FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 9/18/22

After a 3.8% salary decrease, Atlanta's Spencer Strider offers the most value among pitchers in his salary range with a 3.77 rating against the Phillies. Which other players are main targets for Sunday's 11-game slate?

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Jacob deGrom ($11,900)

At his median salary this season, the Mets' ace will take the mound at home in a great spot versus a Pittsburgh Pirates' offense with a non-threatening .248 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and a 33.5% hard hit rate in their last 330 plate appearances versus right-handers.

In 48.1 innings since his return on August 2nd, the veteran has pitched in the best form among Sunday's elite pitchers, accounting for an exceptional 1.60 expected Fielding Independent Pitching rating (xFIP), a sizzling 40.5% K-rate, and a 21.5% swinging strike percentage.

As Sunday's top ranked pitcher with a 42.2 fantasy projection and 7.91 expected strikeouts, the fully stretched out (season-high 96 pitches in his last start), DeGrom should have little trouble against five Pirates' batters with wOBA under 0.282 and K-rates between 20.7 and 38.7%.

Framber Valdez ($11,400)

Despite a 3.6% salary increase to his highest point this season, Valdez still rates fourth in value and second overall with a 3.65 rating and a 41.6 FanDuel point projection against an Oakland Athletics' team with a .279 wOBA and a 71.7% contact rate.

Through his most recent seven starts, Houston's southpaw has also hit his stride down the stretch, recording a 2.89 xFIP, a 13.4% swinging strike rate, and eight or more strikeouts in 71% of these appearances.

In a juicy matchup versus six Athletics' hitters with K-rates over 21.4%, Valdez contains enormous upside with 6.77 projected strikeouts in a slate-high 7.1 expected innings.

Gerrit Cole ($11,300)

After consecutive double-digit strikeout performances, Cole's FanDuel salary has jumped to his highest mark since July 23rd.

While the Yankees' right-hander has been a little more inconsistent in his last eight starts than other pitchers above 11K, the 32-year old deserves plenty of consideration when analyzing his 2.89 XFIP and his 32.4% K-rate through 52.0 innings.

With numberFire's second highest strikeout projection at 7.66 and Sunday's third overall fantasy expectation at 40.8, Cole's opportunity versus a Milwaukee Brewers' unit with a 24.5% K-rate and a 72.2% contact percentage gives plenty of reasons to believe he can sustain his recent momentum.

Spencer Strider ($10,000)

In a matchup versus a Philadelphia Phillies' unit with a .295 wOBA and six batters with K-rates above 22.4%, Atlanta's rookie offers the most value among today's pitchers in this salary range with a 3.77 rating after his salary decreased by 3.8%.

Considering his recent 1.74 xFIP and 39.6% K-rate in his last eight appearances including a 13 punch-out performance against Philadelphia and today's third highest strikeout expectation at 7.19, Strider's potential ceiling can easily match any pitcher on today's slate.


Boston Red Sox

Despite Boston's recent offensive slump in their past three games (six total runs), the Red Sox are ranked as today's top offense with a 5.7 run total against Kris Bubic.

While Kansas City's left-hander has pitched better than his 5.55 earned run average when analyzing his 4.57 xFIP, the 25-year old has really struggled against left-handed bats (career 5.75 xFIP) while still allowing a .335 wOBA to the opposing side of the plate.

With his main weakness in focus, Rafael Devers (11.8% barrel rate, .503 expected slugging) is an elite play in all formats while J.D. Martinez (11.9% barrel rate, .459 expected slugging), Robert Refsnyder (10.8% barrel rate, .472 expected slugging), Christian Arroyo (.431 expected slugging, .331 expected wOBA), Xander Bogaerts (6.9% barrel rate, .322 expected wOBA), and Tommy Pham (7.6% barrel rate) all rate well enough for stacking.

Houston Astros

In a tough spot on the road, Ken Waldichuk will make his fourth career start versus a Houston Astros' offense rated with a 4.74 expected run total.

While Waldichuk's MLB resume offers a small sample size about his profile, Astros' right-handed bats including Jose Altuve (,344 expected wOBA, .426 expected slugging), Chas McCormick (11% barrel rate, .421 expected slugging), Alex Bregman (.355 expected wOBA, .421 expected slugging), Trey Mancini (9.9% barrel rate, .420 expected slugging), and Aledmys Diaz (.415 expected slugging, .265 expected average) should be able to take advantage of his 4.93 xFIP in this particular split.

New York Mets

With the aid of 11 mph winds blowing out to center, the Mets stand as an underrated stack with a 4.33 implied run total against Johan Oviedo

To best combat his trouble versus left-handed bats (career 5.39 xFIP, 6.32 xFIP on the road versus LHH), ideal New York combinations can first include Francisco Lindor (.432 expected slugging, 8.6% barrel rate), Dan Vogelbach (10.6% barrel rate, .352 expected wOBA), Brandon Nimmo (.403 expected slugging, .339 expected wOBA), and Eduardo Escobar (.436 expected slugging, 9.6% barrel rate) while Pete Alonso (.481 expected slugging, 11.9% barrel rate) can still bomb a homer considering Oviedo's .351 wOBA versus the right side.