FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Tuesday 7/18/23
Tuesday's 13-game slate is a whopper. We've got the Houston Astros visiting Coors Field and should have plenty of salary to go there. Only three pitchers carry salaries north of $10,000, and they're not the world's most stable options.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
It's truly a lawless town here on today's main slate.
Mitch Keller (4.55 xFIP since June 1st) is in poor form taking on the low-whiff Guardians, so you'd potentially turn to Nathan Eovaldi of the Rangers, per his 3.41 expected ERA (xERA) and modest 24.1% strikeout rate. However, his hard-hit rate allowed (41.7%) is dangerously high for a date in Arlington with Tampa Bay.
With a lower strikeout rate than Keller but better form, Lucas Giolito ($10,000) gets my top nod in the five-digit salary range today. The Mets have just a .724 OPS versus righties since June 1st, which ranks 17th in MLB. They're the softest landing spot, and Gio has punched out at least five hitters in seven of his last eight starts.
Some of the bargain bin is incredibly viable on a Coors Field slate, though. I can make cases for Tarik Skubal ($8,700), Logan Allen ($8,500), Hunter Brown ($8,300), and Bryan Woo ($8,100) -- and I will.
Skubal is the diciest option despite the best profile. His 2.38 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 39.3% strikeout rate are dreamy for a matchup in Kansas City, but his pitch count isn't. He topped out at 63 pitches before the break returning from injury, so 80 would be a sublime scenario today.
Allen isn't significantly inspiring, but his matchup is. Pittsburgh has just an 85 wRC+ with a gigantic 25.8% strikeout rate since the start of June against southpaws, and Allen does have swing-and-miss upside (11.8% swinging-strike rate) with a high floor by reducing flyballs (35.7% rate).
At Coors Field, Brown is a total lottery ticket. I'm really considering him in all formats when, with a 3.43 SIERA and 28.3% strikeout rate, he'd be the top overall play on the slate drawing the Rockies in a different venue. This pitching slate is poor enough to potentially take a chance he's one of many righties -- including Gerrit Cole on Sunday -- to stifle the Rox at home this year.
Woo is also a decent process play with the Twins striking out 28.4% of the time against righties, and the low implied total for Minnesota (3.61) will draw attention to him today.
Pitchers with opposing implied totals below four not mentioned include Bailey Ober ($9,800), Jordan Montgomery ($9,200), and Jameson Taillon ($6,300) of the Cubs. The low-whiff Marlins and Nationals, respectively, make Montgomery and Taillon a tough sell from a DFS perspective.
This might be the rare slate where investing in the offenses is actually the way to increase the floor of your lineup in cash games.
The Rockies' starter against the Houston Astros is currently a total question mark, so the 'Stros obviously be on the table at Coors Field. At the very least, it won't be anyone intimidating. Outside of Kyle Tucker ($4,300), the bulk of the order will be at or below $3,500, so they'll even work as a stack with a top guy on the slate.
However, the Atlanta Braves aren't to be doubted or ignored at home in such a delightful spot. They'll get to tee off on Zach Davies, who enters with a 4.93 SIERA, a low 18.9% strikeout rate, and a 38.5% hard-hit rate allowed that isn't solid when facing baseball's best offense. Coors might help snag attention away from their 6.35 implied team total.
It opens up a bit from there, but the San Francisco Giants are a worthy bronze medalist. They've got a 5.55 implied team total set to battle Luke Weaver (5.62 xERA) and a dreadful Cincinnati bullpen. With a righty on the bump, the safest choices to avoid a pinch hitter are probably Michael Conforto ($3,000), Mike Yastrzemski ($2,900), and J.D. Davis ($2,900). Their lower salaries should be a bit contrarian.
Two of my favorite tournament stacks are the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs. The ChiSox get the latest pass at the scuffling Carlos Carrasco (6.03 xERA), and New York's struggling bullpen (5.26 xFIP since June 15th) might be an even softer target. At worse, Luis Robert Jr. ($4,000) is a phenomenal one-off when we've got salary to spend.
As for the Cubbies, they'll draw Patrick Corbin, who I always find to be an overrated target in DFS, but Chicago is worth a look if indications are they won't be popular. They've put forth a much better OPS against lefties (.749) than righties (.719) since June 15th, and the Nationals' bullpen has been awful all year. The wind blowing in at Wrigley Field is a bit disappointing, though.
The Baltimore Orioles also have an implied team total approaching five as they're set for a date with Michael Grove (5.09 xERA) and the Dodgers, who probably don't make the cut today in a tough matchup with Tyler Wells.
As great of positions the Astros and Braves hold, the diversity of options on this slate makes getting stuck on that same popular square less and less appealing. I haven't even mentioned the lethal Texas Rangers offense in a home date with the up-and-down Taj Bradley (5.43 ERA) or the matching implied totals approaching five between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels.
With so few reliable arms and so many viable stacks, it'll definitely take a bit more good fortune than usual to come out on top.