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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday (8/12)

by Carmen Maiorano | @carmsclubhouse | Featured Writer
Aug 12, 2020

Taijuan Walker gets a good matchup against a struggling Rangers offense.

An eight-game main slate results in fewer options and lower high-end star power than what you would normally see. However, we can still find an edge by looking at splits, recent trends, and several other factors. If you want to maximize your fun this Wednesday, I suggest putting together a White Sox stack against Matthew Boyd on the early slate, and then watch the scoreboard light up!

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Value Plays

Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Taijuan Walker (SEA) @ TEX $6,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Walker faces one of the worst-hitting teams in the majors in the Rangers on Wednesday. The Rangers have a 69 wRC+ this year, good for 31% below league average and tied for worst overall with the Pirates. That’s not a spot you want to be in. Walker has one fantastic start (seven innings, eight strikeouts) sandwiched between two starts that lasted fewer than four innings each. The risk is high, but the matchup is great.

Catcher/ First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Rhys Hoskins (PHI) vs. BAL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Miguel Sano (MIN) @ MIL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Wilson Ramos (NYM) vs. WAS $2,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Hoskins has a 191 wRC+ against LHPs this year and a 131 wRC+ against them for his career. He will face Wade LeBlanc. Yes, the Wade LeBlanc who recently ran over a third base coach, tried a few pickoffs, and had one of the more embarrassing balks in recent memory.

Sano crushes lefties, a common theme so far. He has hit 28% better than league average against them in his career. Sano has had a truly terrible start to the year, but that just means he could be lowly rostered. Ignore the small sample.

Ramos has a .333/.429/.417 slash line against Anibal Sanchez. He hasn’t had a great start to this year, but his batted ball profile suggests that he should bounce back to his normal performance. Ramos has a great price point if you want to load up at stars for other positions, or build a contrarian Mets stack.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Howie Kendrick (WAS) @ NYM $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Second base is an absolute wasteland on the main slate. Kendrick is the only player under $3,000 worth a shot, as his expected batting average and slugging percentage are both in the top 10% of the league. The Mets haven’t announced who is starting as of this writing, but Kendrick is the definition of a professional hitter. He can hit off anyone.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jeff McNeil (NYM) vs. WAS $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jean Segura (PHI) vs. BAL $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dylan Moore (SEA) @ TEX $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
McNeil has a tough home park, but he’s a perfect hitter for cash games. He hits at the top of the order, which presents upside for counting stats and more chances to accumulate points. He also hits righties well and will go up against Sanchez.

Segura is off to a rough start, but there’s nothing that LeBlanc can’t fix. The former shortstop has fared just above league-average against lefties in his career, but hitting in the lower-third of the order limits his upside. Again, a slightly lower option for cash games.

Moore is mashing baseballs left and right (four homers in 49 PAs), despite a 28.3% strikeout rate. He’s likely going to hit in the two-hole, and riding the hot hand can be a viable strategy, particularly on a weaker slate such as this one.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
J.P. Crawford (SEA) @ TEX $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dansby Swanson (ATL) @ NYY $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Chris Taylor (LAD) vs. SDP $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Crawford continues to rake near the top of the Mariners’ lineup, and the underlying metrics suggest that he has actually been unlucky. He probably won’t win a tournament for you, but he’s a good low-cost option if you want to plug in superstars elsewhere.

Swanson faces Masahiro Tanaka, who has a serious home run problem (16% career HR/FB rate). The former No. 1 pick has run into a slump (just 2-for-23 over the last week), but the batted ball profile suggests he’s gotten a little unlucky.

Taylor is a solid low-cost option who probably won’t score a ton of points, but he probably won’t put up a zero either. Again, this would be a punt play while you load up elsewhere.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Tommy Pham (SD) @ LAD $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Michael Conforto (NYM) vs. WAS $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dominic Smith (NYM) vs. WAS $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Andrew McCutchen (PHI) vs. BAL $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Pham has only one homer and an 85 wRC+ so far this year, but his Baseball Savant page is a thing of beauty. He will face Julio Urias (more on him below), and he has crushed lefties throughout his career.

Conforto has a career 136 wRC+ against righties, and he has a great .308/.400/.492 slash line so far this year. He hasn’t hit Sanchez well throughout his career, but Washington’s righty looks to be in a steady decline through his first two starts (7.84 ERA).

Smith manhandles righties, and he should be in the lineup and hit in the middle of the order. While he sometimes struggles to make contact, he barrels the ball consistently. That’s what you’re looking for in a GPP play.

McCutchen has been awful this year — there is no way around it. Between his early-season injury and the significant layoff between games, he hasn’t gotten his timing down yet. Like I said before, there’s nothing that LeBlanc can’t fix. McCutchen has killed lefties time and time again, and this is the sort of matchup that could get him going.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Kenta Maeda (SP – MIN), $8,700: Maeda faces the Brewers, who rank as one of the league’s worst offenses so far this year. He is a great cash game option and can be played in GPP formats, too.
  • J.D. Martinez (OF – BOS), $3,700: Martinez has struggled to start this year, and he has attributed it to not being able to watch in-game video. However, he is still crushing lefties, and this year’s Blake Snell is not quite the 2018 Cy Young Award version. He will be lowly rostered despite feasting on lefties for a 162 wRC+ over his career.
  • Bryce Harper (OF – PHI), $4,000: Harper has been hitting the ball hard, striking out less, and walking more so far this year. Now, just picture him batting against LeBlanc. Hey, stop daydreaming.
  • Nelson Cruz (OF – MIN), $3,800: Cruz will face Eric Lauer on Wednesday. Lauer is a lefty. Cruz has a 291 wRC+ against lefties this year. In his age-40 season. Need I say more?
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SD), $4,500: Imagine having a great day after the first wave of games on this slate, knowing that you have Tatis Jr. to seal the deal for you. Shortstop is pretty thin on this eight-game slate, so paying up for the most electrifying player in the game is a smart idea.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Julio Urias (SP – LAD), $7,800: Urias got pulled in the fourth inning in his last start, and it is clear that he is still on a pitch count. He also faces one of the best offenses in the majors, so there’s no need to take a risk with him.
  • Eric Hosmer (1B – SD), $3,100: Hosmer has been a monster to start this year, and this price is quite tempting. However, he has been scratched several times this year and recently just came off the IL. Given that he has just 24 PAs so far this season, I prefer to look at his career norms. That includes hitting significantly below league-average against lefties. While you’re fading Urias, it also makes sense to fade Hosmer.
  • Corey Seager (SS – LAD), $3,500: Seager started out the season on a tear, but he keeps getting held out of the lineup. His most recent nick is lower back tightness. Even if he is slated to start, there’s a chance he gets pulled early.
  • Didi Gregorius (SS – PHI), $3,200: While the Phillies make for a logical stack, leave Gregorius out of it. He doesn’t do well against lefties, sporting a lackluster .676 OPS against them in his career.
  • Xander Bogaerts (SS – BOS), $3,700: Bogaerts has just two hits in 21 plate appearances against Snell with seven strikeouts. Even though Snell is still stretching out, this isn’t a matchup I want to dive into.

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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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