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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Monday (8/31)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Aug 31, 2020

Luis Robert has lived up to his lofty prospect billing.

A couple of aces are worth their sizable salaries tonight, but one underpriced southpaw offers gamers a value option on the bump. The hitting selections in the tables below are largely made with rostering a stud pitcher in mind. Having said that, gamers who choose to spin down to the only value pitcher I’m touting tonight can afford to use all three of the hitters listed among the studs worth their salary. The notable fades include a pair of aces squaring off against one another, a couple of sluggers playing at Coors Field tonight, and a veteran slugger in a tough matchup.

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Max Fried (ATL) @ BOS $8,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Fried’s been nothing short of fantastic this year. Among qualified pitchers, his 1.35 ERA is tied for the lowest with another pitcher on tonight’s slate who’s priced significantly higher. Fried does an elite job of keeping the ball on the ground with a 56.4 GB%, per FanGraphs. He also misses a useful number of bats with a 24.8 K%. Tonight, his matchup should be a pinch easier either facing a slightly diminished J.D. Martinez or not facing him at all if his hand is too sore to handle a bat after being hit by a pitch on it yesterday.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Justin Smoak (MIL) vs. PIT $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Edwin Encarnacion (CHW) @ MIN $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Eric Thames (WAS) @ PHI $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
All three first base value options carry a sub-$3,000 salary, and Encarnacion and Thames are my favorites from the table. Both offer plus power with Encarnacion owning a .238 ISO against lefties since 2017, and Thames rattling off a .268 ISO against righties in that time frame.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Howie Kendrick (WAS) @ PHI $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jean Segura (PHI) vs. WAS $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Luis Arraez (MIN) vs. CHW $2,100 High

 
Yet another table of sub-$3,000 hitters to accommodate rostering an ace. Kendrick’s my favorite of the bunch. He has the best lineup spot of the three highlighted options at the keystone, hitting third in his last start against a righty but also spending time in the cleanup spot against them this year. The Nationals are small underdogs in a game with a tasty over/under total of 10 runs, according to the BettingPros consensus.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Asdrubal Cabrera (WAS) @ PHI $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Alec Bohm (PHI) vs. WAS $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
A couple more cheap options from a game with an over/under total of 10 runs. Bohm hasn’t been overmatched in same-handed matchups as a rookie, tallying a .450 OBP and 163 wRC+ in 40 plate appearances against righties. The switch-hitting Cabrera will hold a very favorable platoon advantage against rookie pitcher Spencer Howard. Howard’s yielded a .549 wOBA to the 30 lefties he’s faced this year.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Francisco Lindor (CLE) @ KC $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Didi Gregorius (PHI) vs. WAS $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jorge Polanco (MIN) vs. CHW $2,700 High

 
My favorite options at shortstop tonight are Gregorius and a forthcoming stud who’s worth his salary. Gregorius is the first left-handed hitter from the Phillies to make an appearance. He’ll be treated to a five-star matchup against Erick Fedde and his .353 wOBA ceded to left-handed batters since last year.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Luis Robert (CHW) @ MIN $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Max Kepler (MIN) vs. CHW $3,200 High
Andrew McCutchen (PHI) vs. WAS $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Adam Eaton (WAS) @ PHI $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Nick Markakis (ATL) @ BOS $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Robert has lived up to his lofty prospect billing. He’s popped eight homers, stolen four bases, reached base at a respectable .336 OBP, ripped off a .274 ISO, and totaled a 141 wRC+. McCutchen sits atop Philadelphia’s lineup, which is a good place to be in a game with the aforementioned double-digit run over/under total. Eaton’s been bumped down the order and would benefit from a move back up the order, but he’ll enjoy the same platoon advantage against Howard I noted in Cabrera’s write-up above.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Shane Bieber, CLE ($12,000): Bieber is the other pitcher tied for the ERA lead, and he’s been a strikeout machine with a 42.9 K%. In his season opener, he fanned 14 Royals and posted an eye-popping 70 FanDuel points. He draws them again tonight.
  • Lucas Giolito, CHW ($10,600): Giolito twirled a no-hitter in his last start, and he, too, brings big strikeout upside to the table with a 34.1 K% this season. The Twins haven’t been averse to striking out against righties this year, either, tying for the seventh-highest strikeout percentage (25.4%) against them.
  • Juan Soto, WAS ($4,700): Soto’s been the best-qualified hitter in MLB this year with a 210 wRC+.
  • Bryce Harper, PHI ($4,300): Harper’s been quite good this year, too, ranking 12th with a 167 wRC+.
  • Tim Anderson, CHW ($3,800): Sitting a couple spots higher at tied for 10th in wRC+ (169) is Anderson, and he’s a handful for lefties with a .349 OBP, .207 ISO, and 135 wRC+ against them since 2017.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Gerrit Cole, NYY ($10,700) and Tyler Glasnow, TB ($9,500): The two aces squaring off in the Bronx both have tough matchups, and Yankee Stadium is back to playing hitter-friendly this year, per ESPN’s single-season MLB park factors. Pass on both.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr., SD ($4,800) and Manny Machado, SD ($4,200): Tatis Jr. and Machado will be treated to the game’s most friendly run-scoring environment at Coors Field, as you can see on our MLB Park Factors page, but their salaries are steep for facing a tough righty, German Marquez. Marquez has a .334 wOBA allowed to righties at home in his career. That’s not a death sentence for righties, but it’s hardly a number I’m interested in paying top dollar to go after.
  • Nelson Cruz, MIN ($4,000): Cruz is awesome, but I’m not paying $4,000 to use him against Giolito and his .291 wOBA allowed to right-handed batters since last year.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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