FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/22/22
Friday's slate feels lot like Opening Day, with aces galore dominating the top of tonight's pitching selection. On the flip side, the depth at pitcher results in lower implied totals across the board, leaving few obvious options for offense. As of this writing, no team cracks a five-run implied total.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Max Scherzer ($11,500): We have three pitchers salaried at $11,000 and above between Scherzer, Corbin Burnes, and Shohei Ohtani, and you'll get no pushback from me if you want to roster all of them tonight.
All three not only have the best season-long marks of the slate, but they were crushing it before the break, and it wouldn't be shocking to see any of them come away with double-digit strikeouts tonight. Ohtani faces the most dangerous offense in the Braves, but it's also the best opponent for the strikeouts in this trio.
If I'm giving the edge to one, though, it might be Scherzer, who has a less dangerous matchup than Ohtani against the Padres. He has the second-best strikeout rate of this group (34.0%) while also possessing the best walk rate (4.5%). But he's also been unstoppable since returning from the injured list at the beginning of the month, rocking a 1.91 xFIP, 43.1% strikeout rate, and 1.4% walk rate across three starts.
San Diego's active roster has just a 21.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, but we shouldn't be too worried about that when Mad Max is dealing like this, and their 3.07 implied total points to another dominant outing for the fiery righty.
Charlie Morton ($9,800): While Morton may still have a fairly high salary, he's a bonafide value play relative to the aforementioned big three. The 38-year-old got off to a sluggish start to the season, but since the beginning of June, he's put up an elite 2.63 xFIP, 34.2% strikeout rate, and 7.6% walk rate over his last eight appearances.
He also gets a high-upside matchup against the Angels (3.47 implied total), a team that presently has an absurd 28.8% strikeout rate versus right-handers and is missing Mike Trout to injury. If there's someone who can keep up with that Scherzer tier tonight, it's Morton.
Braxton Garrett ($7,700): It's going to be tough to surpass those first four guys -- not to mention plenty of other quality arms taking the mound -- so it might be best to stay in the high-salary range. But if you want to load up on your stacks and go bargain hunting, Garrett could be worth a dice roll in a few lineups.
The young southpaw is coming off his best start of the year after fanning 11 Pirates before the break, and he gets this same matchup tonight. Although seeing the same team in back-to-back starts isn't a plus, Pittsburgh's active roster carries an 86 wRC+ and 25.3% strikeout rate versus lefties, making them one of the very worst teams in that split.
Over eight starts, Garrett has a 22.9% strikeout rate, which may not move the needle much, but he also owns a promising 12.5% swinging-strike rate and 30.8% CSW rate. Perhaps that last outing isn't a complete outlier moving forward.
Despite limited innings this season, he has a decent shot at pitching deep into the game, as well. He was allowed to go a season-high 102 pitches in that last start and doesn't hurt himself with free passes (5.7% walk rate).
Again, Garrett is a tougher sell on a deep slate, but there's a path to another big outing from him tonight.
New York Yankees
It's boring to list the New York Yankees again, but on a night with lower implied totals for offense, it's only natural that they emerge at or near the top. They have the highest implied total (4.87) against right-hander Tyler Wells.
Outside of having a low walk rate (6.1%), Wells checks most of the boxes with a 4.58 SIERA, 17.2% strikeout rate, and 35.9% ground-ball rate.
Despite being a right-hander, this is an especially great spot for the Yankees' righties, too, as he's posted an egregious 5.45 xFIP and 13.2% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups. And while he's got better peripherals versus lefties, a 21.9% strikeout isn't anything to write home about.
Unfortunately, given the salaries of Aaron Judge ($4,600), Giancarlo Stanton ($3,700), and Anthony Rizzo ($3,900) this won't be the easiest stack to pair with tonight's top arms. But snagging Judge or Stanton as one-offs could be an option, and the rest of the lineup is mid-to-low salaried if you want to get creative.
Antonio Senzatela is showing the worst strikeout rate of his career (12.3%) -- which is saying something -- and he's not even getting grounders at a high clip anymore (44.8%). While that hasn't led to an influx of home runs, his results have been predictably meh, and the Rockies' active roster has the second-worst bullpen xFIP in the league (4.35).
Senzatela's showing a 4.74 xFIP against left-handed batters, so that's a bump to Christian Yelich ($3,100), Rowdy Tellez ($2,700), Kolten Wong ($2,500), and Jace Peterson ($2,300) -- and it's already abundantly clear how painless it is to stack this squad tonight. Tellez is easily the best home run threat of that group (.231 ISO).
When you look at Patrick Corbin's underlying numbers, he looks like a competent pitcher with a respectable 4.20 SIERA, 19.4% strikeout rate, and 7.5% walk rate. It's nothing that will blow you away, but that looks closer to a league-average pitcher than not.
And yet, there's that 5.87 ERA. The BABIP is inflated (.363), so there's some bad luck mixed in, but we've seen poor results for three straight years now. Corbin's 15.6% homer-to-fly-ball rate would seem too high for most pitchers, but it's actually not that far off from his career average (14.9%).
He's had flashes of improvement over the last month or so, but until we see meaningful strides, we'll just keep stacking against him. The Arizona Diamondbacks have a promising 4.69 implied total.
Like the Brewers, this is a bargain-bin stack, and not a single hitter has a high salary.
As per usual, we'll attack the lefty with right-handed bats, and on the D-backs, that means a healthy dose of guys like Christian Walker ($3,000), Ketel Marte ($3,000), Jordan Luplow ($2,200), and Carson Kelly ($2,200). Walker and Luplow are the top power options, and Kelly is a great value as the projected leadoff hitters despite struggling over a limited sample this season.
With so many salaries close to the minimum in this lineup, this is a team that can help you stack the Yankees even if you're paying the premium for a top arm.