FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/26/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks and Helper: Sunday 5/26/24

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.


Pitchers to Target

Chris Sale ($11,000)

Though I'd rather stack his offense, Chris Sale ($11,000) certainly has the strongest case at pitcher when not factoring in salary today.

The Atlanta Braves' lefty is the odds-on favorite for NL Comeback Player of the Year for good reason. After a dismal year that saw his exodus from Boston, Sale has compiled a sparkling 2.41 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), 31.7% strikeout rate, and limited hard contact to just a 28.1% rate on balls in play. His Savant page is bleeding red.

Sale has a matchup that could produce a wide range of outcomes against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. The good news for him? Pittsburgh's 25.1% punchout rate against southpaws is fourth-highest in all of baseball. The bad news? The Buccos surprisingly carry a top-12 OPS (.729) and ISO (.167) in the split. If he has a rare day without his best stuff, the Pirates are capable of sending what should be a fairly popular hurler sideways.

Yet, oddsmakers are full believers in Sale today, per a 3.14-run implied team total for the Pirates in one of baseball's better pitching venues. He clearly stands out at the top of the player pool.

Kyle Bradish ($8,800)

With Coors Field on the slate, it'll be impossible to get to both that game and Sale, so we'll need a value guy. Kyle Bradish ($8,800) is that guy, pal.

I'm counting on our trusty weather friend Kevin Roth with the forecast in Chicago today. He's decently confident the Baltimore Orioles-Chicago White Sox game will play after a late start, which I will absolutely take. Bradish's matchup would be excellent in perfect weather, so the cold, dreary variety should only help.

Chicago has a league-worst 77 wRC+ against right-handed pitching with baseball's 14th-highest punchout rate (22.9%). We'd ideally like more whiffs, but the Pale Hose's slate-low implied team total (3.10) is pretty hard to ignore. Bradish is also finally getting to a point where he can help on FanDuel.

The righty has reached 85 pitches in two of his last three starts, giving some sort of length to a 3.20 SIERA, 28.4% strikeout rate, and 22.4% hard-hit rate allowed that are all marvelous.

A matchup with the White Sox could result in Bradish's best fantasy outing of the season, and our MLB projections see him as the sixth-best pitcher at the slate's eighth-highest salary.

Others to Consider

  • Ranger Suarez ($10,600)
    • We've seen two Philadelphia Phillies earn quality starts in this series, and Suarez (2.73 SIERA) could easily be the third. The Colorado Rockies' 83 wRC+ in this split is sixth-worst in MLB. If Sale wasn't on the slate, I'd happily have locked in here.
  • Bryan Woo ($8,700)
    • The push-pull dynamic with the Washington Nationals is endlessly frustrating. Their low strikeout rate (21.8%) hurts targeting their weak offense in DFS, but Woo (27.3% strikeout rate) brings plenty of that upside himself. Like Bradish, he's routinely topping out around 80 pitches after an offseason injury, though.

Stacks to Target

Atlanta Braves

Entering a matchup with the lethal Bravos offense, Martin Perez's dangerous game has finally caught up to him a bit in 2024.

The lefty actually made an All-Star appearance with a similar SIERA in 2022 (4.08) to what he has now (4.33), but Perez's batted-ball luck hasn't been nearly as fortunate. Perez is tracking for his worst groundball rate since 2020 (42.4%), which is extra punitive when 46.4% of balls in play are of the hard-hit variety. The strikeout rate (18.2%) hasn't increased, so it's all melded together as 1.54 HR/9 to this point.

Plus, when Perez leaves, he'll give way to league's fifth-worst bullpen by xFIP (4.29).

Of course, Atlanta has taken a step back from the machine they were last season, but they still sport the 5th-highest ISO (.167) and 10th-highest OPS (.724) against lefties. The middle of this order is still extremely dangerous with all of Marcell Ozuna ($4,200), Matt Olson ($3,400), Travis d'Arnaud ($3,000), and Adam Duvall ($2,800) holding at least a .185 ISO against southpaws.

Surprisingly, the best parts of this stack are cost-effective. It's possible to get a three-or-four-man stack with Sale.

Minnesota Twins

The other stack on the slate that stands out is Minnesota.

Garson Garabito will make his MLB debut in the Twin Cities on Sunday, and frankly, he isn't a blowup candidate by his own merit. In Triple-A this season, Garabito's 4.02 xFIP and 30.2% hard-hit rate allowed aren't terrible. Yet, this is The Show, and that adjustment can always be met with mixed results. Plus, behind the rookie is a Texas bullpen holding the league's sixth-worst xFIP (4.28).

The Twins are an odd stack with such hot-and-cold performers against righties, but right down the middle seems to be the best spot to look in today's particular lineup. Carlos Correa ($3,300), Max Kepler ($3,300), Alex Kirilloff ($2,700), and Jose Miranda ($2,400) all sport at least a .715 OPS against righties this season.

Sale and Suarez were on my mind when looking for stacks today, so it's welcomed news that the potentially the two best overall -- if you exclude the Phillies at Coors -- are value ones.

Others to Consider

  • Philadelphia Phillies
    • Colorado's Cal Quantrill has a 5.91 FIP at home compared to 3.73 on the road, but he's also maintained a sub-38.0% hard-hit rate in both spots. I'm leaning to fade Coors bats in lieu of a stud pitcher on today's main slate.
  • Kansas City Royals
    • Finding a fourth stack to discuss here was nearly impossible, but K.C.'s .717 OPS against righties (ninth-best in MLB) was an interesting note to find when Taj Bradley has a more concerning flyball (45.5%) and hard-hit (50.0%) rate than even his 4.00 ERA suggests.

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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.