FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/3/22
We have a no-brainer top option at pitcher, but he'll cost us a good chunk of cap space, so we have to consider a couple of value alternatives, as well. Likewise, there's a narrow group of offenses in good spots on the five-game slate, with just two teams hovering around five implied runs.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Shohei has taken his pitching to another level in 2022, mowing down the competition to the tune of a 2.34 SIERA, 36.4% strikeout rate, and 5.8% walk rate. Incredibly, he's now logged six straight games with double-digit strikeouts, and he's allowed more than two earned runs just once over that stretch.
Oakland's active roster has the seventh-worst wRC+ (88) versus right-handed pitching and isn't a team that suppresses strikeouts, so we have every reason to think that Ohtani can post another superb performance. Given everything laid out before us, it isn't surprising to see the A's showing a slate-low 2.89 implied total.
Ohtani's well worth the hefty salary on a slate lacking an elite one-for-one pivot.
Julio Urias ($9,300): Our next best alternatives both have salaries slightly above $9,000, but they're still genuine value plays when compared to Ohtani.
Urias is a full $2,000 below the two-way superstar, and while the lefty is typically a better real-life pitcher than DFS producer, his 3.66 SIERA, 23.8% strikeout rate, and 5.5% walk rate will play tonight. The southpaw doesn't have the longest leash when it comes to pitch count -- he's yet to reach 100 in any start this year -- but his efficiency has allowed him to earn quality starts in seven of his last nine games.
The Giants are an above-average offense against left-handers, and they're likely to counter Urias with a righty-heavy lineup. While that's certainly a negative, the good news is that San Francisco's active roster also carries a 24.7% strikeout rate in the split, which is the league's fourth-highest mark. The Giants are being credited with a meager 3.32 implied total tonight, giving us further optimism in rostering Urias.
We'll likely need Ohtani to have an off night for Urias to contend for the slate's top pitching score, but he's a fairly safe alternative when paying down at the position.
Blake Snell ($9,100): On the other hand, Snell represents a boom-or-bust option, and although it's been mostly the latter this season, he's had some encouraging results over the past month.
Across five July starts, Snell produced a 3.20 xFIP, 36.4% strikeout rate, and 13.6% walk rate, which resulted in FanDuel scores of 48, 58, 11, 36, and 46 points. The walk rate remains a huge red flag, but there are some promising DFS performances mixed in there.
This isn't a bad spot to roll the dice on Snell because he's facing the Rockies in San Diego. As is always the case, Colorado is a much different team in away games, and their active roster has the league's third-worst road wRC+ (79). Only Oakland has a worse implied total than the Rockies' 3.18 clip.
San Diego Padres
Regression has hit Chad Kuhl hard since the beginning of July, as he's gotten knocked around for an 8.71 ERA over his last five outings. He's coughed up seven home runs over this span after allowing that same number over the prior three months combined.
For the season, he's now sitting on a 5.03 SIERA, 16.6% strikeout rate, 9.9% walk rate, and 36.8% ground-ball rate. We should feel confident in the San Diego Padres' chances of keeping Kuhl's string of poor starts intact, and they have a slate-high 5.32 implied total to back it up.
Kuhl has lackluster marks against both righties and lefties, but it's lefties who get a major boost facing someone with a 5.26 xFIP in the split. In addition to Soto and Bell, that gives us added incentive to roster Jurickson Profar ($3,200) and Jake Cronenworth ($3,200).
Even Trent Grisham ($2,500) deserves a look after improving his strikeout rate over the last couple of months. He's homered in three straight games and could finally be snapping out of his 2022 funk.
Considering Kuhl is still pretty meh versus righties (4.60 xFIP), Manny Machado ($4,000) naturally deserves a spot in any Padres stacks, as well.
Right-handed reliever Tyler Beede is starting for the Pirates, and while that likely means this will be a bullpen game, the Milwaukee Brewers could see Beede for a handful of innings. He logged three innings in his last game and has cracked 40 pitches in a couple of appearances this season.
Let's hope Beede's out there for a while, because his underlying numbers have been Kuhl-esque -- a 4.70 SIERA, 13.6% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate. In Beede's case, he does have a 60.3% ground-ball rate versus righties, but an abysmal 11.8% strikeout rate and 11.8% walk rate essentially cancel it out. We shouldn't hesitate to attack this matchup with both sides of the plate.
Willy Adames ($3,700), Rowdy Tellez ($3,400), and Hunter Renfroe ($3,400) give us a trio of power hitters to consider, while Christian Yelich ($3,600) should be entrenched in the leadoff slot as usual. The rest of the lineup can help fit these guys in, as every other player has a salary of $3,100 or lower.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals could get taken off the table if the weather doesn't cooperate, but they come in with a solid 4.47 implied total and are arguably our third-best option.
Left-hander Justin Steele is having a promising 2022 campaign, and his 52.0% ground-ball rate has helped him keep home runs to a minimum. But he has just a 19.4% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate versus right-handed hitters, and this righty-heavy lineup could give him fits.
In addition to the obvious duo of Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200) and Nolan Arenado ($3,800), we can load up on value plays like Dylan Carlson ($2,700), Albert Pujols ($2,400), and Paul DeJong ($2,200). Pujols is still finding success these days when he has the platoon advantage, and DeJong recently got called up after demolishing Triple-A pitching with a .303 ISO over 230 plate appearances.