FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 10/5/22
The MLB regular season finally comes to its conclusion on Wednesday, and the 14-game main slate gets rolling early at 4:00 pm ET. With the playoff bracket set in stone, the final day of the regular season could feel more like a glorified set of exhibition games, adding some uncertainty across the board.
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.
Shohei Ohtani ($11,200): The Angels were eliminated a couple of weeks ago, but they haven't pulled back on Ohtani's workload. He went 108 pitches in his last start and has now gone 100 or more in five of his last six.
That's great news on a slate lacking sure things. Ohtani is coming off a 10-strikeout game against the Athletics, and he'll wrap up his campaign against the same opponent. Since the beginning of September, Oakland's active roster has posted a 93 wRC+ and 25.1% strikeout rate. Unsurprisingly, they have one of the slate's lowest implied totals (2.69).
Ohtani will look to put a bow on his best pitching campaign yet. Over 27 starts, he's put up a 2.74 SIERA, 33.1% strikeout rate, and 6.7% walk rate. As long as his workload remains high, he's one of our top candidates to post an optimal score today.
Corbin Burnes ($11,000): The Brewers were fighting for a playoff spot mere days ago, so it's less clear how they'll handle Burnes' pitch count in the season finale, but he could have a pretty normal start after logging at least 100 pitches in seven straight outings.
Much like the A's, the Diamondbacks are another team that's had meager results at the plate down the stretch. Their active roster has produced a 94 wRC+ and 24.5% strikeout rate since the start of last month, and they check in with a middling 3.11 implied total.
Burnes has been more up and down lately, but with FanDuel scores of 47 and 55 points over his last two, he could be ending his season on a high note. He enters the day with a stellar 2.94 SIERA, 30.2% strikeout rate, and 6.5% walk rate over 32 starts.
Merrill Kelly ($9,600): Once you get past the guys above $10,000, things begin to get really muddled on an already unpredictable slate. While Kelly doesn't quite hit the value range, he comes at a sizable discount compared to Ohtani and Burnes, and we pretty much know what we're getting from him.
The Diamondbacks have been out of it for some time now, but that hasn't altered how they've handled Kelly's workload. He's still consistently getting pitch counts in the high 90s, and he cracked 100 in his last start despite getting shelled by the Giants.
Kelly's overall numbers don't pop, but that usage has helped him be an innings eater all year, and that could go a long way this afternoon if the top arms falter or get pulled earlier than expected. The right-hander has gone seven or more innings in 13 of 32 starts, and he should crack the league's top 10 in innings pitched after today's appearance.
Milwaukee isn't a cupcake matchup, but their active roster has a 23.0% strikeout rate versus right-handers, and they may not start all their regulars after resting some players on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been coasting to the finish line after three straight home losses to the Rockies of all teams. But Colorado is turning to left-hander Austin Gomber to start their last game, so the Dodgers have a good opportunity to notch one more victory before their postseason run.
Gomber has pitched as a reliever since late July, so we're probably only seeing a few innings out of him. However, considering he's only produced a 17.6% strikeout rate and has given up 1.41 home runs per nine innings, he could see a quick exit anyway.
Inexperienced right-hander Noah Davis was called up prior to today's game, so he could make his debut. The 25-year-old spent most of 2022 in Double-A, and the results weren't pretty, posting a 4.68 xFIP, 25.9% strikeout rate, and 10.2% walk rate over 26 starts. He also coughed up 1.76 home runs per nine innings off a 46.1% fly-ball rate.
Even if Gomber and Davis play minimal roles in the finale, Colorado's bullpen also isn't anything to write home about, owning the seventh-worst xFIP among active rosters.
It's fair to wonder whether the Dodgers will rest players or remove starters mid-game, but given all the time off they have coming up during the wild card round, we will hopefully see them play things normally today.
Theoretically, we should see most eliminated teams play their starters in their final 2022 game, so the Chicago Cubs could be a fairly safe team to stack against Graham Ashcraft. It also doesn't hurt that they're ending their campaign at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park.
Ashcraft is a low-strikeout pitcher with a high ground-ball rate, but he's shown some reverse splits to suggest that attacking him with right-handed batters is the preferred way to go. In the split, the 24-year-old has worse marks in xFIP (4.32), strikeout rate (14.3%), and ground-ball rate (48.6%). Nine of the 10 dingers he's given up have come off righties this season.
The matchup should push us towards Seiya Suzuki ($2,700) and Franmil Reyes ($2,500) as potential starting points, and the rest of the lineup comes in on the cheap, too. Lefty Zach McKinstry ($2,200) is a fly-ball hitter, so he's well-suited to counter Ashcraft's grounder-inducing ways, and switch-hitter Ian Happ ($2,800) has been one of the Cubs' best all-around bats this year.
That's because Heasley has endured a dreadful 2022 season, recording a 5.33 SIERA, 15.0% strikeout rate, and 10.3% walk rate while allowing 1.73 home runs per nine innings.
The right-hander has struggled mightily against lefty sticks (5.93 xFIP in the split), so Jose Ramirez ($4,100), Josh Naylor ($2,700), Andres Gimenez ($3,200), and Steven Kwan ($3,700) should be the priorities.