FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 9/20/22
Tuesday's 11-game main slate features another Coors Field game, but it isn't necessarily a must-stack spot due to a fair number of worthwhile alternatives. While it's a top-heavy pitching selection tonight, only one hurler has a salary above $10,000, which will go a long way towards rostering the night's top bats.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Luis Castillo ($9,700): Castillo has enjoyed a strong all-around 2022 campaign, but he's really turned it up a notch since joining the Mariners, recording a 2.83 xFIP, 30.3% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate across eight starts.
He draws a fantastic matchup against the lowly Athletics, a team that comes in with one of the night's lowest implied totals (2.92) at one of the best parks for pitchers. Against righties, Oakland's active roster ranks 25th in both wRC+ (89) and strikeout rate (23.7%), and this is probably even a better matchup than those marks suggest.
Over the last 30 days, the A's have posted the league's third-worst strikeout rate (27.2%), and that isn't surprising when guys like Dermis Garcia and Shea Langeliers are getting regular at-bats down the stretch -- both players have posted strikeout rates above 40%.
It's worth noting that Castillo has seen his pitch counts dip slightly in September, coming up just short of 100 over his last three (96, 92, and 99 pitches), but that should be more than enough to capitalize on such an advantageous matchup.
Charlie Morton ($9,200): Morton is also facing a weak opponent in the Nationals, and that's being reflected by Washington getting a mere 3.13 implied total. The Nats' active roster owns a middling 93 wRC+ and 22.9% strikeout rate versus righties.
This isn't quite the slam dunk matchup for getting whiffs as Oakland, but Morton has demonstrated that he still possesses a lucrative ceiling when he's on his game, racking up double-digit strikeouts five times this year.
Overall, the 38-year-old comes in with a 3.59 xFIP, 28.3% strikeout rate, and 8.5% walk rate. A fairly significant drop in ground-ball rate to 39.7% has led to Morton allowing more home runs -- particularly against left-handed batters -- but Washington has little in the way of lefty power these days.
Morton should have a similar workload to Castillo, maxing out in the mid-to-high 90s, and he makes sense as a top-notch alternative.
Dylan Cease ($10,600): Normally, I might highlight Nestor Cortes ($9,500) here in a great spot versus the Pirates, but he's logged just 58 and 65 pitches since coming off the injured list, so he's a bit risky as the Yankees ease him back in slowly.
Instead, we can consider Cease as a contrarian pivot to Castillo and Morton. Cease may have the slate's best strikeout rate (31.8%), but his high salary and unsavory matchup against the Guardians should keep his popularity down.
As an offense, Cleveland lacks power and is only slightly above average against righties, and they're littered with low-strikeout bats, helping their active roster to a league-low strikeout rate in the split (15.5%).
That's about as brutal as it gets for DFS upside, but when someone has an elite strikeout rate like Cease, they can occasionally overcome such obstacles.
The right-hander has three starts versus Cleveland this season, and while the Guardians put the clamps on the punchouts in two of those outings, Cease also had a nine-strikeout game in July that led to 50 FanDuel points.
Cease's 10.1% walk rate is another concern, but the good news is that Cleveland's bats are a bottom-third team when it comes to walks.
He definitely has a more difficult route to a ceiling game, but Cease still deserves some secondary consideration in GPPs.
The San Francisco Giants piled up 10 runs against the Colorado Rockies, with two of their players cracking last night's optimal FanDuel lineup. The Giants have a 5.64 implied total, and we could see a similar outburst at Coors on Tuesday against Kyle Freeland.
The trouble is that we could see all sorts of pinch-hitting shenanigans once the left-handed Freeland leaves the game, which will be particularly annoying if the Giants also end up as a popular stack.
We could turn to the Rockies, but their spot isn't perfect, either, as they'll be getting the bullpen-game treatment from the Giants, making it more difficult to play matchups.
Both teams are certainly in play because, you know, Coors Field, but there are plenty of enticing alternatives if those issues worry you.
Corbin has actually made some decent starts lately, but he's still a low-strikeout pitcher giving up dingers on the regular. It's all about loading up on righties, who are knocking out 1.85 home runs per nine innings off a 41.0% hard-hit rate and 34.4% fly-ball rate.
We'll likely see William Contreras ($3,000) as a value play batting fifth, and we can still add lefty cleanup hitter Matt Olson ($3,000) in the mix as someone who's handled lefty-lefty matchups well in his career.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are another team looking at a lofty implied total (5.34), and they're up against a right-hander making just his second MLB start.
Drey Jameson blanked the Padres over seven innings in his debut behind an impressive 61.1% ground-ball rate. However, he also only produced a 20.8% strikeout rate and 6.7% swinging-strike rate, and a .111 BABIP suggests that he may have been lucky to get by completely unscathed.
Jameson also had mediocre Triple-A marks before his call-up, with a 4.97 xFIP, 21.2% strikeout rate, and 8.2% walk rate over 114 innings. His 48.6% ground-ball rate was solid, but it also shows that the 25-year-old is a poor bet to suddenly have an elite ability to induce grounders at the highest level.
In all, it looks like a good spot to side with one of the league's elite lineups against an inexperienced pitcher.
Grab the big three bats up top when you have the cap space, but Will Smith ($3,100), Max Muncy ($3,100), and Justin Turner ($3,400) are solid mid-range options, and the bottom third of the lineup should offer up plenty of savings.
New York Yankees
The right-hander also had a good result in his debut, shutting down the Reds for 5 2/3 scoreless innings. While he did show a promising 23.8% strikeout rate, a 14.3% walk rate points to some shaky control, and like Jameson, he also benefited from a minuscule BABIP (.077).
Ortiz's minor league track record shows some promise, but he's barely seen any time above Double-A, having just two Triple-A starts under his belt. Over his 114 1/3 Double-A innings, he has a respectable 3.76 xFIP, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate.
Ultimately, it's difficult to nail down what we can expect from Ortiz down the stretch, but this is again a case where the benefit of the doubt goes to the offense with MVP candidate Aaron Judge ($5,200) leading the way. New York's 5.02 implied total shows that oddsmakers agree.
The Yankees continue to get healthier, and the top half of this order is looking a bit more lively now between Judge, Anthony Rizzo ($3,700), Gleyber Torres ($3,600), Josh Donaldson ($2,800), and Giancarlo Stanton ($3,100).