FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 7/26/21
We have limited pitching options on Monday's smaller slate, but on the flip side, that gives us a plethora of offenses to choose from. Nine different teams have an implied total above 4.50 runs tonight.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Shohei Ohtani ($11,000): Tonight, Ohtani draws perhaps the easiest opponent you could ask for this season: the Rockies on the road. It's remarkable just how much Colorado's offense lags behind everyone else, as their active roster's wRC+ versus righties sits at just 69, and their wRC+ in away games drops to an even worse 62. No other team is remotely close in either split. Unsurprisingly, the Rockies have one of the slate's lowest implied totals (3.65).
While Ohtani does carry a less-than-stellar 11.8% walk rate that can sometimes get him in trouble, his 31.1% strikeout rate is tops on the slate and gives him fantastic upside in such an unimposing matchup. He also threw 96 pitches in his last start, so his pitch count isn't the concern that it was earlier in the season.
Luis Garcia ($10,000): Garcia is the best candidate to keep pace with Ohtani, as he also faces a weak opponent in the Mariners, who check in with a 91 wRC+ and 25.5% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching. And like Colorado, Seattle also owns a middling implied total (3.72).
Garcia is enjoying a productive 2021 campaign, posting a 3.66 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate. The only downside is he isn't always allowed a high pitch count, as he's been held under 90 pitches in back-to-back starts. Still, he's coming off a season-high 52 FanDuel points in his most recent outing against Cleveland, so he's fully capable of putting up a strong score in the right matchups.
German Marquez ($10,200): With just seven games on the slate, we're rather limited in value options. On paper, Michael Pineda has a solid matchup against Detroit, but the Tigers haven't exactly been pushovers lately, and Pineda also only logged 73 pitches in his last start.
For that reason, I might just stick with the higher-salaried options, and Marquez offers us a viable pivot from Ohtani and Garcia. While Marquez stumbled in his most recent start against Seattle, prior to that he posted 58, 49, 52, and 52 FanDuel points, and that included two appearances at Coors Field. For the year, he owns a solid 3.98 SIERA, 24.7% strikeout rate, and 9.1% walk rate, and he's improved all those marks over this recent stretch.
This isn't an amazing matchup against the Angels, who have been an above-average offense this year, but the truth is that there isn't much star power in this current iteration once you get past Ohtani, so there's definitely a path to a ceiling game from Marquez.
Minnesota Twins: The Twins are showing a head-turning 5.47 implied total, and that's because they're facing Matt Manning, who's produced middling numbers across six starts. While Manning's actually had decent results over his last two starts -- including one against Minnesota -- it's unlikely to last given his season marks still sit at an ugly 5.71 SIERA, 10.5% strikeout rate, and 8.1% walk rate.
Manning's put up lackluster peripherals against lefties and righties alike, so we don't have to be picky in stacking the Twins. And even better, their salaries won't take up much cap space, so you can easily roster top bat Josh Donaldson ($3,000), and then guys like Max Kepler ($3,300), Jorge Polanco ($3,400), and Trevor Larnach ($2,700) will all have the platoon advantage and should bat high in the order.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox are right there with the Twins as one of the top stacks on the board, and their 5.94 implied total leads the field. Tom Hatch will make his first appearance of 2021, and despite encouraging past results, his underlying numbers are suspect. In 2020, Hatch enjoyed a 2.73 ERA across 26 1/3 innings as a relief pitcher, but it came with a 4.80 SIERA, 21.1% strikeout rate, and 11.9% walk rate. Similarly, he's put up a 2.15 ERA in eight Triple-A starts this season, but a 4.88 xFIP and double-digit walk rate once again point to regression.
To top it off, this deep Boston lineup isn't exactly a cakewalk, so the odds are against Hatch getting through this start unscathed. The trio of Rafael Devers ($4,000), J.D. Martinez ($3,900), and Xander Bogaerts ($3,500) are all core plays, of course, but there's also nice value in top prospect Jarren Duran ($2,600) -- who should bat second -- along with Alex Verdugo ($2,800) and Hunter Renfrow ($3,100).
Houston Astros: The Astros will face Darren McCaughan tonight, who's making just his second MLB appearance. Although McCaughan allowed just one earned run in a five-inning relief appearance last week, it came with zero walks and three strikeouts, so it sure looks like he was more lucky than good.
Additionally, he has an underwhelming 5.36 xFIP across 10 Triple-A starts this season alongside a pedestrian 18.9% strikeout rate. There just isn't a lot to suggest the 25-year-old is prepared to handle one of the top lineups in baseball.
In terms of power, Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) and Kyle Tucker ($3,600) are top choices with the platoon advantage, and then we get plenty of appealing low-salaried options through Michael Brantley ($3,000), Carlos Correa ($2,900), and Yuli Gurriel ($2,800).