FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 4/24/21
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.
Pitchers to Target
According to our model, Trevor Bauer ($11,000 on FanDuel) is out on his own tonight as we project him for 40.3 FanDuel points, 4.4 more than anyone else. While the matchup against the San Diego Padres is a tough one, Bauer has been excellent to start the year, pitching to a 2.51 SIERA and 37.5% strikeout rate in 26 innings. He's thrown at least 96 pitches in every start -- including an outing of 110 pitches -- so workload isn't an issue. San Diego owns an attackable 3.25 implied total, the second-lowest on the slate.
There are plenty of viable alternatives to Bauer, however, and they all come at a significantly lower salary -- which is a huge thing on a Coors slate.
My pick of the bunch is Kevin Gausman ($9,400). Since the start of 2020, the righty has posted a 29.4% strikeout rate and 3.54 ERA. He has a fantastic matchup against the Miami Marlins at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. We project Gausman for 35.9 FanDuel points, the second-most, and Miami's 3.21 implied total is a slate-low mark. Even if you take the $1,600 salary discount out of it, Gausman is right on par with Bauer for me, so given the salary difference, I'll have plenty of Gausman tonight.
Aaron Nola ($8,000) is a fun tournament option. Coors is Coors, but the Colorado Rockies just aren't very good offensively, sporting a .327 wOBA at home this year. Overall, the Rox own a .301 wOBA with a 25.1% strikeout rate. Nola has been superb through his first 24 2/3 innings, striking out 27.5% of hitters and walking only 2.9%. Our algorithm projects him for 35.1 FanDuel points, although Colorado's 4.29 implied total is the fourth-highest.
The only other hurler I'll have on my radar is Pablo Lopez ($8,200). Admittedly, our model doesn't love him, forecasting him to score just 25.0 FanDuel points, but I see him in a better light. Lopez holds a 3.43 SIERA, 27.5% strikeout rate and 11.3% swinging-strike rate across 21 2/3 innings this year, and he had a 3.98 SIERA and 24.6% strikeout rate last season over 57 1/3 frames. He gets the same Oracle Park boost that Gausman does, and the San Francisco Giants' offense has just a .301 wOBA with a 24.9% strikeout rate.
Stacks to Target
Of the two offenses playing at Coors tonight, the Philadelphia Phillies are in a much better spot. While the Rockies face Nola, Philly gets Antonio Senzatela, who has a 4.93 SIERA and lowly 13.3% strikeout rate in 91 1/3 innings since the start of 2020.
Everyone in the Phillies' lineup is in play, and if you go with someone other than Bauer on the bump, it shouldn't be too hard to make room for the Phillies' bats you want. Philadelphia's 5.71 implied total is nearly a full run more than anyone else's.
Bryce Harper ($4,800) and Rhys Hoskins ($4,200) are the top plays, while Didi Gregorius ($3,500), Alec Bohm ($3,200) and Mickey Moniak ($3,000) come with modest salaries. Brad Miller ($3,100) would be worth a long look, too, if he's able to return to the lineup.
Madison Bumgarner is exactly the kind of pitcher we want to stack against. He doesn't get many strikeouts, and he gives up a lot of juicy contact. Since the start of 2020, he's struggled to a 17.8% strikeout rate while allowing a 43.7% hard-hit rate and 41.9% fly-ball rate.
As such, the Atlanta Braves carry a 4.92 implied total, and three of the slate's top four bats, per our model, come from Atlanta. A word of warning: check the weather for this game as rain could be an issue.
We'll want to focus primarily on the Braves' right-handers, and that should have made you think of Ronald Acuna ($4,500). Acuna will definitely be in plenty of lineups, but his draft percentage may not be as high as it should be if the masses fork over the coin for Harper and Hoskins. Acuna finished 2020 with a .371 wOBA and 61.1% hard-hit rate against lefties. Yes, 61.1%. He's the top-ranked hitter on the slate, per our algorithm.
Marcell Ozuna ($3,200) should be wildly popular at this salary. He mashed his way to a .527 wOBA, 50.0% hard-hit rate and 47.1% fly-ball rate last season with the platoon advantage. We slot him as the slate's number-four stick, and he and Ozuna should be core pieces to Atlanta stacks.
And despite the lefty-lefty matchup, Freddie Freeman ($4,100) is our model's second-ranked hitter. He had a 45.0% hard-hit rate in the split in 2020, but his fly-ball rate was a measly 15.0%. I won't make Freeman a priority.
Chicago White Sox
On this six-game slate, there are only two non-Coors implied totals over 3.80 runs. The Braves are one, and the Chicago White Sox are the other for their home date with Kyle Gibson. Gibson has recorded a 4.60 SIERA and 19.6% strikeout rate since the start of 2020. He's a perfectly blah big-league starter.
In 2020, left-handed hitters struck out just 14.0% of the time against Gibson, so I'll build Pale Hose stacks around Adam Eaton ($3,400), Yasmani Grandal ($2,700) and Yoan Moncada ($2,900). I'm going to specifically hone in on two-man stacks of Grandal and Moncada as their salaries help them pair nicely alongside Philly stacks.
We shouldn't sleep on Tim Anderson ($4,000) and Jose Abreu ($3,500), who are the top two White Sox hitters today going by our projections. They could slip through the cracks a bit on this slate, especially if rain doesn't spoil the Atlanta game.