FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/2/21
While there are some quality pitchers going this evening -- as one would expect from a 14-game slate -- we're short on elite arms, so this slate definitely sides more with hitters. Not only is there a game at Coors Field, but in total, we see 7 games with implied totals over 5.00 runs and a dozen surpassing 4.50. There will definitely be some favorable hitting matchups that fly under the radar tonight.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Lance Lynn ($10,000): When factoring in matchups, Lynn is the night's top hurler in a plum spot versus Detroit. Max Scherzer is obviously the superior talent and is always in play, but he gets dinged for his rough matchup against the Dodgers, giving Lynn a slight edge.
Lynn is enjoying a stellar 2021 campaign, and while he hasn't necessarily been quite as good as that squeaky clean 2.06 ERA would suggest, his 3.62 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate are all fine marks.
As for the Tigers, they actually haven't been pushovers over the last month, but this is still a team that owns a 93 wRC+ and 26.1% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching this season. However, Lynn does have a wide gap in strikeout rate against righties (34.6%) compared to lefties (22.5%), which could put a damper on his upside, as roughly half of Detroit's lineup ought to be comprised of lefties or switch-hitters. Still, of Friday's high-strikeout arms, Lynn is arguably in the best spot to succeed.
Logan Gilbert ($7,200): Once you get past Lynn and Scherzer -- the only two pitchers above $10,000 -- you get a plethora of notable names at just about every salary tier. And yet, there aren't necessarily any matchups that truly stand out above the rest in the mid-range, so there's a strong case for just diving straight down into the bargain bin -- especially with Coors bats looking rather inviting tonight.
One hurler of interest is Gilbert, who's quietly produced solid numbers over eight starts and faces a beatable Rangers lineup. But what might surprise you is just how good he's been over the past month, posting a 3.33 SIERA, 30.3% strikeout rate, and 6.6% walk rate in June. Those are downright elite numbers at any salary, let alone for a guy barely above $7,000. Add in a Texas team with a 90 wRC+ and 24.9% strikeout rate against righties, and there could be some real upside to be had here.
Gilbert's yet to have a truly eye-popping FanDuel score this season, but his season-high single-game output is a rock-solid 45 points, and his arrow is clearly pointing up. Workload also isn't a concern, as if we exclude his recent rain-shorted start, he's logged 100, 92, and 105 in his other three June outings.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($7,400): The ERA is ugly -- really ugly -- but Rodriguez's peripheral numbers aren't as bad as you might think. With Rodriguez's comically high .374 BABIP, few have been as unlucky as he has, and his 3.38 xERA also reflects this.
He's also another pitcher who looks to be on the rise. Although his real-life results have remained inconsistent, the Red Sox left-hander recorded a 3.12 SIERA, 31.0% strikeout rate, and 5.3% walk rate over five June starts, and he's coming off one of his best outings of the season, notching 46 FanDuel points in an 8-strikeout victory over the Yankees.
Unlike Gilbert, Rodriguez's opponent is a tougher customer in the Athletics, which adds some risk, but pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum and cooler temperatures should help him turn fly balls into outs. While a look at the southpaw's game log will probably make you queasy, this could be a buy-low opportunity for a pitcher who has mostly been snakebitten so far this season.
Others to Consider: Max Scherzer ($11,000), Alex Wood ($8,300)
St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies: The Cardinals and Rockies combined for only seven runs on Thursday, but it wouldn't be surprising to see them hurdle that with ease tonight. Chi Chi Gonzalez and Johan Oviedo aren't exactly world-beaters on the mound, leading to this game garnering a massive 12.5 over/under.
Starting with Gonzalez, he's consistently put up poor numbers for the majority of his career, and this season is no exception. The Colorado right-hander has tallied a 5.08 SIERA, 13.8% strikeout rate, and 41.5% ground-ball rate this season, which means the Cardinals shouldn't have any trouble racking up line drives and fly balls.
All the same sluggers are in play as yesterday, but we're seeing a collective salary bump across the board, so it will be even more difficult to fit in Nolan Arenado ($4,400), Paul Goldschmidt ($4,100), and Tyler O'Neill ($4,000). Harrison Bader ($3,000) returned from the injured list last night, and he's the lone value of the bunch.
On the other side, Oviedo isn't much better than Gonzalez, though his woes largely come from a lack of control. The right-hander carries a 5.31 SIERA, 17.7% strikeout rate, and 12.6% walk rate, setting the stage for the Rockies to pile it on, too. Oviedo gets grounders against lefties and strikeouts versus righties, but his walk rate and xFIP are equally terrible in both splits, so this is an all-around great spot for everyone in the lineup.
Once again, we're prioritizing the same guys as Thursday, with Trevor Story ($4,100), Ryan McMahon ($4,000), Charlie Blackmon ($3,700), and C.J. Cron ($3,500) being the top choices when possible. Yonathan Daza ($3,000) remains a value out of the two-hole, and Garrett Hampson ($3,100) joins him if he's batting high in the order again.
Houston Astros: The two Coors teams arguably belong in a tier of their own, but they also ought to see high draft percentages, and as noted from the start, there are plenty of other ways we can go.
The Astros are one such choice against left-hander Sam Hentges, who has struggled in his first big league campaign. While Hentges hasn't been quite as bad as his ghastly 7.32 ERA -- he's suffered from an inflated .415 BABIP -- his xERA is a bottom-of-the-barrel 6.82. Plus, it's not like a 22.2% strikeout rate and 11.7% walk rate scare us, particularly when the Astros' deep lineup is who we're stacking.
Despite being a lefty, Hentges still struggles in same-sided matchups, so Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) is the top power bat, and we can also get Michael Brantley ($3,400) and Kyle Tucker ($3,300) at mid-range salaries. If you're rostering a value pitcher, then Jose Altuve ($4,100) and Carlos Correa ($3,800) are also stellar additions to stacks.
Cincinnati Reds: Alec Mills takes the hill for the Cubs, and he's been thoroughly mediocre through 37.0 innings between the bullpen and rotation. He has one of the lowest strikeout rates on the board (15.6%), which will mean that Reds should have plenty of chances to take advantage of their hitter-friendly home ballpark, and that's reflected in their generous 5.18 implied total.
But it's the left-handed bats who especially benefit tonight. While Mills typically performs fairly well against right-handed bats due to a high ground-ball rate, his track record is poor versus lefties, and this year's small sample is no different, with a 5.24 xFIP, 12.5% strikeout rate, and 8.3% walk rate in the split. If nothing else, this means that Jesse Winker ($4,000) is a fantastic one-off, and Joey Votto ($3,300) will also benefit.
Despite the high ground-ball rate, Mills' lack of punchouts means the Reds' power righty sticks are still in a plenty good spot, too, so Nick Castellanos ($4,000) and Eugenio Suarez ($2,900) are also viable choices. Additionally, Jonathan India ($3,000) gives us a value batting leadoff ahead of all these guys.