FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 10/7/22
The MLB postseason gets going nice and early on Friday, with the first wild card game beginning at 12:07 pm ET. The four matchups are staggered throughout the day, which could theoretically lead to lower roster percentages in the late games if lineups aren't out until later.
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.
Max Scherzer ($10,600): It's the playoffs, so sadly, there are no gimme matchups for us to exploit anymore. But if we're going to hitch our lineup to one guy, it might as well be Scherzer.
While the veteran right-hander missed some time here and there due to injury, he was absolutely dominant in the regular season, posting a 2.88 SIERA, 30.6% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate across 23 starts. This isn't exactly the 38-year-old's first rodeo, either, so we needn't worry about the moment being too big for him.
The Padres are a tough offense that doesn't strike out a ton, but we can say that about most of the teams taking the field on Friday. When he's on his game, we know Scherzer is capable of racking up strikeouts against any opponent, and he'll also benefit from his pitcher-friendly home digs at Citi Field.
Luis Castillo ($9,200): While Shane Bieber ($10,600) and Alek Manoah ($10,600) lag far behind Scherzer in strikeout rate, they have two of the better matchups on the board and can still post high scores through sheer innings. Both players were top-5 in quality starts and top-10 in innings this season. Tampa Bay and Seattle have middle-of-the-pack offenses against right-handed pitching.
But if you're willing to take on some risk, Castillo has the lowest pitcher salary despite having the third-best strikeout rate (27.2%).
A matchup against the Blue Jays won't do him any favors, but some of his best starts with the Mariners have come against tough opponents like the Yankees, Guardians, and Padres -- all teams he's scored 49 or more FanDuel points against.
He should also have more upside against Toronto's righty-heavy lineup. In same-sided matchups, Castillo has crushed it with a 2.70 xFIP, 28.8% strikeout rate, 6.4% walk rate, and 54.0% ground-ball rate in 2022.
Since coming off the injured list in mid-September, the left-hander has an ugly 5.14 xFIP, 14.8% strikeout rate, and 9.8% walk rate over four starts. And even if we expand out to his entire second half, he has a pedestrian 20.5% strikeout rate and 8.3% walk rate.
The bad news for the Guardians? Their active roster has just a 93 wRC+ versus southpaws this season.
That leaves a lot of uncertainty to this entire matchup, but Cleveland could be catching McClanahan at just the right time, and they were successful against him at the end of July, scoring five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Among the day's eight starting pitchers, it's Jose Quintana who has the least imposing season-long metrics. While he enjoyed a fantastic bounce-back season, his 4.02 SIERA was over a full run higher than his ERA, and he got away with a below-average strikeout rate (20.2%).
Quintana was especially fortunate to allow just 0.43 home runs per nine innings. His 5.3% homer-to-fly-ball rate was the lowest among qualified starters and not even half the league-average mark (11.4%).
While it isn't ideal that Bryce Harper ($4,400) is up against a lefty, he's performed well in same-sided matchups across his career (121 wRC+). Kyle Schwarber ($4,200) could have a tougher time, but he's still managed a .193 ISO versus lefties this year. Plus, it never hurts to have a guy who hit 46 home runs in your lineup.