FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (8/8)
We saw MLB teams like the Marlins and Phillies get back into action this past week, and that makes for a large slate of games this Saturday.
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, neither game of the Yankees-Rays doubleheader is included on the FanDuel all-day slate.
|Clayton Kershaw (LAD)||vs. SFG||$10,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Anthony DeSclafani (CIN)||@ MIL||$7,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Chris Paddack (SDP)||vs. ARI||$9,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Zach Plesac (CLE)||@ CWS||$9,700||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
It was great to see Kershaw back in action on Sunday. His much-anticipated 2020 debut was worth the wait, as he tossed 5.2 scoreless innings of three-hit baseball on his way to a victory at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have the highest win probability on the slate with a 76% chance to beat the Giants.
After sitting out the first part of the year with a lingering back injury, DeSclafani was another pitcher who made his 2020 debut this past week. He was impressive in a road start against the Tigers, where he only allowed three hits in a scoreless five innings. He only threw 64 pitches in that outing, and I expect his workload to ramp up in this start against a Brewers team that is hitting just .220 and scoring less than four runs per game.
Paddack has been outstanding in 2020 thus far, with a 2-0 record and a 2.65 ERA to go along with 15 strikeouts in his three starts to date. On Opening Day, he tossed six scoreless innings against this Diamondbacks club at Petco Park. At home against the same lineup, I like his chances to deliver another performance, and the Padres have a 63% winning probability for the game.
The White Sox lead the MLB in batting average with a .273 mark as a club, but Plesac had success against this lineup in his 2020 debut. Chicago is susceptible to the strikeout, with 124 already on the young season. Plesac recorded 11 strikeouts in his eight innings of scoreless baseball against Chicago on 7/29.
|Eric Thames (WSH)||vs. BAL||$2,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Kurt Suzuki (WSH)||vs. BAL||$2,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Miguel Sano (MIN)||@ KC||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
The Nationals have the highest implied total on the slate with an expected runs scored of 5.26. The C/1B position is a good place to obtain a couple of cheap pieces of the Washington lineup. While Thames and Suzuki are both part of platoons at their respective positions, I expect both to be in the batting order against the right-handed throwing Thomas Eshelman of the Orioles. At home against a pitcher making his 2020 debut who has struggled in the past, I like the chances for Thames and Suzuki to hit a HR in a hitter’s ballpark. Lefty hitters belt long balls at a 10% higher rate when playing at Nationals Park.
The Twins are also expected to score over 5 runs as a team on Saturday. Sano has been hitting cleanup for the club that is off to a 10-4 start. Sano sported a 1.007 OPS against southpaws last year, and he will look to have success against Danny Duffy of the Royals on Saturday.
|Starlin Castro (WSH)||vs. BAL||$2,400||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Hanser Alberto (BAL)||@ WSH||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Jon Berti (MIA)||@ NYM||$2,200||⭐⭐⭐||High|
Once again, I’ll highlight two players who will be hitting at Nationals Park on Saturday. While they’ll be in opposing dugouts, both Starlin Castro and Hanser Alberto are solid plays at 2B. Castro is another value option in a Nationals lineup with a high expected run total. Meanwhile, Alberto is off to a hot start in 2020 with an 0.888 OPS. He is a threat to hit a HR while also being capable of swiping a bag.
Berti is a good value option at 2B. While he is at a disadvantage for hitting at Citi Field, the righty should benefit from facing a southpaw. He had an .883 OPS against left-handed pitchers in 2019, and he hits near the top of the lineup, giving him a good shot at four plate appearances.
|Matt Chapman (OAK)||vs. HOU||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Justin Turner (LAD)||vs. SFG||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Carter Kieboom (WSH)||vs BAL||$2,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Chapman and Turner are about 20% cheaper than the elite third basemen on the slate like Rendon, Bregman, and Arenado. However, I think each possesses as much if not more upside than the most expensive hot corner hitters. Chapman had a HR rate of 7% against left-handed pitchers in 2019, and he has been heating up of late after a rough start to his 2020 campaign. Turner has yet to hit a HR, after belting 27 a season ago. He is also hitting .355 lifetime against Johnny Cueto, including a HR and three doubles in 33 at-bats against the Giants’ starter.
Carter Kieboom is yet another value hitter in a Washington lineup expected to perform on Saturday. He has only played in five games in 2020, but the righty is hitting .357 in the young season. If Kieboom is out of the lineup, then Asdrubal Cabrera ($2,700) is a good option as well.
|Jake Cronenworth (SDP)||vs. ARI||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Didi Gregorius (PHI)||vs. ATL||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Marcus Semien (OAK)||vs HOU||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
In his rookie campaign, Cronenworth is hitting .318 with a 1.075 OPS. The lefty will look to extend his hitting streak to seven games against RHP Merrill Kelly on Saturday.
Gregorius was off to a great start before the Phillies’ season was put on pause for a bit. I like his chances to get back on track against RHP Kyle Wright who has a 7.50 ERA and 2.67 WHIP after his first outing in 2020. The Phillies’ shortstop will also be hitting in his home ballpark of Citizens Bank Park, where left-handed hitters belt 18% more HRs.
Semien is great value as the leadoff hitter for a lineup with many right-handed hitters who can do damage against the young lefty Framber Valdez of the Astros. Semien hit .309 with a .933 OPS against southpaws in 2019. He is also a threat to steal bases, as he swiped ten bags a season ago.
|Matt Kemp (COL)||@ SEA||$2,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Adam Eaton (WSH)||vs. BAL||$2,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Mark Canha (OAK)||vs HOU||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Kemp has seen a rejuvenation of his career after joining the Rockies and serving as their primary DH in 2020. Fortunately, he still carries OF eligibility as well. While he will not be playing at the hitter’s paradise of Coors Field on Saturday, his matchup is enticing. Kemp has a career .912 OPS against left-handed pitchers, and he will match up against Nick Margevicius of the Mariners on Saturday.
I’m in on almost all Washington hitters for Saturday, and Eaton is a great budget outfielder for the slate. The lefty exhibits much more power against RHP’s, producing both doubles and HRs at a much higher rate in 2019 against such matchups. Like other Nationals hitters, I like his chances to have success against Thomas Eshelman of the Orioles.
The MLB implemented the “three-hitter” rule this year to prevent managers from bringing in a pitcher to face a single batter based on matchup. However, we can still target positive matchups while building our DFS lineups. That’s the case here, as I like the right-handed hitter Canha’s upside against the young southpaw Framber Valdez of the Astros. Canha has been serving as the cleanup hitter for the Athletics. He should have a good opportunity to drive in the likes of Semien, Chapman, and Davis.
Three Studs Worth Their Salary
- Trea Turner (SS – WSH) $3,300: The leadoff hitter for the Nationals lineup that I’m targetting heavily, Turner is still well-below $4,000.
- Cody Bellinger (OF – LAD) $4,300: Bellinger is hitting .353 with a 1.036 OPS for his career against Giants’ starter Johnny Cueto.
- Nelson Cruz (OF – MIN) $4,200: The ageless Cruz is off to a terrific start in 2020 and had a 14% HR rate to go along with a 1.207 OPS against lefties last season.
Three Notable Players to Fade
- Lance Lynn (P – TEX) $9,300: Rangers are underdogs in this one, and the left-handed Lynn could have trouble against the top three righty hitters for the Angels in Fletcher, Trout, and Rendon.
- Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE) $3,900: Individually, he is having a great season. However, the Indians have been struggling to score runs as a club, limiting his upside. Especially with some great 3B options, I prefer spending elsewhere.
- Mike Yastrzemski (OF – SFG) $3,500: I loved him last week, but his salary is starting to catch up, and now he has to face Kershaw at Dodger Stadium.
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