FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 8/22/22
A couple of frontline starters headline tonight's pitching selection, but we also can hit the bargain bin when loading up on bats. And speaking of offense, there is a steep drop off in implied totals after the top five teams, potentially narrowing the number of appealing options.
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.
Max Scherzer ($11,500): On paper, this is obviously a difficult matchup for Scherzer against the Yankees, but New York's now gone 5-14 in the month of August while posting an 87 wRC+ and 25.6% strikeout rate. Although it's probably only a matter of time before the Bronx Bombers bust out of this slump, their recent struggles certainly can't hurt Scherzer's outlook.
The veteran right-hander comes in with a 2.86 SIERA, 31.4% strikeout rate, and 4.7% walk rate, and it's hard to find someone who has shown more start-to-start consistency than him. Scherzer has quality starts in 13 of 17 outings, and he hasn't dropped below 32 FanDuel points this season. Of course, the ceiling is there, as well, with six scores of 50 or more points.
There are some slight weather concerns at Yankee Stadium tonight, but as of this writing, it doesn't appear to be a major threat. Scherzer is easily the top talent on the board, and outside of the forecast worsening, he's the slate's number-one option.
Julio Urias ($10,400): Urias isn't someone I'm typically that excited to roster in DFS due to his non-elite strikeout rate, but a punchout-boosting matchup against the Brewers makes him an enticing alternative to Scherzer. Milwaukee's active roster has a 91 wRC+ and 26.2% strikeout rate versus left-handed pitching, and their 3.16 implied total is the night's second-lowest.
While Urias may not get Ks as consistently as we would like, he's still in the midst of another rock-solid campaign with a 3.53 SIERA, 24.4% strikeout rate, and 5.2% walk rate. His pitch counts typically settle into the mid-90s, but he's been quite efficient of late, logging seven innings in three of his last six starts.
It's worth noting that this is Urias' second straight start against the same opponent, which is generally a negative for pitchers. Still, matchups don't get a whole lot better than this for southpaws, and he's the obvious pivot away from Scherzer.
Springs actually has the slate's second-best strikeout rate (26.5%), too, and like our prior entries, he doesn't issue many free passes (5.3% walk rate), and ERA estimators like him (3.22 SIERA).
However, the main concern when rostering the left-hander is workload. Since returning from the injured list in late July, Springs has seen pitch counts of 78, 92, 85, 85, and 78. He's reached six innings just once over that span.
While Springs did eclipse 100 pitches once in June, somewhere in the low 90s is the realistic best-case scenario.
The workload risk is baked into this salary, though, and if he can find his way to six innings, he could come through for us if Scherzer and Urias don't go off.
Left-hander Cole Ragans will be making his fourth MLB start, and it's safe to say the first three haven't left the best impression. He's posted more walks (12.5%) than strikeouts (10.9%), and he's already allowed four home runs in just 14 1/3 innings.
Before getting called up, Ragans posted a more encouraging 27.0% strikeout rate and 6.7% walk rate in eight Triple-A starts -- but he also only managed a 4.71 xFIP.
The Minnesota Twins could have a field day in this spot, and their 4.93 implied total is one of the night's best.
We'll naturally want to prioritize righties for the platoon advantage, and Byron Buxton ($3,600), Carlos Correa ($3,200), and Jose Miranda ($3,600) are the first three to look at. All three have exceeded a 120 wRC+ at the dish this year.
Outside of that trio, the other righties should all come in at value salaries. Gio Urshela ($2,800) could bat as high as fifth and has a respectable .162 ISO in 2022.
The Philadelphia Phillies are another team with a high implied total (5.07), and they will take on Luis Cessa in what could amount to a bullpen game. Cessa is joining Cincinnati's rotation, but he hasn't exceeded two innings in any appearance this year and logged just 18 pitches his last time out.
While they'll probably only see Cessa for a handful of innings, the Phillies can take advantage of a guy who's only put up a 17.3% strikeout rate and 9.3% walk rate as a reliever this season. After that, they'll face a Reds bullpen that owns the sixth-worst xFIP among active rosters.
With no Phillies batter exceeding a $3,300 salary, this is also a fairly easy stack to pull off.
Kyle Schwarber ($3,200), Rhys Hoskins ($3,300), and J.T. Realmuto ($3,100) are the top power options, and Schwarber leads the way with a .284 ISO. Alec Bohm ($2,500) is a nice value out of the three-hole, while Nick Castellanos ($3,000) has performed better at the plate this month.
Contreras is a promising prospect with a 4.02 ERA over 56 innings this year, but his underlying numbers have been underwhelming. He's put up a 21.7% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate, and a lack of grounders (37.0%) has contributed to giving up 1.45 dingers per nine innings.
Despite the modest marks, Contreras has flashed his potential here and there, so this isn't necessarily a total cakewalk matchup. But walks can often get the best of him, and the Braves are the type of team that can punish mistakes.
Atanta is a lineup that you can truly stack from top to bottom, but there isn't as much value compared to our previous two stacks, with top bats like Ronald Acuna ($4,200), Austin Riley ($3,800), and Matt Olson ($3,800) checking in at lofty salaries. Although Contreras is giving up home runs at a higher clip to righties, he has a higher xFIP (4.83) when facing lefties, potentially giving Olson added appeal.