FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/17/20
We get a handful of noteworthy names taking the mound tonight, but there arguably isn't any one choice you're going to have 100% confidence in. There's plenty of offense to go around, though, so there's fun to be had if you're multi-entering tournaments.
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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 2020 stats. Opposing team strikeout rate and wRC+ date back to last year and are against a given pitcher's handedness using up-to-date active rosters, per FanGraphs.
|Pitcher||Salary||L/R||Opp.||SIERA||K%||BB%||Opp. K%||Opp. wRC+|
|Hyun Jin Ryu||$9,300||L||@BAL||3.96||28.2%||10.6%||21.3%||101|
Let's check out the top spots on tonight's slate.
Zac Gallen ($9,700) has a dangerous matchup against the Athletics, which is reflected in a 4.51 implied total, but there's no denying the upside behind an elite 29.8% strikeout rate. Gallen put up a 28.7% strikeout rate in 2019, so we should have confidence in the punchouts, and he's also dropped his walks to a 7.4% rate, a sizable improvement from last year's 10.8%. Most impressive of all, Gallen has survived a tough stretch of opponents that includes the Rockies (at Coors), Astros, and Dodgers, while still coming away with a 3.52 SIERA.
The Orioles were expected to once again be a doormat, yet they've been a surprisingly potent offense, sporting the league's sixth-best wRC+ in 2020. While it's hard to say how much that sticks, it's enough to give us some pause in using Hyun-jin Ryu ($9,300), who's also struggled to pitch deep into games due to a 10.6% walk rate. Still, he's showing a 28.2% strikeout rate and 13.4% swinging-strike rate through four starts, and he exhibited a similar strikeout rate in 2018.
Ross Stripling ($8,100) might be the closest thing to a "safe" option despite generally underwhelming in 2020. He has one of the top matchups on the board, getting a home start against the Mariners (3.59 implied total). Stripling has consistently put up above-average strikeout rates over his career (25.1% in 2019) and has a pair of 7-strikeout outings this season, so we shouldn't let his 21.1% strikeout rate scare us away.
Touki Toussaint ($7,100) struggled versus the Yankees in his last start, but a 3.29 SIERA, 30.3% strikeout rate, and 6.6% walk rate keeps him interesting in spite of a 7.27 ERA. He had a nine-strikeout game against Toronto a couple outings ago, so consider a dice roll against the Nationals.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the top offenses in the league again this year, so we shouldn't hesitate to roster them against the likes of Justin Dunn. The 24-year-old prospect has an ugly 6.89 SIERA, 13.3% strikeout rate, and 16.7% walk rate over three starts, and he struggled with walks in his cup of coffee last year, too. He's allowing a 42.9% hard-hit rate and 45.2% fly-ball rate with the Statcast numbers to match.
Cody Bellinger ($4,200) and Mookie Betts ($4,300) are among the top overall plays on the board. Bellinger hasn't performed up to the level we're used to but much of that is BABIP driven (.181) and he's still striking out at a low clip (15.3%). There's nice value in the Dodgers' ranks, too, with Max Muncy ($3,200), Justin Turner ($3,100), A.J. Pollock ($2,900), and Joc Pederson ($2,700) all priced down.
It's a warm evening in Atlanta, and Anibal Sanchez comes to town with a lackluster 5.20 SIERA, 19.1% strikeout rate, and 8.8% walk rate that are near mirror images to 2019.
The difference is he outperformed last year's modest marks (3.85 ERA) by limiting hard contact, something that hasn't come to fruition thus far in 2020. In fact, Sanchez has allowed a whopping 14.6% barrel rate, leading to 5 bombs over just 13.0 innings. Four of those came in one start, so it remains to be seen whether this will be more fact or fiction over the long haul, but there are enough red flags to ride with the Atlanta Braves tonight.
The Braves are missing some key pieces, but Freddie Freeman ($3,900) is always a welcome addition to any lineup, and Marcell Ozuna ($3,200), Adam Duvall ($2,200), and Austin Riley ($2,400) are capable candidates to add to Sanchez's home run woes.
Chicago White Sox
And speaking of home run woes, Matt Boyd giving up dingers is nothing new, but with his strikeout rate down from 30.2% to a mere 18.8% this year, the results have been downright disastrous.
After allowing 1.89 home runs per 9 innings in 2019, he's giving up 2.33 per 9 through 19.1 innings, and as one might expect, his Statcast page is a sea of blue dots. He's been shelled for seven earned runs in back-to-back games, and that last beatdown came against tonight's opponent, the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox lineup have strong marks against southpaws and could deploy an entire lineup of right-handed batters and switch-hitters, so another shellacking could be incoming. You can be happy rostering any of the usual top six batters in the order, and none have a salary above $3,400. Projected number seven hitter Luis Robert ($3,200) has shown promise with a 13.7% barrel rate and has three homers and four stolen bases this year.
As for other stacks of note, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros earn high implied totals in their respective matchups against Martin Perez and Kyle Freeland, and we know these are the types of offenses that can go off any night. It's worth noting, however, that Perez is suppressing hard contact and Freeland is showing an elite 58.7% ground-ball rate, so it's possible there's reduced home run upside.
Lastly, the Los Angeles Angels are in an appealing spot against Tyler Anderson, who comes in with a 12.2% strikeout rate and 14.9% walk rate. The Angels don't have the same top-to-bottom depth as some of the aforementioned teams, but if nothing else, you can always toss Mike Trout ($4,500) or Anthony Rendon ($4,000) in some lineups.