FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 9/26/22

Kevin Gausman​ may be in a tough matchup against the Yankees, but he's easily the night's top option at pitcher. Who else can we turn to on a small main slate?

Monday's slate gets the earlier start time of 6:35 pm ET to fit in all four of tonight's games. The toughest decision may come at pitcher, where options are quite limited.

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.


Kevin Gausman ($10,200): Gausman is facing the Yankees, but he's quite clearly the de facto top arm by a wide margin.

The only pitcher who might normally rival Gausman is Luis Severino, but Severino only threw 64 pitches in his return from the injured list, making him difficult to trust in an already tough spot against Toronto.

Gausman's wrapping up a fantastic 2022 season in which he's posted a 2.96 SIERA, 28.2% strikeout rate, and 3.9% walk rate. As a fly-ball pitcher, he's likely gotten a little lucky in allowing just 0.76 home runs per nine innings off an 8.4% homer-to-fly-ball pitcher, but it's otherwise hard to find much to nitpick in his profile.

The only real concern is his opponent. After badly slumping over the summer, the Yankees have gotten healthier and turned things around in the final weeks, and their active roster boasts a 114 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching.

This definitely won't be an easy task for Gausman, but if he's on his game, there's a good chance no other pitcher will be able to keep pace tonight. He posted 52 FanDuel points in his last start versus New York in August.

Bryce Elder ($8,900) and Roansy Contreras ($8,200): The shaky nature of this pitching slate will undoubtedly leave Gausman with a sky-high roster percentage, and given his matchup, we have to acknowledge that there are plenty of scenarios where he comes up short.

If you want to avoid the chalk in tournaments, it mostly boils down to Elder and Contreras, who have both flashed some occasional upside.

Elder is in a solid spot versus Washington (91 wRC+ versus righties), but what makes him intriguing is his recent stretch of strong play.

After getting called back up in August, Elder had a forgettable relief appearance, but he's since rattled off three starts with a 3.16 xFIP, 30.1% strikeout rate, and 48.8% ground-ball rate. While walks have still been an issue in this timeframe (9.6% walk rate), and he's benefited from a .209 BABIP, it's led to a mostly encouraging 52, 40, and 32 FanDuel points.

Make no mistake, Elder's overall season-long numbers aren't very good, and he didn't demonstrate anywhere near this kind of strikeout rate in Triple-A this year (22.2%). But it might be worth rolling the dice to see if he has another positive outing in him.

Like Elder, Contreras' season-long numbers aren't anything to write home about. But he's popped for 40-plus FanDuel points a few times, and his matchup against Cincinnati is a good one. The Reds' active roster has the second-worst wRC+ against righties (80) and the eighth-worst strikeout rate (23.5%).

The 22-year-old posted a 32.6% strikeout rate in nine Triple-A starts this year and has a promising 13.0% swinging-strike rate at the big league level, and that's the potential we're hoping to cash in on in spite of his inconsistent results. Contreras got shelled for 6 earned runs against the Yankees in his last start, but he also racked up 10 strikeouts.

The Reds have a slate-low 3.47 implied total.


Atlanta Braves

If Gausman is the chalk pitcher, then the Atlanta Braves are the chalk stack. The Braves come in with a slate-best 5.41 implied total against Cory Abbott.

Abbott is having a rough campaign for the Nationals, producing a 5.24 SIERA, 18.6% strikeout rate, 10.5% walk rate, and 26.3% ground-ball rate over 39 innings. In the small sample, he's also given up 2.08 dingers per nine innings.

Most of the Braves' top bats are getting up there in salary, which may mean dropping down to Elder or Contreras at pitcher. Of course, that may not be a bad thing in tournaments given how popular both Gausman and Atlanta figure to be.

In terms of power, you can't go wrong with the likes of Austin Riley ($3,700), Matt Olson ($3,300), Travis d'Arnaud ($2,900), and Michael Harris II ($4,100).

Boston Red Sox

After the Braves, the Boston Red Sox ought to be the second-most popular stack. They have the only other implied total exceeding five runs.

They're up against Jordan Lyles, one of the more familiar faces for opposing stacks in recent years. While Lyles isn't giving up quite as many dingers as the last few campaigns, the combination of an 18.3% strikeout rate and 40.1% fly-ball rate is something we'll gladly attack.

Lyles is giving up round-trippers at a much higher clip versus lefties (1.70 per nine innings) and generally has worse marks in the split, so Rafael Devers ($3,800) is a standout play, and then Alex Verdugo ($2,700) and Triston Casas ($2,400) get a bump as value plays. Xander Bogaerts ($3,500) is the top righty stick as always, and then the rest of the lineup comes in at value salaries.

Baltimore Orioles

The one other team with a notable implied total is the Baltimore Orioles, who are showing 4.88 against Connor Seabold.

Seabold's been lit up for a 10.47 ERA over four starts that's been the result of some poor BABIP luck, but his underlying numbers still point to a guy we want to attack. The right-hander has a pedestrian 20.0% strikeout rate and 32.2% ground-ball rate and has allowed 4 home runs in just 16 1/3 innings.

The Orioles should lead with Cedric Mullins ($3,000), Adley Rutschman ($3,100), Gunnar Henderson ($2,900), and Anthony Santander ($3,000) in tonight's lineup, giving them four guys with the platoon advantage up top. Early returns have shown Seabold really struggling versus left-handed bats so far (7.58 xFIP).

All four dingers have come off righty sticks, though, so projected number-five hitter Ryan Mountcastle ($2,700) could also get in on the fun.