FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 9/9/22
There may not be a must-start option at pitcher, but we do have plenty of guys who are capable of putting up big scores. Coors Field returns to the main slate on Friday and figures to be the most popular destination for stacks.
Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!
Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Robbie Ray ($10,300): Ray gets a rough matchup against the Braves, a team that's loaded with right-handed power and can crush the hopes and dreams of opposing southpaws in an instant. Against left-handed pitching, Atlanta's active roster owns a robust 129 wRC+, and they don't strike out at quite as high a clip (22.3%) as they do when facing righties.
But Ray brings plenty of upside with a 28.1% strikeout rate, and oddsmakers are giving him the benefit of the doubt, as the Braves have a modest 3.58 implied total. Ray has generally performed well of late, too, recording six straight quality starts since the beginning of August while putting up a 3.10 xFIP, 29.9% strikeout rate, and 7.5% walk rate.
It also doesn't hurt that he plays in one of the league's most pitcher-friendly ballparks, which should help suppress Atlanta's home-run threats.
However, walks can still be a problem for Ray, and he'll need to navigate a lineup that carries an 11.5% walk rate in the split.
Overall, this is a boom-or-bust spot, but the Seattle lefty has enough upside to put him at or near the top of your list tonight.
Charlie Morton ($9,300): If you're not too keen on riding with Ray in a difficult spot, you can also flip over to the other side and roster Morton instead. The veteran right-hander has had an up-and-down campaign, but he owns similar season-long marks as Ray and could be saving his best for the home stretch.
Since the beginning of August, Morton has produced a cool 2.78 xFIP, 34.0% strikeout rate, and 6.9% walk rate over six games. While he only has three quality starts during that stretch, the highs have been great, with two outings going for double-digit punchouts. Those ceiling performances came against tough opponents in the Mets and Astros, too.
The Mariners are a neutral matchup for right-handers, but they're a far easier draw than either of those two teams, and Morton will also benefit from the run-preventing venue.
Oakland's active roster checks in with a 90 wRC+, 23.4% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate versus righties, and that might even be overselling them considering how inexperienced the bottom half of their lineup is these days.
Despite Giolito's lackluster results, the A's are looking at a 3.61 implied total, which is also telling.
And yet, he's actually put together a 3.68 xFIP, 25.3% strikeout rate, and 8.6% walk rate that's only slightly worse than his underlying numbers from 2021 when he posted a 3.53 ERA. Among pitchers with at least 100 innings, he has the league's third-highest BABIP (.354), showing that much of his 5.21 ERA is likely due to poor luck.
While Giolito has struggled to reach six innings very often this season, a matchup against a low-walk team should help, and he's typically allowed to log pitch counts into the mid-90s, including 95 in his most recent start.
Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks
It's a Coors Field night, and with Zach Davies and German Marquez taking the mound, it's of little surprise that this game has the highest over/under by a wide margin (10.0). Among active rosters, both bullpens rank bottom-five in team xFIP, too.
Starting with the Colorado Rockies' matchup, Davies is decent against righties (3.88 xFIP), but he's someone we can happily attack with lefty sticks, as he has a 5.05 xFIP, 12.8% strikeout rate, and 9.6% walk rate in the split.
While we don't get a ton of Colorado lefties who can exploit this, Charlie Blackmon ($3,100), Ryan McMahon ($2,800), and Mike Toglia ($2,800) all come in at value salaries, making them easy inclusions for stacks.
Davies may be better in same-sided matchups, but his 22.7% strikeout rate isn't anything special, so C.J. Cron ($3,700) remains a top option as the Rockies' best power hitter. Otherwise, it's just a matter of rounding out stacks with some pretty low salaries across the board.
On the other side, Marquez is coughing up home runs to both sides of the plate, but the overall advantage goes to left-handed batters, where we find an 18.6% strikeout rate and 10.6% walk rate in the split.
The good news for an Arizona Diamondbacks team that has plenty of lefty options in the top two-thirds of the lineup between Josh Rojas ($3,400), Ketel Marte ($2,800), Jake McCarthy ($3,500), Daulton Varsho ($3,500), and Corbin Carroll ($3,300). Every single one of those players has some combination of power and speed to contribute to fantasy lineups.
Much like Colorado, the best power option is a right-handed hitter, with Christian Walker ($3,800) pacing the team with 32 dingers and a .347 ISO. Marquez has a respectable 49.1% ground-ball rate in same-sided matchups, but that's hardly enough to move us away from including Walker.
Patrick Corbin may have an unlucky .362 BABIP, but he's been a launching pad for home runs for a few years now, and there isn't any reason to see that stopping.
When facing righties, the southpaw is only managing an 18.9% strikeout rate and 41.4% ground-ball rate while giving up a 40.1% hard-hit rate. That's contributed to him allowing 1.86 home runs per nine innings against them.
Michael Lorenzen is returning from a shoulder injury that's kept him out since the beginning of July, and this probably isn't the first opponent he wanted to see. Over 13 starts in 2022, the right-hander has bumped up his ground-ball rate to 51.9%, but he's otherwise submitted a paltry 18.1% strikeout rate and 9.9% walk rate.
The numbers going south in a hurry when facing left-handed batters. In the split, he's displaying a rough 5.38 xFIP, 14.6% strikeout rate, and 14.6% walk rate.
Yordan Alvarez ($3,800) and Kyle Tucker ($3,600) naturally lead the way and then fill things out with the top righty sticks. Much like the Rockies and D-Backs, the Angels' bullpen is lacking and owns the fourth-worst xFIP among active rosters.