FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 9/19/20
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 starts at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
Of the three guys with a salary above $10,000, Corbin Burnes ($10,300 on FanDuel) is the one I feel best about. The other two, Trevor Bauer ($11,300) and Ian Anderson ($10,100), have difficult matchups against the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets, respectively, while Burnes gets the Kansas City Royals.
Burnes has been stellar in 2020, posting a 3.27 SIERA, 37.2% strikeout rate and 14.1% walk rate. His lone blemish is an 11.1% walk rate, but the matchup helps as KC owns the eighth-lowest walk rate (8.1%). Kansas City also carries the seventh-worst wOBA (.309) and has a 3.49 implied total. Burnes is the pick of the litter for me.
Andrew Heaney ($8,500) isn't far behind him, though, and the $1,800 difference in salary is awfully enticing -- especially on a Coors slate. Heaney gets a Texas Rangers lineup we've been picking on all year in DFS. Texas boasts the second-worst wOBA (.276) with the fifth-highest strikeout rate (25.3%), and they have a 3.39 implied total. Sporting a 25.8% strikeout rate and 12.6% swinging-strike rate, Heaney has the ability to generate plenty of punchouts tonight.
Kershaw is at Coors, so there's obvious risk with him. But the Colorado Rockies have been brutal offensively in September, recording a .293 wOBA and 25.6% strikeout rate this month, both of which are bottom-six numbers.
Clevinger is on the road at the Seattle Mariners. Seattle's 3.48 implied total is among the slate's lowest (as of Saturday morning), and Clevinger -- the owner of a 23.9% strikeout rate and 12.6% swinging-strike rate -- can do work tonight if he's locked in. He's coming off his best outing of the season (52 FanDuel points) in which he gave up just two hits and fanned seven across seven innings against the San Francisco Giants.
Stacks to Target
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Rockies are sending Chi Chi Gonzalez to the bump, and he's probably going to have a really tough time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over 149 2/3 career MLB innings, Gonzalez's strikeout rate (14.0%) barely outpaces his walk rate (12.2%). That would be a problem against a league-average offense at a league-average hitting environment. This is the Dodgers at freakin' Coors.
Anyone in the Dodgers' starting lineup is worth a look, and LA will almost surely be the most popular stack of the night. If you use Heaney, they're not that hard to get to, either.
While the usual stars are firmly in play, you can also save a little coin with guys like Gavin Lux ($3,400), Chris Taylor ($3,400) and Will Smith ($3,500). If Edwin Rios ($3,200) or Matt Beaty ($2,900) get into the starting nine, they'd be great value targets, too.
It's been a disappointing year for the Milwaukee Brewers, but one thing they've done is hit lefties, mashing their way to a .347 wOBA in the split. And what makes them so valuable on this slate is that just two of their expected starters -- Christian Yelich ($4,100) and Keston Hiura ($3,800) -- are above $2,800, making it easy to pair them with the Dodgers. The Brewers' 5.01 implied total is one of the best non-Dodgers numbers on the slate.
Milwaukee is taking on Kris Bubic. Given that he'd never pitched above A-ball prior to 2020, Bubic's rookie year has been a success as he's got a decent 4.68 SIERA. But he's allowing a 43.5% hard-hit rate overall, including a 43.8% mark to right-handed hitters
I'll be on Avisail Garcia ($2,800), Ryan Braun ($2,600), Jedd Gyorko ($2,700) and Luis Urias ($2,400) -- all of whom will hit from the right side and come in at a modest salary, although Braun may miss this game with back issues. In a lefty-lefty matchup and with Dodgers stars to spend up for, the aforementioned Yelich may not be in many lineups tonight, but he's got a .469 wOBA against southpaws in 2020.
Mets lefty David Peterson started decently well this year, but he's tanked of late, with his season-long numbers standing at a 5.65 SIERA with a 16.8% strikeout rate and 12.3% walk rate. He's striking out righties just 15.6% of the time in 2020.
The Atlanta Braves have some guys who do damage against southpaws -- led by Ronald Acuna ($4,300) and Marcell Ozuna ($3,900). Acuna had a .374 wOBA and 43.2% hard-hit rate in the split last campaign while Ozuna has a monstrous .573 wOBA and 51.6% hard-hit rate against left-handers this year.
Atlanta offers us more economical options, too. Adam Duvall ($3,000) has a long track record of lefty bashing, and Austin Riley ($2,600) is another low-salary source of big-time pop. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud ($3,000) has been hitting fourth lately, and Dansby Swanson ($3,400) ended 2019 with a .340 wOBA and 42.0% hard-hit rate with the platoon advantage.