FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 7/26/22
We have some tantalizing options for both pitchers and stacks on Tuesday, giving us what should be an entertaining 13-game slate. Perhaps the top pitcher of 2022 is toeing the rubber tonight, while Coors Field takes center stage for our bats.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Shane McClanahan ($11,800): The salary is sky-high to bring McClanahan aboard, but he continues to be one of the year's best pitchers with virtually no flaws in his profile.
The ace lefty comes into Baltimore with a 2.20 SIERA, 35.7% strikeout rate, 4.6% walk rate, and 50.6% ground-ball rate. He's now made 12 straight quality starts, allowing one or zero earned runs in all but one of those outings.
McClanahan's only issue -- which is out of his control -- is that Tampa Bay typically pulls him before reaching 100 pitches, occasionally capping his ceiling in starts where he might otherwise go an extra inning or two. Of course, given his otherworldly numbers, that still hasn't prevented him from scoring 55 or more FanDuel points five times during his quality starts streak.
The Orioles could counter with as many as eight right-handed batters in the lineup tonight. That might be a problem for other lefties, but not for McClanahan, who's actually put up a higher strikeout rate versus righties this season (36.8%). Baltimore's 3.21 implied total is among the night's lowest.
Aaron Nola ($10,600): Nola and Carlos Rodon are the only other pitchers with salaries above $10,000, but they still offer a good chunk of savings when pivoting away from McClanahan. While both are viable options, I lean towards Nola as the upside play.
Nola may not have McClanahan numbers, but it's hard to complain about a 2.88 SIERA, 28.1% strikeout rate, and 3.3% walk rate. Where Nola does have McClanahan beat is pure innings, though, as he's logged seven or more frames in 9 of his last 10 starts.
This is a boom-or-bust kind of matchup against the Braves. Atlanta's active roster has a 110 wRC+ versus right-handers but also strikes out 24.7% of the time. Nola's taken care of business against them this year, mowing down the Braves for 62 FanDuel points in May and then following that up with a solid 39 points in a June rematch.
Spencer Strider ($9,100): In the mid-to-low salary range, you could take a shot at Jose Berrios against a depleted Cardinals lineup that's missing two of its best hitters in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, but I worry about his upside against what should be a lefty-heavy lineup. Mike Clevinger has a stellar matchup against the Tigers, a team whose active roster has an astoundingly bad 65 wRC+ versus righties.
But it's hard to beat the value we're getting from Strider at this salary. Since joining the rotation, the 23-year-old has produced a 2.43 xFIP and 37.4% strikeout rate, meaning he has the highest strikeout rate on the entire slate.
However, he also has a 9.2% walk rate as a starter, and he's hit six innings just 3 times over his 10 starts. The good news is that he's been allowed to get up to 100-plus pitches multiple times, so until the Braves prove otherwise, they don't seem concerned with limiting his workload yet.
This also isn't a bad spot against Philadelphia (3.63 implied total), which is showing a 93 wRC+, 23.0% strikeout rate, and 7.6% walk rate versus right-handed pitching.
Considering his up-and-down results, Strider clearly comes with added risk, but that's baked into the salary, and his incredible strikeout upside should absolutely keep him in your player pool.
Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies
The White Sox face German Marquez, who probably deserves better than his 5.47 ERA, but Coors Field will do that to you. Overall, he has a decent 48.5% ground-ball rate, but that isn't enough to balance out a lackluster 18.8% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate.
The trouble is that Chicago has been underwhelming versus righties (91 wRC+), so it's a question of whether we can trust them to capitalize on this matchup. Still, there's some name value atop this lineup, and not everyone has scuffled at the plate.
Jose Abreu ($4,100) is their best overall hitter this season (147 wRC+), while Andrew Vaughn ($3,800) and Tim Anderson ($3,900) have also been above-average batters, though Anderson's power has really fallen off.
Eloy Jimenez ($2,700) has homered in back-to-back games, and his high rate of barrels makes him an intriguing value play. Gavin Sheets ($2,700) is having a mediocre overall campaign, but his high fly-ball rate (46.4%) is ideal for tonight, and he'll have the platoon advantage.
Flipping over to the Rockies, they'll take on Michael Kopech, who's lucky to have a 3.36 ERA this far into the season.
Kopech's underlying numbers leave a lot to be desired, as he's put up just a 4.89 SIERA, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 12.3% walk rate. This is a classic case of a lucky BABIP (.215) doing the work for him, and his high walk rate and high fly-ball rate (52.9%) could get him into all sorts of trouble at Coors.
Surprisingly, he has just a 17.4% strikeout rate in same-sided matchups, so the righty sticks of C.J. Cron ($4,500), Kris Bryant ($3,800), Brendan Rodgers ($3,600), and Connor Joe ($3,300) should be priorities.
Los Angeles Dodgers
When it comes to Josiah Gray, it's all about attacking him with left-handed bats. While Gray is lethal against righties with a 3.41 xFIP, 28.9% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate, those marks go in the wrong direction on the other side of the plate, where we see a 5.30 xFIP, 24.7% strikeout rate, and 14.9% walk rate.
The cherry on top is that Gray gives up a 56.9% fly-ball rate to lefties, and that's resulted in a massive 3.13 dingers per nine innings. Even if there's some poor luck involved, the 24-year-old's home run issues date back to last season, as well.
Boston Red Sox
Admittedly, it's tough to get super excited about a floundering Boston Red Sox team that's been decimated by injuries, but it says a lot about their matchup when they have the highest implied total (5.34) on a Coors Field slate.
They'll face opener Bryan Shaw, and the expectation is that Shaw will be followed by lefty Kirk McCarty. Shaw is a career reliever making his first career "start" at 34 years old. The right-hander has a high ground-ball rate this year (57.3%), but his 18.7% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate are nothing special.
But McCarty is the real reason the Sox deserve consideration. Across 12 MLB innings, he's put up a 5.64 xFIP, 13.8% strikeout rate, and 10.3% walk rate, and he hasn't had an xFIP below 5.00 in Triple-A either this year or in 2021.
It also isn't a great sign that Cleveland designated McCarty for assignment earlier this month, after which he was picked up by the Orioles and lasted all of one Triple-A start before they gave him the boot, too. The Guardians picked him back up, but it's clear we aren't talking about a highly-regarded player.
Luckily, Boston's struggles have lowered their salaries across the board, so it won't take much to roster top righties J.D. Martinez ($3,300) -- just be sure to double-check that he's back in the lineup -- and Xander Bogaerts ($3,000). Christian Vazquez ($2,700) has been bumped up to the two-hole, making him an automatic value, and Bobby Dalbec ($2,200) is practically free these days.