FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/15/22

Gerrit Cole bounced back in his last start and should have a big night on tap against the Rays. Which pitchers and stacks stand out on the main slate?

We have a top-heavy pitching slate that features some of our favorite DFS aces, and it should be a priority to fit them into lineups tonight. On the other hand, stacks feel rather wide open, and there arguably isn't one "must-have" stack to roster over the rest.

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


Gerrit Cole ($11,000): Following a handful of mediocre outings -- some of which could be attributed to poor BABIP luck -- Cole got back on track in his last start (49 FanDuel points), and he should be able to rack up the punchouts against the Rays.

Tampa Bay's active roster has the sixth-highest strikeout rate versus right-handers (24.4%), and nearly all of their healthy players have average strikeout rates or worse. Yandy Diaz and Isaac Paredes are the only projected starters who suppress Ks, and the latter doesn't play every day.

Of course, Cole hardly needs a plus matchup to post a big score, boasting a 2.72 SIERA, 32.5% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate this season.

Facing the right opponent can't hurt, though, and the Yankees' ace took care of business when facing the Rays in May and June, tallying 49, 49, and 59 FanDuel points. He piled up double-digit strikeouts in two of those games, and that was before Tampa Bay was plagued by injuries, too.

The Rays have a slate-low 3.01 implied total, and everything points to another strong performance from Cole.

Shohei Ohtani ($10,000): Luis Castillo has been on a roll lately, and he's definitely in the conversation tonight against the Angels. However, even in such an inviting matchup, $11,200 is a lot for a guy with a 26.1% strikeout rate, and I prefer Cole at nearly the same salary.

Instead, I'd rather take a shot on Ohtani, who comes at a discount compared to those other two and could draw less attention than usual following mortal showings in back-to-back starts versus the Athletics.

It's not like Ohtani was bad in either outing, and we know what that ceiling can look like when he's at his best. He still owns a ridiculous 2.48 SIERA, 35.2% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate, and let's not forget that he had a streak of six games with double-digit strikeouts before those Oakland games.

The Mariners are a middle-of-the-road matchup but not one to completely shy away from. They have a modest implied total (3.55), and we've seen Ohtani post some of his best scores against quality opponents this year.

Josiah Gray ($8,900): This feels like a slate where skimping at pitcher could be risky, as there aren't any obvious mid-to-low salary plays who are likely to keep pace with Cole, Ohtani, and Castillo. Spencer Strider could make some noise despite a tough matchup, too.

Alex Cobb has some value at $9,300, but the Diamondbacks aren't a particularly great opponent for Ks, potentially limiting his upside.

On the other hand, Gray is up against a Cubs team with a 24.4% strikeout rate against righties. In spite of all his flaws, he has a 26.3% strikeout rate that can lead to occasional big nights. Over his 21 starts, he's logged at least seven strikeouts in seven and even hit double-digits twice.

The risks are painfully obvious when it comes to Gray, though. He has a 9.5% walk rate and allows 2.32 home runs per nine innings off a 51.3% fly-ball rate. While he can get strikeouts in bunches, he's just as likely to dole out multiple free passes and dingers.

Still, Chicago's 4.26 implied total isn't nearly as bad as you might expect against someone as inconsistent as Gray. It isn't ideal that he's facing them for the second time in a row, but he did notch a quality start in that last appearance. His 3.94 SIERA is significantly lower than his 4.81 ERA, as well.

Admittedly, if you're only making a handful of lineups, it probably isn't worth the risk to include Gray. But there's enough to like here that he could be worth sprinkling in if you're mass multi-entering GPPs.


Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have the highest implied total on the board (4.90), and their righty-heavy lineup is in a great spot to produce against Kyle Bradish.

Bradish hasn't been as bad as his 6.42 ERA, but he's coughing up 2.50 home runs per nine innings to right-handed batters, which will certainly get our attention.

He has a somewhat respectable 4.33 xFIP in the split, suggesting his long ball issues could partially be related to poor luck, but he isn't getting a ton of strikeouts (20.5%) or grounders (37.1%) when facing righties, and he's also giving up a lot of hard contact (41.0%).

This isn't the largest sample from a guy with just 13 starts under his belt, but I'll happily side with the potent offense over the inexperienced rookie.

Lucky for us, outside of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,000), Toronto's salaries are pretty reasonable across the board, making them an ideal stack to pair with the slate's high-salaried arms.

The first six projected batters in the order all bat right-handed between Guerrero, Teoscar Hernandez ($3,500), Bo Bichette ($3,300), Matt Chapman ($3,200), Lourdes Gurriel ($3,000), and Alejandro Kirk ($2,900).

Minnesota Twins

In terms of implied totals, we see a slight drop-off after the Blue Jays, and it wouldn't be surprising if roster percentages are fairly spread out.

The Minnesota Twins fall into that next group and are in a promising spot against left-hander Kris Bubic, who comes in with an unremarkable 4.79 SIERA, 19.0% strikeout rate, and 11.2% walk rate.

But the funny thing about Bubic is that while he's mediocre against righties -- as you would expect -- he actually has even worse splits when facing lefty bats.

This season, the southpaw has an ugly 6.64 xFIP, 10.0% strikeout rate, and 15.6% walk rate over against lefties. This has come in just 17 1/3 innings, though, so we might normally chalk it up to a small sample.

Except we've seen this play out for Bubic in each of the last two seasons, too, giving him a career 5.97 xFIP over 45 1/3 innings in same-sided matchups.

It all makes stacking the Twins that much more enticing, and this group as a whole has even lower salaries than Toronto.

Left-handed leadoff man Luis Arraez ($3,100) shouldn't have any issue getting on base against Bubic, and he'll be followed in the order by a solid group of righties between Carlos Correa ($3,000), Byron Buxton ($3,700), Jose Miranda ($2,900), Jorge Polanco ($3,200), and Gio Urshela ($2,700).

Given the wonky splits, if you're looking to be contrarian, it couldn't hurt to include any lower-order lefties in full stacks -- with Max Kepler ($2,600) being the most likely candidate to start.

Texas Rangers

Top-of-the-line offenses like the Houston Astros and New York Yankees are in the mix tonight, but don't forget about the Texas Rangers, who have a 4.65 implied total versus James Kaprielian.

Kaprielian has gotten decent real-life results, but his underlying numbers point to regression, as he has a 5.07 SIERA, 16.3% strikeout rate, 9.8% walk rate, and 39.2% ground-ball rate. He also has poor marks against both lefties and righties, giving us another stack that's easy to work with.

Corey Seager ($3,700) and Adolis Garcia ($3,800) are our best bets for power, and then it's all low salaries up and down the order.

Marcus Semien ($2,400) is a fantastic value play as the leadoff man, and Nathaniel Lowe ($2,900) and Jonah Heim ($2,700) are likely to occupy the fourth and fifth slots.