FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 4/28/23

For the first time in a while, rain could be a significant factor on the main slate, as both the Pirates-Nationals and Braves-Mets games could be in danger of getting washed out. Of the two, the game in New York looks more likely to play, but this will be something to keep tabs on throughout the day. Luckily, we have a hefty 11-game slate, so moving away from those games won't be difficult if needed.

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.

Pitching Breakdown

Jacob deGrom ($11,400) is doing Jacob deGrom things this season, coming in with a ridiculous 1.88 SIERA, 42.2% strikeout rate, and 2.9% walk rate. Outside of a shaky Opening Day start, deGrom has pretty much been lights out, already logging two performances with 58 FanDuel points.

A matchup against the Yankees is typically daunting, but they've actually been a below-average team versus righties thus far, with their active roster posting a 99 wRC+ and 24.9% strikeout rate in the split. New York has a minuscule 2.89 implied team total, and deGrom is easily the night's top pitching option.

Framber Valdez ($10,500) is arguably the next-best choice, bringing his league-high 65.5% ground-ball rate to the table against the Phillies. Philadelphia's active roster owns a 111 wRC+ versus left-handers going back to last season, so this isn't the easiest matchup, but the team also has a 24.4% strikeout rate in the split, giving Valdez a path to upside.

Similar to deGrom, Valdez has been pretty consistent since a poor opening start, scoring 40 or more FanDuel points in four straight games. In addition to his elite ground-ball rate, he's put up a 26.0% strikeout rate and 6.1% walk rate, so Valdez is firing on all cylinders right now.

Luis Castillo ($11,000) is in a tough spot against the Blue Jays, but he's been dealing this year, producing a 3.14 SIERA, 30.4% strikeout rate, and 5.4% walk rate. Toronto has been elite versus righties both this year and in 2022, so Castillo is firmly behind deGrom and Valdez, but his numbers speak for themselves. His strikeout rate is the slate's second-best mark behind deGrom's.

David Peterson ($8,200) is getting rocked this year, but his underlying numbers suggest that he's been hampered by poor luck. The left-hander has a 3.75 SIERA, 25.6% strikeout rate, 7.7% walk rate, and 51.3% ground-ball rate, a collection of stats you wouldn't expect from someone with a 7.36 ERA. He's given up his share of barrels, so perhaps he's served up some meatballs, but a .366 BABIP and astronomically high 30.4% homer-to-fly-ball rate further suggest that he's deserved better.

Of course, things won't get much easier for him against the Braves, and this is also a trouble spot for weather this evening. Still, considering Atlanta is at just a 3.96 implied team total, bookmakers clearly aren't overlooking Peterson, and this might not be a bad time to buy low on him.

Max Fried ($9,400) is on the other side of that same game and typically falls under the better-in-real-life category due to his lower strikeout rate. Given the weather and a low-strikeout matchup against the Mets, he's probably someone we can skip.

On paper, Alek Manoah ($9,800), Shane Bieber ($9,600), and Aaron Nola ($9,000) are quality pitchers, but all three have struggled mightily this season and have less-than-ideal matchups. This could be a buy-low opportunity for Nola specifically, but he isn't a priority against the Astros.

Instead of Nola, Lucas Giolito ($8,800) might be the better value option. Giolito has a respectable 4.06 SIERA, 23.5% strikeout rate, and 5.0% walk rate, and he's logged 108, 102, and 102 pitches in his last three outings. A repeat matchup against the 2023 Rays could be brutal, but they were more of an average matchup for right-handers in 2022, giving us some hope for Giolito.

Lastly, Clarke Schmidt ($6,900) deserves a shout after racking up a season-high 8 punchouts and 41 FanDuel points versus Toronto on Sunday. Despite otherwise shaky results, he's amassed a 3.79 SIERA and 26.1% strikeout rate. The real issue could be pitch count, as he's yet to go past 84 pitches in a start, but that's a gamble that's easier to accept when Schmidt comes in at the position's third-lowest salary. The Rangers have a fairly modest 4.11 implied team total against Schmidt.

Hitting Breakdown

We have a game at Coors Field tonight, so it isn't surprising to see the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies combining for a slate-high 11.0-run over/under -- particularly when we see the pitchers taking the mound.

Left-hander Kyle Freeland is getting the ball for Colorado, and his 5.04 SIERA and 15.9% strikeout rate won't strike fear in the hearts of the D-backs. He's allowed a 49.3% fly-ball rate and 42.0% hard-hit rate to right-handed batters this season, and all six home runs he's given up have come from that side of the plate.

Christian Walker ($3,400) is having a sluggish month, but he hit 36 bombs last season and remains one of Arizona's best power bats. Ketel Marte ($3,300) and Evan Longoria ($3,200) also have solid pop from the right side, and Emmanuel Rivera ($2,400) could be a nice value play if he's batting second again.

Merrill Kelly has generally been a solid pitcher since coming over from the KBO in 2019, and while the results have still been there this season, he's showing an uncharacteristic 15.7% walk rate that should be getting him into more trouble. Curiously, he's performing much worse against righties so far (6.67 xFIP; 26.0% walk rate), too. Maybe it's just small-sample noise, but something is clearly off at the moment.

C.J. Cron ($3,300) and Ryan McMahon ($3,200) have the highest barrel rates on the team, so they should be the first guys to look at. Overall, both Coors teams have fairly low salaries for the venue, which could add to their popularity as stacks.

The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the higher implied team totals (4.69) behind Arizona and Colorado. Southpaw Tyler Anderson is putting up some ugly numbers, owning a 5.95 SIERA, 12.0% strikeout rate, and 8.7% walk rate over four starts. Add in a 48.6% fly-ball rate that's already led to five home runs allowed, and there's a lot to like in this matchup.

Best of all, the Brewers' salaries come in on the cheap, with just Brian Anderson ($3,200) checking in above $3,000. In addition to Anderson, Willy Adames ($3,000) and William Contreras ($2,800) are top options, and Michael Brosseau ($2,400) is projected to bat leadoff against the lefty.

Jack Flaherty is coming off a nine-strikeout game against Seattle, but his peripheral numbers are still a far cry from the ace we once knew. He's at a 5.48 SIERA, 23.2% strikeout rate, and 17.0% walk rate over five starts, and it's not like he was terribly effective in 2022, either.

Maybe that last start is the beginning of a turnaround, but the Los Angeles Dodgers aren't exactly the best matchup to keep that momentum going. Max Muncy ($4,400) was swinging a hot bat before going on the paternity list, and he should be back today with his league-leading .465 ISO. Mookie Betts ($3,600), Freddie Freeman ($3,500), and James Outman ($3,500) are all easy to like, as well, and Jason Heyward ($2,600) has been a pleasant surprise in terms of power with a 43.2% hard-hit rate and 43.2% fly-ball rate.

The Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians are others to consider. The Rays don't have an amazing matchup versus Giolito, but this is their second time in a row facing him, and if you're buying into their early success, the Rays been the league's best team versus righties. The Guardians get Nick Pivetta, who has a 10.2% walk rate and is allowing a 44.4% fly-ball rate and 44.4% hard-hit rate.