FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/31/21
It's a fairly deep slate for pitching, and while matchups move a few guys up or down the list, you might want to spread things out in tournaments. The top stacks are pretty clear, but some offenses we aren't always into could be a factor tonight.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Lucas Giolito ($10,200): There are a lot of intriguing arms to choose from tonight, but it's hard to beat Giolito's cupcake matchup against the Pirates. Pittsburgh checks in with a 3.28 implied total, one of the lowest on the board, and their active roster is showing an 81 wRC+ and 23.4% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching. Giolito's underlying numbers can hang with anyone'a on the slate, so the soft opponent puts him over the top. He's enjoying a fine campaign with a 3.63 SIERA, 28.3% strikeout rate, and 7.0% walk rate.
Walker Buehler ($11,300): Buehler gets a tougher matchup against Atlanta, but few, if any, have been as consistent as him. In reverse chronological order, here are his last nine FanDuel scores: 48, 51, 52, 49, 34, 55, 50, 49, and 49 points. Over that span, he's produced a 3.37 SIERA, 30.1% strikeout rate, 7.6% walk rate, and 49.0% ground-ball rate. The Dodgers have uncharacteristically let him loose in the month of August, too, allowing him to log pitch counts of 106, 107, 110, 95, and 113.
On the year, he's also been a quality-start machine with a league-high 23, meaning he's failed to record a quality start just three times in 2021. And while the Braves have plenty of thump in their lineup, they also carry a 24.2% strikeout rate versus righties. Oddsmakers are also giving a lot of respect to Buehler, as Atlanta is displaying a modest 3.22 implied total.
Lance McCullers ($9,200): Free passes are always the concern with McCullers due to an 11.0% walk rate, but he otherwise checks off a lot of boxes with a high strikeout rate (27.8%) and ground-ball rate (54.8%) against a weaker opponent in the Mariners. Seattle's active roster owns a 90 wRC+ and 25.7% strikeout rate against right-handers, and they're yet another team with a lower implied total (3.56).
Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are an obvious top stack again tonight, this time displaying a hefty 6.19 implied total against left-hander Keegan Akin. As per usual, we're mostly concerned with splits versus right-handed batters when it comes to Toronto, and Akin has struggled mightily in the split, posting a 5.52 xFIP, 17.2% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate. He's also been susceptible to home runs due to a 42.9% fly-ball rate.
This truly is a lineup you can stack from top to bottom, with a clear focus on the top five bats now that George Springer ($3,800) is back from injury and batting leadoff again. But there's nothing wrong with dipping your toes in the bottom of the order, where we can find Alejandro Kirk ($2,100), Lourdes Gurriel ($3,000), Randal Grichuk ($2,700), and Kevin Smith ($2,000) as low-salaried options -- all of whom have a bit of power.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox aren't far behind the Blue Jays with a 5.72 implied total, and they should be able to take care of business against Bryse Wilson. The young right-hander hasn't found much success this year behind a 5.06 SIERA, 16.3% strikeout rate, and 35.3% ground-ball rate.
Lefties especially have the advantage, as he has a 5.79 xFIP and 12.4% strikeout rate in the split. That's an advantage to switch-hitters Yoan Moncada ($3,500) and Yasmani Grandal ($3,200), and lefty Brian Goodwin ($2,400) has a solid .180 ISO if he's in the lineup.
Wilson also has a pedestrian 20.5% strikeout rate and 43.6% ground-ball rate in same-sided matchups, so all the right-handed studs at the top of the order shouldn't have any trouble getting to him, too.
But for a team that might not get as much attention, the Rockies are facing walking home run machine Jordan Lyles. We all know Colorado is awful on the road, so this could absolutely go poorly, but even they must be considered against someone who has allowed 33 dingers this year, the second-most in 2021 behind Mike Foltynewicz. Lyles is giving up 2.09 homers per nine innings off a 41.8% fly-ball rate and 39.5% hard-hit rate, and both righties and lefties have given him trouble.
In terms of power, C.J. Cron ($3,800) is the top choice, and that's reflected in his team-high salary. Trevor Story ($3,400) hasn't had his best campaign, but he's still putting up a 39.7% hard-hit rate and 43.5% fly-ball rate. Connor Joe ($3,100) and Brendan Rodgers ($2,700) have value if they continue to bat first and second, while Charlie Blackmon ($3,500) and Ryan McMahon ($3,200) will have the platoon advantage.