FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 5/16/21
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.
McCullers owns a 3.84 SIERA and 28.5% strikeout rate, and he brings that swing-and-miss upside into a nice matchup with the Texas Rangers, a team with the ninth-highest strikeout rate (26.0%). We project McCullers for a slate-best 36.1 FanDuel points, and Texas has a 3.42 implied total that is the lowest on the slate.
At the same salary, Ynoa is equally as appealing, and he has an even better matchup, squaring off with the Milwaukee Brewers, who sit third-worst in wOBA (.290) and have the fourth-highest strikeout rate (26.6%). Ynoa has dealt this year to the tune of a 3.21 SIERA and 28.4% strikeout rate. Our model isn't super high on him, but the Brewers hold a meager 3.53 implied total.
Cease -- who boasts a 31.8% strikeout rate -- has just as much upside as McCullers and Ynoa do, but his 11.5% walk rate makes him a bit riskier, although that's factored into his salary. He's up against a Kansas City Royals team that has a 3.58 implied total, and we forecast Cease to post 28.8 FanDuel points.
Montgomery has pitched to a 3.72 SIERA, 24.2% strikeout rate, 5.9% walk rate and 12.8% swinging-strike rate this year. It's unusual for us to be able to get access to those kind of numbers for a salary in the $6,000s. The matchup is there, too, versus the Baltimore Orioles, who have the fifth-worst wOBA (.291). Montgomery should be a sweet point-per-dollar play.
Stacks to Target
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays get a dream date with Chase Anderson in homer-happy Dunedin, Florida. Anderson has a 5.03 SIERA this year and is allowing a 40.2% fly-ball rate while striking out only 18.8% of hitters. The Jays carry a massive -- and slate-high -- 5.66 implied total.
You don't need me to elaborate on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,800) and Bo Bichette ($3,700), both of whom figure to be among the slate's most popular bats. If you want to avoid the chalk and/or save some coin, Rowdy Tellez ($2,200) and Cavan Biggio ($2,400) will have the platoon advantage. Biggio is having a rough 2021, but he put up a 45.1% fly-ball rate against righties a year ago.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees were originally supposed to face John Means, but Means had his start pushed back. That's a huge break for the Yanks as they're now going to see Adam Plutko, the owner of a 5.33 SIERA since the start of 2020.
On a slate where the top pitching options -- at least in my eyes -- carry modest salaries, it shouldn't be too hard to jam in the Yanks you want. Plus, they're not all that hard to get to anyway. Giancarlo Stanton ($3,600) and Aaron Judge ($3,400) have huge upside, though Stanton did sit on Saturday.
DJ LeMahieu ($3,100) and Luke Voit ($3,000) are the only other bats at or above $3,000. Mike Ford ($2,100) will have the platoon advantage if he gets in the lineup, and there is a chance Gleyber Torres ($2,800) is activated for this one. Brett Gardner ($2,000) is a viable minimum-salary dart throw.
San Francisco Giants
While I very easily could've written up the Boston Red Sox for their home date with Jose Quintana, I wanted to get a little weird with my final stack since the Red Sox, Yankees and Jays will likely be the three most popular stacks.
So let's talk about the San Francisco Giants, who have a 4.43 implied total for their road clash with Mitch Keller. Once an elite prospect, it's just not happening for Keller (so the Pittsburgh Pirates will probably deal him and he'll thrive elsewhere). Since the start of 2020, he's got a 5.85 SIERA, 19.3% strikeout rate and 16.1% walk rate. Yikes.
Even if you don't want to go to San Fran for four-man stacks, they're a great place to look for two-man stacks or one-off plays.
Our model ranks Brandon Belt ($2,900) as the top overall hitter on the slate, and Evan Longoria ($2,900) slots in 10th in our projections. Mike Yastrzemski ($3,000) is a dude I really want from this lineup if he is able to return after missing Saturday's game, and Brandon Crawford ($3,000) will have the platoon advantage versus Keller.