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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Friday (8/7)

Aug 7, 2020

We’ve got a decent 13-game main slate tonight beginning at 7:05 pm EST with some solid matchups and value options, thanks in part to some somewhat limited pitching options with no truly safe options available. Due to the pitching shortage, several studs shouldn’t be a problem to fit into lineups with to just one pitcher coming in over the $10,000 mark and I’ve got a few to consider! Let’s dive in.

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Pitchers

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Trevor Bauer (CIN) @ MIL $11,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Zack Greinke (HOU)  @ OAK $8,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Griffin Canning (LAA) @ TEX $7,200 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Matthew Boyd (DET) @ PIT $7,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Chris Bassitt (OAK) vs HOU $7,400 ⭐⭐ High

 

  • Trevor Bauer is off to a great start to his hopeful bounce-back season, posting back-to-back quality starts while allowing just one run through 13 1/3 innings. Both of those outings were against the Tigers, however, and he’ll get his first real test tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers, so it’s hard to expect the same dominance. Bauer has had some positive results against the Brew Crew, allowing a .213/.276/.361 slash line against them despite some rough matchups against Avisail Garcia (9-for-30) and Logan Morrison (7-for-21) plus he’ll have to deal with the constant threat of Christian Yelich. His strikeout potential puts him above Greinke for me, but I’m limiting him to GPP.
  • Speaking of Zack Greinke, he’s my favorite pitcher on the slate despite a tough matchup against the deadly Oakland Athletics. Greinke hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start, failing to go four innings in his first start due to a pitch count. The veteran looked better his second time around, retiring the first 15 batters against the Angles on August 1st but was unable to finish six innings and only struck out four. I’m expecting a longer leash this time around and he should be aided by the Athletics’ 9.92 strikeouts per game, the fifth-worst in the league. I prefer his odds at a win over Bauer, too and he’s my go-to cash option.
  • Getting down into riskier options, I like Griffin Canning to rack up some strikeouts against the Texas Rangers. Canning has a pair of impressive outings so far this year, most notably of the two being his six innings of one run ball against the Houston Astros in which he also picked up five punch outs. Pitching in Texas is always risky, but it’s somewhat comforting knowing the Rangers have the sixth-worst slugging percentage in the league thus far. There’s a chance he gets lit up, but there’s an equal or greater chance he goes five or six innings with 10 strikeout upside.
  • Matthew Boyd hasn’t gotten off to a great start, allowing four runs over five innings in both of his first two outings. I think there’s a good chance he starts to turn that around here, going up against a Pirates lineup that lacks in right-handed hitting, which is Boyd’s biggest weakness. They do have a few switch-hitting options, but the most important of which, Josh Bell, struggles a good deal against left-handed pitching. Boyd is also aided by the Pirates’ second-worst .312 slugging percentage and third-worst -19 run differential. Boyd’s ceiling is right there with Canning’s but I find him slightly riskier.
  • Bassitt is off to a great start after posting the best season of his career in 2019, allowing just one run through nine and a thirds innings with an 11.17 K/9. Tonight’s matchup will limit Bassitt’s ownership and you’re essentially hoping for an off day from the Astros by drafting him, but if you’re lucky and they do have an off day, you have a great play at low ownership.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) @ STL $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Yuli Gurriel (HOU) @ OAK $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Miguel Sano (MIN) @ KAN $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 

  • Anthony Rizzo draws a righty in Daniel Ponce de Leon, who is coming out of the Cardinals’ COVID-19 absence and should have some rust to shake off. Rizzo has been fantastic against right-handers, posting a 150 wRC+ against them last year and has good potential to give the Cardinals an unhappy welcome back.
  • Yuli Gurriel was significantly better in righty-vs-righty matchups in 2019 and he gets one tonight in Chris Bassitt, who he’s already 5-for-11 against with a double and three RBI. Gurriel is unsurprisingly experiencing some power regression but is one of few first basemen who are regular multi-hit threats and he’s still more than capable of exiting the yard.
  • While Miguel Sano has struck out against Jakob Junis six times over his nine at-bats against him, he also owns two home runs and four RBI against the righty. Sano is the definition of boom-or-bust in this spot.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Mike Moustakas (CIN) @ MIL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Shed Long Jr. (SEA) vs COL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Ryan McMahon (COL) @ SEA $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 

  • While it’s not clear if not unlikely that Mike Moustakas will return to the lineup tonight, he’ll be in a good enough spot for me to want to mention going up against Eric Lauer, who’s allowed a career slash of .311/.373.500 to left-handed hitters. While you would prefer a right-handed pitcher, Moustakas is no slouch against lefties and has actually finished with a higher batting average against them in each of his last two seasons albeit there is some power loss.
  • Shed Long goes up against Antonio Senzatela, who finished with a dreadful 6.33 FIP against left-handed hitters outside of Coors last season and it just so happens that Long posted a 166 wRC+ and .998 OPS in lefty vs lefty matchups in 2019. While Long is unlikely to hit multiple homers, he’s in a good spot for multiple hits and maybe a stolen base or two. A home run isn’t out of the question, either.
  • Ryan McMahon, like long, prefers left on left matchups as he finished with a .785 OPS against them to go with 10 homers in 152 at-bats in his first full season in 2019. While being outside of Coors hurts his upside by a significant bit, he’ll go up against Yusei Kikuchi, who surrendered a massive 36 home runs last season. At the end of the day, this is a homer-or-bust option, so keep it to GPP.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Yoan Moncada (CWS) vs CLE $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Manny Machado (SDP) vs ARI $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Travis Shaw (TOR) @ BOS $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 

  • Yoan Moncada hit right-handers for a 148 wRC+ and 44.5 hard-hit percentage in 2019 and he’ll go up against one he already has success against, going 4-for-6 with a walk and an RBI against the Indians’ Aaron Civale.
  • While Manny Machado has only hit .200 to this point, he’s put together some alright fantasy outings, posting 12+ FanDuel points in seven of 13 games. He draws a decent matchup against Luke Weaver, who has already surrendered five hits and two long balls to Machado and allowed a bad hard-hit percentage of 51.2 to righties last year.
  • Travis Shaw is another good source of cheap boom-or-bust pop, with 37 of his last 39 home runs coming off of right-handed pitching like Ryan Weber, who gave up two long balls to left-handed hitting in his first outing of the season.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Didi Gregorius (PHI) vs ATL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Francisco Lindor (CLE) @ CWS $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Xander Bogaerts (COL) vs TOR $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 

  • The Phillies draw a right-handed starter in Kyle Wright inside of Citizens Bank Park, which means it’s time to fire up your Gregorius shares. Through 857 career games, Gregorius has just about only hit righties for power, collecting 90 of his 112 homers, 113 of his 145 doubles, and batted in 312 of his 420 runs against them. Kyle Wright has struggled against left-handed hitters, too, allowing a career slash of .339/.451/.610 against them.
  • While Francisco Lindor is a switch hitter, he’s always hit for more power when he’s on the left side of the plate and it shows against pitchers like the White Sox’s Dylan Cease, who Lindor already owns two home runs against. Lindor has had up and down start to the season but holds the potential to break out hard, much like Jose Ramirez did last night, who has also gotten to a bumpy start.
  • Over the past few years, Xander Bogaerts has slowly started to favor right-handed pitching. He hit them for a .316 average last season which helped him post an impressive 145 wRC+. He’ll face an underrated starter in Tanner Roark, though I wouldn’t be worried as Bogaerts is already 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBI against the righty.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Cody Bellinger (LAD) vs SFG $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ TEX $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Christian Yelich (MIL) vs CIN $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Michael Conforto (NYM) vs MIA $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Ender Inciarte (ATL) @ PHI $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Cody Bellinger hasn’t lived up to his MVP price tag in the early going but draws a matchup that could help make him worth the salary against Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija hasn’t posted an xFIP lower than five since 2016 and has struggled against left-handed hitting, especially outside of Oracle Park where he induced a soft-hit percentage of just 9.6% against them in 2019. Bellinger already owns a homer against Samardzija and has a decent shot to get another tonight.
  • Shohei Ohtani is expected to return to the lineup tonight, and he’ll walk into a matchup against Jordan Lyles who posted a 5.90 FIP and allowed a .555 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters last season. Ohtani has been much better against right-handed pitching too, owning a .288 ISO and 151 wRC+ against them so far in his major league career.
  • Christian Yelich, unlike Bellinger, has had his salary drop a significant amount due to his early struggles, falling all the way down to $3,800. Yelich has slowly started to get into the swing of things, though, and is coming off of his best performance of the year. While he draws a really tough pitcher in Trevor Bauer, it’s hard to forget that Bauer allowed an eye-popping 34 home runs last year, with a significant portion of them being surrendered to left-handed hitters like Yelich. Now is a great time to fit him into your lineup with minimal sacrifices for the ceiling he has.
  • Michael Conforto is off to a sneakily good start to the 2020 season, going 15-for-48 with two home runs through 13 games and has a great price tag of just $2,800. He gets a favorable matchup against Michael Wacha, who induced a soft-hit percentage of just 10.7 against left-handed hitters last season. Plus, Conforto owns two homers and seven RBI against Wacha through 20 at-bats.
  • Ender Inciarte is a bit of a punt play, but a pretty good one at that as he’s 10-for-25 against Vince Velasquez, who also got tagged for a 49.5 hard-hit percentage against right-handed pitching last season. He’s highly unlikely to win you a GPP slate but he’s a solid budget option in cash to help fit in some studs.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD) $4,300: Bellinger has fared well against the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, who has struggled against left-handed hitting.
  • Anthony Rizzo (1B – CHC) $3,600: Rizzo draws a right-hander who is sure to have some rust to knock off after an absence.
  • Christian Yelich (OF – MIL) $3,800: Yelich is starting to break out of his early-season slump but still has a lowered salary and a solid matchup.
  • Shohei Ohtani (OF – LAA) $3,100: Ohtani returns and walks into as good of a matchup you can ask for with no prior at-bats to gain knowledge off of.
  • Didi Gregorius (SS – PHI) $3,300: Gregorius draws a right-handed pitcher inside the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

5 Notable Players To Fade

  • Pete Alonso (1B – NYM) $3,300: Ontop of Alonso’s early struggles, he’s a rough 1-for-11 against the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara.
  • Marcell Ozuna (OF – ATL) $3,500: Ozuna has a bad history with Vince Velasquez, owning a .150/.227/.300 slash line against the right-hander through 20 at-bats.
  • Brandon Nimmo (OF – NYM) $3,000: Like Alonso, Nimmo hasn’t fared well against Alcantara, owning a .077/.250/.154 slash line through 13 at-bats.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B – MIA) $3,100: Aguilar has had a solid start to the season but runs into a matchup that hasn’t treated him well, as he’s 2-for-12 with three punch outs versus the Mets’ Michael Wacha.
  • Max Muncy (1B – LAD) $3,900: This was a tough one as Muncy benefits the same way Cody Bellinger does being a left-hander but the price is just too high considering he’s 1-for-10 against Samardzija.

All Advanced Statistics Sourced From FanGraphs

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Caleb Baggete is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Caleb, check out his archive and follow him @CalebBg9

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