FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 4/20/21
Tuesday's main slate checks in at eight games, and while we have some intriguing names taking the hill, between tougher matchups and some guys struggling early on, there aren't any shoo-in options tonight.
Rain shouldn't be an issue tonight, although there are colder temperatures in some spots, including Coors Field. That said, both Coors teams lead the way in terms of implied totals.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Corbin Burnes ($10,500): On some other slates, Corbin Burnes might a secondary option, and that's because of his tough matchup against the lethal San Diego Padres. But this evening, there just isn't anyone else who brings close to the same upside, especially with Shohei Ohtani ($9,000) expected to have a limited pitch count coming off a blister issue. Burnes has absolutely obliterated opposing batters thus far, producing a 1.01 SIERA, 48.4% strikeout rate, and 56.7% ground-ball rate. He also hasn't allowed a single walk yet. Outside of the opponent, the only other downside is that Burnes has been held below 90 pitches in all three outings, although that may not matter much with the way he's been performing. He's the de facto top choice.
Chris Paddack ($6,900): Once we're past Burnes it's just... meh. I would love to recommend Ohtani, but blisters, a pitch count, and five walks in his 2021 debut just look dicey all around. Both Hyun-jin Ryu ($9,700) and Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,300) are off to promising starts, but neither one has an appealing matchup. Ryu also has the second-highest salary on the board, so you're not even getting much of a discount off Burnes. And do we really believe Zack Wheeler ($9,400) is suddenly a plus strikeout pitcher?
All this is to say that it's a pick your poison situation, and if you're bypassing Burnes, perhaps you take your chances in the lower ranks.
Now, I'm not sure whether or not I can stomach rostering Paddack tonight, who hasn't done anything to inspire confidence so far, but the salary and matchup are there, so he at least deserves to be addressed. Dating back to last season, the Brewers' active roster owns a 26.5% strikeout rate and 85 wRC+ versus righties, and they have the slate's lowest implied total (3.19).
Will that be enough to get Paddack on track? This is still a pitcher with a career 25.3% strikeout rate, and we're doling out next to no salary on a Coors night, so maybe it will be worth finding out.
Others to Consider: Taijuan Walker ($7,700)
The Astros could be getting reinforcements tonight, too, after missing several players due to health and safety protocols, including Alex Bregman ($3,500) and Yordan Alvarez ($3,500). A Houston lineup at or near full strength will spell trouble for Jon Gray, who's seen positive results through three starts but has a mediocre 4.43 SIERA. Gray's walks are up (10.8%), and he still isn't showing the same velocity he possessed before his disastrous 2020, so there's a path to the Astros coming through here.
Gray has struggled against lefties this season (12.5% strikeout rate and 15.0% walk rate) and has performed worse against them going back to 2019, so Kyle Tucker ($4,000), Michael Brantley ($4,100), and potentially Alvarez all deserve extra consideration.
Flipping over to the other side, the Rockies have the less potent lineup, but they may have the better matchup against Luis Garcia. The right-hander has only thrown 20.0 innings above Single-A, all coming at the MLB level, so we don't have much to go off of. While he's shown flashes of strikeout potential, he's also submitted a double-digit walk rate and low ground-ball rate, which should give Colorado some opportunities to do some damage.
Trevor Story ($3,800), Ryan McMahon ($4,000), and Charlie Blackmon ($3,600) pack the most punch, of course, but for some salary relief, Raimel Tapia ($3,100) should bat leadoff and Sam Hilliard ($3,000) could find his way into the lineup versus the right-hander.
St. Louis Cardinals: Patrick Corbin has endured a rough go of it through two starts. It's one thing to get knocked around by the Los Angeles Dodgers -- that's completely forgivable -- but getting lit up by the Arizona Diamondbacks for nine earned runs in two innings is a tough pill to swallow. It just doesn't appear to be there for Corbin so far. The strikeouts are down, the velocity is down, and the walks are up -- and it's not like he's coming off a stellar 2020 campaign.
All of this is to say: load up on the Cardinals. It's surprising their implied total isn't higher (4.31), but it's possible it sees a bump as we get later in the day. Against the southpaw, the righty sticks of Paul Goldschmidt ($3,800), Nolan Arenado ($4,000), and Paul DeJong ($2,800) stand out, and switch-hitter Tommy Edman ($3,000) gives us some value at the top of the order, too.
Los Angeles Angels: After the Coors teams, it's the Angels who earn the on-paper bronze for their third-best implied total (5.06) against Jordan Lyles. You want home runs? You've come to the right place. Lyles has already allowed four in his first three starts, and he gave up 1.87 per nine innings in 2020 and 1.60 per nine in 2019. Outside of 2019, he's never shown a particularly notable strikeout rate in this career, and a dip in ground-ball rate likely helps explain the rise in dingers lately.
Left-handed batters have consistently held the upper hand against him, so Jared Walsh ($3,600) deserves specific attention, but righty sticks do just fine, too, so Mike Trout ($4,500), Justin Upton ($3,100), and David Fletcher ($2,900) can help fill out the stack. With Ohtani out of the lineup, Jose Rojas ($2,000) might be the only other lefty of note that we see, but he could bat in the top six at minimum salary.