FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 7/4/22
A seven-game slate awaits us to start a holiday week. Although it's not the largest slate, we still have a few big arms to examine. There's value on the mound, as well, though not terribly exciting value. What does that leave for our stacks, then?
Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!
Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Carlos Rodon (FanDuel Salary: $10,900) - A road matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks awaits Rodon on Monday night. Arizona's active roster ranks 21st in strikeout rate (22.8%) and just 27th in wRC+ (92). Arizona also ranks just 28th in wRC+ (91) against left-handed pitching specifically while lacking pop (their .143 ISO in this split is just 22nd in the Majors). With a mid-level strikeout rate against lefties (21.5%), Arizona brings nothing specific about this matchup to worry about when it comes to Rodon.
Among main-slate starters, Rodon leads in strikeout rate (30.3%), called-strike-plus-whiff rate (30.2%), and SIERA (3.19). Everything sets up well for Rodon tonight. Among the quartet of pitchers with salaries of at least $10,000, Rodon is my top choice for pure upside.
Alek Manoah ($11,000) - Manoah deserves plenty of attention to himself because he sets up well and has a park factor advantage over Rodon. However, he comes with much less strikeout upside (I have him projected for a 22.7% strikeout rate compared to a stellar 30.6% mark for Rodon).
That said, a high floor can be expected for Manoah, who is second in walk rate and first in hard-hit rate allowed to opponents. The Oakland Athletics are only 28th in active-roster wRC+ (91) and 23rd in barrel rate (6.5%). They're also owners of a 91 wRC+ and a .131 ISO against righties, both bottom-five marks in the MLB.
Manoah's 2.09 ERA is a bit inflated (his SIERA is 3.71, and his xFIP is 3.71), yet he is firmly in the mix for the top pitching option given the safety.
Julio Urias ($9,500) - If wanting to build around the bats tonight, then Urias might be your man if you're willing to embrace some risk. He can let up fly balls (he's 12th on the slate in fly-ball rate) but mitigates hard contact (3rd), and the Colorado Rockies' active roster is 28th in barrel rate (5.9%).
It's very worth noting that the Rockies hit lefties a lot better (121 wRC+) than righties (83 wRC+). That said, if you want safety, you often have to allocate heavy salary to your pitchers. My model actually rates Urias in the same tier as Sean Manaea ($10,000) but at some solid savings.
Madison Bumgarner ($7,200) - While I'm featuring Bumgarner, I don't really see the case to play him. The odds Bumgarner ends up on the same tier as Manoah, Rodon, or Manaea are low, so you have to bank on duds from one (if not all) of them and for Bumgarner to take advantage of his matchup. That said, if you want a value pitcher, Bumgarner has the best overall case.
The San Francisco Giants are a middling offense across the board (15th in barrel rate, 13th in strikeout rate, and 10th in wRC+) but have a top-eight strikeout rate (23.4%) and ISO (.183) against lefties. There's risk, but the salary helps out a lot.
As for Bumgarner himself, he can generate ground-balls (41.2%, 4th on the main slate) and could plod his way to a high-floor, low-ceiling outing. On a per-FanDuel-dollar basis, Bumgarner will be rating out well in optimizers, yet the upside is fair to question, given the 16.5% strikeout rate. I'll go elsewhere.
New York Mets
There is some risk with the New York Mets' bats against Hunter Greene, owner of a 28.9% strikeout rate (2nd on the main slate), a 28.4% called-strike-plus-whiff rate (4th), and a 3.76 SIERA (4th). But the batted-ball data is quite bad for Green (a 53.9% fly-ball rate and a 34.0% hard-hit rate) to rank in the bottom three among the 14 main-slate starters.
The Mets boast a 115 wRC+ against right-handed pitching with a 19.5% strikeout rate in the split to rank them 4th-lowest in the Majors in that department. Their high rate of contact could get Greene in trouble and get into a bullpen with an xFIP- of 111.
Elevated salaries for Starling Marte ($3,700), Francisco Lindor ($3,700), and Pete Alonso ($3,900) can be offset with Brandon Nimmo ($2,900), Jeff McNeil ($2,800), and Eduardo Escobar ($2,800). Alonso has +215 odds to homer according to FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB prop betting lines -- best of the entire day. He's also the most likely homer candidate, according to my projections. Lindor (+330) and Escobar (+390) also have nice homer odds.
A lot sets up well for the Atlanta Braves, who are a high-strikeout offense (their 25.6% strikeout rate puts them 29th in the MLB).
That said, they're drawing a start from Dakota Hudson, whose 15.4% strikeout rate is worst among the main slate starters, and even his called-strike-plus-whiff rate (24.9%) isn't anything too worrisome (that ranks him 10th). So, they should be able to generate contact in this matchup.
The overall potential of an explosion is hard to hate here. Atlanta is first in the Majors in barrel rate at 12.7%, and if Hudson isn't sitting them down, then we could be looking at the slate's top-scoring offense.
The biggest issue is salary, so they're best paired with someone such as Urias in an attempt to differentiate -- or with a value stack to round out a lineup.
Ronald Acuna ($4,300), Dansby Swanson ($3,600), Matt Olson ($3,800), Austin Riley ($3,700), and Travis d'Arnaud ($3,500) don't offer any salary reprieve at the top fo the lineup, but the upside is obvious. Acuna, Olson, and Riley are +340 or shorter to homer. Marcell Ozuna ($2,900) and Adam Duvall ($2,600) are +400.
San Francisco Giants
Yes, this is a stack against a pitcher recommendation -- though, to be fair, Bumgarner is only on the list because of his salary.
Bumgarner's got plenty of issues, including a 39.2% hard-hit rate (worst on the main slate among starters) and a weak 4.72 SIERA. San Francisco (as mentioned above) can get to left-handed pitching.
Austin Slater ($2,600), Wilmer Flores ($2,700), Joc Pederson ($3,200), Darin Ruf ($2,600), Evan Longoria ($2,900), and Mike Yastrzemski ($2,900) make for their own value stack or can be a two- or three-man stack to round out lineups.
Ruf (+330), Yastrzemski (+340), Pederson (+340), Longoria (+350), and Flores (+360) are all in solid territory to go yard.