FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Wednesday 7/21/21
The Toronto Blue Jays were one of the top stacks on yesterday's slate, but with rain pushing their matchup to Wednesday, they top the list yet again. And while this isn't a star-studded pitching group, there are a few who stand out amongst the rest. Mercifully, there don't seem to be any notable weather issues to speak of tonight, too.
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Let's check out the top options on tonight's main slate.
Lance McCullers ($10,200): McCullers is the most likely candidate to be the slate's chalk pitcher as the best combination of talent and matchup. Since returning from the injured list in mid-June, the Astros righty has produced a solid 3.81 xFIP and 27.2% strikeout rate, with walks sometimes being an issue at an 11.6% clip. While that last part can get McCullers into trouble, the Indians' active roster owns a mere 91 wRC+ versus right-handers, and the team has one of the night's lowest implied totals at 3.46. McCullers has been on a roll this month, too, racking up eight or more strikeouts in all three July starts, one of which came against this same Cleveland squad.
Robbie Ray ($10,600): Ray would normally leapfrog McCullers, but his matchup is far more daunting against the Red Sox, who have a 105 wRC+ and low 21.3% strikeout rate versus left-handers. That certainly makes Ray's path towards a ceiling game more difficult, but he did put up 49 FanDuel points on the backs of 10 punchouts against Boston in June, so we shouldn't count him out by any means. The veteran southpaw is enjoying the best season of his career due in part to his vastly improved walk rate (6.3%), which is over four percentage points below his career average (10.5%). That paired with a 31.9% strikeout rate has helped him to an excellent 3.14 SIERA, and he's maintained that success over the summer months.
Dylan Cease ($8,600): Cease is the value arm I like the most, as he's sporting a noteworthy 3.74 SIERA, 30.0% strikeout rate, and 9.7% walk rate. Really, his underlying numbers are better than McCuller's, and he comes at a $1,600 discount. However, Cease's matchup against Minnesota is neutral at best. This will be Cease's fourth start versus the Twins, and the results have been mixed, though it's encouraging that he's induced at least seven strikeouts in all three prior outings. And while Cease often comes short of six full innings pitched, he's surpassed 100 pitches in two of his last starts, so he's been given some extra leash lately.
Others to Consider: Adam Wainwright ($8,800)
Toronto Blue Jays: We're running it back with the Blue Jays, as last night's postponement simply pushed Garrett Richards' start to tonight. Everything I said on Tuesday still applies today: Richards has endured a rotten time since the foreign substance ban, and we need to attack him every time he takes the mound until he proves otherwise. The Blue Jays lap the field with a 6.26 implied total, and unlike yesterday, there isn't a Coors game to contend with that lofty mark.
While Richards has struggled against both sides of the plate since the start of June, right-handed batters have been launching dingers off of him due to a 43.0% hard-hit rate and 38.4% ground-ball over that span.
The first four guys in the order are all great, but they'll cost you a sizable amount of cap space between Marcus Semien ($4,100), Bo Bichette ($3,600), Vladimir Guerrero ($4,500), and George Springer ($3,800). But if you're spending up at pitcher, you can find plenty of righty pop from Teoscar Hernandez ($3,400), Randal Grichuk ($3,300), and Lourdes Gurriel ($3,400), as well.
Chicago White Sox: Michael Pineda got roughed up in his return from the injured list earlier this month, giving up 5 earned runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The team he faced in that start? These same White Sox he now has to battle for the second straight start. While Pineda's season numbers aren't terrible, he's still someone who doesn't get a ton of strikeouts (21.5%) or grounders (38.5%), making him someone we can attack for home runs. He's allowed 1.61 dingers per nine innings this year.
Left-handed batters are the priority here because Pineda has a sky-high 50.6% fly-ball rate against them. That points us towards Yoan Moncada ($3,100), Gavin Sheets ($2,600), and Brian Goodwin ($2,800), all of whom check in at low salaries.
Philadelphia Phillies: Journeyman Asher Wojciechowski is expected to take the hill for the Yankees tonight, and his poor track record isn't likely to excite New York fans. Over 198 career innings, the 32-year-old has tallied a 4.95 ERA and 1.45 WHIP while allowing 2.00 home runs per nine innings. When we last saw him in 2020, he put up a 5.23 SIERA, 18.5% strikeout rate, 8.9% walk rate, and 30.3% ground-ball rate over 37 innings and gave up 11 home runs.
Considering Wojciechowski has only logged 12 2/3 innings across four appearances (three starts) in Triple-A this year due to injury, we shouldn't expect a long outing, but if his underwhelming numbers are any indication, perhaps a short appearance was always in the cards for him.
Bryce Harper ($3,900) and Rhys Hoskins ($3,500) are the top candidates to go yard, followed by J.T. Realmuto ($3,400) and Andrew McCutchen ($3,400). Beyond them, the rest of the lineup comes in at salaries of $3,000 and below, making this an easy group to stack in multiple combinations.