FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 10/12/22
The remaining AL teams get the day off, so the two NLDS matchups are the focus on Wednesday. The Phillies and Braves begin the festivities at 4:35 pm ET, and they're followed by the 8:37 pm ET Padres-Dodgers nightcap.
For the purposes of this piece, we'll assume both games play as normal, but keep tabs on the weather in Atlanta. Rain is expected this afternoon, which could throw a wrench in things.
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.
Zack Wheeler ($9,800): Of today's four starters, Wheeler's matchup provides the most upside, and it can't hurt that he has just the third-highest salary.
It's no secret that the Braves' offense giveth and taketh away, as their active roster strikes out at the second-highest clip (25.2%) versus right-handers but also boasts the league's best ISO (.194).
In the regular season, Wheeler ultimately proved that his stellar 2021 campaign wasn't a fluke, recording a 3.19 SIERA, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate over 26 starts.
While he only logged 4 punchouts across 6 1/3 innings in the wild card round, the Cardinals are one of the hardest teams to generate strikeouts against -- the opposite of the Braves.
As we've quickly seen in these playoffs, no ace is safe from harm, but at least on paper, Wheeler is the day's top option.
Clayton Kershaw ($10,500): Although Wheeler arguably has the best of four difficult matchups, these are all quality pitchers taking the mound, so it wouldn't be shocking to see someone else emerge with the top score.
Despite his inconsistent postseason history, Kershaw might be the closest guy we have to being somewhat "safe," as the Padres have a slate-low 3.05 implied total.
San Diego certainly won't be a walk in the park -- their active roster owns a 19.0% strikeout rate versus southpaws -- but Kershaw was incredibly consistent at the end of the season, scoring 40 or more FanDuel points in each of his last six starts.
Overall, the veteran left-hander produced a 2.98 SIERA, 27.8% strikeout rate, and 4.7% walk rate across 22 outings this year. While he has one of the shakier pitch counts of the bunch, likely topping out at 90 pitches or so, his lack of walks has kept him efficient, so he's a good bet to earn the quality start bonus.
Kershaw doesn't have an easy path to a ceiling game, but he may not need one on a slate lacking elite strikeout rates.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Given the caliber of pitching we should see today, that leaves little separating these offenses for stacks. As of this writing, no implied total cracks four runs.
The Dodgers are the closest, though, sporting a 3.95 implied total against Yu Darvish. Darvish was excellent during this season, putting up a 3.39 SIERA, 25.6% strikeout rate, and 4.8% walk rate in 30 starts.
While that doesn't exactly look like loads of fun for opposing batters, the good news for the Dodgers is that Darvish wasn't necessarily at his best in his wild card start against the Mets.
He may have only allowed one earned run over seven innings, but he posted just a 4.74 SIERA and 14.3% strikeout rate, suggesting that things could've gone far worse. It's only one game, but at least it gives some hope that the Dodgers may face a Darvish who isn't in peak form.
On the season, it's actually right-handed batters who have had the easier time against the Padres starter, logging a 4.15 xFIP, 21.8% strikeout rate, and 46.6% fly-ball rate in the split.
That incentivizes us to pay up for the services of Mookie Betts ($4,400) and Trea Turner ($3,900), and then the potential value righties include Will Smith ($3,200), Justin Turner ($2,900), and Trayce Thompson ($2,300).
Wheeler may be a solid choice at pitcher, but as previously noted, Atlanta's lineup packs a ton of punch, as well. There's always the chance that their power is what shines through today.
Although Wheeler shows little weakness to either side of the plate, he has a slightly lower strikeout rate versus righties (25.6%) and allows far fewer grounders to lefties (38.6%).
Considering he does induce grounders over half the time in same-sided matchups, righties with low ground-ball rates should get a slight bump, including Austin Riley ($3,800), Dansby Swanson ($3,400), Travis d'Arnaud ($2,800), and Marcell Ozuna ($2,600).
Among lefties, Michael Harris II ($3,700) has demonstrated a much lower strikeout rate facing right-handers, which could help him connect against Wheeler this afternoon.