FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Friday 7/30/21
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.
At the top of the pitching pool, we have two standout options -- Lance Lynn ($10,700 on FanDuel) and Corbin Burnes ($11,200). Both are good plays, but with Lynn getting a nice matchup against the Cleveland Indians -- compared to Burnes' date with the Atlanta Braves -- I lean toward Lynn as my top arm. (I don't have much interest in Kevin Gausman [$10,200] versus the low-strikeout Houston Astros.)
Lynn sports a 3.79 SIERA and 27.4% strikeout rate, and it's always a big plus that he's got a long leash. He's thrown at least 98 pitches in three of his last four starts, and he's gone over the 100-pitch mark seven times this season. The Indians sit 26th in wOBA (.301) and have a 3.66 implied total. Lynn checks all the boxes.
Burnes has much better season-long numbers -- 36.6% strikeout rate and 2.43 SIERA -- so if you prefer the Milwaukee Brewers' righty, you won't get much of an argument from me. The Braves, who are 11th in wOBA (.322), are a much tougher task, though, and Burnes' strikeout rate has fallen each month -- two things that push me to Lynn.
Taillon gets a dream matchup versus the Miami Marlins, and he hasn't given up more than two earned runs in any of his last four starts. While he usually doesn't have the strikeout upside we crave, Taillon gets a boost in that department versus a Miami offense that strikes out at the fourth-highest rate (25.9%).
Gilbert has impressive rate stats, including a 28.8% strikeout rate, 5.8% walk rate, and 12.8% swinging-strike rate. The matchup is there, too, against a Texas Rangers lineup that was dead last in wOBA (.292) even with Joey Gallo. The bugaboo for Gilbert is efficiency. Despite tossing at least 94 pitches in three of his past four appearances, he's gone more than 5 2/3 innings just once, but this is a great matchup for him to get the quality start points.
Skubal has really come on this season, but his matchup with the Baltimore Orioles isn't as easy as you might think. The O's have a 4.43 implied total and rank ninth in wOBA against lefties (.327).
Stacks to Target
Toronto Blue Jays
It feels like the Toronto Blue Jays are on the stacking radar every night. Probably because they pretty much are. They are an offense you'll want exposure to today as they hold a slate-best (by nearly a full run as of early Friday afternoon) 6.06 implied total versus Daniel Lynch. A lefty, Lynch has some solid minor-league numbers, but in his small sample of 16 MLB frames, he's struck out just 14.9% of hitters.
You know the usual suspects with the Jays, so I'm not going to rattle off the names of all their stars. I will, however, give a mention to the modestly salaried trio of Teoscar Hernandez ($3,400), Randal Grichuk ($2,300), and Lourdes Gurriel ($2,500) -- all of whom will have the platoon advantage.
Hernandez is a fantastic play in this spot as he has pummeled lefties to the tune of a .448 wOBA and 43.3% fly-ball rate. Gurriel, who sat yesterday with a minor injury, has a hard-hit rate 7.1 percentage points higher against lefties than he does right-handers. Grichuk owns a 46.7% fly-ball rate in the split.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have a home date with Jean Carlos Mejia, and the Pale Hose have been handed a 4.84 implied total. Mejia has allowed a whopping 1.99 homers per nine over his first 40 2/3 innings in the bigs, and lefties are mauling him for a .429 wOBA and 40.0% hard-hit rate, although the sample is fairly small.
Switch-hitters Cesar Hernandez ($3,100) and Yoan Moncada ($2,900) will hit from the left side and should be in the meat of the lineup. Lefties Gavin Sheets ($2,300) and Brian Goodwin ($2,300) are superb low-salary picks who can help you get the ace you want. Our model ranks Sheets as the third-best point-per-dollar play among all hitters.
We don't need to limit ourselves to Chicago's left-handers. Tim Anderson ($3,500) is the slate's number-three bat, according to our projections, and he always offers a nice power/speed combo. Jose Abreu ($3,400) and Eloy Jimenez ($3,300) are worth a look if they're in the lineup. Both are listed as day-to-day.
Tampa Bay Rays
They can feast on Perez, though, as he has struggled to a 19.3% strikeout rate. His 7.8% swinging-strike rate tells us that his strikeout rate might actually be higher than it should be. Perez has given up a .351 wOBA to right-handed sticks, and his numbers against lefties are much better, especially in terms of his batted-ball data, so I'll be righty-heavy with my Tampa stacks.
Nelson Cruz ($3,900) has been a lefty killer for a long time, and Randy Arozarena ($3,300) has posted a .361 wOBA and 40.8% fly-ball rate with the platoon advantage. Manuel Margot ($2,800) led off the last time Tampa Bay saw a southpaw, and Yandy Diaz ($2,800) should be in the meat of the lineup. While Wander Franco ($2,700) has started slowly, he'll hit from the right side and checks every single box that a prospect can check. Also, Mike Zunino ($2,400) has a gaudy .474 wOBA and nine jacks in a mere 81 plate appearances against lefties in 2021.