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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday: (8/5)

by Carmen Maiorano | @carmsclubhouse | Featured Writer
Aug 5, 2020

Kyle Seager is experiencing a renaissance, sporting a 162 wRC+ so far this season.

We get a relatively small ten-game slate tonight, and we have a surprising lack of options across the board. Given that the Yankees, Nationals, Red Sox, and Rays aren’t a part of the slate, this makes sense. We are getting to the point in the season where the DFS platforms are pricing slumping stars at intriguing and affordable prices, so let’s jump into which of those stars are worth betting on, along with value plays at each position.

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) @ ARI $8,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Garrett Richards (SDP) vs. LAD $7,000 ⭐⭐ High
Randy Dobnak (MIN) @ PIT $7,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dallas Keuchel (CWS) vs. MIL $6,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

McCullers Jr. appears to be stretched out, going six innings in his last start. The Diamondbacks are in a severe funk with the bats, so McCullers will have a great shot at going at least six innings and getting at least seven strikeouts. Given that most of the other cheaper options on the slate do not get strikeouts, McCullers is a great bet to exceed his value.

Richards is more of a tournament/GPP play. He has an extremely tough matchup, but he is an extremely good pitcher when he’s healthy – his 3.59 ERA and 3.63 FIP are evidence of that. He has the ability to strike out more than a batter an inning over six innings and get a win. He could also be out in the fifth inning and give up four runs with a handful of strikeouts. He figures to be minimally rostered, so if he goes off, that vaults you near the top of the payout.

Dobnak won’t strike many out, but he is facing one of the worst lineups in baseball in one of the best pitcher’s parks around. He is more of a cash game play, and only if you don’t want to pay up for Yu Darvish. I am expecting a six-inning outing with a handful of strikeouts and no more than three runs allowed. But, we play the games for a reason.

Keuchel gets the Brewers, who have a bottom-three offense in baseball right now. Much like Dobnak, he won’t strike many out, but will likely pitch deep into the ballgame and have a shot at a win. The wind is blowing in at Guaranteed Rate tonight, so the likelihood of multiple long balls is mitigated.

Catcher/ First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Carlos Santana (CLE) vs. CIN $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) @ ATL $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Brandon Belt (SFG) @ COL $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Santana and the Indians have struggled at the dish lately, but instead of facing Luis Castillo today, they get Tejay Antone. Not a bad swap for Cleveland. Antone had a good enough major-league debut, but wasn’t dominant in the minors with an ERA and FIP around four and averaging less than a strikeout per inning.

Guerrero got off the snide on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk-off of Max Fried. He will likely be rostered at a low rate because of his early-season slump, but he faces another lefty in Sean Newcomb today. He’s worth the current boom-or-bust play at this price.

Brandon Belt has owned Jon Gray over his career (8-for-21 with a homer and three doubles), plus he gets him at Coors. Belt is slightly pricier than the other options, but he has a safe floor with the potential for a big game.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Cesar Hernandez (CLE) vs. CIN $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Luis Arraez (MIN) @ PIT $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Shed Long (SEA) vs. LAA $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Garrett Hampson (COL) vs. SFG $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Second base is a place to spend down on, given the options. Hernandez, unlike the rest of the Indians, is actually hitting the ball well. With a 112 wRC+ and a good matchup, he seems to have the safest floor.

Arraez’s game plays anywhere, regardless of the park. The Twins have a good shot at beating up on Trevor Williams tonight, and there’s no reason to think that Arraez won’t do his thing and get a couple of hits and score a few runs.

Long faces Julio Teheran, who is making his season debut after coming back from COVID-19. Teheran will likely be rusty and/or won’t pitch a ton tonight. The Angels bullpen has been dreadful, so Long could easily get a couple of hits and steal a base tonight.

Hampson, like Long, offers the chance of a couple of hits and a stolen base… if he starts. Hampson is also playing in his home park, which offers a ton of upside. If you insert Hampson if your lineup, just make sure he’s starting.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Kyle Seager (SEA) vs. LAA $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Manny Machado (SDP) vs. LAD $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Todd Frazier (TEX) @ OAK $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Seager is experiencing a renaissance, sporting a 162 wRC+ so far this season. He gets Teheran and that terrible bullpen, which gives him some upside.

Machado has struggled so far this year, but he’s Manny Machado. By putting him in the lineup, you can still go after big names, and still have Manny Machado. He also has two homers, meaning that not all is lost.

Frazier faces the lefty Sean Manaea tonight. Manaea’s velocity is way down, and Frazier has a career 120 wRC+ against lefties. Sure, the Coliseum is not an ideal place to hit, but the wind is blowing out to left field tonight. Huge upside here.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
J.P. Crawford (SEA) vs. LAA $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Elvis Andrus (TEX) @ OAK $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Crawford has been hot to start the season, swiping two bags and posting a 150 wRC+. Teheran + terrible bad bullpen = wash, rinse, repeat.

Andrus is off to a rough start, but there’s nothing in his batted ball profile to suggest that he’s in a decline. There’s a chance that facing Manaea could get him turned around.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Avisail Garcia (MIL) @ CWS $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Matt Kemp (COL) vs. SFG $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Shin-Soo Choo (TEX) @ OAK $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Khris Davis (OAK) vs. TEX $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Garcia hits Dallas Keuchel well (8-for-23 and slashing .348/.375/.522 against him), and has a 120 wRC+ against lefties in his career. The wind is blowing in, but Garcia has enough power to muscle one out through the wind.

If Kyle Seager is experiencing a renaissance, then Matt Kemp has experienced a rebirth. He loves hitting at Coors, but luck has been on his side so far. With that said, a contrarian Rockies stack probably starts with him.

Choo has fared well against Manaea in a limited sample and provides a safe floor in the forementioned Rangers’ mini-stack of Andrus and Frazier.

With Khris Davis, well, I’ll just leave you with this, and the fact that the wind is blowing out tonight.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Yu Darvish (SP – CHC) 9,500: Darvish has the ability to get double-digit punchouts against a very swing-happy team like the Royals. He makes for a great play in both GPP and cash games.
  • Corey Seager (SS – LAD) 3,500: Seager is on a tear and is an early MVP candidate. The fact that he has only DH’d while nursing a slight quad injury hasn’t stopped him. That injury might lead to being lowly rostered – take advantage.
  • Mike Trout (OF – LAA) 4,400: As if you needed a reason that he’s worth it. Well, here’s just one more – he mashes Marco Gonzales to the tune of .429/.515/.750 over 28 at-bats.
  • Trevor Story (SS- COL) 4,100: It’s Coors. And he faces Logan Webb. And shortstop is weak tonight. Need any other reasons?
  • Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA) 3,800: Rendon mashes lefties, and this price is great to pair with Trout.

4 Notable Players to Fade

  • Nick Castellanos (OF – CIN) 3,700: Everyone’s favorite player right now, he has only three hits in 19 at-bats against Mike Clevinger. He will probably have some decent ownership at this price, but there are plenty of other outfield options.
  • Ketel Marte (2B – ARI) 3,100: The low price prices Marte intriguing, but he hasn’t barreled a ball yet, and his exit velocity is five MPH below last year. A short sample to be sure, but lower exit velocity can mean that Marte is dealing with an injury. Marte does have an injury history, so I’m staying away tonight.
  • Marcus Semien (SS – OAK) 3,000: Much like Marte, last year’s AL MVP candidate Semien hasn’t barreled a ball and has a low exit velocity. His strikeout rate is through the roof as well. I’m waiting until he turns it around.
  • Josh Bell (1B – PIT) 2,900: Bell has a strikeout problem right now, making him tough to roster in DFS. I’ll wait until he gets his timing right before inserting him in lineups, even at this price.

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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.

Carmen Maiorano is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Carmen, check out his archive and personal fantasy blog and follow him @cmaiorano3.

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