FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 9/1/22
The options are limited on Thursday night's three-game slate, but a pair of high-upside arms and a pair of potent stacks stand out above the rest.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Spencer Strider ($9,900): On a three-game slate, it's typically slim pickings at pitcher, but we actually have two studs to choose from on Thursday.
Strider easily paces the field in both strikeout rate (36.7%) and SIERA (2.56), and he draws a delectable matchup against the road-tripping Rockies. Colorado's active roster has a 78 wRC+ and 23.1% strikeout rate away from Coors Field, and they have the lowest implied total by a good margin (2.82).
Strider's 8.8% walk rate could be better, but he's made improvements on that front lately, recording just a 6.2% walk rate since the All-Star break.
The Atlanta Braves have shown no indication of lightening the 23-year-old's workload, either, as he's exceeded 100 pitches in each of his last two starts.
Everything points to another positive performance from Strider, and this isn't even a particularly high salary to enlist his services.
Brandon Woodruff ($10,500): Woodruff is the other obvious choice at pitcher, and he's the lone arm with a salary cracking $10,000.
The Milwaukee right-hander is having another rock-solid season, posting a 3.19 SIERA, 29.6% strikeout rate, and 7.2% walk rate over 20 starts. While he's had a somewhat underwhelming August from a DFS perspective, he popped for 10 strikeouts and 52 FanDuel points in his most recent outing against the Cubs.
Woodruff will see the Diamondbacks, who are kind of a mixed bag, as their active roster has a 97 wRC+ versus righties but also has a less appealing 20.7% strikeout rate. They recently promoted top prospect Corbin Carroll, too, and while it remains to be seen how well he performs in 2022, he's crushed it at every level on his way to the Majors.
Still, Woodruff is the only other pitcher with a remotely high strikeout rate, and the D-backs' 3.56 implied total suggests that he should be able to get the job done.
Outside of these two, it's hard to get very excited about anyone else, but Merrill Kelly could be a distant third if you want to be contrarian. While Kelly has a pedestrian 21.4% strikeout rate, he's gone seven or more innings in 8 of his last 13 outings and has earned quality starts 10 times over that stretch. The opposing Brewers have a 3.94 implied total.
Similar to our pitching selection, two stacks are in their own tier tonight. The Braves are not only the slate's most talented offense, but they have one of the best matchups against Chad Kuhl.
Kuhl continues to see his ERA balloon in the second half of the season, and he's now sitting on a 5.01 SIERA, 16.6% strikeout rate, 9.8% walk rate, and 36.2% ground-ball rate for the year. He's giving up 1.50 home runs per nine innings, and both lefties and righties are getting in on the fun.
We can give a slight bump to left-handed batters for having the platoon advantage, but with this being the Braves, you can pretty much roll with anyone batting in the top two-thirds of the order without much hesitation.
Get in the high-salaried stars when possible, but William Contreras ($3,200) and Travis d'Arnaud ($3,000) remain solid mid-range options, and Eddie Rosario ($2,200) opens up a good chunk of cap space.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are the other top team, and they actually have the slate's highest implied total (5.31). Given the way Boston's season has gone, this says a whole lot more about Glenn Otto than the Sox.
Otto's produced an ugly 5.20 SIERA, 16.9% strikeout rate, and 12.4% walk rate this season, and he's also performed poorly against both sides of the plate. Fenway Park remains one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the bigs, too.
We're getting a solid deal on J.D. Martinez ($3,000), who hasn't been hitting for as much power this season but still carries encouraging barrel numbers. Alex Verdugo ($3,100) is locked into the two-hole these days, and Franchy Cordero ($2,500) might be able to flex his power against a low-strikeout pitcher.