FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/7/21
Today's slate is a little different, as most of the games are starting in the afternoon, giving us a rare weekday 1:10 pm ET main slate. Most rotations are back to their number one starters, as well, giving us a similar pitching selection from what we saw on Opening Day.
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Let's check out the top options on Wednesday's 10-game main slate.
Shane Bieber ($11,500): While Shane Bieber wasn't perfect on Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers, giving up three earned runs over six innings, it's hard to complain about his 12 strikeouts. He displayed a whopping 22.1% swinging-strike rate, so the punchouts were well-deserved, and it's a positive sign that he can carry over all his success from 2020, which included a 41.1% strikeout rate and 17.1% swinging-strike rate. The Kansas City Royals aren't necessarily the best matchup for strikeouts -- their active roster has a 21.8% strikeout rate versus right-handers dating back to 2019 -- but we shouldn't be worried about Bieber's ceiling when he's throwing like this. The one negative is that his velocity was down a couple of ticks in his debut, which will be something to monitor.
Blake Snell ($9,800): You could certainly go with Trevor Bauer here, but if you want a little more salary cap breathing room, Blake Snell arguably gives us just as much upside. The main issue with Snell is his pitch count, but after throwing 86 in his first outing, it wouldn't be surprising to see him near a full workload this time around. Although he only went 4.2 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he didn't let up any runs and recorded 8 punchouts. The San Francisco Giants have a mere 3.30 implied total implied total against Snell this afternoon.
Jack Flaherty ($7,900): Unlike the other guys we've mentioned, Jack Flaherty unequivocally flopped in his first start, coughing up 6 earned runs in 4.1 innings to the Cincinnati Reds while giving up a pair of dingers. On the bright side, his 14.9% swinging-strike rate was on par with what we've come to expect from him, and he now faces a Miami Marlins team with a 24.1% strikeout rate and 96 wRC+ versus righties from 2019-20. The shaky opener makes him feel riskier than others on the slate, but it's hard to argue with the potential value at this discounted salary.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox have a solid 4.66 implied total, but it feels like it should be much higher against Justin Dunn. Last year, Dunn produced an ugly 6.07 SIERA, 19.2% strikeout rate, and 15.7% walk rate over 10 starts, and he didn't show strong splits against either righties or lefties. That's probably not going to fly against Chicago, which boasts all sorts of pop between Jose Abreu ($3,800), Luis Robert ($3,500), Yasmani Grandal ($3,300), and Yoan Moncada ($3,100). We've also seen Yermin Mercedes ($2,800) emerge with a hot start, and while it's way too early to read much into it, the preliminary Statcast metrics are fun.
Toronto Blue Jays: Toronto has the slate's highest implied total (4.87), and they get to take on Kyle Gibson, who was obliterated in his opener against the Royals, getting knocked around for 5 earned runs and pulled after just 0.1 innings. Ouch. Gibson typically performs worse versus lefty sticks (5.22 xFIP in 2020), which gives Cavan Biggio ($3,100) and Rowdy Tellez ($2,300) a bump, but the righties are potent enough to go all-in just in case Gibson is off again. Much like yesterday, the Blue Jays' salaries are quite low, with everyone at $3,400 and below.
Philadelphia Phillies: Due to the Phillies having a middle-of-the-road 4.38 implied total, they could go overlooked despite their plus matchup against David Peterson. The southpaw may have posted a 3.44 ERA last year, but a 5.26 SIERA, 19.5% strikeout rate, and 11.7% walk rate doesn't bode well for 2021. While he got the job done in lefty-lefty spots (3.48 xFIP), it was a different story versus right-handed bats (5.49 xFIP). Rhys Hoskins ($3,700) and J.T. Realmuto ($3,400) are the top right-handed bats to target, and we shouldn't forget about lefty Bryce Harper ($3,900) just because of the same-sided matchup -- he's still the best overall hitter on the Phillies.