FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/4/20
The Miami Marlins finally return to action on Tuesday night, and while you probably won't rush to add any Marlins to your lineup, it could provide a rare opportunity to target the Baltimore Orioles against this depleted Miami roster.
Our daily helper is available every day to help you sort through your best options on FanDuel's main slate. In addition to this helper, be sure to check out our daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to help fill out your lineups.
Since it's still early in the season, all stats referenced are from the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined unless otherwise noted.
Pitchers to Target
Max Fried ($8,500), Atlanta Braves
The Toronto Blue Jays enter this game with a shockingly bad .214 slugging percentage against left-handed pitchers, easily the worst in the majors. That number can't stay that low forever, but as long as they're slumping, it's worth taking a shot with Fried, who has been stellar through two starts.
Fried is allowing an expected slugging percentage (xSLG) of just .272 this season, far below the league average of .421. With the way he's pitching and the Jays are struggling, this could be among the best opportunities for Fried all season.
Lance Lynn ($9,300), Texas Rangers
Although this is a dangerous Oakland Athletics lineup, Lynn is getting them at the right time. The A's are batting .208 with a .310 slugging percentage against righties.
Lynn has yet to allow a run through two starts this season while racking up 17 strikeouts. Those two starts came against the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks -- not exactly the most dangerous lineups in the league -- but there's some reason to believe Lynn's success is legitimate. Dating back to the 2019 All-Star Break, Lynn has posted a 3.38 ERA with 11.9 strikeouts per nine.
John Means ($5,800), Baltimore Orioles
Means will be the first pitcher to face the Marlins depleted roster on Tuesday night. This was a weak lineup to start with, and some starters may still be missing due to the COVID-19 outbreak, making this one of the few opportunities you'll want to consider a Baltimore Orioles starter.
Means gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings in his first start, but he wasn't hit as hard as those numbers indicate. He only allowed three hits with an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher and allowed an xSLG of just .272.
Obviously, there are far more talented pitchers on the slate, but given the opponent and this dirt-cheap price tag, it's worth throwing Means into some lineups.
Hitters to Target
OF Mike Trout ($4,400), Los Angeles Angels
It's never a bad idea to consider adding Trout to your lineup, but he draws a particularly enticing matchup on Tuesday against Seattle Mariners' rookie Justin Dunn. He's only thrown nine career innings, so it's tough to say with certainty what Dunn's repertoire will look like in a larger sample, but so far, he's relied heavily on his fastball, which averages just 92.3 mph.
Trout feasts on low-90s fastballs, as demonstrated by his .744 xSLG on fastballs between 90 and 94 mph, according to Statcast. Additionally, 12 of Trout's 45 home runs came off fastballs in that range last season.
Trout faced Dunn twice last year, and, while he went 0-2, he put the ball in play at exit velocities of 99 and 101 mph.
OF Jorge Soler ($3,500), Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs' starter Kyle Hendricks relies heavily on his sinker (41 percent of his pitches), which is a pitch Soler handles extremely well. Since the start of 2019, Soler has generated the seventh-highest xSLG versus sinkers (.926) and has belted five home runs off the pitch.
Hendricks excels at limiting home runs -- he allowed just one per nine innings over the last three seasons -- but Soler's success against sinkers puts him in a unique group of hitters who can probably maintain their power success against Hendricks' repertoire.
SS Corey Seager ($3,500), Los Angeles Dodgers
Seager is off to a hot start this season, averaging 14.6 fantasy points per game. More importantly, his Statcast metrics indicate his production is legit, as he leads the majors with 23 hard-hit balls (exit velocity 95 mph or higher) and ranks seventh with a hard-hit rate on balls in play of 63.9 percent.
Willson Contreras ($3,200), Chicago Cubs
Contreras is off to a hot start with six extra-base hits. And it's no fluke, according to his Statcast metrics. Against right-handed pitchers, he's generated a .848 xSLG with an average exit velocity over 100 mph.
It's early in the season, but exit velocity and launch angle stats normalize more quickly than traditional stats, which indicates this could be the year Contreras elevates his game to another level. He'll face Royals rookie right-hander Brady Singer on Tuesday night.
Carson Kelly ($2,000), Arizona Diamondbacks
Since the start of 2019, Kelly has posted a 1.072 OPS against lefties, while averaging an extra-base hit every 6.4 at-bats.
Valdez uses his sinker to limit home runs -- he's allowed 0.9 per nine innings in his career -- but he gives up plenty of hard hits. In just over 10 innings of work this season, Valdez is allowing an average exit velocity on balls in play of 93.4 mph, the fourth-worst rate in the majors.
All Astros Hitters
The Astros draw Madison Bumgarner, which would have made them a team to avoid just a year or two ago, but there were some discouraging signs in Bumgarner's first two outings. Most notably, according to Statcast, Bumgarner has thrown 73 fastballs (39 percent of his pitches) and has generated just one whiff (by strikeout machine Rougned Odor).
The Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres weren't able to take full advantage of Bumgarner's issues (he allowed five runs in 11 innings of work), but a better hitting team like the Astros may be able to rough him up.
If you want to stack your lineup with Astros in case Bumgarner falls apart, here's a look at how a few of their key hitters have fared versus fastballs from left-handed pitchers:
Players to Avoid
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($2,800), Toronto Blue Jays
Guerrero's raw power usually makes him a tempting dart throw, but with a .291 career on-base percentage against lefties, he's not worth the risk in this matchup with Fried. He hasn't shown much power against lefties yet either, with a home run once every 34 at-bats.
Nolan Arenado ($3,800), Rockies
You can always make a case for using Arenado based on his power upside, but Kevin Gausman may be a tougher matchup than you would expect. Gausman uses his splitter 42 percent of the time, and it's a pitch Arenado struggles to square up. Dating back to 2016, Arenado has just a .340 xSLG versus splitters, his worst against any pitch.