FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 8/1/21
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.
Our model has Jose Berrios ($9,000 on FanDuel) and Charlie Morton ($8,800) in their own tier at the top of the pitcher projections. Each has a good matchup and is easy to like at their salary. I'll have some of both. Between the two, I prefer Morton.
Morton has scored at least 34 FanDuel points in six of his last eight outings. He is at home against the Milwaukee Brewers. While Milwaukee has been good offensively the last month, sitting fifth in wOBA (.338), they still offer strikeout upside. Over that 30-day span, they own the ninth-highest strikeout rate (23.8%), and they have the sixth-highest clip for the season (25.4%). With a 27.7% strikeout rate, Morton can rack up punchouts in this spot.
Berrios is making his debut for the Toronto Blue Jays. He's been more volatile than Morton, with outputs of 6, 52, 27, 33 and 37 FanDuel points across his past five. On a slate without many high-upside hurlers, Berrios could be the key piece if he hits on that ceiling. It's possible against the Kansas City Royals, who are 28th in wOBA (.303). Berrios has a career-high 25.7% strikeout rate and has fanned at least eight in three of his last four starts.
A matchup with the Miami Marlins makes Jordan Montgomery ($8,000) an appealing mid-range target. It's not like Montgomery is bad -- dude has 24.3% strikeout rate and 13.3% swinging-strike rate -- but he's not very efficient, going six innings only three times in his last nine starts in spite of the New York Yankees letting him throw 90-plus pitches in five of those outings. But Montgomery can do work today against a Marlins lineup that will be one the worst in baseball the rest of the way.
I suspect most lineups will have one of the three aforementioned guys at pitcher, so Adam Wainwright ($9,700) -- the highest-salaried arm -- could slip through the cracks. He doesn't have as good of a matchup as the other three do, but the Minnesota Twins are only an average offense. Wainwright sports a 3.99 SIERA, his best mark since 2015, and his 23.1% strikeout rate is his highest since 2010. He's been legit good and profiles as a quality contrarian play.
Stacks to Target
New York Yankees
Editor's Note: Sandy Alcantara is now starting for Miami. The Yankees' implied total is only 3.84, and they are no longer on the stacking radar for me.
The Yanks are on the road against rookie lefty Braxton Garrett. The Bronx Bombers' offensive woes have been well-documented, but they can eat today. Garrett put up a mere 23.3% strikeout rate in 54 2/3 Triple-A innings in this year, and he's got a 20.2% strikeout rate in his small sample of 22 2/3 MLB frames.
New York can be really right-handed if they choose to be. Aaron Judge ($4,000) is our model's number-two hitter for the slate, and he's mashed his way to a .429 wOBA and 54.7% hard-hit rate against southpaws. Giancarlo Stanton ($3,300), Gary Sanchez ($3,000) and Gleyber Torres ($3,200) will all hit from the right side and should be in meaty spots in the order, with Torres possibly leading off if DJ LeMahieu ($3,000) can't go. Like LeMahieu, Gio Urshela ($2,600) is banged up, but both guys would be fine stacking pieces if they're in there.
A few times this week, the Detroit Tigers have been in a stacking spot. They are once more as they get right-hander Spenser Watkins, the owner of 5.59 SIERA and 16.1% strikeout rate in his first 20 1/3 innings in the bigs. Over the last 30 days, Detroit is ninth in wOBA (.332) with the fifth-most jacks (37). They hold a 5.23 implied total, and the wind is blowing out in the Motor City.
Akil Baddoo ($3,400) checks in as the slate's eighth-best bat, according to our projections, and he carries the lowest salary of anyone in the top eight. Robbie Grossman ($3,200) is having a really nice year with 16 dingers and 12 steals. He's hot right now, coming off a July in which he had a .396 wOBA.
The Philadelphia Phillies are away from home versus Mitch Keller. Once a top prospect, Keller has had a rough go of it in the big leagues, recording a 4.99 SIERA in 47 1/3 innings this year before getting sent down. This is his first start since being recalled.
Andrew McCutchen ($3,500) and Rhys Hoskins ($3,600) are both injury question marks. If they're out, it dings the Phils' outlook, but I'm still into them -- likely more for two-man stacks than four-man ones.
The Phillies boast a 4.95 implied total, and our algorithm has Bryce Harper ($4,300) as the slate's top stick. Harper quietly has 12 steals this season, and he's crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a .417 wOBA and 47.7% hard-hit rate.
Eligible at second, short and third, Jean Segura ($3,200) is a very handy piece who can help the puzzle fit together. He's the guy I'll pair with Harper the most in two-man stacks. Odubel Herrera ($2,600) and Didi Gregorius ($2,600) are low-salary options who will have the platoon advantage versus Keller.