FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 4/28/21
Arguably two arms stand out above the rest on Wednesday's 10-gamer, but we aren't devoid of other intriguing alternatives. And as one might expect of a slate this size, we surely aren't lacking in hitting options. Entering the day, the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros are the offenses with the highest implied totals.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Tyler Glasnow ($11,000): Tyler Glasnow and our next entry have both been fantastic to begin 2021, but Glasnow's more proven track record leans me towards him. Among qualified starters, the Tampa Bay ace ranks fourth in strikeout rate with a massive 39.7% clip, falling behind only Jacob deGrom, Corbin Burnes, and Gerrit Cole. It's hard to beat that kind of company, and prior to a hiccup against Toronto, Glasnow seemed virtually untouchable. Oakland has been an above-average offense against righties dating back to last season, but they dole out whiffs with a 24.5% strikeout rate over that span. Between that and a modest 3.14 implied total, look for Glasnow to get back on track.
Carlos Rodon ($10,800): The White Sox lefty has been quite the story this season, going from an afterthought to tossing a no-hitter in his second start. In fact, he's only allowed one earned run across 19.0 innings, which is an impressive early feat for a guy who had only made nine combined starts across the past two years. That said, a 10.8% walk rate suggests he's been playing with fire a bit, and we're still only going off of a three-start sample, so it remains to be seen if Rodon can maintain a high level. However, a 32.4% strikeout rate gets our attention against the Tigers (3.13 implied total), a team with a 26.3% strikeout rate versus lefties since the start of 2020. That said, it's worth noting Detroit is loaded with righties and switch-hitters and actually fared well in lefty matchups last year, which could make things tougher for Rodon. The good news is he's still produced a solid 26.8% strikeout rate against right-handed batters this season.
Alex Wood ($8,800): If you peruse the rest of slate's hurlers, some strikeout rates really jump off the page, but we're still dealing small sample sizes, so it's a matter of deciding which guys we trust and which guys could be riding the regression train back to mediocrity as soon as tonight. In the case of Alex Wood, we have someone who provided some fine seasons for the Dodgers before injuries took their toll the past few seasons, so at least it wouldn't be outlandish to think he can have a bounce-back campaign. It's just two starts -- both against Miami -- but he's recorded a 2.39 SIERA, 27.5% strikeout rate, 2.5% walk rate, and a 63.0% ground-ball rate. If that wasn't promising enough, he also logged 97 pitches in his second outing, so the workload is there despite his injury history. The cherry on top is a matchup versus a Rockies team away from Coors (3.19 implied total).
Houston Astros: Justin Dunn may have a 3.68 ERA over three starts, but he just about checks all the boxes we want for a stack. He has a high SIERA (5.58), low strikeout rate (21.5%), high walk rate (16.9%), and low ground-ball rate (39.5%). Best of all, he exhibited all of these traits in his prior 14 starts since debuting in 2019. It should be no surprise the Astros have a robust 4.91 implied total.
Dunn is getting more strikeouts versus righties in the early going, so we can favor those with the platoon advantage like Yordan Alvarez ($3,500), Michael Brantley ($3,300), and Kyle Tucker ($2,800), and their salaries are reasonable. Dunn's history suggests we shouldn't hesitate to include righties, though -- particularly with all the free baserunners he allows -- so you can always throw in the usual names like Alex Bregman ($3,700), Jose Altuve ($3,800), or Carlos Correa ($3,800).
Toronto Blue Jays: It's hard to know what to make of Erick Fedde, who's actually posting the best strikeout numbers of his career, yet has seen poor results with a 5.51 ERA. In fact, he's doubled up his strikeout rate from the past two seasons with a solid 24.3% clip. However, that mark also feels suspect, as it's come with a middling 6.5% swinging-strike rate and 21.8% called-strike-plus-whiff rate -- both of which are well below league average.
Add in that Fedde is still walking too many batters (10.8% walk rate), and this new version of Fedde may not be any better than previous iterations. A 5.29 implied total wholeheartedly agrees.
For what it's worth, most of the strikeouts are coming against right-handed batters, while he's getting fewer strikeouts and more grounders versus lefty sticks. Anyone in the top third of the order is fair game, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,700) is a no-brainer, while Cavan Biggio ($2,700) and Rowdy Tellez ($2,400) are value lefties who might take advantage of the lower strikeout rate.
San Diego Padres: We don't need an added incentive to stack the Padres on any given night, so when a low-strikeout pitcher comes along, just go ahead and embrace it and stack 'em up. Taylor Widener has enjoyed positive results despite a thoroughly mediocre 4.51 SIERA and 19.4% strikeout rate, and even with his recent success, he's coming off a game in which he coughed up three dingers to the Reds.
Widener struggled with home runs as a reliever in 2020, and considering his 35.3% ground-ball rate dating back to last season, this could be an issue that continues. Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,500) is the top choice (duh), but most of the rest won't kill your salary cap between the likes of Manny Machado ($3,400), Eric Hosmer ($3,100), and Wil Myers ($2,800).
Trent Grisham ($3,900) is the one other high-salaried bat, and while it's a bit steep, his combination of both power and speed adds to his upside (four home runs and five stolen bases).