FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 4/26/21
We begin the work week with a nine-game MLB slate, and the hottest pitcher not named Jacob deGrom takes the mound tonight. As for our bats, the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Angels own the highest implied totals early in the day.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Corbin Burnes ($11,100): Jacob deGrom may be in a tier of his own these days, but Corbin Burnes is doing a damn good impression of him in the early going with a ridiculous 1.13 SIERA and 47.1% strikeout rate through four starts, and he still has yet to issue a single walk. The Brewers have been reluctant to push his pitch counts, yet that hasn't stopped him from FanDuel scores of 53, 49, 58, and 58 points, and he got up to a season-high 93 pitches in his last start, so it's possible he'll be allowed more leeway moving forward. There's no reason to talk yourself out of Burnes right now, and he should shine against the Marlins (2.83 implied total).
Trevor Rogers ($9,600): We get Trevor Rogers on the other side of this Miami-Milwaukee matchup, and it's easy to like what he's been cooking up in the early going. Though Rogers is still issuing too many walks, he's sporting a 3.27 SIERA, 35.6% strikeout rate, and 19.0% swinging-strike rate. He posted promising peripherals in 2020, too, and now he's cashing in on actual results this time around. The Brewers' active roster is showing a 28.6% strikeout rate this season, so Rogers shouldn't have any problem racking up the punchouts again tonight.
Charlie Morton ($8,600): Though Charlie Morton is 37 years old, it looks like he's still got something left in the tank, as he's produced a 3.34 SIERA, 28.7% strikeout rate, and 7.4% walk rate through four outings. Morton's 34.5% called-strike-plus-whiff rate is on par with Tyler Glasnow's mark and a smidge ahead of Trevor Rogers' and Trevor Bauer's, which is some great company to be in. Despite the promising numbers, Morton's yet to have a FanDuel outing cracking 50 points, but the Cubs are another team striking out like crazy in 2021 (28.1% strikeout rate), so perhaps he gets there tonight. He's also reached 96 and 99 pitches in his last two outings, so his workload isn't something to worry about anymore.
Others to Consider: Anthony DeSclafani ($6,800)
Atlanta Braves: It's a little surprising to see the Braves aren't displaying a higher implied total (4.55) against Zach Davies, but perhaps we see it rise later in the day. That's because Davies has been pretty dreadful across the board in 2021, putting together a 6.15 SIERA, 12.8% strikeout rate, and 14.1% walk rate. Davies has had his share of positive seasons, including just last year, but it's not like he's ever had a high strikeout rate, so even an improved version shouldn't scare us.
Freddie Freeman ($3,900) and Ozzie Albies ($3,300) enjoy the platoon advantage, and then Ronald Acuna ($4,300) and Marcell Ozuna ($3,200) are always welcome additions, although the latter is off to a slow start. The rest of the lineup comes in at below $3,000, making mixing and matching easy tonight.
New York Yankees: The Yankees' lineup showed some signs of life in their series against Cleveland and now gets a plus matchup against Matt Harvey with a 4.92 implied total. While we typically prefer to attack Harvey with left-handed batters and the Yankees are predominantly righties, he hasn't held a high strikeout rate in righty-righty spots in ages (16.2% from 2019-2021), and his main strength is getting grounders against them.
A higher ground-ball rate shouldn't concern us as much for fly-ball hitters like Aaron Judge ($3,500), Gleyber Torres ($2,500), and maybe even Gary Sanchez ($2,400) and Clint Frazier ($2,100). The low strikeout rate should benefit someone like Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600), too, who still possesses monstrous power when he connects.
The switch-hitting Aaron Hicks ($2,600) is one of the few who can take advantage of Harvey's poor lefty splits (5.63 xFIP from 2019-21), and lefty Rougned Odor ($2,200) should be considered in tournaments despite his typical low spot in the order.
Houston Astros: Everything about left-hander Justus Sheffield suggests an average pitcher at best, and similar to Harvey, his best asset against righties is a solid ground-ball rate (52.4% from 2019-21). The difference here is that we're getting the platoon advantage for righties such as Alex Bregman ($3,800), Carlos Correa ($3,600), and Yuli Gurriel ($2,900), making them all appealing plays.
We also don't have a huge sample to go off of for Sheffield's lefty-lefty splits, but his career marks are mediocre, so taking chances on the low salaries of Yordan Alvarez ($3,100) and Kyle Tucker ($2,800) could be a wise move, too.