FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Friday 7/5/24

Austan Kas
Austan Kas@AustanKas

Our daily fantasy helper is available every day to analyze FanDuel's main slate and give you a starting point when you're building lineups.

Be sure to incorporate our MLB DFS projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- into your research process. numberFire also has the latest starting lineups and weather as well as heat maps to help you find the best matchups.

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

Note: All MLB odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise.


Pitchers to Target

Cole Ragans, Royals (10,400)

Despite pitching at Coors, Cole Ragans is the night's top arm, per our MLB DFS projections, as we forecast him for a slate-leading 39.6 FanDuel points, 4.5 more than any other pitcher.

Coors is Coors, so there are obvious pitfalls. There's also a lot of upside. The Colorado Rockies have the eighth-highest home strikeout rate (24.0%), and Colorado's 4.54 implied total isn't too scary.

Ragans hasn't just solidified last season's breakout -- he's been even better. Across 102 2/3 frames, he's recorded a 3.25 SIERA, 29.8% strikeout rate and 14.6% swinging-strike rate.

This is one of the game's best pitchers versus one of the game's worst offenses. What scares me more than the Coors factor is that Ragans might be pretty darn popular. Swallowing chalk for a Coors pitcher is tough to stomach.

Tanner Bibee, Guardians ($9,800)

Much like Ragans, Tanner Bibee broke out in 2023 and has taken things up a notch so far this campaign.

In his second season in the bigs, Bibee is dealing to the tune of a 3.17 SIERA, 28.5% K rate and 12.7% swinging-strike rate. He's missing a ton of bats lately, punching out 33 over his last four starts (23 1/3 innings). Bibee's xFIP is an eye-popping 2.94 over his last nine outings.

He has a pretty neutral home matchup today against the San Francisco Giants. Against righties, the Giants are hovering near the league averages in wOBA (.302) and K rate (21.9%). San Fran's 3.79 implied total is a number we can feel good about.

On a night with a handful of high-upside pitchers, Bibee offers an attractive ceiling at a modest salary.

Albert Suarez, Orioles ($7,400)

Given the lofty salaries for some of tonight's top stacks, using a low-salary pitcher is pretty appealing. Enter Albert Suarez.

Suarez isn't anything special, and there's a reason his salary is where it is. He can be good enough, though, in a friendly road matchup with the Oakland Athletics.

Suarez has pitched to a 4.71 SIERA and 10.9% swinging-strike rate. He's been improving throughout the year, permitting only 11 earned runs over his last six starts despite a very difficult run of matchups.

This is a much softer landing spot for Suarez. Versus right-handed pitching, Oakland has the second-highest strikeout rate (26.7%) and fourth-worst wOBA (.292).

Our projections have Suarez as the night's top point-per-dollar hurler, projecting him for 31.3 FanDuel points.

Stacks to Target

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are the slate's no-doubt top stack, with a 5.96 implied total that is more than a run clear of the field.

KC is at Coors and will see Kyle Freeland. The left-handed Freeland has an 11.9% K rate over 28 1/3 innings this season. He struck out just 13.9% of hitters across 155 2/3 frames in 2023. He's not good.

Bobby Witt Jr. ($4,800) is the slate's number-one bat, according to our projections, as we peg him to score 18.4 FanDuel points. He's got a .358 wOBA and 47.9% fly-ball rate versus southpaws this season.

After Witt, anyone who starts for KC today is worth a long look -- and I mean anyone. I have a lot of interest in Nick Loftin ($3,000), and he'll be a core piece of my Royals stacks. Not only is the salary easy to like, but he's right-handed, eligible at three spots (1B, 2B, 3B) and projected to hit sixth in the order.

Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles' elite offense is in Oakland and will be up against lefty Hogan Harris. The O's have been lethal in this split in 2024, putting up the third-best wOBA (.338) and best ISO (.198) versus southpaws.

Harris has registered a 4.70 SIERA through 102 2/3 career innings. His career home K rate is a lowly 17.7%.

Adley Rutschman ($3,600), Anthony Santander ($3,500), Ryan Mountcastle ($3,100), Jordan Westburg ($3,300), Austin Hays ($2,600) will all have the platoon advantage against Harris. Hays is an intriguing low-salary play while Santander, a switch-hitter, has better career numbers against lefties (.340 wOBA) than righties (.323).

Don't sleep on Gunnar Henderson ($4,400) despite the lefty-lefty matchup. He is the night's third-ranked bat, per our projections, as we see him going for 16.6 FanDuel points. It's a small sample (94 total batters faced), but Harris has surrendered a .375 wOBA to left-handed hitters.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Aaron Civale -- recently acquired by the Brewers -- isn't a bad pitcher (4.06 SIERA in 2024), but the Los Angeles Dodgers might go a little overlooked as they carry just the fourth-best implied total (4.57).

Despite being short-handed, LA is still sixth in wOBA (.343) over the last 30 days. Their lineup is pretty top-heavy right now, so I'll be focusing my Dodgers stacks on Shohei Ohtani ($4,900), Freddie Freeman ($3,800), Will Smith ($3,500) and Teoscar Hernandez ($3,500) -- something that may require using Suarez at pitcher.

Ohtani might not see his usual sky-high draft percentage if the masses flock to the Witt and the Orioles' high-salary bats.

Others to Consider

  • Cleveland Guardians (4.71 implied total) -- It's a bullpen day for the Giants, which makes projecting hitter-pitcher matchups tricky. Cleveland has the night's third-best implied total, and Jhonkensy Noel ($2,200) is the slate's top point-per-dollar bat, according to our projections.
  • Detroit Tigers (4.43) -- Getting a big park-factor boost today at Cincy. Facing Carson Spiers, the owner of a meh 18.7% K rate across 50 1/3 career innings.
  • San Diego Padres (4.32) -- At home versus Slade Cecconi, who is allowing a 49.4% fly-ball rate this campaign. Cecconi has reverse splits in his career, with righties mauling him for 2.06 homers per nine.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.