FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/31/20
Friday brings us our first Coors Field slate, and it's no surprise to see the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres sporting high implied totals. The New York Yankees sit atop the list, as well, this time taking on their rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Throw in a strong mix of hurlers taking the mound, and we have a fun all-around slate.
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!
And don't forget to take a listen to The Solo Shot podcast with Jim Sannes, who breaks down the MLB daily fantasy slate each morning.
On that note, let's highlight some of the top options for today's FanDuel main slate. Below are tonight's projected starters with their 2019 stats. Opposing strikeout rate and wRC+ are last year's numbers against a given pitcher's handedness using active rosters, per FanGraphs.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
|Lance McCullers Jr.||9000||R||@LAA||3.62||26.9%||9.5%||20.3%||109|
Let's check out the top spots on tonight's slate.
With Luis Castillo ($10,100) getting his start moved to Friday following a rainout, he now gets a fantastic matchup upgrade against the Detroit Tigers. This just so happens to be the same team he mowed down for 11 punchouts last week, too, helping him to 52 FanDuel points.
While it's typically a negative to face the same team twice, this is the Tigers we're talking about, and they were arguably the worst offense in the bigs last year. Castillo occasionally struggles with walks, but he issued just one in six innings last week, and the Tigers' active roster posted the worst walk rate against righties last season (6.7%). Fire up Castillo with little hesitation tonight.
Castillo's scheduled opposing counterpart for last night, Yu Darvish ($9,100), now faces the Pirates, who aren't a great on-paper matchup for strikeouts but did just get shredded by Brandon Woodruff for 10 strikeouts this week.
In 2019, Darvish was one of the best pitchers in baseball over his last 17 starts, posting a 2.65 SIERA, 36.1% strikeout rate, and 2.9% walk rate. Of course, that came after a poor beginning to the year, so it's hard to know exactly which Darvish we'll see in 2020.
Naturally, last week's start against the Brewers was a mixed bag, as he allowed 3 earned runs over 4.0 innings while also tallying 5 strikeouts with no walks. He may have been a little unlucky from a .429 BABIP and 57.1% strand rate, though, and it's hard to read too much into one outing.
Darvish only threw 73 pitches last time, so he'll likely be held under triple-digits. Still, anyone who's flashed a strikeout rate above 30% before is worthy of our attention, putting him firmly into the tournament conversation.
It's probably wishful thinking to presume Mike Clevinger ($9,800) can repeat what Shane Bieber did last night to the Minnesota Twins (73 FanDuel points!), but it's a firm reminder that elite pitchers can toast any lineup when they're on their game. Clevinger certainly falls under that category if you want to take the plunge.
San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies
We might as well lump the two Coors Field teams together with a slate-high 11.5 over/under set for this contest.
Gray has put up solid peripherals dating back to 2016, and it's fair to wonder what kind of career he would have if he wasn't in Colorado. He's actually had reasonable success at home over the years -- he posted a 3.46 ERA at Coors in 2019 -- so this isn't necessarily a cupcake spot for the Padres.
That said, even the best pitchers will succumb to this venue, and Gray doesn't have an elite strikeout rate to avoid keeping the ball in play. He was also shaky against the Rangers last week, so he might not be in top form.
Gray posted a lower strikeout rate and allowed more hard contact to left-handed batters in 2019, so Trent Grisham ($3,300) and Jurickson Profar ($3,000) are especially appealing Padres at their salaries.
As for the Rockies' bats, Richards' 2019 numbers came over just three starts following Tommy John surgery, but a high strikeout rate and double-digit walk rate fall in line with career norms. He also tends to get ground balls (52.4% career rate), which could help him counter the effects of Coors.
Given the limited recent data, Richards may be a wild card, but that high walk rate could get him into trouble real fast. The Rockies have plenty of affordable lower-order bats to help you get the usual stars at the top. Sam Hilliard ($3,000) notched 35 home runs and 22 stolen bases in Triple-A last year, so don't let his low spot in the order deter you from taking the savings.
New York Yankees
The Yankees should still see their share of ownership, but with Coors Field in play, maybe it won't be at the level we saw against the Baltimore Orioles.
They face Boston starter Ryan Weber, who more looks the part of someone you would find in the Orioles' rotation. Such is the state of Boston's pitching this year, and Weber comes in with a career 5.34 ERA and 14.2% strikeout rate. Oh, and speaking of the Orioles, they hit around Weber for 6 runs and 2 dingers over 3.2 innings in his first 2020 start. Weber tallied a whopping zero strikeouts in that game. Super.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays get a park factor boost in going from Tropicana Field to Camden Yards and will take hacks against that shoddy Orioles pitching on top of it.
While Alex Cobb actually held the Red Sox in check last week, he did benefit from a .214 BABIP, and the six punchouts were out of character for a guy who's never shown a high strikeout rate, particularly since Tommy John surgery a few years back. We're going to need to see more than just one solid start before changing our minds on him.
The Rays are cheap from top to bottom, with no one priced above $3,300. Ji-Man Choi ($2,600) is a great choice if he's back in the leadoff spot, and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo ($2,800) is someone projections universally like for an ISO above .200 in the big leagues, per FanGraphs. Brandon Lowe ($3,300) and Hunter Renfroe ($3,100) have the best pure power upside of the bunch.
As for another stack, also consider the Chicago White Sox against the Kris Bubic, who's never pitched above Single-A.