FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 8/16/22

There are some big names taking the mound tonight, but Robbie Ray stands out above the rest in a pristine matchup against the Angels. Who else should we consider?

The list of talented pitchers is pretty long tonight, but most of them have less-than-stellar matchups, making it more difficult to get on board with many of them. Tuesday's stacks are pretty wide open, as just one offense has an implied total cracking five runs.

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.


Robbie Ray ($10,300): Dylan Cease, Brandon Woodruff, and Ray have the highest strikeout rates of the slate, but Ray has easily the best matchup of the trio. Cease and Woodruff face two of the league's toughest offenses in the Astros and Dodgers.

On the other hand, Ray gets the Angels (3.30 implied total), a team that has little beyond Shohei Ohtani these days, and even he could be neutralized in a lefty-lefty matchup.

The Halos' active roster has a league-worst 82 wRC+ versus southpaws, and while they're more middle of the pack in strikeout rate (22.9%), only one projected starter (Luis Rengifo) has a particularly low strikeout rate.

Ray's taken a slight step back this season, but he's put together a rock-solid 3.50 SIERA, 28.0% strikeout rate, and 8.8% walk rate. He's been more matchup-dependent, but this is one that he's taken full advantage of in 2022, reaching double-digit strikeouts in both starts against the Angels and posting FanDuel scores of 58 and 52 points.

Dylan Cease ($10,900): Due to the opponent, Ray is comfortably in the driver's seat for tonight's top spot. But after that, it's difficult to single out who slots in next.

In addition to Cease and Woodruff, we also have Justin Verlander, Alek Manoah, and Nestor Cortes to round out all the pitchers above $10,000.

But if we're shooting for the moon in tournaments, it can't hurt to ride with the guy sporting the highest strikeout rate, and that honor goes to Cease.

Despite his 10.4% walk rate, the White Sox right-hander continues to get the job done on a regular basis through a 3.19 SIERA and 33.0% strikeout, and he's logged quality starts in 8 of his last 10 outings.

However, there's no question that this is a brutal spot against Houston. The Astros' active roster comes in with a 115 wRC+ and 19.3% strikeout against right-handed pitching, which is the last thing you want to see when rostering an opposing pitcher.

That being said, Houston does have a modest 3.65 implied total, and there could be a bit more strikeout upside for Cease than it initially appears. While the opponent is tough as nails, Cease actually sees a bump in punchouts against righties (37.1%), and the Astros only have two hitters who bat left-handed.

There's no doubt that Cease is a much riskier play than Ray, but the upside could still be worth chasing in tournaments tonight.

Zach Plesac ($7,800): I don't trust Plesac for one second, but here he is in an elite matchup against Detroit, a team he just earned 41 points against in his last start.

We've been attacking the Tigers with right-handed pitchers all season, and there's zero reason to stop now. In the split, their active roster ranks 30th in wRC+ (69) and 28th in strikeout rate (25.0%).

Plesac has an uninspiring 18.2% strikeout rate, so this is all about the matchup. The good news is he doesn't hurt himself with walks (6.9%) and he can get up to 100 pitches when things are going well.

He also has a good shot at earning a win, as his offense is one of the night's top stacks.

This is now the fourth time Plesac has faced the Tigers this season, and he was underwhelming in his first two tries before coming through this most recent time. But on a slate lacking obvious alternatives in the value range, he's the de facto choice on Tuesday night.


Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have a near-perfect matchup for their righty-heavy lineup on tap against Dean Kremer.

The right-hander has pretty mediocre numbers across his dozen 2022 starts, but when we narrow things down to same-sided splits, we see a 5.37 xFIP, 12.9% strikeout rate, and 49.1% fly-ball rate allowed.

While Kremer hasn't given up a ton of home runs this season, that looks to be more the result of good luck through a 6.9% homer-to-fly-ball rate (7.3% versus righties).

It all points towards a potential blow-up spot for the Blue Jays, and they're even more formidable with George Springer ($3,800) back in the leadoff slot. Their 5.17 implied total is tops on the board.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,900), Teoscar Hernandez ($3,500), and Matt Chapman ($3,200) are the top home run options, with all three reaching a .220 ISO or better in 2022. Springer and Bo Bichette ($3,300) are both showing power/speed upside this season, while Alejandro Kirk ($2,800) is a great value play if he continues to bat high in the order.

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians may very well face the weakest starting pitcher of the entire slate in Garrett Hill.

Hill has done little to prove that he belongs at the highest level over his seven starts, posting a 5.82 SIERA, 11.2% strikeout rate, and 9.9% walk rate. It's never a good sign if you're handing out walks at nearly the same clip as your strikeouts.

He also isn't getting many grounders (36.6%), leading to allowing a home run in six of his seven games.

The Guardians may not have the most powerful lineup, but they ought to be able to plate a good chunk of runs when the matchup is this good.

Jose Ramirez ($4,300) remains the go-to guy, but Andres Gimenez ($3,300) continues to have a stellar campaign, as well, tallying 14 dingers and 15 swiped bags. Speedsters Steven Kwan ($3,000) and Amed Rosario ($3,000) lack pop but are locked into the top two spots in the order at value salaries.

Josh Naylor ($3,400) could sit out after leaving yesterday's game with an ankle injury, which would leave the rest of the lineup at sub-$3,000 salaries. Nolan Jones ($2,600) hasn't hit for a ton of power over his 91 plate appearances, but he'll have the platoon advantage and has hit barrels at a promising clip.

Chicago Cubs

The struggles continue for Patrick Corbin, and while a sky-high BABIP (.384) suggests there's been some poor luck, he's simply giving up way too much hard contact, resulting in some truly dreadful Statcast data. Corbin is in the 10th percentile in barrel rate and 1st percentile in xERA. Oof.

While hard contact is often out of the control of the pitcher, he's his rock bottom this season, and we've seen Corbin trending in the wrong direction for a few seasons now. This just appears to be who he is now.

In terms of splits, Corbin has been awful against both sides of the plate, but he still gets grounders against lefties, so it's the righties we naturally want to prioritize. He's coughed up 1.88 home runs per nine innings to right-handed bats.

Not only should we see a Chicago Cubs lineup of perhaps entirely righties tonight, but they have low salaries outside of Willson Contreras ($3,500).

Contreras, Patrick Wisdom ($2,900), Seiya Suzuki ($2,900), and Franmil Reyes ($2,700) give us a solid two-through-five in the lineup. Despite Reyes' power outage this year, his barrel numbers remain strong, and the change in scenery could unlock the pop he's shown in prior campaigns.