FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/29/22

Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers could have another big night at the plate at Coors Field tonight. Which stacks and pitchers stand out on the 13-game main slate?

We've got a loaded Friday slate, and there's plenty of depth to go around both at pitcher and at the plate. The Los Angeles Dodgers' bats once again boast an incredible implied total at Coors, and we'll have to decide whether their popularity should sway us in GPPs.

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.


Gerrit Cole ($11,000): There are quite a few intriguing names taking the mound, but Cole arguably deserves top honors at home against the Royals.

The Yankees' ace is enjoying another stellar campaign, posting a 2.82 SIERA, 32.3% strikeout rate, and 6.8% walk rate across 20 starts. Cole leads the slate in strikeout rate, and only one other pitcher cracks the 30% mark (Brandon Woodruff).

Cole is also the rare workhorse in an age of limited innings and restricted pitch counts. New York has let me him to go over 100 pitches in six of the past seven outings, allowing him to log seven or more innings four times over that span.

Kansas City hasn't been an amazing matchup for punchouts this season, but the Andrew Benintendi trade eliminates a low-strikeout batter, and this is a pretty bare-bones lineup these days. Unsurprisingly, the Royals aren't expected to do much against Cole, coming in with a slate-low 3.00 implied total.

Everything points to a strong outing from Cole, and he should be your first priority at the position.

Alek Manoah ($10,300): Manoah isn't typically an exciting guy to roster in DFS due to his middle-of-the-pack 23.0% strikeout rate, but matchups don't get any better than right-handers versus the Tigers. This season in the split, Detroit has a league-worst wRC+ (67) and the sixth-worst strikeout rate (24.2%).

Those struggles at the plate are reflected by a 3.06 implied total that's right there with the Royals' mark for the worst on the board.

Manoah's lack of elite firepower has generally limited his ceiling this year, but he's been both consistent and efficient in his starts, as he's tied for the league's second-most quality starts (16). He doesn't hurt himself with walks (5.2%), and he's allowed a league-low 21.0% hard-hit rate, which may not be a fluke after he limited hard contact in 2021, as well.

All of this has helped him to a high floor, with Manoah reaching at least 40 FanDuel points in 12 of his 19 games. The downside? He's gone for 49 or more just three times.

Therein lies the risk of rostering Manoah, particularly on such a deep pitching slate. But if ever there is a spot for a huge score, it's this golden opportunity tonight.

Lance Lynn ($7,500): We're seeing a slight bump in salaries over at Coors Field, so we shouldn't rule out making some lineups where we take savings at pitcher.

Lynn has produced pedestrian numbers since coming off the injured list in June, putting up a 3.76 SIERA, 21.8% strikeout rate, and 5.3% walk rate. He's been far better than his 6.43 ERA, but these aren't exactly DFS-worthy marks, either.

But we're talking about just eight starts, and this is someone who recorded a 27.5% strikeout rate across a full campaign in 2021. That's something we can latch onto at such a bargain salary, and Lynn is coming off his best performance of the year, notching six punchouts across six scoreless innings versus Cleveland (40 FanDuel points).

The Athletics will be a much easier test than the Guardians. When facing righties, Oakland has the second-worst wRC+ (76) and seventh-worst strikeout rate (24.0%). They may not be Detroit -- but they aren't far off.

Given that Lynn has yet to exceed six innings in a start and has delivered an inconsistent strikeout rate thus far, he's a risky play on a slate where someone like Cole could go nuts. But don't write him off if you want to throw in some lineups that go all-in on the evening's top stacks.


Los Angeles Dodgers

The baseball gods will play tricks on us sometimes, but that wasn't the case with the Dodgers on Thursday, as LA took care of business at Coors and lit up the Rockies for 13 runs.

We could see an encore performance tonight, and the Dodgers are once again looking at a massive implied total (6.73). Chad Kuhl isn't Jose Urena-bad, but a 4.95 SIERA, 16.8% strikeout rate, 9.5% walk rate, and 36.7% ground-ball rate is very much worth attacking.

After Kuhl skirted around lackluster peripherals for much of the season, regression has smacked him around lately, and he's a poor bet to repeat the complete-game shutout that he pulled out of nowhere against these same Dodgers at Coors Field in late June.

The right-hander has a 5.19 xFIP, 16.7% strikeout rate, and 12.0% walk rate against lefties this season, so that sets up Freddie Freeman ($4,400) for another potential outburst at the plate, and there's plenty of lefty value to be found through Jake Lamb ($2,600), Gavin Lux ($3,000), and Max Muncy ($2,900).

Kuhl isn't anything special in same-sided matchups, as well, carrying a 4.46 xFIP and 16.9% strikeout rate, so you can also make room for the usual suspects in Mookie Betts ($4,500), Trea Turner ($4,300), and Will Smith ($3,400) when possible.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays didn't quite come through as a full stack last night -- although Matt Chapman ($3,400) certainly did his part -- but they're once again in a plus spot against a Detroit team that's starting Bryan Garcia in what should boil down to another bullpen game. Toronto's 5.44 implied total is one of the better marks after the Dodgers.

This will be Garcia's first big league appearance in 2022, and there's a good reason for that. When we last saw him in the Majors last year, he posted a 5.43 SIERA, 16.7% strikeout rate, and 13.0% walk rate as a reliever over 39 1/3 innings.

His Triple-A numbers before today's call-up don't leave much room for optimism, either. Over 40 1/3 innings, including three starts, he put up a 5.60 xFIP, 17.6% strikeout rate, and 12.5% walk rate.

With George Springer leaving yesterday's game early with a minor injury, it's possible we see lefty Raimel Tapia ($3,000) bat leadoff, potentially giving us a great value play. Garcia was underwhelming against both righties and lefties in 2021, but he especially struggled versus left-handed bats, owning a 7.94 xFIP in the split.

Otherwise, it's a matter of squeezing in who you can in the top half of the order between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,000), Alejandro Kirk ($3,500), Bo Bichette ($3,400), and Teoscar Hernandez ($3,700).

As Chapman showed yesterday, he's one of the better power bats in the lineup (.221 ISO), and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,000) could be a necessary addition if you're paying up at pitcher.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Yankees (5.50 implied total) have a great matchup against a mediocre southpaw in Kris Bubic, and they could see similar popularity as Toronto. As of this writing, the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Yankees are the only teams with implied totals above 5.00.

But let's not overlook the St. Louis Cardinals, who might draw less attention than the aforementioned offensive juggernauts.

They're facing Anibal Sanchez, who only has two starts under his belt this year. Those two outings haven't gone well. He's coughed up seven earned runs and three dingers over just 10 innings, leading to an unsightly 6.30 ERA.

While Sanchez's underlying numbers aren't completely terrible, a 22.0% strikeout rate and 9.8% walk rate isn't anything to get excited about, and the last time we saw him, he was wrecked for a 6.62 ERA, 5.03 SIERA, and 1.87 home runs per nine innings over 11 starts in 2020.

It's quite possible that Sanchez is just toast at 38 years old, and the Cardinals have enough quality bats to take advantage.

Paul Goldschmidt ($4,400) and Nolan Arenado ($3,800) are obvious starting points, particularly considering Sanchez was worse in same-sided spots in 2020 (5.79 xFIP), and guys like Dylan Carlson ($2,800), Tyler O'Neill ($2,900), and Nolan Gorman ($2,500) have the types of salaries to leave enough cap space. Gorman is a boom-or-bust lefty with a high strikeout rate, but he's hitting barrels at a high clip, helping him to a .201 ISO.