FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Sunday 10/23/22

Despite a recent 5.1% FanDuel salary increase, Philadelphia's Zack Wheeler ranks as Sunday's top pitcher with a 33.2 fantasy projection. Which other players should be considered for Sunday's Championship Series main slate?

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Lance McCullers ($10,700)

At his highest salary this season after an eye-popping 12.1% jump, McCullers will have an opportunity to send the Astros to the World Series against a recent struggling Yankees' lineup with a 24.4% K-rate and a 71.3% contact percentage versus right-handers.

Through 63.1 career playoff innings and ten postseason starts including six shutout innings in his last outing during the American League Division Series, the 28-year old has displayed solid form under high pressure, recording a 3.70 xFIP and a 27.0% K-rate while lowering his walk percentage to 7.8% (career 9.8%).

In a matchup against five New York's batters with strikeout percentages ranging from 23.0% to 31.1%, McCullers' success versus these spots in the Yankees' lineup will likely determine his ability to reach Sunday's expectations including a 32.7 FanDuel point projection and 6.12 expected strikeouts.

Zack Wheeler ($10,200)

After producing seven scoreless innings and 55 FanDuel points in Game One of the National League Champions Series, Wheeler's salary has moved up 5.1% to his highest point in the last two months.

While some may be weary of his recent salary increase, Wheeler's stellar postseason performances has warranted this type or change, accounting for a 3.82 expected Fielding Independent Pitching rating (xFIP) and a 24.6% strikeout percentage in 19.1 innings.

With effective splits versus both sides of the plate (3.18 xFIP / 28.2% K-rate against left-handed bats, 2.95 xFIP / 25.6% K-rate against right-handed bats) and an appealing matchup against four Padres' batters with K-rates between 20.1% and 29.5%, Philadelphia's right-hander currently ranks as numberFire's top rated pitcher with a 33.2 FanDuel point projection and 6.46 expected strikeouts.


Philadelphia Phillies

In an underrated spot to clinch the National League pennant, Philadelphia's red hot offense will challenge San Diego's Yu Darvish with Sunday's top run total at 3.47.

Through 19.0 postseason innings despite producing a 2.84 earned run average, Darvish is due for some regression when examining his unsustainable 100% left on-base percentage and concerning expected metrics including a 4.34 xFIP.

To best attack his main weakness this season against right-handed bats (4.13 xFIP, .284 wOBA, ), Rhys Hoskins (11.1% barrel rate, .338 expected wOBA), J.T. Realmuto (11.3% barrel rate, .351 expected wOBA), Alec Bohm (.290 expected average, .333 expected wOBA), Nick Castellanos (.250 expected average), and Jean Segura (.254 expected average) are primary targets while Philadelphia's left-handed power bats including Bryce Harper (12.8% barrel rate, .380 expected wOBA) and Kyle Schwarber (20.1% barrel rate, .375 expected wOBA) can be still be mixed in.

Houston Astros

After Game Three's dominant victory in New York, the Astros will attempt to surpass their 3.16 run total against Yankees' southpaw Nestor Cortes.

In his two playoff starts, Cortes has been extremely lucky to record a 2.70 earned run average when considering his ugly 6.13 xFIP, a low 11.9% strikeout percentage, and a concerning 9.5% walk rate in ten total innings.

With most of his troubles occurring against the opposing side of the plate (3.84 xFIP, .259 wOBA), optimal Houston combinations should consist of their best right-handed bats including Alex Bregman (.350 expected wOBA, .416 expected slugging), Jose Altuve (.354 expected wOBA, 7.7% barrel rate), Jeremy Pena (9.7% barrel rate), Chas McCormick (.414 expected slugging, 10.2% barrel rate), and Trey Mancini (.327 expected wOBA, 9.8% barrel rate).