FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 8/16/20
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate, which gets going at 1:05 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
Max Scherzer ($11,100 on FanDuel) is clearly the best pitching option on this slate, and he's priced as such -- $2,300 more than anyone else. Scherzer is taking on the Baltimore Orioles. It's not as good of a matchup as we would've thought prior to the season, but it's still a spot in which Scherzer can eat. Our projections have Scherzer pacing the slate in FanDuel points as well as strikeouts. If Scherzer is on, it's hard to see any other pitcher sniffing his upside today.
After Scherzer, it's not very pretty.
Lance McCullers ($8,800) is the next Houston Astros hurler to get a crack at the light-hitting Seattle Mariners. Seattle owns the fifth-worst wOBA (.289), and McCullers has been respectable in his return from injury. Admittedly, our model doesn't like McCullers much today, ranking him seventh, but there's some strikeout potential here. He's gone between 86 and 92 pitches in three of his four outings, so we shouldn't be too concerned about the leash.
Zack Wheeler ($8,400) hasn't been good this season (5.25 SIERA), but we're still dealing with small samples. Plus, his 11.6% swinging-strike rate means he's in store for plenty of positive regression on his laughably low 11.0% strikeout rate. Wheeler had a 23.5% strikeout rate in 2019. A matchup with the New York Mets isn't an easy one, but our projections give Wheeler the second-most punchouts today.
Stacks to Target
Any righty in the lineup for the Rox is worth a look. The usual suspects -- Nolan Arenado ($4,300) and Trevor Story ($4,200) -- will likely be super popular. You can add Garrett Hampson ($3,000) to the chalk list, too, if he's hitting leadoff. To get some possibly lower-owned exposure to this lineup, you can go after Matt Kemp ($3,000) and Charlie Blackmon ($4,300). Blackmon had a .388 wOBA and 41.4% hard-hit rate last year in lefty-lefty matchups -- numbers that were better than his marks against righties.
It's the Houston Astros against another southpaw, this time Justus Sheffield. I can pretty much copy/paste what I wrote yesterday, and even though the Astros didn't pop off in that matchup, we still got a Yulieski Gurriel ($3,000) tater. Houston will likely be the most popular non-Coors stack, and they sit with a 5.68 implied total, the second-best on the slate.
The aforementioned Gurriel is once again an enticing play as are Jose Altuve ($3,500), Alex Bregman ($3,900), Carlos Correa ($3,200) and George Springer ($3,600). Altuve has been lost so far in 2020, but he put up a .429 wOBA with the platoon advantage last year. While Altuve was bumped down to seventh in Saturday's lineup, we should be able to get him at modest ownership, which was the case yesterday.
Yordan Alvarez ($3,600) keeps inching up in price, but he brings a lot of thunder to the table, even in lefty-lefty spots. He got to southpaws for a .422 wOBA and 49.4% hard-hit rate as a rookie last season.
In all there are nine teams -- counting Houston and Colorado -- with implied totals of at least 4.8 runs, and that's with missing totals for six other teams (as of early Sunday morning). So there are plenty of stacking options on this slate. I'll likely dip my toes in the water with the two aforementioned stacks -- maybe two-man stacks of each and then go with a four-man stack from another offense in an effort to dodge ownership.
Cleveland will see Michael Fulmer, who has given up a 38.1% hard-hit rate so far in 2020, which is right in line with the 39.5% clip he surrendered in 2018, his last full season. Cleveland has some good power options, and outside of Jose Ramirez ($3,800) they're not expensive, making it easy to pair them with Scherzer.
Francisco Lindor ($3,400) is being crushed by a .234 BABIP, and he racked up a .359 wOBA and 43.7% hard-hit rate against righties last season. We can also look to Carlos Santana ($2,900), Franmil Reyes ($2,700), Cesar Hernandez ($2,700) and Domingo Santana ($2,500). Hernandez and Santana will hit from the left side against Fulmer, and Hernandez will likely be atop the lineup.