MLB

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/12/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/12/24

Sunday's main slate is a bit sketchy on the pitching front. With an obvious option up top, do we fade or play the chalk?

Our daily fantasy 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 numberFire's great tools into your research process, including daily projections, the latest starting lineups and weather, and batting and pitching heat maps to 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.

MLB DFS Picks

Pitchers to Target

Zack Wheeler ($11,200)

The main slate pitcher pool today is Zack Wheeler ($11,200) followed by a bunch of holding your breath. Wheeler's case isn't perfect today, but there are still several reasons to pay the premium.

The first and most important? He's an excellent pitcher. The Philadelphia Phillies' righty has a sparkling 1.64 ERA that's decently well-supported by a 2.82 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 2.27 expected ERA (xERA). From a fantasy perspective, he's fifth in MLB in K/9 (11.49). Wheeler, himself, is a must to consider on any slate.

Though this Miami Marlins matchup is a bit soft, it is on the road. That hurts a touch. Miami has a palty .653 OPS against right-handed pitching (fifth-worst in MLB), but the downside is that their 20.4% punchout rate is ninth-lowest in the Majors.

All in all, our projections still have Wheeler (38.1 expected fantasy points) today's top pitcher by a considerable margin. He's worth the extra salary over any alternative.

Logan Allen ($7,700)

Based on matchup, a value name that really sticks out if you're targeting a pair of premium stacks is Logan Allen ($7,700) of the Cleveland Guardians.

Allen had a 3.81 ERA last year in his rookie season, which has ballooned to 6.40 in 2024. Yet, his SIERA (4.49) is virtually unchanged. There are concerns in his profile amidst a normal matchup, including a 44.1% hard-hit rate allowed and 2.06 HR/9. I'd frankly stack against those.

However, the Chicago White Sox are no normal matchup for a southpaw.

Chicago's 50 wRC+ against lefties is easily worst in MLB with the next-worst mark at 62. They're also rocking the second-highest strikeout rate (29.2%) in the split.

It takes a really poor lefty to fall off my radar in this matchup, and Allen -- potentially due for regression -- isn't an exceptionally poor one.

Others to Consider

  • Bailey Ober ($8,600)
    • The Toronto Blue Jays' 94 wRC+ against righties is lower than you'd think, and Ober's 3.73 SIERA and 24.3% K rate indicate better days are ahead than what lies in his box score on FanDuel.
  • Kyle Hendricks ($6,200)
    • Returning from injury, Hendricks is a solid-but-unspectacular options to entirely load up on stud bats. He's in his familiar 87th percentile in exit velocity allowed, and the Pittsburgh Pirates (league-worst .606 OPS against righties) are basically an extension of a Triple-A rehab assignment.

Stacks to Target

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians sunk my single-entry lineups last night, so I understand the groans about running them back.

There was some risk buying into a 2.0-inning sample from Mike Clevinger, and Clevinger surprised with just one run allowed in 4.2 innings. Luckily, we've got a better sample that today's starter, Michael Soroka, is really struggling.

Across 38.1 innings, Soroka's 5.93 SIERA and 1.88 HR/9 are ugly. Again, the Pale Hose bullpen is also posting the second-worst reliever xFIP (4.73) in MLB. This is not a spot where Cleveland should scuffle to a single run all too often.

As a reminder, part of the appeal of the Guards is their concentration of offensive production in the split. Only Jose Ramirez ($3,900), Josh Naylor ($3,700), Andres Gimenez ($3,000), and Will Brennan ($2,600) on the active roster have a wRC+ currently above 90 against righties.

Grinding DFS on a daily basis, a short memory is essential. Cleveland is an even better option on today's main slate.

Minnesota Twins

Without Royce Lewis or an overperforming Byron Buxton, it's pretty incredible what the Minnesota Twins have done to righties this year.

They're eighth in MLB in wRC (106) in the split, and Minnesota has another underperforming righty on deck Sunday. Toronto will trot out Alek Manoah, who is still seeking a return to All-Star form.

Manoah's 13.50 ERA might be a bit unfair, but a 4.89 SIERA while allowing a hard-hit baseball 46.2% of the time isn't exactly an indicator of future success. Manoah's swinging-strike rate (7.6%) also indicates the high rate of punchies might be inflated. Of course, I always check the relievers, and the Blue Jays' pen (4.49 xFIP) hasn't been stellar, either.

Edouard Julien ($3,100) has the highest ISO in the lineup (.218) from the always-tough-to-fill 2B slot, and Carlos Correa ($2,900) has the best wRC+ (166) at short. Those tougher spots make adding 1B/OF options to the stack like Max Kepler ($3,400) and Trevor Larnach ($3,300) a breeze.

Working well alongside Wheeler, the Twins have an argument as the best stack of the day.

Others to Consider

  • Philadelphia Phillies
    • Philadelphia could carry a lot of popularity in Braxton Garrett's season debut, but Garrett has held consecutive SIERAs below 3.70. I'm not sure I'd prioritize the higher salaries in lieu of their pitcher.
  • New York Yankees
    • The ballpark in Tampa is always a tough sell, but the Yanks have potential to explode against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tyler Alexander's 48.5% flyball rate is higher than you'd like set to face the Bronx Bombers, and he'll open for the league's worst bullpen (by xFIP).

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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.