FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 9/4/21
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 projections and 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.
For me, Tyler Mahle ($9,600 on FanDuel) is the clear top choice at pitcher. He's at home against the Detroit Tigers, and while Detroit erupted last night, that was an outlier. In August, the Tigers had the third-worst wOBA (.288) with the fifth-highest strikeout rate (25.3%). Mahle sports a 3.71 SIERA and 28.1% strikeout rate. The Tigers' 3.65 implied total is the slate's lowest, and our model slots Mahle first among hurlers, projecting him for 36.8 FanDuel points. At -198, the Cincinnati Reds are the biggest moneyline favorites of the night.
Oddsmakers like Joe Musgrove ($9,200) and Framber Valdez ($9,800) more than I do, but they're the only two other high-ceiling options. They're facing each other in Petco in a game with a lowly 7.5-run total.
Musgrove has been lights out lately, producing 64 and 46 FanDuel points in his last two starts. The issue is his matchup with the Houston Astros is as tough as it gets. For the season, Houston is tops in wOBA (.334) with the lowest strikeout rate (19.6%). But our model has Musgrove pegged for 33.2 FanDuel points while Houston's 3.68 implied total is the second-lowest.
As for Valdez, his matchup is better, because the San Diego Padres are riding the struggle bus. San Diego posted the sixth-worst wOBA (.295) in August, and they hold a 3.81 implied total for this one. Valdez has scored at least 30 FanDuel points in four consecutive starts, including three outings of at least 43. We forecast him to total 36.2 FanDuel points, the second-most.
You've got to do some mental gymnastics to get excited about anyone else. Of the lot, Marco Gonzales ($8,400) is a guy I can at least somewhat get behind.
Gonzalez checks the matchup box as he's on the road at the Arizona Diamondbacks. Over the last 30 days, Arizona owns the 6th-highest strikeout rate (25.1%) with the 17th-best wOBA (.310). The matchup is the key thing, because Gonzales doesn't bring too much strikeout upside, coming into this one with an 18.9% strikeout rate.
Stacks to Target
Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies
Coors Field is popular on full slates, so it's going to be the chalk spot on this eight-gamer. The pitching matchup is Ian Anderson versus German Marquez. Both guys are pretty solid, and it wouldn't shock me to see this be a lower-scoring game (at least in Coors terms). That's not what oddsmakers are expecting as the Atlanta Braves (5.38) have the slate's highest implied total while the Colorado Rockies (5.12) check in third.
You know the drill with Coors -- every starter is worth a look. I'm not going to rattle off all of the good plays, but I'll hit on a couple.
Our model prefers the Braves' side, ranking Ozzie Albies ($4,000), Jorge Soler ($3,900) and Austin Riley ($4,100) as top-five bats. C.J. Cron ($4,100) is the top-projected hitter for the Rox. In the value range, Garrett Hampson ($2,600) could start -- and possibly hit high in the order -- in place of Connor Joe, who exited early last night.
The Reds underwhelmed Friday in what looked like a smash spot against Tyler Alexander. We can go right back to Cincy today in another great matchup as they're hosting Matt Boyd. The Reds' 5.14 implied total is the second-best clip on the slate. Righties need to be our focus. In the split this year, Boyd's strikeout rate is just 18.8%, and he's permitting a 45.8% fly-ball rate.
Nick Castellanos ($4,400) and Jonathan India ($3,700) are the pillars of a right-handed Reds stack. Castellanos boasts a .391 wOBA and 43.7% hard-hit rate against southpaws. Oddly enough, India also has a .391 wOBA in the split, and he put up a 40.8% hard-hit rate in August.
The rest of Cincinnati's righties are much lower in salary. Eugenio Suarez ($3,100), Kyle Farmer ($3,100), Tyler Stephenson ($2,600) and Aristides Aquino ($2,400) are projected to start. We rank Stephenson as the seventh-best point-per-dollar value, and Aquino is one of my favorite plays on the slate.
While Boyd is tougher on lefties, Joey Votto ($3,600) could get a couple plate appearances against the Tigers' bullpen, and Votto is more than capable of doing damage in lefty-lefty clashes.
Chicago White Sox
Luis Robert ($4,200), Yoan Moncada ($3,500), Jose Abreu ($4,100) and Eloy Jimenez ($3,600) are likely to hit 1-4 -- in that order. Yasmani Grandal ($3,500) is another high-salary stick we can turn to. He's popped four dingers across his past six games.
The Pale Hose offer a little value, as well, in Andrew Vaughn ($2,500). We have Vaughn as the number-two point-per-dollar hitter, and he's mashed lefties to the tune of a .427 wOBA and eight jacks in 126 plate appearances.