FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 4/21/22

Due to some funky MLB scheduling, the main slate will begin at 1:10 pm ET and consist of the six afternoon games with start times before 4:00 pm.

Our daily helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and help give you a starting point when you're building lineups. Be sure to also incorporate our great tools into your research process. Whether you're looking for daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, or batting and pitching heat maps to find the best matchups -- we've got you covered!

Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.


Dylan Cease ($10,300): Cease is looking like the top choice at pitcher this afternoon against Cleveland.

The righty produced a 3.57 SIERA and 31.9% strikeout rate in 2021, and the only problem was his occasional tendency to hand out free passes (9.6% walk rate). That last bit has been the case so far this year after already notching five walks in 10 2/3 innings, but he's also racked up eight punchouts in back-to-back starts with a 15.3% swinging-strike rate.

The Guardians aren't necessarily a plus matchup for strikeouts, but Cease should be able to take care of business against a team with a 3.70 implied total.

Carlos Carrasco ($10,100): Carrasco andKevin Gausman ($9,900) are the other two hurlers hovering around $10,000, and they have been doling out strikeouts in the early going.

Both guys are in play against tougher opponents, but I'm giving Carrasco the slight edge nod against San Francisco.

Carrasco is coming off a forgettable 2021 campaign due to injuries, but he's looked like his old self through two starts, tallying 13 strikeouts in his first 10 2/3 innings. His strikeouts have come with a 15.8% swinging-strike rate, which falls right in line with what he was doing from 2018-2020.

The Giants have some punch in their lineup, but they also have a lot of swing-and-miss bats. Their active roster posted a 24.7% strikeout rate in 2021, and that's carried over into this season, where they've struck out at a 25.6% clip.

At home in pitcher-friendly Citi Field, Carrasco enjoys one of the lowest opposing implied totals on the board (3.56).

Joe Ryan ($8,200): In the value range,Paul Blackburn ($7,600) has been a pleasant surprise thus far with a 26.3% strikeout rate, and if the weather holds up, I'm not against taking a few swings with him against Baltimore if you're a believer. However, his two outings have been 71 and 73 pitches, and he's otherwise been a low strikeout pitcher over his career.

The more conventional move is to ride with Ryan, who is short on experience but could have a similar upside to the high-salaried arms. Over seven starts dating back to last season, Ryan has logged a 3.42 SIERA, 29.1% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate.

Although the young right-hander doesn't get many grounders and has shown some early home run problems, he's facing a Royals offense that's light on power and plays in one of the least friendly ballparks for home runs. Kansas City's another team with a modest implied total (3.87), as well.


New York Yankees: There isn't a single offense with an implied total cracking five runs today, so it's possible we see roster percentages a bit more spread out than usual.

The Yankees have the highest mark of the bunch (4.66), though, likely making them a popular destination for stacks.

They'll take their hacks against Michael Pineda, who's making his 2022 debut. While Pineda found some success last season, his peripherals were pretty meh, including a 4.36 SIERA and 19.2% strikeout rate.

Dingers have been a problem over his career, and 2021 was no different, as he allowed 1.40 per nine innings and only put up a 39.8% ground-ball rate.

Pineda can be attacked by both sides of the plate, but he was worse versus lefties, posting a 4.62 xFIP and 16.5% strikeout rate. Aaron Hicks ($2,700) is a value out of the leadoff slot, andAnthony Rizzo ($3,500) andJoey Gallo ($2,700) are the other prominent sluggers with the platoon advantage.

Of course, righties Aaron Judge ($3,600)andGiancarlo Stanton ($3,700) are the top power options on the Yankees as usual.

Chicago White Sox: Right-hander Zach Plesac struggled to a 4.73 SIERA and 16.7% strikeout rate last year, and he's likely to be a low-strikeout pitcher yet again after managing just a 15.9% strikeout rate over his opening 2022 starts.

There's some solid value in Chicago's lineup today, asYasmani Grandal ($2,700) is under-salaried, andGavin Sheets ($2,700) andLeury Garcia ($2,200) are two other low-salaried sticks with the platoon advantage. Sheets has posted a 10.9% barrel rate over his young career, and while Garcia doesn't possess much pop, he's actually hitting third.

Otherwise, it's just a matter of choosing between the top righty bats of Tim Anderson ($3,900), Luis Robert ($3,600), Jose Abreu ($3,600), and Eloy Jimenez ($3,300).

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays don't have a great matchup versus Tanner Houck, but Houck has performed poorly so far with an 18.4% strikeout rate and 15.8% walk rate, so he may be feeling the effects of the shortened spring training. He's only induced a 7.2% swinging-strike rate, as well.

The big bats of Bo Bichette ($3,300), and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($4,100) are no-brainers, and we should continue to take advantage of Bichette's lower salary despite underwhelming results.

Houck had a lower strikeout rate versus lefties in 2021, so Raimel Tapia ($2,600) and Zack Collins ($2,700) should get extra consideration in an otherwise righty-heavy order. Tapia is batting leadoff today and Collins is hitting cleanup.