FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 5/8/23

We have an eight-game slate on tap for Monday, and it's one that's fairly wide open on the hitting side, as no offense has an implied team total above five runs.

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

In what has been a brilliant start to his 2023 campaign, Zac Gallen ($11,300) comes in with easily the best overall numbers on the slate, sporting a 2.46 SIERA, 35.2% strikeout rate, and 3.1% walk rate.

Following a string of ceiling games in April (64, 51, 64, and 65 FanDuel points), Gallen was just okay last week against the Rangers (24 FanDuel points). But that can be forgiven considering Texas' offense has been one of the better ones thus far, and Gallen also suffered some poor BABIP luck (.467).

He shouldn't have much trouble bouncing back versus Miami, a team that has decidedly not been one of the league's best. Facing right-handed pitching, the Marlins' active roster has put up an 83 wRC+ and 23.6% strikeout rate, and against a pitcher like Gallen, they naturally have one of the night's worst implied team totals (3.59).

Gallen's slate-high salary leaves less wiggle room for our bats, but there should be enough value to make things work, so he's still the top arm.

And speaking of the Rangers, Logan Gilbert ($9,500) is the one facing them tonight, and while that might not be an ideal matchup, Gilbert has been pretty impressive himself, posting a 3.18 SIERA, 29.6% strikeout rate, and 5.2% walk rate.

Despite those pristine marks, it hasn't fully translated over to big-time DFS results due to his ERA being higher than expected (4.01) and his pitch counts often falling short of 90 pitches. However, given his excellent underlying numbers, the ERA should follow suit soon enough, and he does have starts with 99 and 94 pitches, so a longer leash is theoretically there if he's dealing.

The Rangers' active roster has a scary 116 wRC+ versus righties this season, but this is a massive step up from how they performed in the split last year (91 wRC+), so it's still possible that they'll come back down to earth. Bookmakers are granting them just a 3.62 implied team total, which should further give us confidence in rostering Gilbert.

Nestor Cortes ($9,300) and Dylan Cease ($9,100) have both been mediocre to this point, but they're still showing strikeout upside and have the right matchups to get on track.

For Cortes, he's up against the lowly Athletics, though we have to keep in mind that A's aren't necessarily as much of a dumpster fire against left-handers. They're likely to roll out an entire lineup of right-handed batters and have actually performed quite well versus lefties this season, albeit in a small sample. Even if we include last year's numbers, Oakland's active roster still has a 98 wRC+ in the split that's just a hair below average.

Although facing a bunch of righty sticks isn't ideal, Cortes has a 26.5% strikeout rate versus righties this season, and he had a solid 24.7% clip against them in 2022. Overall, I generally like finding the extra $200 to hop over to Gilbert, but I can understand preferring Cortes if you're wary of Gilbert's lower pitch counts.

Cease is dealing with his usual walk problems (11.6% walk rate) and his punchouts are slightly down (26.2% strikeout rate), but the Royals are an ideal opponent for him. Kansas City's active roster owns the sixth-worst wRC+ versus right-handers (90) while also having the fifth-worst walk rate (7.1%). If Cease can limit those free passes, he should be able to reach six innings for the first time since mid-April, and his workload is never an issue, having logged 98 or more pitches in six straight starts.

Considering the lack of appealing plays below Cease's salary tonight, he's arguably our top salary saver.

Hitting Breakdown

Only a few teams have implied team totals close to five runs, and two of them are the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees.

The Giants can take advantage of a 26-year-old making just his second MLB start in Jake Irvin. In his debut last week, the right-hander allowed just one earned run in 4 1/3 innings, which seems solid on paper, but it came with him issuing 4 walks to just 3 strikeouts while getting by on a .185 BABIP. A hideous 7.21 SIERA in that outing tells the real story, and it wasn't like he came in with amazing minor league numbers, as he produced a 5.35 xFIP, 20.4% strikeout rate, and 11.2% walk rate in five Triple-A starts.

San Francisco is often an annoying lineup to stack due to pinch-hitting shenanigans, but their modest salaries are a gift in this spot, and LaMonte Wade Jr ($3,000), Thairo Estrada ($3,400), J.D. Davis ($3,000), Joc Pederson ($3,000), and Mitch Haniger ($3,000) should occupy the first five slots in the order. It looks like the Nationals presently have an entire bullpen of righties, so we should feel much more confident that guys like Wade and Pederson play the whole game, too.

Injuries have reduced the Yankees' lineup to one that no longer strikes fear in opposing pitchers, so it says something about their matchup when they have one of the better implied team totals.

Left-hander JP Sears is coming off perhaps his best start of the year after blanking the Mariners across six innings, and his peripheral numbers are quite promising between a 4.07 SIERA, 25.8% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate. And yet, while that's all well and good, he has a 5.06 ERA because he's giving up tons of fly balls (57.5%) and barrels (12.6%), leading to 1.97 home runs allowed per 9 innings.

This is another low-salaried stack, with right-handed batters Gleyber Torres ($2,800), DJ LeMahieu ($2,800), Anthony Volpe ($2,700), and Harrison Bader ($2,700) all coming in below $3,000. Due to Sears' ability to generate swings and misses, Torres and his 12.2% strikeout rate should go a long way, and he's arguably the team's best healthy right-handed hitter. Torres, Volpe, and Bader also all bring added value with their legs, and Volpe leads the team in stolen bases (11).

Lefty Anthony Rizzo ($2,900) has no problem in lefty-lefty matchups, and Sears actually has poor numbers in the split going back to last year (5.32 xFIP), so he's a top play, as well. Oakland also has one of the league's worst bullpens, further enhancing Rizzo's appeal.

The Houston Astros are another team that's typically an offensive juggernaut, but it hasn't quite come together for them yet. This isn't a bad spot for them versus Patrick Sandoval, a left-hander vastly outperforming his advanced metrics.

Despite having a 2.93 ERA, Sandoval has a lackluster 5.00 SIERA, 17.7% strikeout rate, and 11.2% walk rate, and it sure looks like he's going to get smacked with regression in due time. He deserves credit for a 53.8% ground-ball rate, but that isn't enough to cancel everything else out.

Considering Houston's best power hitters, Yordan Alvarez ($4,300) and Kyle Tucker ($3,200), are lefties, this isn't a perfect match for stacking, but both players also perform well in same-sided matchups. They're still top options, particularly because they're both fly-ball hitters.

Mauricio Dubon ($2,700), Alex Bregman ($2,900), and Jose Abreu ($2,500) have all struggled at the plate in 2023, but they'll have the platoon advantage in the top half of the order. Jeremy Pena ($3,200) doesn't come at a discount salary, but he's showing power-speed upside again this year.

The Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers are three more to have on your radar. Tony Gonsolin has a rough 11.4% strikeout rate and 14.3% walk rate over his first two starts, and while he should improve eventually, the Brewers might be seeing him at the right time. Seattle will get Jon Gray, who hasn't looked like the same pitcher this season, recording a 5.63 SIERA, 14.5% strikeout rate, and 10.7% walk rate over six outings. Gray's numbers have been especially poor versus left-handed batters (6.37 xFIP). The Dodgers have a tough matchup against Freddy Peralta, but he'll still struggle with walks sometimes, and this is the type of offense that could make him pay.