FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Tuesday 8/4
The baseball world will be watching to see what Shane Bieber can do in his third start of the season, and the fantasy baseball world will be adjusting their lineups around him. A lot of good pitchers will take the hill on Tuesday, making picking some of the more thin positions a bit tricky. Stacking will be challenging as well. Tyler Mahle is one of the weaker pitchers of the day in a hitter-friendly home park, making Cleveland a default stack. Meanwhile, in San Diego, Dodger lefties may be tempting to deploy against Dinelson Lamet. Let’s fire up the rest and see what’s out there!
- Kyle Hendricks (CHC), vs. Royals, $8,300, Matchup 5/5, risk low
- Cristian Javier (HOU), @ Diamondbacks, $7,200, Matchup 5/5, risk medium
- Jose Berrios (MIN), vs. Pirates, $9,000, Matchup 5/5, risk low
Kyle Hendricks’ 2020 season is a tale of two starts so far. On opening day he blanked the Brewers for a complete game shutout, fanning nine. His second outing was much different, as he was unable to get out of the fifth inning against the Reds, allowing six earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings. He’ll get a favorable match-up at home against the Royals on Tuesday. Kansas City is 20th in baseball with a .672 OPS and strikes out 26% of the time as a team.
Rookie Cristian Javier filled in for Justin Verlander last week and all he did was strike out eight Dodgers while allowing one run on two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. He owns a career 2.22 ERA in the minors, striking out 522 hitters in just 377 innings. Go ahead and read that again, I’ll wait. He’ll take the hill in Arizona to face the Diamondbacks who own the league’s third-worst batting average at .192. They’ve hit just two homers in 2020, and Chase Field tallied a 0.888 HR factor in 2019 so the stage is set for Javier to keep turning heads.
Jose Berrios wins the daily match-up lottery against the Pirates, whose on-base percentage of .252 is actually lower than seven teams’ batting average. Target field is friendly to pitchers, so add it all up and Berrios is a solid choice.
Catcher / First Base
- Wilson Contreras (CHC), vs. Royals, $3,200, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
- Carlos Santana (CLE), @ Reds, $2,900, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
- Brandon Belt (SFG), @ Rockies, $3,500, Matchup 4/5, risk low
I’m not loving the options and match-ups here for Tuesday, but there are some low-cost choices that have some intriguing possibilities and can open up some funds for Shane Bieber or other studs. Contreras is swinging the bat well out of the gate in 2020 with a 75% hard-hit rate according to Fangraphs. He’ll draw rookie Brady Singer, who has held his own against Cleveland and Detroit. The Cubs are a top-five offense at this point in the season, and with so many quality pitchers on the mound on Tuesday, stacking Cubbies against a rookie may be one of the best options. Another stack to consider is Cleveland, who visits homer-friendly Great American Ballpark (1.13 HR factor in 2019) against homer-friendly Tyler Mahle (1.74 HR/9 in 2019). Santana hasn’t been torching any baseballs this season, but he may run into some good luck against Mahle, whose career soft-hit rate is just 14.7%. Brandon Belt offers the best historical batter-pitcher data for this group, going 7-16 with a 1.221 OPS against Rockies’ hurler German Marquez. They’ll be playing in a stadium in the mountains which is rumored to produce lots of home runs, too.
- Cesar Hernandez (CLE), vs. Reds, $2,500, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
- Hanser Alberto (BAL), vs. Marlins, $2,700, Matchup 4/5, risk low
- Ryan McMahon (COL), vs. Giants, 3,500, Matchup 4/5, risk medium
Hernandez is getting on base at a .395 clip in 2020, and he should be leading off against Mahle. Hanser Alberto is one of the hottest hitters in the league, batting .429 with two homers and a ridiculous 223 wRC+. In the absence of good match-up options, it might not be a bad time to roll out the hot-hitting Alberto against Pablo Lopez in hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Speaking of hitter-friendly, lefty Ryan McMahon will take on right-hander Kevin Gausman in Coors Field, where he hit 11 home runs in 182 at-bats last season. The Rockies have scored five or more runs in seven straight games.
- Brian Anderson (MIA), @ Orioles, $2,900, Matchup 4/5, risk low
- Yoan Moncada (CHW), @ Brewers, $3,400, Matchup 3/5, risk high
- Jose Ramirez (CLE), @ Reds, $3,700, Matchup 5/5, risk low
The Marlins finally get back to work on Tuesday and we’ll get to see Brian Anderson continue to build upon his breakout 2019 campaign. He’ll be opposed by lefty John Means, who owned a 5.02 SIERA and 5.48 xFIP last season. Camden Yards helps the cause here, too. Yoan Moncada gets a tough match-up against Brandon Woodruff in Milwaukee, but he’ll be hitting from the left side which historically produces better results. He’s hitting .351 with two bombs on the young season. And finally, it may be flirting with absurdity to call Jose Ramirez a “value play,” but he is the fourth-most costly third baseman and he has a juicy match-up against Mahle so he needs to be in this space. The switch-hitting Ramirez fits nicely in a Cleveland stack.
- Francisco Lindor (CLE), @ Reds, $3,300, Matchup 4/5, risk medium
- Corey Seager (LAD), @ Padres, $3,500, Matchup 4/5, risk medium
- Xander Bogaerts (BOS), @ Rays, $3,600, Matchup 4/5, risk medium
There are so many good options at shortstop. If you’re adding Jose Ramirez at third, make sure you bring Lindor along for the ride. He’s hit safely in five straight games including a home run on Monday in Cincy. Out west, Corey Seager will be one of a handful of Dodger lefties you could roll out against righty Dinelson Lamet. The sweet-swinging Seager is off to a hot start, batting .375 with three homers in 2020. Xander Bogaerts has some good numbers against Charlie Morton, going 10-for-26 with a homer.
- Luis Robert (CWS), @ Brewers, $3,200, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
- Ian Happ (CHC), vs. Royals, $3,100, Matchup 4/5, risk low
- Trent Grisham (SD), vs. Dodgers, $3,000, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
- Joc Pederson (LAD), $2,600, @ Padres, Matchup 4/5, risk medium
- Max Kepler (MIN), $3,100, vs. Pirates, Matchup 3/5, risk medium
Sorry, Aaron Judge is not playing today, please try your call again later. Last Tuesday, I highlighted Luis Robert and mentioned that his price wouldn’t be as low as $2,800 for long. Sure enough, he’s costing more these days after having hit his way into the leadoff spot for the White Sox. The young righty is averaging 14.56 FPPG, batting .350 with two homers and three steals. Ian Happ makes a good addition for a Cubs stack against the rookie Singer. Happ is batting .290 with three homers in 2020. Trent Grisham is another young, blossoming player whose price continues to rise with his familiarity with fantasy players. He has a tough matchup against Dustin May, but the Padres have scored more runs than any other team in the majors and Grisham sits comfortably in the top third of the lineup. Deploy at will. Joc Pederson is a great budget option for a variety of reasons. He’ll draw righty Dinelson Lamet so his left-handed bat plays. He just launched his first homer on Monday and historically hits them in bunches. Finally, he owns Lamet in their limited meetings, going 3-for-4 with two homers. Max Kepler cooled off after his Opening Day fireworks but has found his stroke again, collecting a hit in five of Minnesota’s last six contests, including five hits in his last two games.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Shane Bieber (CLE), $11,700: The most premium price in the land, but for good reason. Small risk in hitter-friendly Cincinnati, but we’ll wait until he proves he’s human again to consider such nonsense.
- Lance Lynn (TEX), $9,300: If Bieber is too rich for your blood, Lynn’s first two starts are overshadowed by Cleveland’s ace and he deserves a look. Oakland is hitting just .204 on the season and is striking out 30% of the time.
- Jose Altuve (HOU), $3,600: 7-for-18 career against Madison Bumgarner.
- Charlie Blackmon (COL), $4,200: His Coors Field splits are legendary, and he’s already swinging the bat well as the Rockies settle into home field.
- Cody Bellinger (LAD), $4,000: Stack the Dodger lefties (Seager, Muncy, Pederson) against Dinelson Lamet.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Mike Moustakas (CIN), $3,500: Again, let’s not deploy humans against Bieber until we learn Bieber is human again.
- Joey Gallo (TEX), $3,800: Faces lefty Jesus Luzardo.
- J.D. Martinez (BOS), $3,700: No extra-base hits or walks against Charlie Morton in 21 at-bats.
- Matt Chapman (OAK), $3,500: Batting just .195 and gets a righty-on-righty with sizzling Lance Lynn.
- Christian Yelich (MIL), $4,000: Two hits on Monday raised his average to .097. Let’s let the stud find his way before we invest again.
Whether you’re new to fantasy baseball or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Baseball 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with our Sabermetrics Glossary or head to more advanced strategy – like Maximizing Your Potential in Multi-Lineup Contests – to learn more.