FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Saturday 9/12/20
The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.
While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.
In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.
If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate, which starts at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Pitchers to Target
This pitching slate is not good. The cancellation of the San Diego Padres-San Francisco Giants game takes Dinelson Lamet off the board, and he would've been a clear top play. Without Lamet, we've gotta grind.
Zac Gallen ($10,000 on FanDuel) is -- by a good margin -- the guy I feel best about. He's hosting a Seattle Mariners offense that is roughly league average in terms of strikeout rate and wOBA against righties. Gallen has been excellent so far this season, pitching to a 3.84 SIERA, 27.9% strikeout rate and 12.1% swinging-strike rate. We project him for 31,8 FanDuel points, the second-most on the slate.
Our top-projected hurler is Zach Plesac ($10,200) on the road versus the Minnesota Twins. The Twins do have a 25.0% strikeout rate against right-handers this season, but they also have a .331 wOBA and 39.0% hard-hit rate in the split, both of which are top-10 marks. While we have Plesac -- who has been stellar in this year's small sample (3.34 SIERA) -- pegged for 32.5 FanDuel points, he's in GPP-only territory for me due to the powerful Twins' offense.
Kyle Hendricks ($9,300) isn't someone we normally look to in DFS, because low-strikeout pitchers don't offer the upside we need. On this slate, however, Hendricks is worth considering, and facing the Milwaukee Brewers gives him a lift in the strikeout department.
The Brewers have been horrible against righties this season, owning the third-worst wOBA (.296) and third-highest strikeout rate (26.6%). Hendricks' 11.3% swinging-strike rate this season is a career-best number, and he tossed a complete-game three-hitter with nine punchouts versus the Brew Crew on Opening Day on his way to 64 FanDuel points.
Stacks to Target
Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels
These two teams tangle tonight at Coors Field in a game with an over/under of 12.0 runs. It's Kyle Freeland against Jaime Barria, and we should see a lot of runs. I'm not going to list off every player in the game, but I wanted to at least mention Coors since it'll be so pivotal tonight.
I'll be zeroing in on the Rockies' lefties and any lower-salary sticks who get into the lineup. With that said, the lack of top-end pitching on this slate makes it much easier to get to the high-salary hitters.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers' 5.15 implied total is the top non-Coors clip on the slate. The Dodgers are hosting lefty Framber Valdez. Valdez is a fine pitcher who generates a ton of grounders (60.5% ground-ball rate in 2020) as well as a decent amount of whiffs (23.2% strikeout rate). But his 9.6% swinging-strike rate tells us his strikeout rate is due for some negative regression, and he's allowed a 38.8% hard-hit rate across 123 MLB innings since the start of 2019.
Plus, this Dodgers' lineup is filthy.
I'll be locked in on the Dodgers' righties -- especially the lower-salary options like A.J. Pollock ($3,000), Will Smith ($2,900), Chris Taylor ($2,700) and Enrique Hernandez ($2,400). Superstar Mookie Betts ($4,500) will also have the platoon advantage, but he's a reverse-splits guy with a massive salary.
Anderson has just a 14.7% strikeout rate in this year's small sample, but his strikeout rate was actually worse (12.1%) over 176 innings a season ago. He finished 2019 with a 40.2% hard-hit rate, including a 43.9% hard-hit rate versus right-handed hitters.
Depending on what manager David Ross does, the Cubs field a starting nine of nearly all righties. Kris Bryant ($3,000) is a smashing point-per-dollar play as he's mauled southpaws in his career. He tagged them for a .432 wOBA, 40.3% hard-hit rate and 48.0% fly-ball rate last season.
Javier Baez ($2,900), Ian Happ ($3,200) and Willson Contreras ($2,800) will all right from the right side and will likely be in good spots in the lineup. Victor Caratini ($2,300), Cameron Maybin ($2,300) and Nico Hoerner ($2,300) will have the platoon advantage and can be a great source of cap relief.