FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 5/4/21
Monday ended up being a quirky MLB slate, as rain knocked out two games, including the one at Coors Field, and Shohei Ohtani was scratched from his scheduled start, further diluting a limited pitching pool. Perhaps we get back to some normalcy tonight? The weather could be a factor again, though, with games in New York and Philadelphia among those to keep an eye on.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
(Editor's note: Jacob deGrom has been scratched with side tightness. Be sure to remove him from your lineups.)
Jacob deGrom ($12,500): It's a Jacob deGrom night, so you know what to do. Even with the prohibitive salary, it's just hard to beat a 1.38 SIERA, 48.0% strikeout rate, and 3.3% walk rate, and deGrom's highlights already include FanDuel scores of 82, 70, and 67 points. The fact that deGrom has already asked for extra rest between starts multiple times is curious, but until we see any impact on the field, we probably shouldn't be too concerned. Good luck to the St. Louis Cardinals, who have a 2.80 implied total.
Aaron Nola ($9,200): Aaron Nola has taken a step back in strikeouts so far (25.8% rate), but he's still put together a rock-solid 3.33 SIERA, and he isn't issuing as many walks (3.3% rate). This is also a fantastic matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers (3.41 implied total), who own an 84 wRC+ and 26.7% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching since the start of 2020. While Nola will have a tough time matching the ceiling of someone like deGrom, he does have a 10-strikeout, 67-point performance on the ledger this year.
Huascar Ynoa ($8,000): Huascar Ynoa continues to impress this season, boasting a 2.86 SIERA, 32.1% strikeout rate, and 5.7% walk rate that looks ace-esque. It's a massive leap from what we saw in 2020, so expectations should remain tempered, but the rise in punchouts is backed by a 14.6% swinging-strike rate, giving us some added confidence. The Washington Nationals are a below-average offense without Juan Soto, and they've actually been one of the very worst against righties in 2021 (76 wRC+).
Others to Consider: Alex Cobb ($8,000)
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox have one of the slate's highest implied totals (4.81), but I'm a little wary of their matchup against Michael Fulmer, who has actually performed pretty well in 2021 with a 3.75 SIERA. However, Fulmer will probably pitch only a handful of innings due to his dual role as a starter and reliever, leaving plenty of innings against a Detroit bullpen that's produced the fourth-worst xFIP this season.
Oddly enough, Fulmer has demonstrated weaker numbers in righty-righty matchups, including a modest 21.4% strikeout rate. Considering that was also the case in 2020, there could be some merit to focusing on J.D. Martinez ($4,200) and Xander Bogaerts ($3,500), but when factoring in the bullpen, the lefty sticks of Rafael Devers ($3,700) and Alex Verdugo ($3,400) are top choices, too. Bobby Dalbec ($2,100) remains an intriguing punt due to his 14.9% barrel rate despite striking out far too often.
San Diego Padres: The Padres flopped on Monday, but as noted yesterday, it wasn't actually a gimme matchup against Tyler Anderson. They should have an easier time getting things rolling against Mitch Keller, who enters with a lackluster 5.25 SIERA over five starts.
Keller once showed promise in 2019 -- at least in his underlying numbers -- but the strikeouts have since dried up, and he's struggled to find the plate. If we include his five starts from last season, Keller has now produced a 19.6% strikeout rate and 17.3% walk rate across his last 10 starts.
He's recorded a horrific 6.88 xFIP versus lefties over this span, so give Trent Grisham ($3,800) a long look despite his high salary, and Eric Hosmer ($3,300) and Jake Cronenworth ($2,900) also get a boost.
While Keller gets more strikeouts against righties, the results have only been slightly better (4.66 xFIP), so you aren't avoiding Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,400), Manny Machado ($3,500), and Wil Myers ($2,700) in potential stacks.
Philadelphia Phillies: It's a little surprising the Phillies don't have a higher implied total because this is an enticing spot against Eric Lauer. The left-hander may have held the Los Angeles Dodgers scoreless over five innings in his 2021 debut, but his peripheral numbers were underwhelming, including just three strikeouts to two walks. When we last got a large sample from Lauer in 2019, he managed only a 4.72 SIERA and 21.2% strikeout rate over 149.2 innings.
Lauer hasn't demonstrated strong splits against either side of the plate -- his numbers are actually worse versus lefties -- so you don't have to be too picky with your stacks. This lineup is less formidable if Bryce Harper ($4,100) is out again, but Rhys Hoskins ($3,900), J.T. Realmuto ($3,400), and Alec Bohm ($2,600) are all top options.