FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 5/7/21
We get quite a selection of pitchers to dive into on Friday's 14-game offering, and it might be tough to decide which one is your overall favorite. The same holds true in terms of our top bats, as some strong lineups find themselves in juicy matchups. There are a few spots with some weather concerns, most notably tonight's matchup between the Red Sox and Orioles.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Trevor Rogers ($10,400): The Brewers are quickly becoming a regular lineup to attack with opposing pitchers, particularly with Christian Yelich presently out of the picture. As a predominantly right-handed lineup, they ought to be slightly tougher on lefties, but there simply aren't that many bats that scare us -- as shown by their 3.26 implied total -- and Milwaukee's active roster owns the fourth-worst strikeout rate this year (27.3%). Meanwhile, Trevor Rogers is crushing it with a 3.26 SIERA and 33.8% strikeout rate. A 10.0% walk rate and an often modest pitch count should give us some pause, but the matchup is too good to pass up.
Carlos Rodon ($11,200): Few have seen their stock rise as dramatically as Carlos Rodon in 2021, who's quickly gone from a forgotten man to stud pitcher seemingly overnight. We're still only talking about four starts, but it's hard to ignore a 2.81 SIERA and massive 37.9% strikeout rate, and his 17.3% swinging-strike rate exceeds guys like Tyler Glasnow and Max Scherzer. How much will it last? That's the tough question, and his salary is really starting to get up there. The high walk rate remains (9.5%), and the Royals aren't a great matchup for strikeouts (20.3% rate versus lefties from 2020-21). Still, I'm willing to buy into some of these improvements sticking behind his improved fastball, and workload isn't an issue for him, either, with at least 95 pitches in every start.
Jack Flaherty ($10,200): I'm not sure there's ever truly a "safe" play in MLB DFS because baseball is a funny game sometimes, but if you're more comfortable rostering someone with a longer track record of success, look no further than Jack Flaherty. The right-hander's 25.9% strikeout rate doesn't pop on a slate this size, but he's coming off a nine-strikeout start, and with a career 28.9% rate, there isn't any reason to think he can't bump that up over the long haul. His matchup is also one of the slate's best, as the Rockies' lack of punch on the road is well-documented (3.13 implied total).
Minnesota Twins: Sadly, we probably won't see Byron Buxton today after he suffered a hip strain yesterday, but we still have to love this spot for the Twins. Left-hander Tarik Skubal is getting obliterated by right-handed batters this season, posting an 8.24 xFIP, 12.5% strikeout rate, and 12.5% walk rate in the split. All eight of the home runs he's allowed have come off righty sticks.
Nelson Cruz ($3,900) has long been a thorn in the side of opposing lefties, so you'll want to fit him in if you can, but it's nuts how little salary you'll need to allocate for anyone else in this lineup. Josh Donaldson ($3,100), Mitch Garver ($2,700), and Miguel Sano ($2,500) can all knock it out of the park, and Kyle Garlick ($2,000) is minimum salary and bats in the heart of the order when he starts.
Between a struggling starter, low batter salaries, and a poor Detroit bullpen, this is an easy stack to get on board with tonight.
New York Yankees: Patrick Corbin hasn't been able to find the form that made him so great in 2018 and 2019, and facing a righty-heavy Yankees lineup probably won't end well for him. Corbin is getting lit up for 6.24 xFIP against righties, with both his strikeouts and walks heading in the wrong direction.
As always, the power duo of Giancarlo Stanton ($3,800) and Aaron Judge ($3,700) are top candidates to hit some dingers, but much like the Twins, you don't necessarily need to dole out much cap room to stack these Bronx Bombers up. DJ LeMahieu ($3,200), Gleyber Torres ($3,000), Aaron Hicks ($2,700), and Clint Frazier ($2,200) are all at low salaries.
Chicago White Sox: While Brad Keller hasn't always been a great pitcher to attack due to his solid ground-ball rate and lack of home runs allowed, his punchouts have completely dried up this year, with a 13.6% strikeout rate that ranks as one of the worst of the slate. In fact, against right-handed bats, that rate drops to an even worse 7.7%, and he's never held particularly strong splits versus lefties. Add in a high walk rate, and this could spell disaster for Keller against the Sox.
Tim Anderson ($3,700) is up there in salary, but we can grab Jose Abreu ($3,200), Yoan Moncada ($3,200), and Yermin Mercedes ($2,800) in the heart of the order. Yasmani Grandal ($2,700) and Andrew Vaughn ($2,100) offer some value lower in the lineup, too. Grandal owns a ridiculously low .125 BABIP, so he's likely performed better at the plate than his surface numbers would suggest.