FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/30/22
We have a dozen games on the main slate, and it's a loaded one for pitching. Out of the myriad of arms, which ones should we build around?
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Aaron Nola ($11,000): You can make the case for quite a few pitchers on the slate, but Nola arguably has the best combination of talent, matchup, and workload.
The right-hander has a 2.85 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and 3.4% walk rate over 25 starts this season. He's failed to go at least six innings just five times, and he's gone seven or more in 14 starts. In fact, Nola ranks third overall in innings pitched this season.
He'll face the Diamondbacks, who are getting a modest 3.51 implied total tonight. While the D-backs' active roster only has a 20.8% strikeout rate versus righties, they're a below-average offense in the split (96 wRC+).
Overall, Nola has a lot going for him tonight, and he can make up for Arizona's lower strikeout rate through his ability to pitch deeper into games than most other hurlers.
Kevin Gausman ($10,200): Of the other guys above $10,000, the always steady Max Fried is a worthwhile option against the road-tripping Rockies, but he's typically more of a high-floor play due to his average strikeout rate. On the other hand, while Gausman is the less consistent choice, we have to like his upside against the Cubs.
When facing righties, Chicago's active roster is actually slightly above average (104 wRC+), but they also have an appealing 23.3% strikeout rate that we can latch on to. The Cubs also have one of the slate's lowest implied totals (3.36).
Gausman's had somewhat volatile results in August, but he's still showing an excellent 3.04 xFIP, 27.0% strikeout rate, and 2.5% walk rate over those five starts, and his poor outings have been more BABIP-driven than anything else.
However, compared to guys like Nola and Fried, Gausman's pitch counts tend to fluctuate more than we would like, going anywhere from the mid-80s up to 100-plus on any given night.
This adds slightly more risk to his profile, but with FanDuel scores of 64 and 52 points this month, the ceiling is fantastic when everything comes together.
George Kirby ($9,200): Once we get below that $10,000 range, some intriguing names like Andrew Heaney and Blake Snell pop up. Neither one is by any means a safe play, but their strikeout potential is obvious.
But any time a quality right-hander faces the Tigers, they have to be considered, and tonight is no different. Against righties, Detroit's active roster has the worst wRC+ (78) and the third-worst strikeout rate (25.1%).
Kirby has enjoyed a promising rookie campaign with a 3.20 SIERA, 24.9% strikeout rate, and 3.2% walk rate over 18 outings. The main concern these days is that his pitch counts have generally trended downward in the latter stages of the season, though he's still shown some upside by scoring 49 FanDuel points twice this month.
If the young right-hander can crack six or more innings and take advantage of this whiff-happy lineup, he could come through in a big way tonight.
Urena enters Tuesday with a 5.54 SIERA, 11.6% strikeout rate, and 11.6% walk rate for the year, and he continues to look like the same overmatched pitcher we've seen for several years now.
The right-hander has slightly worst marks against lefties (5.50 xFIP) compared to righties (4.87 xFIP), so give a bump to batters with the platoon advantage, but this is an easy spot to stack up both sides of the plate.
While Keller has had his moments this season, he's still a low-strikeout pitcher with mediocre control, and his only real strength is an improved ground-ball rate (49.5%). More specifically, he has lackluster marks against lefties, recording a 4.61 xFIP, 15.3% strikeout rate, and 9.5% walk rate.
Of the possible lefty batters, Rowdy Tellez ($3,000) is a top option if he's back in the lineup, but otherwise, we have solid alternatives who also won't break the bank in Christian Yelich ($3,400), Kolten Wong ($2,700), and Jace Peterson ($2,000).
Keller is better in same-sided matchups, but he's still roughly average in the split, so righty power bats like Willy Adames ($3,600), Hunter Renfroe ($3,400), and Keston Hiura ($2,800) can also get in on the fun.
New York Yankees
The 30-year-old made his first 2022 start last week -- his fourth ever -- and while it's hard to read too much into it, he struggled with walks, allowing three in just five innings.
Overall, Mayers has posted a mediocre 21.9% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate over 34 1/3 innings this season, and he's really struggled with home runs, giving up 2.10 per nine innings off a 51.0% fly-ball rate.
We have limited information to go on, but a mediocre reliever being thrust into an unfamiliar role should lead to good things for the Yankees despite their inconsistencies at the plate.
If nothing else, we can turn to Aaron Judge ($5,000) as a one-off, and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,700) and Anthony Rizzo ($3,600) are the other clear standouts. Otherwise, Andrew Benintendi ($3,200) has a reasonable salary out of the leadoff slot, and the rest of the lineup could check in at salaries of $3,000 and below.