FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 7/5/22

Yordan Alvarez and the Astros are in a great spot to put up some runs against former teammate Zack Greinke. Which stacks and pitchers stand out tonight?

This is one of the weakest pitcher groups you'll ever see from a 12-game slate, so it might be a night where we prioritize our bats instead. Luckily, there's no shortage of viable stacks, with 14 different teams exceeding a 4.50 implied total and 6 surpassing 5.00.

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


Luis Garcia ($10,000): On this ace-less slate, upside will be a little trickier to find, and that couldn't be more apparent when we see Nick Pivetta and Garcia as the only pitchers at $10,000 and above. As a result, this could be one of those times where a surprise pitcher emerges above the rest.

But Garcia still rates as one of the better talents on the board, making him one of the evening's better options.

The Houston right-hander comes in with a cool 3.56 SIERA, 25.7% strikeout rate, and 6.8% walk rate, and those marks closely mirror how he performed in 2021. While he has generally been held to pitch counts topping out in the low 90s, he was allowed to go for a season-high 101 in his latest start, which is an encouraging sign for his workload.

His matchup against the Royals isn't a great one for punchouts (20.2% strikeout rate versus righties), but they're unlikely to do much damage, either, showing a slate-low 3.41 implied total. Kansas City's active roster owns just 96 wRC+ against right-handers this season.

Although Garcia lacks the premium strikeout numbers we generally get from guys in this salary range, he should have a path towards a lengthy outing against a weak opponent.

Yusei Kikuchi ($7,900): Kikuchi is coming off a season-high 49 FanDuel points versus the Rays, but he remains an untrustworthy option due to his low pitch counts and flawed profile.

Even with him dealing in that last start, the southpaw was only allowed to go 80 pitches, and he hasn't hit even 90 since mid-May. Much of that has to do with his struggles with both walks (12.8% rate) and home runs (2.01 per nine innings) this year, predictably leading to many abridged outings.

And yet, he deserves some consideration due to his 26.3% strikeout rate opposite a lackluster Athletics offense. Against lefties, Oakland's active roster owns the third-worst wRC+ (91) and the eighth-worst strikeout rate (23.7%). Even with Kikuchi having uneven results this year, the A's are being credited with a mere 3.43 implied total.

It won't feel great to click on Kikuchi's name, but the upside is there if he can limit the free passes and dingers.

Alex Wood ($8,000): Wood has put up solid peripherals all season, and yet he can't seem to shake the underwhelming results, leaving him with a 5.03 ERA over 15 starts. A 3.58 SIERA, 22.5% strikeout rate, 6.3% walk rate, and 49.8% ground-ball rate should be leading to more fruitful efforts, and this matchup against the Diamondbacks is theoretically one he can capitalize on.

The D-backs are just as bad as the A's against southpaws (91 wRC+), and they have a middle-of-the-pack 22.1% strikeout rate in the split. While Arizona's 4.00 implied total could be a smidge better for Wood, it still ranks as the fifth-lowest on the night.

Unlike Kikuchi, Wood's pitch counts are a bit more reliable, too, with the Giants' left-hander typically going 90-plus pitches when he's doing well. His path to a ceiling game isn't great against a Diamondbacks lineup that will probably load up on righty sticks, but we may not need a massive pitching score to get by tonight.


Houston Astros

Zack Greinke still manages to carve out the occasional strong start, but it's hard to get by with an 11.9% strikeout rate, particularly when it's the Astros on the other side. A 4.91 SIERA suggests that he's lucky to even have a 4.38 ERA.

A glance at Greinke's splits show that we can attack him with both sides of the plate, but that strikeout rate plummets to a laughable 7.8% against left-handed batters, which bumps up Yordan Alvarez ($4,300) and Kyle Tucker ($3,600) as elite choices. Alvarez ranks third overall in barrels per plate appearance this year, and Tucker is humming along with .232 ISO while also chipping in 14 stolen bases.

In same-sided matchups, Greinke's 15.0% strikeout rate and 45.2% fly-ball rate don't exactly strike fear in us, either, so we can comfortably roll with top righties Jose Altuve ($4,100), Jeremy Pena ($3,100), and Alex Bregman ($3,100), and the latter two have appealing salaries. If he starts, Chas McCormick ($2,700) continues to show sneaky pop with a .196 ISO and 10.6% barrel rate.

New York Yankees

While Jose Quintana is closer to league average than outright bad, we shouldn't pass up an opportunity to roster Aaron Judge ($4,000) and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,700) against a low-strikeout left-hander.

Quintana's only posted a 19.0% strikeout rate against righties, and he doesn't induce grounders at a high clip (42.9%). Meanwhile, Judge (.337) and Stanton (.274) are both top 10 in ISO this season.

The New York Yankees will also benefit from a hot and muggy day in Pittsburgh, which should only further increase their chance of hitting a few long balls.

In addition to Judge and Staton, DJ LeMahieu ($3,200) always has scoring potential as the table-setter at the top of the order, and fellow righties Josh Donaldson ($2,500) and Gleyber Torres ($2,800) offer us some value lower in the lineup.

Philadelphia Phillies

Since joining Washington's rotation, Paolo Espino has produced a 4.52 xFIP, 18.4% strikeout rate, 7.9% walk rate, and 39.3% ground-ball rate over four starts, which sets up the Philadelphia Phillies as a possible stack. As of this writing, the Phillies have the slate's second-best implied total (5.23), and the wind is blowing out at 12 mph.

If we look at Espino's season-long splits -- which includes his innings as a reliever -- he's displaying a modest 4.53 xFIP and 14.6% strikeout rate versus lefties. Kyle Schwarber ($3,900) is fresh off a ridiculous June where he piled up 12 home runs and a .408 ISO, and he's the main attraction of any Philadelphia stack tonight.

Recent call-up Darick Hall ($2,900) was putting up promising power numbers in Triple-A, and he's already slugged three dingers in his first 18 MLB plate appearances. While it remains to be seen what his true talent level is, he's worth a look as another lefty, and he's been hitting cleanup.

Espino is marginally better against right-handed bats, so Rhys Hoskins ($3,600) should also get in on the fun, and Nick Castellanos ($2,800) and J.T. Realmuto ($3,400) round out the top half of the lineup.