FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 9/22/22
Thursday's main slate gets underway at 6:35 pm ET, giving us eight games to pick through. Which pitchers and stacks should we prioritize?
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Brandon Woodruff ($10,500): Woodruff has come through for the Milwaukee Brewers down the stretch, racking up double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back games and three of his last five. One of those performances came against the Reds, the team he faces on Thursday night.
Cincinnati's active roster owns the league's third-worst wRC+ versus righties (84), and the bottom of their lineup is looking particularly weak as the season comes to a close.
As for Woodford, he checks in with a pristine 3.17 SIERA, 29.3% strikeout rate, and 6.9% walk rate over 24 starts. With Milwaukee still in the hunt for a wild card spot, there shouldn't be any restrictions on his workload, as well.
Verlander threw 79 pitches his last time out, so he should theoretically have a full workload tonight. However, it's worth noting that the Astros already clinched the division, which could result in the team not feeling the need to push their ace too hard.
That being said, the 39-year-old still put up 48 FanDuel points last week, and he's been efficient on the mound all season. Overall, he's produced a 3.15 SIERA, 27.2% strikeout rate, and 4.5% walk rate in 2022.
Shane Bieber ($10,800): Bieber gives us a third high-salary pitcher who deserves serious consideration.
Since the All-Star break, he's put together a 2.70 xFIP, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 3.4% walk rate. He's really been on a roll lately, posting FanDuel scores of 49, 49, 52, 47, and 49 points over his last five.
Bieber faces a White Sox team that's below-average versus righties, and Chicago's 3.28 implied total is the night's third-lowest.
Unlike Houston, the Guardians haven't quite clinched their division yet, so like Woodruff, Bieber should have a leg up on Verlander in terms of pitch count.
Hunter Greene ($8,200): Seeing as we have three big names to choose from up top, we'll really need someone with serious firepower to dip into the value range.
That's what we have in Greene, who just returned from the injured list and wasted no time reminding us of his potential by mowing down the Cardinals for 11 strikeouts and 55 FanDuel points. The 23-year-old boasts a stellar 29.8% strikeout rate over 108 2/3 innings this season.
But the reason Greene's salary remains so low is that he's also prone to getting lit up. He can struggle with control at times (8.9% walk rate), and he has a troublesome home run problem, coughing up 1.90 per nine innings off a 49.8% fly-ball rate. His hitter-friendly home ballpark certainly won't do him any favors tonight, either.
The ceiling is there to compete with the slate's best, though, and that's why he deserves a shot. The Brewers aren't the easiest matchup, but they have a rather modest 4.07 implied total.
New York Yankees
This is looking like a tougher slate for offense, as no team has an implied total anywhere close to five runs. The highest mark goes to the New York Yankees at just 4.33.
Michael Wacha has enjoyed positive results for the Red Sox, and he's logged a solid if unspectacular 4.02 SIERA. But that number is over a full run higher than his ERA (2.61), so he's definitely benefited from some good luck.
Most notably for stacking purposes, that includes an 8.7% homer-to-fly-ball rate that's well below the league average (11.4%) and his career average (12.6%).
While Wacha hasn't been giving up as much hard contact this season, he's still allowing a 38.0% fly-ball rate and should be serving up dingers more often than 0.87 per nine innings. That's especially noteworthy considering home runs were a significant issue for him from 2019-2021.
Add in that Wacha is a low-strikeout pitcher (20.3%), and there are definitely some encouraging signs that the Yankees can knock a few over the fence tonight.
The home run watch continues for Aaron Judge ($5,300), but we can also dig up solid value from guys like Giancarlo Stanton ($3,100), Josh Donaldson ($2,800), and Oswaldo Cabrera ($2,500). Cabrera has hit dingers in two of the last three games and recorded a promising .230 ISO in Triple-A earlier this year.
As highlighted earlier, Greene is a boom-or-bust pitcher, which naturally means that the Brewers deserve a seat at the stacking table. The right-hander is serving up home runs to both sides of the plate, so we can simply pick out Milwaukee's top power bats, and the salaries are quite forgiving, too.
Tyrone Taylor ($2,600) could be worth a look if he cracks the lineup. He'll likely bat eighth or ninth, which isn't ideal, but he's produced a .217 ISO this year and ranks fourth on the team in barrels per plate appearance behind Adames, Tellez, and Renfroe.
Of those three, Houston arguably has the best matchup against Kyle Bradish. The young right-hander owns a poor 5.05 ERA, but a 4.17 SIERA suggests that he's deserved better.
Still, Bradish has an unimposing 21.1% strikeout rate, and he's had a serious home run issue in same-sided matchups. While he has an excellent 56.9% ground-ball rate versus lefties, that plummets to just 38.7% against righties, contributing to 1.81 long balls per nine innings in the split.
Assuming Jose Altuve is out of the lineup tonight, that leaves us with Alex Bregman ($3,600) and Jeremy Pena ($2,700) as the top righties, and Trey Mancini ($2,800) and Aledmys Diaz ($2,200) have solid pop, too.