FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/1/21
A pair of elite arms headline tonight's slate, but perhaps they aren't the sure things they were earlier in the season. Should that deter us at all? As for potential stacks, Coors Field stands out as usual with the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies both carrying the highest implied totals of the slate. Unfortunately, weather is something we need to keep an eye on again in a few spots. In particular, the Dodgers-Nationals game appears to be the diciest spot.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Jacob deGrom ($11,500): deGrom allowed two earned runs for the first time all season in his last start, which just goes to show how absurdly good he's been in 2021. Prior to that, he had allowed just four earned runs all season. But that start was also his lowest strikeout total of the season (five), and he's now failed to hit 40 FanDuel points in three straight starts.
That being said, this has mostly been due to low pitch counts because of injury concerns, and the one positive of his last outing was that he got back up at 88 pitches, which is actually his highest number since the end of April. And deGrom has still been his usual self on a per-inning basis with a 2.00 SIERA, 42.1% strikeout rate, and 4.2% walk rate in the month of June. He doesn't have the easiest opponent in the Braves, but Atlanta does own a 25.0% strikeout rate versus righties, so it isn't all bad.
Ultimately, rostering deGrom requires a small leap of faith -- particularly at this salary -- but if both the workload and health are there, we know the upside is sky-high.
Corbin Burnes ($10,600): Burnes is the other elite arm on the slate, but the question marks surrounding him are of a different variety. He's submitted inconsistent results following MLB's foreign substance crackdown, which includes two performances below 30 FanDuel points this month. And yet, he's still posted a 2.84 SIERA, 34.7% strikeout rate, and 7.1% walk rate in June, and prior to those recent stumbles, he obliterated the Diamondbacks for 70 FanDuel points.
Outside of deGrom, there aren't any obvious arms who can contend with Burnes, even with a slight dip in firepower. He's facing the Pirates, who are one of the recent opponents he struggled against, but seeing as he endured a .750 BABIP in that game despite allowing a minuscule 8.3% hard-hit rate, it's pretty easy to write that off as a fluke. Plus, this is the Pirates we're talking about, who are one of the worst offenses in the league. I expect Burnes to exact his revenge tonight and contend for the top score of the night.
Ian Anderson ($8,400): On the value side of things, Anderson is arguably the lone guy who stands out. He's put up a 3.78 SIERA, 26.1% strikeout rate, and 8.6% walk rate this season, and there hasn't been any noticeable drop in his underlying numbers across his recent outings. Anderson isn't someone who's produced tournament-winning scores very often, but the Mets are the right matchup to boost his upside, as they check in with a 91 wRC+ and 24.0% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching. He's your best bet if you're looking to stack high-salaried bats, which isn't a bad choice on a Coors Field slate.
Others to Consider: Framber Valdez ($10,200)
The Cardinals draw the more enticing matchup of the two, as they're facing Antonio Senzatela, a regular in these parts. You probably know the drill by now: Senzatela gets grounders (52.2% rate), which helps him prevent home runs, but he also doesn't strike anyone out (15.3% rate), meaning he allows all sorts of balls in play.
And despite the Cardinals' struggles at the plate, it's not like there aren't any notable names on this team. Nolan Arenado ($4,200), Paul Goldschmidt ($4,100), and Tyler O'Neill ($3,800) are hardly a bunch of scrubs, and O'Neill, in particular, is enjoying an excellent campaign with a .396 xwOBA and .617 xSLG.
Additionally, Dylan Carlson ($3,300) gives us the leadoff man at a reasonable salary, while Paul DeJong ($3,500) has solid power lower in the order with an 11.6% barrel rate. Prospect Lars Nootbaar ($2,600) should be in the lineup as a value option, and while he hasn't done much since getting called up last week, he was slashing .329/.430/.557 in Triple-A and doesn't strike out much, so he could be worth taking a chance on to help fit in the high-salaried sticks.
I'm less interested in the Colorado side because of their tougher matchup with Adam Wainwright, who's recorded a 3.82 SIERA, 24.1% strikeout rate, 6.8% walk rate, and 48.6% ground-ball rate. He also has pretty even splits, so there isn't necessarily a distinct advantage to be found there, either. But I'm guessing the Rockies will also be the less popular of these two teams, so for that reason alone, we should still keep them on our radar and hope Coors Field does its thing.
Trevor Story ($4,300), Ryan McMahon ($4,100), Charlie Blackmon ($3,700), and C.J. Cron ($3,300) are the guys to prioritize. For salary-savers, Yonathan Daza ($3,000) has zero power but should bat second, and Brendan Rodgers ($3,000) is showing respectable power lower in the order with a .173 ISO.
Los Angeles Dodgers: As noted at the start, rain could foul things up in Washington, but the Dodgers have a great spot against Patrick Corbin if this one plays. Although Corbin hasn't been getting lit up like he was earlier this season, a quick look at his game log shows that he hasn't exactly been tested by the league's best very often, so he could be in for a rude awakening tonight. He's still tough on lefties, but that hasn't been the case versus righties, where he's put up a 4.68 xFIP and 16.5% strikeout rate, and all 15 of the home runs he's allowed have come against right-handed batters.
This is pretty clearly a spot to roll with Mookie Betts ($4,000), Justin Turner ($3,100), Will Smith ($2,600), and Chris Taylor ($2,800), while the top lefties can round out stacks in the hopes they see lower roster percentages.
Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers have been a boring offense for most of the year, but they've exploded for some big scores lately and now get to face perhaps the weakest hurler on the board. This season, Wil Crowe owns a 4.92 SIERA, 19.1%strikeout rate, and 10.5% walk rate, and he's really struggled to keep the ball in the park lately, allowing two dingers in four of his last six starts.
Crowe's splits are pretty poor against both sides of the plate, so we can comfortably roster any of the top Brewers' top sticks. Christian Yelich ($4,400) is the only batter with a high salary, too, so this is a good team to stack when spending up at pitcher. Avisail Garcia ($3,300), Keston Hiura ($3,200), and Willy Adames ($3,100) are our best options for power, with all three showing double-digit barrel rates.