's fallen short of six innings just once in his last 12 starts, notching a quality start 10 times over the span. He's scored below 40 FanDuel points only once during that stretch.

Burnes has the easier path to a ceiling game, but we should never count out Cole, regardless of the matchup. Note that there is some rain in the forecast, though, so that will be something to check back on this evening.

Cristian Javier ($9,100): Javier is coming off his best start of the season, incredibly scoring 70 FanDuel points in a 13-strikeout performance against the Yankees.

While a high walk rate has held him back at times (9.4%), a tantalizing 31.8% strikeout rate oozes upside, and the Angels could be the right opponent for Javier to build off of last week's effort.

The risks are obvious when you see the names Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the other side, but the Angels are one of the very best matchups for punchouts, and among active rosters, they actually have the highest rate (27.0%) against right-handers.

Additionally, Javier is getting the benefit of the doubt at home, as the visitors are displaying a mere 3.57 implied total.

With guys like Burnes and Cole taking the mound, we don't want to skimp on ceiling if we're looking to save at pitcher, and Javier fits the mold tonight.


Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks

We've had quite a few Coors Field nights this week, and this time we've got the Arizona Diamondbacks in town to face the Colorado Rockies. This game's 11.5 over/under is the only one to even hit double-digits, giving both teams the highest implied totals of the slate.

Beginning with the hometown squad, the Rockies have a promising matchup versus right-hander Merrill Kelly. Despite a solid ERA, Kelly has roughly league-average underlying numbers, and he's been incredibly lucky with the long ball, allowing just a 5.8% homer-to-fly-ball rate that's more than half his career average (12.4%).

It's left-handed batters who we should prioritize against Kelly. In the split, the 33-year-old has a 4.47 xFIP, 18.8% strikeout rate, 10.1% walk rate, and 39.0% ground-ball rate this season.

Unfortunately, Colorado is a righty-heavy offense, but this gives a boost to Charlie Blackmon ($3,400) and Ryan McMahon ($3,100), and neither one has a particularly restrictive salary.

Kelly has more respectable marks in same-sided matchups, but at just a 21.3% strikeout rate, he's hardly a world-beater, either. C.J. Cron ($4,100) is the best power threat (.240 ISO), while Kris Bryant ($3,600), Connor Joe ($3,300), and Brendan Rodgers ($3,200) should join him in the top half of the lineup.

You may have noticed that those aren't terrible salaries for Coors Field, but the D-backs are even easier to stack. Incredibly, there isn't a single Arizona hitter with a salary above $3,100, and it wouldn't be shocking to see them be tonight's chalkiest stack.

They potentially have an even better matchup against Antonio Senzatela, who has a 4.71 SIERA and pitiful 12.5% strikeout rate in 2022. He, too, has benefited from a lucky homer-to-fly-ball rate (6.9%), but he's still getting knocked around by both sides of the plate.

Christian Walker ($3,100) leads the team in barrels per plate appearance, and lefty David Peralta ($2,500) has helped improved his power (.203 ISO) by dropping his ground-ball rate to a career-low 31.1%.

Ketel Marte ($2,900), Josh Rojas ($2,700), and Alek Thomas ($2,700) aren't massive home run threats, but they all have speed upside and will enjoy the platoon advantage. These are also some crazy values for guys who are projected to occupy the first three slots in the lineup.

Daulton Varsho ($2,800) has dropped further down the order lately, but his .173 ISO is enough to make him an appealing selection, as well.

Minnesota Twins

Once we move past Coors, the Minnesota Twins have the next-best implied total (5.31). It's easy to see why when we look at Spenser Watkins' numbers.

Watkins may very well be the worst pitcher taking the mound tonight, entering the day with a 5.71 SIERA, 11.2% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate. The righty has managed a solid 51.0% ground-ball rate to lefties over a small sample this year, but that's about the only thing he has going for him.

In addition to Watkins' struggles, the weather in Minnesota is looking mighty fine for some dingers, with temperatures in the low 80s and 10 mph winds blowing out.

The Baltimore righty has a laughable 6.32 xFIP in same-sided matchups, so load up on Byron Buxton ($3,800), Carlos Correa ($3,400), and Gary Sanchez ($2,600) for some right-handed pop.

Unsurprisingly, Watkins is faring only marginally better with the higher ground-ball rate against lefties (4.95 xFIP), so guys like Jorge Polanco ($3,300), Luis Arraez ($3,000), Max Kepler ($2,700), and Alex Kirilloff ($2,700) are also viable candidates at reasonable salaries.

New York Yankees

With Coors Field and the Twins likely drawing the brunt of the attention tonight, perhaps we can roster the New York Yankees at more palatable roster percentages than we typically see. If the weather holds up, we should also have hitter-friendly weather in Cleveland.

Aaron Civale has pitched better than his 7.20 ERA, but he has an unremarkable 20.9% strikeout rate and a sub-40% ground-ball rate against both lefties and righties.

Of course, the Yankees are the type of team that can really punish low-strikeout pitchers, beginning with the usual duo of Aaron Judge ($4,100) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600) and then surrounding them with the likes of Anthony Rizzo ($3,600), DJ LeMahieu ($3,300), and/or Josh Donaldson ($2,600).

The struggles of Joey Gallo ($2,500) are well-documented, but he continues to be someone to consider in plus matchups. He's still third on the team in barrels per plate appearance behind Judge and Stanton.