FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 8/17/22

Two aces headline the slate, and there's a case for making Max Scherzer your top priority. Which pitchers and stacks stand out on the main slate?

This is a pretty straightforward pitching slate where you'll likely want to land on one of two guys for most of your lineups. However, it's a murky day for stacks, with the Texas Rangers having perhaps the only no-brainer matchup of the night.

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


Max Scherzer ($11,500): If we're choosing just one pitcher to roll with tonight, it really boils down to just Scherzer and our next guy. But when looking it this strictly from an upside perspective, Scherzer is my top choice.

The fiery right-hander has a risk/reward matchup versus the Braves. While Atlanta's active roster is loaded with power and has a 108 wRC+ versus righties, they also come in with a 25.3% strikeout rate in the split.

Scherzer boasts a 2.83 SIERA, 31.3% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate over his 16 starts, and he's owned the Braves this year. In his two starts facing Atlanta, Scherzer's scored 55 and 64 FanDuel points, racking up 20 combined strikeouts across 14 innings while allowing just one earned run.

Here's hoping he can pull the same trick a third time. Atlanta has the night's fourth-lowest implied total (3.41).

Carlos Rodon ($10,700): The alternative to Scherzer is Rodon, who faces a less potent offense in the Diamondbacks, but it's a matchup that could be less fruitful for punchouts. The D-backs have a slate-worst 2.96 implied total, but their active roster also strikes out just 20.2% of the time versus southpaws.

Rodon carries Scherzer-esque credentials this year, producing a 3.02 SIERA, 31.1% strikeout rate, and 7.2% walk rate over 23 outings. He doesn't have the uncanny consistency of Mad Max, but he's reached great heights when he's on his game, posting eight or more strikeouts 11 times and cracking double-digits on 6 occasions.

Although his two starts versus Arizona have been a mixed bag, he did tally 10 punchouts the last time, showing that the potential for a ceiling game is there.

Jordan Montgomery ($8,700): Honestly, it's slim pickings in the value range, so I would try to stick with Scherzer and Rodon as much as possible. Otherwise, Montgomery and Cal Quantrill stand out as matchup-based plays. That said, while Quantrill is facing the Tigers and is coming off perhaps his best start of the year, his lackluster peripheral numbers make him hard to get behind.

On the other hand, Montgomery has a perfectly serviceable 3.75 SIERA, 20.8% strikeout rate, and 5.1% walk rate this season.

Although those numbers generally don't move the needle for DFS purposes, he's popped for eight strikeouts three times this year, including his most recent appearance. He also has an encouraging 13.7% swinging-strike rate, which matches what he did in 2021 when he posted a more enticing 24.5% strikeout rate.

The Rockies typically aren't a great opponent for Ks, but their road woes are well-documented. Away from Coors, their active roster has produced a 79 wRC+ and 23.1% strikeout rate. Additionally, the park factor downgrade from Coors Field to Busch Stadium is about as massive as they come.

It will be tough for Montgomery to match Scherzer and Rodon, but if those two have off-nights, it could open the door for the southpaw to come through.


Texas Rangers

There aren't any eye-popping implied totals on Wednesday night, but the Texas Rangers lead the way at 4.92.

Adam Oller simply doesn't look like he belongs in the big leagues, struggling as both a starter and a reliever. Across his 48 1/3 innings, he's put up a 5.87 SIERA, 13.5% strikeout rate, and 11.8% walk rate. If all that wasn't bad enough, he's allowing a 52.1% fly-ball rate that's contributed to 2.23 dingers per nine innings.

The right-hander is also getting crushed by both sides of the plate, as he's recording a 6.02 xFIP in same-sided matchups and a 6.76 xFIP against lefties.

If you're rostering just one player, then Corey Seager ($3,700) is your man, and he's closely followed by Adolis Garcia ($3,800). Seager will have the platoon advantage and leads the team with 26 bombs off a .221 ISO.

After those two, it's all value to help make room for either Scherzer or Rodon. Despite some mixed results lately, Marcus Semien ($2,400) remains a great value out of the leadoff spot, and Nathaniel Lowe ($2,900) gives us a low-salaried lefty batting cleanup.

The individual bats in the bottom half of the order are less exciting, but we should get multiple players with minimum or near-minimum salaries to help round out full stacks.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers don't have an amazing matchup against left-hander Eric Lauer, but their 4.48 implied total is one of the better marks of the slate, and we know they can blow up for a big score on any given night.

Lauer is getting good results this season, but he's mediocre versus righties, showing a modest 22.9% strikeout rate while allowing 1.76 home runs per nine innings off a 48.1% fly-ball rate. He also allowed 1.48 home runs per nine innings in the split last season, so this feels like a trend we can latch onto.

While Lauer's been tougher on lefties with a 26.8% strikeout rate and 50.0% ground-ball rate, he's also walking them at a 12.7% clip and had similar control issues in his 2021 splits. Left-handed batters remain secondary plays, but those walks could come in handy for keeping any Dodgers rallies going.

Mookie Betts ($4,400), Trea Turner ($4,300), and Will Smith ($3,700) are the top plays, and then this is another case where the bottom of the order should provide ample value.

Chris Taylor ($2,800) and Trayce Thompson ($2,600) are two lower-salaried options who stand out. Taylor returned earlier this month and is showing his usual power/speed upside, while Thompson is sporting a promising .220 ISO in limited playing time.

Houston Astros

Once again, on a slate lacking much in the way of slam dunk stacks, siding with an elite offense is never a bad thing. And in the Houston Astros' case, there's a lot to like about their spot versus Michael Kopech.

While Kopech is a talented former top prospect, his underlying numbers haven't supported his 3.18 ERA this season. He's produced a 4.62 SIERA, 22.4% strikeout rate, and 11.9% walk rate, and he's now issued at least three walks in six of his last nine starts.

He looks particularly vulnerable in same-sided matchups, posting a 4.95 xFIP, 16.1% strikeout rate, and 10.2% walk rate. And while he has a scary 30.1% strikeout rate versus lefty sticks, that comes with a 14.0% walk rate and 21.7% ground-ball rate.

The numbers suggest a lean towards right-handed batters, but this otherwise looks like an easy spot to stack just about any spot of this deep Astros lineup. Prioritize the usual suspects, and if you need value, Jeremy Pena ($3,300) has a decent mid-range salary and Yuli Gurriel ($2,500) remains a value number-two hitter. Chas McCormick ($2,100) is barely above the minimum if he starts, as well.