FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/30/23
This is a fairly deep slate for both pitcher and hitting, but you could also make the case that the very top options stand out well above the rest.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Overall, Gallen's posted a 3.33 SIERA, 28.2% strikeout rate, and 5.3% walk rate, and his ceiling has been through the roof, scoring over 60 FanDuel points three times already this season. He hasn't demonstrated any dip in velocity over the past two outings, either, giving us confidence that he ought to bounce back.
Colorado is the right matchup for the job, as they have a mere 93 wRC+ against right-handers and are roughly average when it comes to strikeouts. Gallen looks like the ideal top option, and the Rockies has one of the night's lowest implied team totals (3.36).
Shane McClanahan ($11,200) has been about as consistent as they come in 2023, flashing a 29.1% strikeout rate and 16.1% swinging-strike rate while logging quality starts in 8 of 11 games. However, his profile isn't quite as impressive as it was last year, as walks have been a problem here and there (9.7% rate), and his 3.75 SIERA is a good chunk higher than his 1.97 ERA.
While that suggests that he could be due for some regression -- a 91.2% strand rate won't hold up all season -- as long as he keeps getting swings and misses, he'll have a path to fantasy points.
That path is that much clearer against the Cubs. While Chicago has been a difficult matchup for left-handers, their active roster also has the third-highest strikeout rate (27.3%) in the split. There are light winds blowing in at Wrigley Field tonight, which normally wouldn't move the needle but could give McClanahan a slight boost at the league's most wind-sensitive venue.
Between McClanahan's slate-high salary, his inconsistent walk rate, and occasional low pitch counts -- he's exceeded 93 pitches just once in five May starts -- the lefty is firmly behind Gallen but is still the runner-up if you can afford his services.
Gilbert's metrics are on par with Gallen, sporting a 3.11 SIERA, 29.6% strikeout rate, and 4.3% walk rate, but his matchup is much tougher against the Yankees. Like McClanahan, Gilbert's pitch counts tend to fluctuate, which is another hurdle for his ceiling.
Ryan is right there with the Gallen and Gilbert, as well, checking in with a 3.21 SIERA, 28.9% strikeout rate, and 4.1% walk rate. He also has one of the best workloads on the board, reaching 100 pitches in three of the last four. But, like Gilbert, the opponent isn't the best (Houston), keeping him in this secondary group.
Senga is the quintessential boom-or-bust choice, owning a 28.6% strikeout rate that's often let down by a 14.6% walk rate. Expectations should be tempered against Philadelphia, but Senga's 12-strikeout performance against the Rays a couple of starts ago gives us something to shoot for.
Bryce Elder ($10,400) and Lucas Giolito ($10,000) are the two other guys in this upper-salary range. Elder is lacking the punchouts (21.5%), but the combination of a 56.6% ground-ball rate and a matchup with Oakland keeps him on the radar. I'm not sure we need to go here when there are so many high-strikeout arms at our disposal, but a strong outing isn't out of the question. Likewise, Giolito has solid if unspectacular numbers, though he doesn't stand out much at this salary versus the Angels.
Nestor Cortes ($8,300) ought to be the go-to value play. The left-hander has been pretty meh this season, so this is all about his matchup against Seattle, whose active roster is showing a 93 wRC+ and 26.3% strikeout rate versus southpaws. The Mariners have a 3.70 implied team total, and Cortes will be aided by their pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Alternatively, for someone at a lower salary who's actually been getting results, Brayan Bello ($8,600) is in a good spot against the Reds. Bello continues to have a curious home-run issue, but that can't last forever when he's dishing out an elite 59.0% ground-ball rate, and his 23.6% strikeout rate is in line with guys like Giolito and Cortes.
Over five starts, Irvin's put up an ugly 5.84 SIERA, 19.0% strikeout rate, and 16.0% walk rate, and a 42.6% fly-ball rate leaves him open to home runs. Prior to his call-up, the 26-year-old posted a 5.41 xFIP in Triple-A, so it's hard to see him turning things around against an elite offense like the Dodgers.
It's a small sample, but all three home runs Irvin has allowed have come off left-handed batters, which coincides with a sky-high 51.5% fly-ball rate allowed against them. He also has an egregious 6.23 xFIP in the split. That bumps up the appeal of Freddie Freeman ($4,300) and Max Muncy ($3,700), and Jason Heyward ($2,600) has shown some surprising pop in 2023.
Of course, it's not like Irvin has been anything special in same-sided matchups, either, so plug in the usual righty studs, as well. Given the high salaries in this star-studded lineup, Miguel Vargas ($2,800) could be a necessity to help fit them in.
The St. Louis Cardinals are a no-brainer stack against Zack Greinke. Other than not walking anyone, Greinke doesn't do a whole lot that scares us, producing an underwhelming 17.4% strikeout rate and 43.8% ground-ball rate. He's allowing 1.57 home runs per 9 innings, and there isn't much reason to think that won't continue.
Paul Goldschmidt ($3,900) has been doing his usual thing at the plate, while Nolan Gorman ($3,800) is in the midst of a breakout campaign, leading the team in home runs (13) and ISO (.288). Nolan Arenado ($3,400) has scuffled a bit lately but has otherwise bounced back with a strong May overall. Paul DeJong ($3,300) is showing power lower in the order (.269 ISO), and then the rest of the projected lineup come at salaries below $3,000.
The Arizona Diamondbacks should be able to take care of business versus lefty Kyle Freeland. Freeland's 3.86 ERA looks like a mirage when we see a 4.67 SIERA beneath it. When facing right-handed batters, he's posted a 4.80 xFIP and 16.2% strikeout rate while giving up 1.54 home runs per 9 innings off a 43.0% fly-ball rate.
Christian Walker ($3,300) is the top righty power bat for the D-backs, and Ketel Marte ($3,000), Emmanuel Rivera ($2,700), and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,500) will hit right-handed ahead of him. Evan Longoria ($2,700) has been crushing it against lefties, though guys like him and Rivera have some pinch-hit risk as platoon players.
It may be a small sample, but right-hander Ben Lively is showing dramatic splits, as he's mowing down righty sticks with a 34.3% strikeout rate and 57.1% ground-ball rate compared to a 19.4% strikeout rate and 41.7% ground-ball rate versus lefties. The Red Sox could start as many as seven left-handed batters tonight.
Adrian Houser has enjoyed positive results over four starts, but he's showing a 16.9% strikeout rate and has a long track record of performing worse against lefty bats. While this is less of a slam dunk for a predominantly right-handed lineup, Houser's only defining skill is a high ground-ball rate, and the majority of Blue Jays hitters tend to hit the ball in the air.
Atlanta is up against one of Oakland's only competent pitchers in lefty JP Sears, but Sears struggles with home runs, and the Braves are loaded with righty power. As always, the A's poor bullpen only further enhances opposing stacks.