FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Monday (8/3)
For today’s FanDuel lineup advice, a few offenses are well represented. The value pitching options have varying degrees of appeal with one standing out as my clear favorite. If ponying up for an ace is more your speed, one is highlighted as a stud worth his salary below.
|Mike Soroka (ATL)||vs. NYM||$8,500||⭐||Medium|
|Frankie Montas (OAK)||@ SEA||$7,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Carlos Rodon (CHW)||@ MIL||$6,600||⭐⭐||High|
Montas is my favorite pitcher on this slate, price considered. With a number of high-priced bats of interest to me, spinning down to Montas from the aces frees up the necessary salary to roster a bunch of big bats while still giving you a pitcher with substantial upside in a great matchup. Montas threw 81 pitches in his first start and 77 in his second start, according to ESPN, so he could presumably build on those totals and flirt with 90 to 100 pitches tonight if he’s sharp. He hasn’t been a stud in his two turns, but his eight strikeouts in nine innings and 3.00 ERA — albeit with a far less flattering 5.08 SIERA — are rock solid. He served a PED suspension last year, but Montas was excellent when taking the ball firing a 2.63 ERA (3.76 SIERA), 5.8 BB%, 26.1 K%, 1.11 WHIP, and 11.5 SwStr% in 16 starts spanning 96.0 innings, per FanGraphs.
Soroka has a tough matchup against a Mets squad that’s above average against righties from top to bottom. Using him is a bet on his talent level winning out in a tough matchup and enjoying a modest salary for a pitcher of his caliber. Rodon’s strictly a GPP play whose bat-missing ability gives him upside that belies his tiny salary. In his only start this year, he was rough around the edges but generated a hearty 12.7 SwStr% and was allowed to throw 71 pitches. If he’s extended a little more leash and is less wild, he’ll have a chance to pay off for gamers who take a chance on him.
|Miguel Sano (MIN)||vs. PIT||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Ryan Braun (MIL)||vs. CHW||$2,600||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Mitch Garver (MIN)||vs. PIT||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Derek Holland‘s strong first start of the year isn’t enough for me to forget the eye-popping .612 SLG and .406 wOBA he coughed up to 262 right-handed batters faced last year, hence the pair of Twins both featured above. Garver’s a steal and far and away my favorite value hitting option tonight. In 265 plate appearances against lefties since debuting for the Twins in 2017, Garver owns a .374 OBP, .254 ISO, and 137 wRC+.
|Robinson Cano (NYM)||@ ATL||$2,600||⭐⭐||Medium|
|Chad Pinder (OAK)||@ SEA||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Nick Madrigal (CHW)||@ MIL||$2,000||⭐⭐||Medium|
Second base is a good spot to go punting tonight. Madrigal snapped a hitless skid to open his career and turned in a four-hit performance yesterday. Splitting his time between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A last year, he hit .311 with a strong .377 OBP, 125 wRC+, and mind-bogglingly low 3.0 K%. At the minimum salary, he can be forgiven for hitting at the bottom of the Pale Hose’s order.
|Justin Turner (LAD)||@ SD||$3,100||⭐||High|
|Josh Donaldson (MIN)||vs. PIT||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Jeff McNeil (NYM)||@ NYM||$2,700||⭐⭐||Medium|
Full disclosure, my favorite option at the hot corner is still to come, but Donaldson (if he’s back in the lineup) gives him a run for his money at his sub-$3,000 salary. In 331 plate appearances against lefties since 2017, he’s rattled off a .384 OBP, .283 ISO, and 140 wRC+. McNeil’s too cheap for his talent level, offering yet another strong pivot from my top option — especially if you’re looking to slash hitter salaries and pony up to one of the aces.
|Marcus Semien (OAK)||@ SEA||$3,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Gleyber Torres (NYY)||vs. PHI||$3,000||⭐||Medium|
|Kevin Newman (PIT)||@ MIN||$2,300||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Jake Arrieta remains tough on right-handed bats after holding them to a .293 wOBA last year, but it’s hard to ignore Torres’ cheap price tag hitting third in the loaded Yankees’ lineup. Further, his home numbers against right-handed pitchers that include a .333 OBP, .224 ISO, and 123 wRC+ are tantalizing.
Semien has a mouthwatering matchup with Justus Sheffield. The young southpaw served up a .500 SLG and .380 wOBA to the 131 right-handed batters he faced last year. Sheffield did nothing in his first start to show he’s turned the corner getting chased in three innings with three hits, four walks, and four earned runs allowed to the Angels.
|Ramon Laureano (OAK)||@ SEA||$3,400||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Alex Dickerson (SF)||@ COL||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Mark Canha (OAK)||@ SEA||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Michael Conforto (NYM)||@ ATL||$2,800||⭐⭐||Medium|
|Franchy Cordero (KC)||@ CHC||$2,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Laureano and Canha offer a couple more pieces of exposure to Sheffield. Dickerson gets the Coors Field lift tonight, and he’s my favorite Giants hitter to use on this slate. His salary is affordable, and his .347 OBP, .227 ISO, and 125 wRC+ against righties since 2017 are plenty good. Toss in his lineup spot in the two-hole against righties and a cushy matchup with Chi Chi Gonzalez (.362 wOBA allowed to lefties in 2019), and he’s an excellent option in all game types.
Like his aforementioned teammate McNeil, Conforto’s underpriced relative to his hitting prowess against righties. Cordero rounds out the value outfield plays at the bare minimum salary. The toolsy outfielder has been in and out of Kansas City’s lineup, so it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll play tonight. Having said that, he did slot cleanup yesterday against a righty, and netting the same lineup assignment would enhance his appeal at the minimum salary. Also of note, the strikeout prone Cordero fanned for just the first time this year through 21 plate appearances yesterday. If he’s going to continue to keep his strikeouts in check, his loud power will have a chance to start showing up, making this a possible opportunity to get ahead of an offensive outburst.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Gerrit Cole (NYY) $11,000: Jacob deGrom has actually been sharper to open the year, but Cole’s still punched out 12 batters in 11.2 innings. Toss in that he and the Yankees are commanding -330 moneyline favorites, according to BettingPros consensus, and the scale tips Cole’s way in regards to which ace to use tonight.
- Trevor Story (COL) $4,300: Story is back again after getting touted yesterday. Check out yesterday’s piece for his numbers against right-handed pitchers at Coors Field as well as the same split conditions for Blackmon and Arenado as well.
- Charlie Blackmon (COL) $4,300: See link above.
- Nelson Cruz (MIN) $4,200: Cruz is the only non-Rockies hitter to make the cut as a stud worth his salary, and that’s because he owns a .400 OBP, .316 ISO, and 157 wRC+ against lefties since 2017.
- Nolan Arenado (COL) $4,000: See link above.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Walker Buehler (LAD) $10,000: Buehler threw only 56 pitches in his first start of the year, so his pitch count won’t be high enough to make him worth his five-figure salary.
- Chris Paddack (SD) $9,100: Nothing against Paddack, but the Dodgers lineup is too deep and talented to make him an enticing play on a slate with ample pitching alternatives.
- Christian Yelich (MIL) $4,000: Yelich is awesome at home, and he’s no slouch in same-handed matchups. However, he’s off to a frigid start and has been off for a few days due Milwaukee’s series against the Cardinals being postponed as a result of positive Covid-19 tests.
- Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD) $3,700: Buehler makes for a tough assignment for Tatis Jr. as long as the young hurler is on the bump tonight, and transitioning to seeing his electric stuff after a series in the thin air of Colorado is a tall task.
- Evan Longoria (SF) $3,300: Longoria will get the Coors Field boost tonight, but he’s a fade for me based on salary proximity to Arenado, solid value alternatives listed above, as well as other preferring Matt Chapman at a similar price.