FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 10/4/22
With the Phillies clinching a wild card spot and eliminating the Brewers last night, this year's postseason teams are set, and all that's left to play for are a handful of teams battling for seeding. Ultimately, that means the stakes are low in most matchups, making pitching workloads and starting lineups rather unpredictable tonight.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
Zac Gallen ($10,700): While Carlos Rodon is one of the more intriguing names tonight, Giants manager Gabe Kapler has indicated that Rodon could be shut down instead. Rodon should be under consideration if he starts against the Padres, but that's looking unlikely barring a change in direction later today.
We can still turn to Gallen, though, who is wrapping up a strong 2022 season. The Diamondbacks have been out of it for a while, and yet, Gallen continues to rack up high pitch counts down the stretch. Since the beginning of September, he's logged 103, 95, 105, 98, and 104 pitches. We should presumably see more of the same in his final outing.
The Brewers are an above-average team against righties, but they swing and miss at a high clip, sporting the 10th-highest strikeout rate among active rosters. It also wouldn't be shocking if the team comes out flat or rests its stars after finally being eliminated from contention yesterday.
For the year, Gallen has produced a solid 3.28 SIERA, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate, and he's been lights out lately, boasting a 33.8% strikeout rate over his last 10 starts. In that time, he's cracked 50 FanDuel points six times.
He's putting up stellar numbers against left-handed batters this year, too, shutting them down with a 29.0% strikeout rate and 53.2% ground-ball rate, which will come in handy against a Brewers team that usually stacks its lineup with lefties.
Justin Verlander ($11,200): The Astros have zero left to play for, but Verlander did go 101 pitches in his last start, so it's possible he gets a normal workload in preparation for the postseason. This isn't a bad matchup against a Philadelphia team that could be off its game after celebrating their playoff-clinching victory on Monday.
The veteran right-hander has posted a 3.18 SIERA, 26.9% strikeout rate, and 4.3% walk rate this season, and he's performed well in his three starts since returning from the injured list, with two of them going for FanDuel scores exceeding 45 points.
The Phillies have the slate's second-lowest implied total (3.01). There's always the risk that Houston dials back Verlander's pitches tonight, but on a night where little is certain, he's about as close as it gets.
Jeffrey Springs ($8,000): Springs' workload tends to fluctuate all over the place, but it's reasonable to expect his pitch count to land somewhere in the high 80s against Boston tonight. The southpaw's underlying numbers are actually quite similar to Verlander and Gallen; he comes into the night with a 3.30 SIERA, 26.3% strikeout rate, and 5.6% walk rate.
There's rain in the forecast, but the game looks more likely to play than not, and the weather will otherwise be quite pitcher-friendly. Temperatures will dip below 60 degrees and the wind is blowing in at 13 mph.
Assuming they start their regulars, the top half of Boston's lineup is actually fairly tough on lefties, but the bottom could feature names like Bobby Dalbec, Yu Chang, and/or Connor Wong, all of whom have strikeout rates north of 30%. Springs also owns a 27.8% strikeout rate against right-handed bats, so a righty-heavy lineup won't be an issue for him.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers failed to get much going against Jose Urena on Monday, but the good news is they continue to roll out their normal lineups as the season winds down. Perhaps we see better results against Ryan Feltner; the Dodgers have a slate-high 4.77 implied total.
Feltner's ERA estimators suggest that he's been better than his 6.01 ERA, but his 19.8% strikeout rate, 8.2% walk rate, and 41.8% ground-ball rate all look like marks to stack against. He's allowing 1.48 home runs per nine innings, and most of them have come on the road, so that isn't being inflated by Coors Field.
Much like yesterday, there's plenty of value in the Dodgers' lineup to help fit in Mookie Betts ($4,500) and friends up top. Notable names under $3,000 include Max Muncy ($2,800), Justin Turner ($2,900), Trayce Thompson ($2,400), and Cody Bellinger ($2,700).
Tampa Bay Rays
After the Dodgers, tonight's totals fall off a cliff, with no other team going much higher than four implied runs. Between generally cool temperatures, decent pitching, and teams lacking motivation, we could see muted scores across the board.
If Rodon is in fact removed from tonight's start, the Padres will jump up the stacking ranks if only because they're one of the lone teams with seeding to play for. They would presumably get a bullpen game from the Giants.
Although Eovaldi has decent season-long numbers, most of that came before injuries derailed his 2022 season. He just returned from a five-week stint on the injured list last week, and prior to that, he missed roughly a month over the summer. Since mid-July, he's only managed a 16.6% strikeout rate over his last seven starts, and he's allowed 1.30 home runs per nine innings over this span.
His most recent start showed the same lack of velocity we've seen for a while now, and a 5.6% swinging-strike rate isn't an encouraging sign, either.
The poor weather expected at Fenway could suppress offense, but the Rays may still be able to take advantage of a pitcher who's clearly not at the peak of his powers.
It's difficult to predict Tampa's lineup, but Randy Arozarena ($3,600) and Wander Franco ($3,100) ought to be in there, and then the rest of the lineup comes in at punt salaries, including lefties David Peralta ($2,100), Ji-Man Choi ($2,000), and Jonathan Aranda ($2,100).
Los Angeles Angels
Left-hander Cole Irvin has really stumbled down the stretch, logging a 4.81 xFIP and 16.3% strikeout rate over his last six starts. He's coughed up 2.20 home runs per nine innings during this time.
While his overall results for the season have been pretty good, even if we're giving him the benefit of the doubt, we're still talking about a guy who has a modest strikeout rate (17.3%) and gives up a lot of flyballs (41.6%).
Ohtani isn't a priority at a high salary in a lefty-lefty matchup, but he's held his own in same-sided matchups. And, while it's hard to know what we'll get out of Rendon after his long hiatus, it's easy to like getting a middle-of-the-order bat at the minimum salary.