FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 9/5/22
An all-day slate starts early on Labor Day, but the main slate of the day is the six-gamer starting at 6:40 pm Eastern, so that'll be our focus for the day.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Blake Snell ($10,300): Despite just six games and 12 starters, we have a lot of studs to sift through: Martin Perez ($10,600), Triston McKenzie ($10,500), Blake Snell ($10,300), Brady Singer ($10,200), and Logan Webb ($9,800) all find themselves at elevated salaries.
Of them, Snell sets up best. His opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are top-10 in active-roster strikeout rate overall (20.5%), but they're also 22nd in wRC+ and 20th in barrel rate. It's also a plus pitcher's park, and ultimately, Arizona holds the lowest implied run total (2.65) of the slate.
Snell's strikeout rate (30.9%), called-strike-plus-whiff rate (28.4%), and SIERA (3.38) are all top-four among the starters tonight. numberFire's model projects Snell for 37.9 FanDuel points, and no other pitcher is projected for more than 32.7.
Andrew Heaney ($9,400): I listed out the long list of pitchers with salaries above Andrew Heaney's, but frankly, Heaney is in the same tier as they are and comes at a big salary discount.
Against 198 batters faced this season, Heaney holds a slate-best 35.4% strikeout rate, which is supported by a quickly-stabilizing called-strike-plus-whiff rate of 32.7% (also tops on the slate). Ultimately, his xFIP of 2.85 equates to an xFIP- of 72.
The San Francisco Giants' active roster has a 22.1% strikeout rate -- a very middling number -- yet that jumps up to 23.8% against left-handed pitching.
Jose Suarez ($8,000): The pitching slate overall is a positive one, given the options we have at various salaries.
Hunter Brown ($7,700) is also in play. Suarez, though, gets the Detroit Tigers, who do have more life against lefties (96 wRC+ and a 21.7% strikeout rate) than against righties (76 wRC+ and a 25.3% strikeout rate) but aren't exactly an avoid with numbers like that.
Suarez maintains a non-terrible 4.09 SIERA and can mitigate hard contact (30.9% hard-hit rate allowed), making him a value play worth considering if we want to go heavy on stacks for tonight. Certain high-salaried batters are tempting, too.
Alexander has generated a strikeout rate of just 12.8%; based on his called-strike-plus-whiff rate, he should be around 15.6%, yet it's still low either way.
The Angels' 25.1% strikeout rate of their own should tick down as a result, and they're also a team to bump up when facing a lefty. Their strikeout rate falls from 26.2% against righties to 22.5% against lefties.
Naturally, Mike Trout ($4,100) and Shohei Ohtani ($4,200) are priorities and pair best with a value pitcher or even Heaney, but the rest of the lineup can offer plenty of salary relief. Keep an eye out for the lineup. It's been 10 games since they faced a lefty. Last time out against a lefty, David Fletcher ($2,200) led off, and Luis Rengifo ($2,400) hit cleanup, and that'll help balance out the salaries here.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres will be welcoming Ryne Nelson to the Majors. Nelson managed only a 21.6% strikeout rate in AAA this year against 136 batters faced and allowed a 5.56 xFIP, as well. That's a pretty big green light for the Padres' bats.
San Diego's active-roster strikeout rate is only 18.8% overall and 19.4% against right-handed pitching, so we should be seeing plenty of balls in play as a result of Nelson's low-strikeout ways.
The high salaries of Juan Soto ($3,900) and Manny Machado ($4,500) can be offset by switch-hitters Jurickson Profar ($2,400) and Josh Bell ($2,800). Jake Cronenworth ($2,700) will also have a platoon split.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers definitely have a step up in matchup compared to the first two stacks here. They'll face Logan Webb and his high-ground-ball tendencies (58.5% ground-ball rate). However, that comes with just a 20.3% strikeout rate. Though Webb's ERA of 2.89 could scare us off, his SIERA is a little less daunting at 3.60.
Overall, the Dodgers hold a 122 wRC+ against righties, the best mark in the Majors. In two matchups against Webb so far this season (11.0 innings), Los Angeles has tagged Webb for a 5.21 FIP and actually drew more walks (10.2%) than strikeouts (8.2%).
The matchup and salaries here should really drive down the popularity of the Dodgers' bats and thus make them part of a contrarian build that features a lower-salaried pitcher.