FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 7/20/23
Today's slate gets rolling early at 12:20 pm ET, and for a seven-game offering, we've got a rather robust selection of top-notch pitchers to consider. That narrows down the number of standout matchups to stack, but we still have enticing implied team totals from a handful of offenses.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
If you're locking in one pitcher, the answer has to be Spencer Strider ($11,400) and his league-leading 38.9% strikeout rate. Strider has logged at least nine strikeouts in 14 of his 19 starts and reached double digits seven times. It's hard to find a better combination of floor and ceiling this season.
However, rostering him today does come with a few caveats. His slate-high salary leaves you with less than $3,000 for each hitting slot, and this is hardly an easy matchup against Arizona. Furthermore, we're looking at some fantastic hitting weather in Atlanta, as it's expected to be hot with the wind blowing out.
Given that Strider is a fly-ball pitcher, it wouldn't be surprising to see him let up a dinger or two under these conditions. Still, the Diamondbacks' 3.65 implied team total is one of the lowest on the board, and no one else is as likely to lead the slate in scoring as Strider.
Although Lopez flopped in a big way against the Athletics of all teams last week, that was preceded by a complete-game shutout against the Royals the start before (73 FanDuel points), so this probably isn't anything to worry about. Overall, the 27-year-old's underlying metrics continue to look pristine with a 3.39 SIERA, 30.2% strikeout rate, and 6.9% walk rate over 19 starts.
The Mariners are roughly an average offense against right-handers, but their active roster has an appealing 25.4% strikeout rate in the split that we can exploit. After Strider, Lopez arguably has the best path toward racking up the Ks today.
Snell has a low-strikeout opponent in the Blue Jays, but we know he can dominate any opponent when he's dialed in. The lefty has logged at least 10 strikeouts in five of his last seven starts.
While Kirby tends to be better in real life due to his 20.7% strikeout rate, he doesn't walk anyone (2.4% rate) and has accrued quality starts in 14 of 18 outings. The Twins' active roster has a 28.1% strikeout rate versus righties, so if Kirby can keep their power in check, he could have more punchouts than usual, too.
Burnes has been difficult to pin down all year, but he's showing a 36.6% strikeout rate across his three July starts, topping out with 13 Ks and 67 FanDuel points in his last start. We're getting nice value at this salary in a neutral matchup against Philadelphia.
As of this writing, the New York Mets have the slate's highest implied team total (5.18), and they should be able to take advantage of their matchup against Michael Kopech. Kopech appeared to have everything clicking around late May, but whatever strides he made evaporated around a month later, and he's now back to issuing walks left and right. A recent stint on the injured list didn't seem to improve matters, as he lasted just two-thirds of an inning with four walks in his first start back.
For the season, Kopech is now at a 13.9% walk rate, and he's also given up 1.87 home runs per 9 innings. As always with the Mets, Pete Alonso ($3,600) is the top guy to build around, and that's further enhanced by Kopech actually having worse splits against righties this season (5.40 xFIP).
The Atlanta Braves have the next-best implied team total despite facing a Cy Young contender in Zac Gallen. But that just goes to show how lethal this Braves lineup is these days, and as mentioned earlier, we're looking at perfect hitting weather in Atlanta.
Of course, the trouble is that this is Gallen we're talking about, and there's little to find in his profile that we would normally want to attack. Perhaps the one thing we can point to is that he hasn't allowed many home runs despite a 38.5% ground-ball rate, and his 7.9% homer-to-fly-ball rate would also suggest some regression. It's not like he's suppressing hard contact at some elite rate, either.
Mostly, though, this is simply about rostering strength against strength and hoping the Braves' side wins out.
The San Francisco Giants have been a mainstay here this week, no doubt aided by summer temperatures and hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. They'll face left-hander Andrew Abbott, who's enjoyed success over his eight starts but has allowed a healthy dose of home runs (1.51 per 9 innings). There's also a sizable gap between his 2.45 ERA and 4.33 SIERA. Specifically, regression could come versus right-handed batters, against whom he's put up a 5.07 xFIP, 10.6% walk rate, and 18.8% ground-ball rate.
There's pinch-hitting risk whenever we stack the Giants, but it's worth it when we see that every batter is still at $3,000 or below today, and that's particularly enticing if we're paying up at pitcher.
Finally, stacking the Detroit Tigers isn't something we don't do very often, but they have to be considered on the small slate versus Zack Greinke. Greinke has a poor 16.4% strikeout rate this season, and this will be his first start since landing on the injured list with a shoulder injury earlier this month. Even the Tigers might be able to take advantage of the soft-tossing 39-year-old.