FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 9/12/22
Monday's main slate features six games beginning at a slightly earlier start time of 6:40 pm ET. Which pitchers and stacks should we prioritize tonight?
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.
Spencer Strider ($10,400): In terms of strikeout rate, no one is in the same ballpark as Strider tonight, who now boasts an absurd 38.1% clip across 120 2/3 innings. His 2.42 SIERA is also the best on the board by a sizable margin.
Sure, his 8.5% walk rate could be a smidge better, but we're really just nitpicking a guy who has demonstrated a ridiculous ceiling this season. He's cracked double-digit strikeouts in 5 of his 18 starts this season, including a whopping 16 punchouts a couple of starts ago that resulted in 82 (!!) FanDuel points.
The Braves haven't shown any signs of dialing back Strider's workload, either, as he's now exceeded 100 pitches in four straight starts.
The Giants aren't a bunch of pushovers, but this isn't a matchup to fear, either. San Francisco's active roster comes in with a 103 wRC+ and 22.2% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching, and their 2.85 implied total is one of the night's lowest. It also can't hurt that this game is also expected to have the coolest temperatures of the slate, potentially dipping below 60 degrees.
Chris Bassitt ($10,000): Rain could derail this matchup, so keep tabs on that front, but if it plays, Bassitt gets a plus matchup against the Cubs. While Chicago's active roster is league average versus righties (100 wRC+), they hand out Ks at a fantasy-friendly clip (25.3% strikeout rate).
Bassitt can't hang with Strider when it comes to pure firepower, but he still checks in with an excellent overall profile, showing a 3.63 SIERA, 23.1% strikeout rate, 6.2% walk rate, and 48.9% ground-ball rate over 26 starts.
Despite the lack of an elite punchout rate, he's capable of making up for it by pitching efficiently. Since the beginning of August, he's gone seven or more innings in four of his last seven starts.
Framber Valdez ($11,000): At this slate-high salary, Valdez is a slightly tougher sell, but we shouldn't write off a guy who's quietly scored 50-plus FanDuel points in four of his last five starts.
Much like Bassitt, Valdez doesn't have a noteworthy strikeout rate (23.1%), but he gets the job done with a league-best 66.7% ground-ball rate.
That massive ground-ball rate has helped Valdez be a quality starts machine all season, leading the league with 24 -- no one else has more than 21. In fact, he's now gone 23 straight games with a quality start, a streak that dates back to late April.
And as one might expect from that streak, Valdez has also been piling up the innings on the regular basis, too. Over his last 12 outings, Valdez has gone seven or eight innings 7 times.
The Tigers aren't as much of a slam dunk opponent for southpaws, but Valdez can still take advantage of a team that only has a 96 wRC+ in the split.
Alex Cobb ($9,000): If you're looking for a value play and are willing to take on more risk, Cobb could be your guy against the Braves.
As always, Atlanta is a scary matchup for opposing righties, but they also strike out 25.4% of the time, making this a classic boom-or-bust matchup.
While Cobb hasn't been the most consistent pitcher from start to start, occasionally struggling with control, his underlying numbers remain solid across the board through a 3.20 SIERA, 24.4% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate, and 60.9% ground-ball rate.
Cobb isn't afforded quite as much leeway when it comes to pitch counts, but he typically settles into the mid-90s. He'll also benefit from the cool temperatures expected at Oracle Park this evening.
Los Angeles Dodgers
While he deserves loads of credit for quieting a quality opponent like San Diego, he wasn't exactly killing it in Triple-A before getting called up. Over 26 starts, the 24-year-old managed just a 5.54 xFIP, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 7.9% walk rate.
The larger sample suggests that he'll have trouble duplicating that first performance, and that's even more the case against a loaded team like the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have a slate-best 5.27 implied total.
The Dodgers are one of those teams that you can truly stack one through nine, and there's plenty of value if you can't fit in all the high-salaried studs. Will Smith ($3,000), Joey Gallo ($2,100), Chris Taylor ($2,300), and Cody Bellinger ($2,300) all come in at modest salaries tonight.
New York Mets
After the Dodgers, it's the Mets who have the next-best implied total (4.99), and they enjoy a plus matchup versus Javier Assad.
Across his first 15 1/3 innings in the big leagues, Assad has generally enjoyed positive results, but he's done so while amassing an unremarkable 4.73 SIERA, 17.9% strikeout rate, and 10.4% walk rate. Although he maintained a sub-3.00 ERA in both Triple-A and Double-A this season, he held an xFIP over a full run higher at both levels.
Projection systems on FanGraphs are universally pessimistic regarding Assad, as well, with all of them forecasting him as a pitcher who will have an ERA hovering closer to 5.00 over the long haul.
Jeff McNeil ($2,600) lacks power but is locked into the third spot between Lindor and Alonso, while Tyler Naquin ($2,200), Mark Canha ($3,100), and Dan Vogelbach ($2,200) give us some cheap pop lower in the order.
Don't sleep on Eduardo Escobar ($3,200), too, as he's come alive with five dingers since the calendar flipped to September.
The Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays also carry high implied totals in advantageous matchups, but let's not forget about the Houston Astros, who might not be getting enough credit against Eduardo Rodriguez.
E-Rod may not have a terrible ERA, but his numbers have really fallen off in his first campaign with Detroit. Since returning in August, Rodriguez has produced a 4.92 xFIP, 17.4% strikeout rate, and 8.7% walk rate across four starts.
Overall, he hasn't performed particularly well against either side of the plate this season, and that doesn't bode well for him against a lineup that features a slew of righty sticks and a pair of dangerous lefties in Yordan Alvarez ($3,700) and Kyle Tucker ($3,500) who have no problem handling southpaws.