FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/21/22

The Yankees have one of the tougher matchups on today's early main slate, but we shouldn't count them out as a stack. Which pitchers and stacks should we prioritize?

FanDuel's main slate is a wonky one on Thursday, with just the three early afternoon games making the cut. Two are the first games of doubleheaders, explaining the reason for the unusual start time. Who stands out amongst our limited options?

Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!

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


Jon Gray ($9,000): On this short slate, Gray seems like the safest combination of talent and matchup against the Marlins. The right-hander has put together one of his better campaigns in recent memory -- due in no small part to leaving the Rockies -- posting a 3.37 SIERA, 27.3% strikeout rate, and 7.4% walk rate over 16 starts.

Gray's also improved over the course of the season, boasting a 30.6% strikeout since the beginning of June. Since the start of that month, he's risen to the occasion multiple times with five FanDuel performances of 49 or more points and two of those went for 58.

As for the opponent, Miami's active roster has a 97 wRC+ and 22.6% strikeout rate versus righties this season, so this isn't a bad spot for a potential ceiling game.

Cristian Javier ($9,700): In terms of pure upside, Javier fits the bill with a 2.97 SIERA and 35.2% strikeout rate. The only problem is he's facing the dreaded Yankees, one of the most ruthless lineups in the league (121 wRC+ versus righties). Javier's 9.4% walk rate also leads to some inconsistency, as he's issued three or more walks in 6 of his 13 starts.

But he's also racked up double-digit strikeouts in three of his last four, and two of those were 70-point outbursts -- one of which came against the Yankees. It'll be tough to duplicate that effort, but anyone with that kind of potential has to be in play on a three-game offering.

Others to Consider: Pablo Lopez ($10,000), Tarik Skubal ($8,300)


New York Yankees

Given the up-and-down efforts of Javier, we can also flip to the other side and hope his wildness gets the best of him against New York.

The Houston righty may have loads of firepower, but he does allow a whopping 59.6% fly-ball rate, so if he litters the bases with free baserunners, we could see someone like Aaron Judge ($4,500) or Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800) cash in for all the points. While Javier hasn't given up a ton of home runs this season, his 8.1% homer-to-fly-ball rate is well below both the league average (11.4%) and his career average (12.3%), so he is due for regression.

In terms of splits, there are no easy routes against Javier, but he's less imposing against left-handed batters at least with a 4.32 xFIP, 27.7% strikeout rate, and 10.4% walk rate. That should prop up Anthony Rizzo ($3,800), and Matt Carpenter ($4,000) is having a throwback year if you can stomach that salary.

Mostly, though, we're just hoping for a walk-shortened outing from Javier, so load up on any of the usual guys in Gleyber Torres ($3,200), DJ LeMahieu ($3,100), and Josh Donaldson ($2,800) for some salary relief in stacks, as well.

Detroit Tigers

The Yankees have taken their sweet time to announce a starter, but it's looking like Jordan Montgomery for Game 1, and that isn't a bad matchup to roll with a deep Astros lineup against a pitcher with just a 17.3% strikeout rate against righties.

But we can also consider the Detroit Tigers -- yes, those Tigers -- due to their spot versus one of the weaker pitchers on the board in left-hander Zach Logue.

Logue has struggled in both the Majors and Triple-A this season, producing a 5.48 xFIP across 29 2/3 big league innings and an even worse 6.92 xFIP over 55 2/3 minor league frames. With a strikeout rate below 18% at both levels, this could be a matchup even the woeful Tigers can take advantage of.

We'll primarily want righties against the southpaw, and we should see plenty of them in Detroit's lineup today. Javier Baez ($2,600), Robbie Grossman ($2,200), and Eric Haase ($2,300) are some of the better bets, with all three performing well versus left-handed pitching this season.

Riley Greene ($3,000) is a lefty, but he's locked into the leadoff slot, so he's still in play. And while Miguel Cabrera ($2,200) is a shell of his former self with almost no power, he continues to bat third or fourth, giving him some value as a punt.

Others to Consider: Houston Astros