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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (8/15)

Aug 15, 2020

Max Fried offers salary relief to go along with strikeout upside on Saturday

With most teams getting back into action, the weekend slates over at FanDuel are finally starting to provide us with plenty of options when building our DFS lineups.

Throughout this piece, I will reference implied team totals and winning probabilities that are generated from our consensus odds over at BettingPros.com. Keep in mind, the Twins, Royals, White Sox, and Cardinals are participating in doubleheaders on Saturday. Players from these teams are not included in the FanDuel all-day slate.

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Trevor Bauer (CIN) vs. PIT $12,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Shane Bieber (CLE) @ DET $11,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ BAL $10,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Max Fried  (ATL) @ MIA $9,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
German Marquez (COL)  vs. TEX $8,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Aaron Nola (PHI) vs. NYM $10,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
It is impossible to discuss this slate without mentioning the two aces that headline the pitching options. Bauer and Bieber, both former teammates of the Indians, are the two most expensive pitching options on Saturday. Their prices are some of the highest that you’ll ever see on FanDuel, and it is hard to argue against them.

I will mention that Bauer will need to get plenty of swings and misses on Saturday in order to truly reach his upside. He will be pitching inside Great American Ball Park, where the ball can fly out. Utilizing our Park Factors data over the past three full seasons, hitters are belting HRs at a 19% higher rate than at other ballparks. We only have to look back at Anthony DeSclafani’s start on Thursday to see the kind of damage that this Pirates lineup can do in a hitters ballpark. The Pirates come in to Saturday’s action striking out a little over eight times per game, and Bauer will want to cause even more whiffs than that to make up for the runs that he could allow.

Bieber will also be pitching in a hitter’s park as he will take the mound in Detroit at Comerica Park. However, the numbers for hitters are not nearly as pronounced. Bieber also carries plenty of strikeout upside, and the Tigers come in averaging over ten strikeouts per game as a team. Not only is Bieber making a case to be the ace of a strong Cleveland rotation, but he is also in the conversation for AL Cy Young with his 3-0 record, 1.63 ERA, and 43 strikeouts in the early 2020 season.

The Nationals have one of the highest winning probabilities on the slate, and Corbin will be the beneficiary taking the mound for the club. Facing an Orioles lineup that is striking out over eight times per game, Corbin will have strikeout upside to go along with a great chance at a win. Corbin has produced a quality start in two of his three outings, and he was just one out away from a quality start against the Mets on August 4th.

Fried is one of my favorite pitching options on the slate. Not only are you saving close to $3,000 in salary when compared to Bauer and Bieber, but I think that Fried possesses just as much strikeout upside to go along with the Braves 64% win probability. In four starts in 2020, Fried has posted a 1.59 ERA and a 3-0 record. The most runs he has allowed in a start is two, and he already has outings with five, six, and seven strikeouts. The Marlins enter Saturday’s action striking out over nine times per game. Marlins park sees far less HRs than other ballparks, which will help Fried minimize any damage.

Marquez has been great so far in 2020, showcasing his strikeout ability while never allowing more than two earned runs in a game to date. He has been fortunate to pitch away from Coors Field in three of his four starts, and he will not have the same luck on Saturday. However, he was one out away from delivering a quality start against these Rangers bats in his first outing of the season, limiting the lineup to one run on just two hits. Marquez also produced six strikeouts in his 5.2 IP.

Following a disappointing first start and some time off, Nola has rebounded to deliver FanDuel fantasy point scores of 55 and 61 in starts against the Yankees and Braves respectively. He whiffed twelve Yankees and ten Braves in each of those starts. With each strikeout being equivalent to a full inning pitched on FanDuel, that type of strikeout upside cannot be ignored. In his last outing, he pitched a full eight innings against Atlanta and allowed two hits, a walk, and one earned run. He is one of the hottest arms in baseball right now, and he will be facing a Mets team that has just a 36% chance to win the contest.

C/1B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Daniel Murphy (COL) vs. TEX $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
J.T. Realmuto (PHI) vs. NYM $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Yuli Gurriel (HOU) vs. SEA $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
It probably won’t come as a surprise that the Rockies have the highest implied team run total on the slate. Playing at home at Coors Field, the Rockies will face up against Texas starter Kyle Gibson, who has struggled to this point. Gibson has a 4.11 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, and has allowed three HRs already on the season. Daniel Murphy is four-for-five in his career against Gibson, including a double and two RBIs.

It is not often that I’m recommending catchers in this spot, but Realmuto has arguably been the hottest hitter in baseball this week. Since Monday, he has four HRs, 11 RBIs, and has reached base every game. He will be facing a southpaw at home in a hitter’s ballpark on Saturday, where he has been playing all week.

The Astros scored at least five runs in every game of their homestand this week, including an 11 run outburst on Friday night. They have one of the highest implied totals for Saturday’s slate as well. Gurriel went two-for-four on Friday with a HR and a walk. The right-handed hitter will face a lefty in Nick Margevicius of the Mariners on Saturday.

2B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ryan McMahon (COL) vs. TEX $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Garrett Hampson (COL) vs. TEX $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Tommy La Stella (LAA) vs. LAD $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 
See Murphy, Daniel. But really. Here is another opportunity to grab an affordable piece of a Rockies offense that is expected to do a lot of damage on Saturday. McMahon is a left-handed hitter who has displayed more power in his career against right-handed pitchers like his opposition on Saturday.

Hampson hits leadoff for those same Rockies. In this latest homestand, he has posted double-digit fantasy points in each game besides Friday against Texas’ best starter Lance Lynn. Hampson will have a much softer matchup on Saturday against the struggling Kyle Gibson.

The 2019 All-Star has been heating up of late, as La Stella has posted an 0.855 OPS thanks in large part to his ten walks on the season. He has been sandwiched between the on-base machine of David Fletcher and the hot-hitting duo of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Trout has been mashing the ball since returning from paternity leave, and Rendon has homered in four straight contests. La Stella will have opportunities to drive in Fletcher or come around to score on hits by Trout and Rendon.

3B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Nolen Arenado (COL) vs. TEX $4,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Eugenio Suarez (CIN) vs. PIT $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Gio Urshela (NYY) vs BOS $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
The stud to pay up for at 3B is Nolan Arenado. On the current homestand, he has gone 8-for-16 with three HRs, 8 RBIs, and four runs scored.

As mentioned when discussing Bauer, the ball can fly out at Great American Ball Park. That will be good news for the Reds hitters, who will be up against southpaw Steven Brault of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brault comes into Saturday’s action with four earned runs allowed in just seven innings of work. Suarez has a career .899 OPS against lefties and a HR% of six percent.

Though not mentioned to this point, the Yankees are a great lineup to stack on Saturday as well. They will be at home, where HRs are hit at an eight percent higher rate than other ballparks. Urshela is hitting .271 ono the year with three HRs, 13 RBIs, and 11 runs scored. Against Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, Urshela is two-for-four with a double and a walk in his career.

SS

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Trea Turner (WSH) @ BAL $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Carlos Correa (HOU) vs. SEA $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Chris Taylor (LAD) @ LAA $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
On the current road trip, Turner is hitting 9-for-22 with five RBIs and seven runs scored. Turner produced a three-for-five effort on Friday night at Baltimore, and Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski has allowed three HRs and six earned runs in a little over 13 innings of work.

While many of the Astros hitters got off to a slow start in 2020, Correa has been pretty great since the jump. He is hitting .324 on the season with a couple of HRs to go along with nine RBIs and seven runs scored. The Houston offense has heated up on this current homestand, and that is good news for Correa as a right-handed bat who will face southpaw Nick Margevicius of the Mariners on Saturday. Correa has a career 0.874 OPS against lefties.

With a couple of multi-hit games already this week, Taylor enters Saturday’s action as a nearly every day player for a Dodgers lineup that has seen Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger heat up of late. Taylor is hitting a respectable .286 on the season, and he has already homered off Angels starter Andrew Heaney in his career.

OF

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Kole Calhoun (ARI) vs. SDP $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Mark Canha (OAK) @ SFG $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
A.J. Pollock (LAD) @ LAA $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Calhoun has started to slot in as the leadoff hitter for the Diamondbacks, but he has always been able to produce power out of the lineup spot as well. In his past four games, the Red Baron has gone 8-for-18 with three HRs, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored. He has five HRs in 18 games on the season,

While it is more difficult to hit the ball out at Oracle Park, hitters have not seen any dip in singles or doubles at the park. That is good news for Mark Canha, who seems to find himself on base all the time. He is a bargain at his price for his ability to get on base and to drive in batters ahead of him like Chapman and Olson.

Perhaps a shortened season was exactly what the doctor ordered for the oft-injured Pollock. He enters Saturday’s action with a .283 batting average, five HRs, 12 RBIs, and nine runs scored. In his career, Pollock has displayed greater power against southpaws like Angels starter Andrew Heaney on Saturday. The veteran has an .844 OPS against left-handed pitchers in his MLB career.

Three Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Mookie Betts (OF – LAD) $4,100: We saw his upside on Thursday night when he clocked three HRs against the Padres. He is three-for-nine in his career with a couple of walks against Andrew Heaney of the Angels.
  • Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL) $4,200: We are about a third through the season, and Blackmon is still holding an absurd .447 batting average. He has three HRs, 20 RBIs, and 18 runs as well, and the Rockies offense has plenty of upside on Saturday.
  • Alex Bregman (3B – HOU) $3,800: He has been a large part of the Astros’ offensive output this week, and he will benefit as a right-handed bat against a southpaw. Bregman has four HRs on the year and has a good shot at one at home on Saturday.

Three Notable Players to Fade

  • Jose Altuve (2B – HOU) $4,100: Though the cause of his struggles can be debated, there is no doubt that Altuve is struggling at the plate in 2020. While his team has produced offensively this week, Altuve has not produced a game with more than one hit since August 6th.
  • Walker Buehler (P – LAD) $9,600: Though Kershaw shut them down on Friday, the Angels have displayed dangerous HR power all season, particularly with Rendon and Trout breaking out lately. Buehler has not displayed the strikeout upside in 2020 to counteract the possibility of getting hit around.
  • DJ LeMahieu (2B – NYY) $3,900: He is following up his incredible 2019 campaign with a .429 batting average and 15 runs scored so far in 2020. However, he is just 2-for-15 with no extra base hits in his career against Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi.

 

Shane Bryant is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ShaneBryant31.

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