FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/15/22

Brandon Woodruff has performed well since coming off the injured list, and he should keep things rolling against the Giants. Which pitchers and stacks should you consider tonight?

It's another large Friday slate to end the week, and as one might expect, we have a solid group of pitchers to sift through when 13 games are on the docket. Coors Field is once again in play for our stacks, but it isn't a must to go there when some potent offenses are in great spots elsewhere, as well.

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


Clayton Kershaw ($10,100): Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers have been very careful with Kershaw's workload in his age-34 campaign, particularly after he sat out roughly a month on the injured list earlier this season.

But they must feel more confident in the veteran lefty's health these days, as Kershaw's now gone 98 and 102 pitches in both of his July starts. Prior to those outings, he hadn't exceeded 87 pitches in a single outing this year and hadn't exceeded 81 since returning from the injured list in mid-June.

It's worth noting that the southpaw cruised in those last two performances, which likely contributed to the extra leash. With this being the Dodgers (and Kershaw), it remains possible that his pitch count could be curtailed if he's forced to work through any stressful innings.

Still, the recent results significantly up Kershaw's chances of manning enough innings to cash in on the ceiling that's possible from an excellent 2.98 SIERA, 27.6% strikeout rate, 4.8% walk rate, and 50.0% ground-ball rate.

What will also help is a matchup against the Angels. The Halos' active roster has the league's third-worst strikeout rate versus left-handers (25.4%), and they rank just 22nd in wRC+ (99) in the split. Their 3.45 implied total is among the slate's lowest, as well.

This may not be the otherwordly Kershaw of old, but this version is still pretty damn good, and he should be at or near the top of our list tonight.

Brandon Woodruff ($10,000): While the results have been a little more inconsistent for Woodruff in 2022, he's showing an excellent 2.85 SIERA, 31.9% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate over a dozen starts. We also could be catching him at just the right time, as he's now tallied 10, 9, and 8 punchouts since returning from the injured list, which is good for an absurd 41.5% strikeout rate.

Like Kershaw, pitch count is a slight concern for Woodruff, but he's now logged 94 and 92 pitches in his last two, so he should be pretty unrestricted moving forward.

As noted with Corbin Burnes yesterday, the Giants are an above-average offense that likes to load up on lefties when facing right-handed starters.

While that would normally be a negative for Woodruff, he's actually been more effective versus left-handed batters this season, posting a 1.69 xFIP and 43.3% strikeout rate. Even if that's inflated from a smaller sample size, he's possessed a high strikeout rate versus lefties over his career, so we should feel quite confident in this matchup. That notion is also backed by San Francisco's 3.35 implied total.

Between Woodruff's recent form and his potential upside in this particular matchup, he's an easy guy to like as an alternative to Kershaw.

I'll give a quick shout to Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah before moving on to our value pitcher. Ray is right up there with Kershaw and Woodruff in strikeout rate, so he's certainly in play against an average Rangers lineup.

I'm concerned with Manoah's ceiling due to his league-average punchouts, but the Royals' depleted lineup isn't likely to offer much resistance and has a 2.91 implied total. Manoah has a significantly higher strikeout rate in same-sided matchups (29.0%), though, so the number of righties in tonight's lineup could dictate his effectiveness.

Alex Wood ($8,300): Wood's coming off his best start of the year in an 8-strikeout, 55-FanDuel-point effort against the Padres, and here's hoping he can build off of that against the Brewers.

Overall, the left-hander doesn't usually have the firepower to keep up with the slate's best, as his 23.2% strikeout rate is down from last year, and Milwaukee will likely throw a bunch of right-handed batters at him, further complicating things.

Wood's workload has been all over the place, too, capable of cracking 100 pitches but often getting pulled well before that. Even in that brilliant performance his last time out, the Giants were happy to take him out after seven innings despite going just 83 pitches.

But all of this is baked into this value salary, and the good news is that Wood helps his cause with an efficient 5.9% walk rate and inning-killing 50.2% ground-ball rate. There should also be a good number of high-strikeout guys in the lineup, opening up a path to more swings and misses. The Brewers' 3.65 implied total is a positive sign, too.

Wood will have a difficult time duplicating his last start, but if he comes anywhere close, you'll be in great shape with all of the high-salaried bats your lineup will be able to afford.


Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies invite the Pirates to town this weekend, and their Friday matchup against Jose Quintana is earning them a hefty 5.91 implied total.

Quintana's actually been fairly effective this season (3.99 SIERA), so this isn't quite the cupcake matchup this total suggests. But the 33-year-old is low on both strikeouts (21.5%) and grounders (43.0%), so it's easy to see how the Rockies could find success at Coors tonight.

Colorado should have a lineup almost entirely made up of righties to combat the southpaw, and C.J. Cron ($4,300) and Kris Bryant ($4,200) immediately stick out in the heart of the order. Cron leads the team with a .251 ISO, while Bryant is beginning to turn up the heat with four home runs already this month.

Connor Joe ($3,800) is tougher to like at his salary, but he'll be locked into the leadoff slot, so the scoring potential is there. Jose Iglesias ($2,900) should be a popular value play if he bats second again, and Brendan Rodgers ($3,500) and Randal Grichuk ($2,800) provide decent pop lower in the order.

Toronto Blue Jays

Zack Greinke seems to still be crafty enough to hold offenses in check here and there, but a 12.5% strikeout rate just doesn't fly against teams like the Toronto Blue Jays. And it's not like Greinke is even getting grounders at a high clip (38.8%), so he's susceptible to home runs when facing strong opposing hitters.

Well, we know there are plenty of potent bats in the top half of this lineup to do just that between George Springer ($3,900), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,800), Bo Bichette ($3,700), Teoscar Hernandez ($3,500), and Alejandro Kirk ($2,900).

With names like that, it isn't shocking to see the Blue Jays getting credited with the slate's third-best implied total (5.09).

Don't sleep on Matt Chapman ($2,700), as well, who's averaging roughly the same rate of barrels as Hernandez.

Atlanta Braves

Patrick Corbin has made some strides since showing a slight bump in velocity last month, but outside of an outlier performance against Pittsburgh a few starts back, there hasn't been enough to suggest that he's made enough of an improvement to prevent us from stacking a team like the Atlanta Braves against him.

And while Corbin's 4.27 SIERA and .358 BABIP point to poor luck leading to his 5.70 ERA, we're now looking at a third straight season with lackluster results. This may just be who he is at this point.

For the season, Corbin's produced a paltry 19.7% strikeout rate and 43.4% ground-ball rate against righties, so it should be open season for the usual righties like Ronald Acuna ($4,400, Dansby Swanson ($3,800), Austin Riley ($4,300), and Marcell Ozuna ($3,200).

Much like yesterday, we can also get value from whoever starts between Travis d'Arnaud ($3,100), William Contreras ($2,700), and Adam Duvall ($2,600).