We end the work week with a deep pitching slate, and it will be tough to pick a favorite for single-entry lineups. And if that wasn't enough, we have a matchup at Coors Field to consider for stacks.
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Let's check out the top options on today's main slate.
While Arizona is -- at best -- an average matchup for punchouts, that clearly isn't an issue for Rodon when he's dealing, and they're a weak lineup overall. The D-Backs' active roster owns the fourth-worst wRC+ against lefties (88).
It's worth noting that Rodon was lifted slightly early in his last start due to a blister. But they gave him a few extra days to heal between starts, and it doesn't sound like a serious issue. If we assume that's the case, he should be in line for his usual workload, which can occasionally get up to 100-plus pitches.
Overall, the southpaw has backed up his breakout 2021 campaign with another stellar season, compiling a 2.87 SIERA, 32.8% strikeout rate, and 7.3% walk rate across 29 outings.
Gerrit Cole ($10.600): Cole's results have been a little all over the place lately, but he's also producing his share of ceiling games, scoring more than 60 FanDuel points in two of his last five starts. So, the upside is still intact, and that's what's most important in GPPs.
For the season, the veteran right-hander owns a 2.78 SIERA, 32.6% strikeout rate, and 6.5% walk rate -- which is pretty hard to complain about.
This is roughly a neutral matchup versus the Red Sox, and this will now be the fifth time he's faced Boston in 2022. While that familiarity isn't necessarily a good thing, he's reached double-digit punchouts in each of his last two starts against them.
The key for Cole will be whether he can keep the ball in the park. Cole has given up 1.43 home runs per nine innings this season, and it's been a particularly troublesome issue most recently, leading to some of his inconsistency. Luckily, while the wind is blowing out to right field tonight, temperatures dipping below 60 degrees should give Cole an assist.
Boston has one of the slate's lowest implied totals (3.10), and we shouldn't hesitate to throw Cole in some lineups tonight.
Aaron Nola ($10,300): Yet another ace to consider, Nola gets the risk/reward opponent in the Braves. Against righties, Atlanta's active roster boasts the league's second-best ISO (.195) but also has the fourth-highest strikeout rate (25.3%).
The good news for Nola is that home runs haven't been a problem for him in 2022, allowing just 0.87 per nine innings. Add that to an excellent 2.86 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, and 3.5% walk rate, and it's easy to like the Phillies right-hander in this spot.
Perhaps the best thing about Nola is that he often pitches deep into games and ranks fifth this season in innings pitched. He's gone at least seven innings in 15 of 29 starts, and 6 of those have gone eight or more. He even went nine innings at the end of August against Cincinnati, leading to a ridiculous 70-point performance.
Despite Atlanta's credentials on offense, they have a 3.16 implied total, and their power could be further muted by the wind blowing in tonight.
Lucas Giolito ($9,300): As shown by the trio up top, paying down at pitcher could be a risky endeavor on this slate, and that's without even mentioning Shohei Ohtani ($10,100) -- if the weather cooperates in Minnesota -- and Chris Bassitt ($10,500).
But if you're going to take a chance on someone with a lower salary, Giolito could be your guy against the Tigers (3.08 implied total).
You're probably quite familiar with Detroit's woes against right-handers at this point. In the split, their active roster is 30th in wRC+ (76) and 26th in strikeout rate (24.8%). Admittedly, Giolito was underwhelming in this very same matchup last week, and disappointment has unfortunately been a common trend for him in 2022.
Yet, despite it all, he's produced a solid 3.46 xFIP and 24.2% strikeout rate since the beginning of August, and he's still seeing pitch counts in the mid-90s in nearly every start.
Given the lack of upside Giolito has demonstrated this season, he remains a risky play in the context of this ace-heavy slate. But on paper, this is a golden opportunity for him to come through.
San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies
The San Diego Padres are the clear headliners on offense, with their 6.02 implied total lapping the rest of the field. They're up against Ryan Feltner at Coors, and there's every reason to believe that this could get ugly in a hurry.
Although ERA estimators are kinder to Feltner than his 6.05 ERA is, there isn't anything imposing about a 20.2% strikeout rate, 8.1% walk rate, and 42.0% ground-ball rate. He can be attacked by both sides of the plate, but lefties will enjoy having the platoon advantage (4.65 xFIP in the split).
The only tough thing about stacking San Diego is that they're actually showing some pretty appropriate salaries for Coors Field.
Manny Machado ($4,400) and Juan Soto ($4,300) are great if you can get to them, but guys like Brandon Drury ($3,600), Jake Cronenworth ($3,500), Josh Bell ($3,200), andJurickson Profar ($3,100) will be easier to make room for.
Since the beginning of July, Manaea has managed only a 20.5% strikeout rate, and he's allowed 2.60 home runs per nine innings. In that time, right-handed batters are producing a 44.4% fly-ball rate and 38.1% hard-hit rate.
C.J. Cron ($4,100) has a premium salary if he's back in the lineup, but the Rockies are otherwise a fantastic value stack. Randal Grichuk ($2,700), Mike Toglia ($2,700), and Elehuris Montero ($2,800) all bring some righty power to the table. Yonathan Daza ($3,100) lacks any punch at the plate, but he can fit into full stacks as a table-setter out of the two-hole.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Jose Quintana has actually enjoyed a bounce-back 2022 campaign, but he has a meager 17.8% strikeout rate against right-handed batters, which leaves him vulnerable against a top offense like the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The southpaw may also be getting lucky in the home run department. His 5.8% homer-to-fly-ball rate looks like a massive outlier, and it is essentially half the league average (11.4%). In fact, it's the lowest mark among qualified starters.
Mookie Betts ($3,500) andTrea Turner ($3,900) lead the way for LA, and there should be a good chunk of value righties in the lineup to help fit them in, including guys like Will Smith ($3,000), Chris Taylor ($2,200), and Trayce Thompson ($2,700).
New York Yankees
As noted earlier, cool temperatures could make offense slightly harder to come by today at Yankee Stadium, so any New York Yankees stacks will be hoping for the wind to help out in this case. Regardless, the matchup is a good one against Rich Hill.
Hill has been pretty mediocre for Boston this season, and it doesn't look like the 42-year-old has much left in the tank. When facing righties, the southpaw has an 18.8% strikeout rate and 42.0% ground-ball rate.
Aaron Judge ($5,400) continues to carry a sky-high nightly salary, and unless you're dropping down to someone like Giolito at pitcher, he's going to be difficult to roster. On the bright side, Giancarlo Stanton ($3,300), Josh Donaldson ($3,000), and Oswaldo Cabrera ($2,800) provide decent salary relief.