FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 8/19/22

Even with 14 games on tonight's main slate, the Giants will be tough to fade in a dream Coors Field matchup. Which other stacks should we consider prioritizing?

We have a 14-game slate to end the work week, and it's one where deciding whether to fade Coors Field or not will be difficult. For pitching, there are plenty of intriguing arms at different salary tiers.

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


Blake Snell ($10,500): Don't look now, but over his last four starts, Snell has tallied 34 punchouts while issuing just 3 walks, resulting in a 1.94 xFIP, 37.8% strikeout rate, and 3.3% walk rate during this stretch. That's helped him to 46, 52, 38, and 58 FanDuel points, which is consistency we're just not used to seeing.

While the improved walk rate is a more recent development, even if we go back to the beginning of July, Snell has really only had one poor start -- at Coors Field -- and he boasts a 2.50 xFIP and 37.6% strikeout rate over his last eight outings.

Can he actually keep it up? Only time will tell, but in the short term, he has a golden opportunity to keep the momentum going against a poor Nationals offense.

With Washington selling at the deadline, their active roster now sits on the fourth-worst wRC+ against lefties (84). Although they're roughly an average matchup for strikeouts, they have the ninth-worst walk rate (7.7%) in the split, which can only help Snell keep those free passes in check. The Nats have a slate-low 2.73 implied total.

Shane McClanahan ($11,200): On paper, this is an obvious spot to start McClanahan against a Royals team with a 2.75 implied total and 96 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. McClanahan has been one of the very best pitchers in baseball this season, sporting a 2.29 xFIP, 32.2% strikeout rate, 5.1% walk rate, and 50.6% ground-ball rate.

The problem is that McClanahan hasn't looked like himself over his last three games, posting just a 14.3% strikeout rate and 7.8% walk rate against the Guardians, Tigers, and Orioles. His velocity dipped in two of those starts, which is clearly an area of concern.

We also aren't getting any sort of salary reduction here, either, as McClanahan has the highest salary on the board.

All of this makes McClanahan a tougher sell, but this could also lead to a reduced roster percentage in GPPs. The recent trends are worrisome, but if it sounds like the Tampa Bay ace won't be super popular, he has to be in the mix in case he returns to form.

Brady Singer ($8,600): On the other hand, Singer is more in the Snell camp, recording a pristine 3.12 xFIP, 29.3% strikeout rate, and 7.6% walk rate over his last eight appearances. He even has two games with double-digit strikeouts over that span, notching 10 against the Yankees and 12 versus the Rays.

Well, it just so happens he's facing Tampa Bay tonight, and nearly every projected Rays starter has a below-average strikeout rate. In fact, with Yandy Diaz possibly sitting due to injury, Harold Ramirez could be the only opposing batter with a low strikeout rate.

To top everything off, Singer will also benefit from the confines of Tropicana Field, one of the league's best parks for pitchers.

Particularly on a Coors Field slate, Singer is a fantastic option at a salary that just looks too low for someone who's performed so well lately.


San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are the obvious headliner stack tonight, coming in with a sky-high 6.02 implied total that towers over the field.

They take on Jose Urena, who's finally succumbed to regression lately. Urena's produced a 5.05 xFIP SIERA, 11.9% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate this year, and that's about as ugly a line as you will ever see. Outside of a 49.7% ground-ball rate, there really isn't anything else he's doing well.

Add in a lackluster Colorado Rockies bullpen, and it's practically a perfect matchup. Really, this more boils down to whether you're willing to eat the chalk or not.

This is a spot where you can probably stack just about any part of the lineup, but in terms of power and fly-ball hitters who get around Urena's ground-ball rate, Joc Pederson ($3,400), Wilmer Flores ($3,600), LaMonte Wade Jr ($3,000), Brandon Belt ($3,100), and Mike Yastrzemski ($3,700) are some guys who stand out. J.D. Davis ($3,200) actually has better barrel numbers than you might expect, too.

Touching on the Rockies briefly, they don't have nearly as inviting a matchup, but they still have the next-best implied total (4.98) and should draw much less attention against Alex Wood. While Wood is by now means a bad pitcher, the southpaw only has a 22.0% strikeout rate against right-handed batters, so rostering some Colorado righties could pay dividends.

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are easily one of my favorite non-Coors stacks tonight. They take on left-hander Tommy Henry, a pitcher who's been fortunate to have a 4.15 ERA through his first three MLB starts.

Underneath that ERA is a 5.68 xFIP, 12.3% strikeout rate, and 11.0% walk rate that's eerily similar to what we're seeing from Urena at Coors. A 9.7% swinging-strike rate suggests that the punchout rate shouldn't be this bad over the long haul, but it isn't exactly an encouraging start.

If we want a larger sample, we can also look to Henry's 20 Triple-A starts, where we find an underwhelming 5.16 xFIP, 21.9% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate.

None of this bodes well for Henry against a Cardinals team with an absurd 145 wRC+ against left-handers -- tops among active rosters.

When possible, stacks should start with Paul Goldschmidt ($4,800) and Nolan Arenado ($3,800), but you can also go straight value with guys like Dylan Carlson ($2,900), Tyler O'Neill ($3,000), Albert Pujols ($2,400), and Paul DeJong ($2,400) all coming in at low salaries.

San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres were a dud last night, but hopefully that leads to lower popularity against Paolo Espino.

Since joining the Nationals' rotation, Espino has put up an underwhelming 4.44 xFIP and 17.1% strikeout rate over a dozen starts. Home runs have been a huge problem for him, too, as he's coughing up 2.30 home runs per nine innings in those outings.

Espino has lackluster numbers against both sides of the plate, further helping us when stacking the Padres. Juan Soto ($4,300), Manny Machado ($4,600), and Brandon Drury ($3,800) are the big boppers if you have cap space to burn, while Jurickson Profar ($2,900), Josh Bell ($3,100), Jake Cronenworth ($3,100), and Trent Grisham ($3,000) give us plenty of alternatives when needing salary relief.