FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Monday 6/28/21
A trio of high-strikeout arms headline our pitching options tonight, but it really drops off from there. Who should we prioritize? On the other hand, there are plenty of ways to go with our bats, with familiar offenses like the Astros, Yankees, and Red Sox among the teams with implied totals above five runs.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Freddy Peralta ($9,500): It makes me a little uneasy to recommend a guy with a double-digit walk rate right out the gate, but Peralta balances that out with the slate's best strikeout rate, and he draws a plus matchup against the Cubs. Just as importantly, Peralta's maintained his success since MLB's crackdown on foreign substances, posting a 3.29 SIERA and 34.4% strikeout rate over four June starts. Among active rosters, Chicago has the highest strikeout rate versus right-handed pitching (26.5%) along with a below-average 92 wRC+. As long as Peralta can limit the free passes, he should contend for one of the night's top scores.
Lucas Giolito ($9,800): At roughly the same salary as Peralta, Giolito is the obvious pivot, but he has to contend with a tougher opponent in the Twins. The good news is he's another guy who's showing excellent underlying numbers in June, putting up a 3.06 SIERA, 32.7% strikeout rate, and 5.1% walk rate. Minnesota checks in with a 104 wRC+ against righties and are middle-of-the-road in strikeout rate, but their 4.02 implied total isn't one to scare us off. As always, it's also worth remembering that Giolito can boost his numbers through a hefty workload: he's exceeded 100 pitches in six of his last seven starts.
Trevor Bauer ($11,000): Bauer could be a wild card in tournaments tonight. Not only does he have the highest salary by a decent margin, but questions continue to surround him in the post-sticky stuff era. This month, he's recorded a 4.00 SIERA, 29.7% strikeout rate, and 11.7% walk rate, which is still pretty good but probably not quite what you're looking for from an $11,000 hurler. In particular, his performance has dipped significantly versus lefties (5.46 xFIP), which could get him into trouble against a pesky Giants lineup that should have its share of left-handed sticks. All that being said, Bauer's still getting plenty of strikeouts and regularly exceeds 100 pitches, so he should remain on your radar.
Houston Astros: The Astros were a mainstay in this section last week, and we're picking up right where we left off, as they boast a robust 5.88 implied total. That's because they're facing Thomas Eshelman again, who was predictably rocked for six earned runs in four innings by Houston last Wednesday. Eshelman now owns a 5.62 SIERA and 12.1% strikeout rate across 79 1/3 career innings, and it's highly unlikely he improves those marks in his second straight start against one of the league's best lineups.
Eshelman has poor numbers against all comers -- so you don't have to be too picky with your stacks -- but he's shown zero ability to get lefties out, displaying a career 6.40 xFIP and 8.1% strikeout rate in the split. That gives Yordan Alvarez ($3,700), Michael Brantley ($3,500), and Kyle Tucker ($3,300), and Abraham Toro ($2,700) a leg up tonight.
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox get the weather boost trifecta between high temperatures, humidity, and roughly 10 mph winds blowing out to center. Their implied total has crept up to 6.04 against fly-ball pitcher Danny Duffy and a lackluster Royals bullpen.
Although Duffy has posted strong numbers this season, since returning from the injured list, he's made a 42-pitch start and a 15-pitch relief appearance, so chances are he won't go particularly deep into the game. But for however long Duffy remains in the game, there could still be some home run potential for Boston, as the southpaw allows a 45.6% fly-ball rate, which could get him into trouble in these hitter-friendly conditions.
Even if Duffy is up to the task, he'll be followed by a bullpen that's showing the third-worst xFIP among active rosters (4.63). J.D. Martinez ($4,000) and Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) are strong choices against the lefty starter, but considering much of this game could fall to the 'pen, Rafael Devers ($3,700) should be right there with them. Beyond that trio, Hunter Renfroe ($2,800) and Bobby Dalbec ($2,500) have the type of power to take advantage of the weather, and Michael Chavis ($2,400) has some value if he's batting leadoff.
Kansas City Royals: With a 5.70 implied total, the Yankees are right there with the Astros and Red Sox for the top stacks of the evening. Following a deflating weekend series against the Red Sox, the Bronx Bombers have an ideal matchup at home against Dylan Bundy to get back on track. Bundy has really struggled with the long ball this season, allowing 1.99 home runs per nine innings.
But don't sleep on the Royals, who find themselves on the other side of tonight's Fenway matchup. Not only do they also benefit from the plus hitting weather, but they get to take their hacks versus Garrett Richards. The Boston righty's season-long marks are underwhelming, and he's really fallen off this month, producing a 5.40 SIERA, 15.0% strikeout rate, and 11.5% walk rate over his last five outings. He looked completely lost in his last start versus Tampa Bay, allowing four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings with four walks and zero punchouts.
As Kansas City's best power bat, Salvador Perez ($3,300) is an easy choice, but Richards has really fallen off against lefties lately, so Carlos Santana ($3,500) and Ryan O'Hearn ($2,700) are also solid options. Whit Merrifield ($3,700) is up to 21 stolen bases out of the leadoff spot, while Jorge Soler ($2,900) and Hunter Dozier ($2,400) give us some cheap pop lower in the order.