FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday (8/26)
This Wednesday gives us an 11-game main slate with no shortage of aces on the bump. The pricing model does not give us intriguing value at pitcher, so paying top dollar for an ace and finding value hitters is the recommended way to go. Let’s see who the recent trends, platoon splits, and advanced stats dig up as those value hitters.
|Dakota Hudson (STL)||vs. KAN||$7,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Robbie Ray (ARI)||vs. COL||$7,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Hudson faces a Royals team that is 23% worse than league average against righties over the past two weeks. He’s also been striking more guys out in 2020, largely due to throwing his curve at a significantly higher rate and garnering a 39% whiff rate on the pitch. As a bonus, Hudson isn’t getting as many grounders as he did last year, but Busch Stadium suppresses power and runs regardless.
Ray is a total GPP play. If you squint, you can see that he took a slight step forward in his last start, striking out eight, but still issuing five walks. Luckily for Ray, the Rockies are 25% worse than league average against lefties over the last two weeks and have a bottom-five walk rate against lefties in that span. There’s a chance he wins you a tournament, or he can completely sink you.
Catcher/ First Base
|Christian Walker (ARI)||vs. COL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Miguel Cabrera (DET)||vs. CHI||$2,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Walker has fared well against Rockies’ starter Jon Gray in a limited sample, collecting five hits in ten at-bats – including two doubles. Unfortunately, the the other five at-bats resulted in a strikeout. Looking past the favorable matchup, Walker has an elite average exit velocity and is striking out nearly four percentage points less.
Cabrera’s actual slugging percentage is nearly 100 points below his expected slug, and he’s hitting the ball harder than last year. He faces Jon Lester on Wednesday, whom he has rocked over their length careers to the tune of .556/.684/.815 over 27 at-bats.
|Jake Cronenworth (SD)||vs. SEA||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Ketel Marte (ARI)||vs. COL||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Cronenworth, in a small sample, has a 192 wRC+ against righties this year. He gets Taijuan Walker at home. This is a no-brainer.
Marte hasn’t kept the power gains that he made last year, but his lifetime .524/.500/.667 slash line against Gray is a great floor to have at a shallow position.
|Justin Turner (LAD)||vs. SFG||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Yandy Díaz (TB)||vs. BAL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Isaac Paredes (DET)||vs. CHC||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Turner has a 131 wRC+ against righties in his career. He will face Kevin Gausman, who has a fantastic K-BB% rate, but is still an inconsistent pitcher. If you are going contrarian from the big boys at third (see below), Turner provides a safe option.
Díaz has turned a corner recently, striking out just 11.5% of the time and slugging .558 over the past two weeks. He will face Asher Wojciechowski, who has regularly struggled to get out of the fourth inning this season. The Orioles’ bullpen, outside of their late-inning relievers, isn’t much better.
Paredes is a rookie who has shown league-average power and a solid hit tool. He could make his coming-out party against Jon Lester, who has struggled this year. Paredes should only be rostered in tournaments due to the high risk.
|Willy Adames (TB)||vs. BAL||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Adames is quietly having a breakout season, slashing .293/.381/.533 and backed up by increased walk and hard-hit rates. He is also striking out a bit more, but there’s not much of a need to worry about that against Wojciechowski
|Stephen Piscotty (OAK)||@ TEX||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Jesse Winker (CIN)||@ MIL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|David Peralta (ARI)||vs. COL||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Dylan Carlson (STL)||vs. STL||$2,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Piscotty is heating up over the last week, hitting three homers and sporting a 149 wRC+. He has a career 134 wRC+ against lefties and will match up against Kolby Allard on Wednesday. Allard has a 7.82 ERA through 12.2 innings this year. Take advantage.
Winker is one of the league leaders in OPS, and his gains are mostly real. The lefty has limited his strikeouts against righties, and Adrian Houser isn’t a strikeout pitcher. It’s not the best matchup, but Winker gets to hit in a hitter’s park and is hotter than a dog day in August.
Peralta, who sports a .500/.500/.577 line against Gray in his career, makes for a great connector in a Diamondbacks stack. Although he hits the ball on the ground too much, Peralta will hit near the top of the order and have a chance to accumulate points.
Carlson is a total speculation play, but he has hit the balls to all fields, and Busch Stadium is very favorable for center-field homers. Again, the Cardinals will face Junis fresh off the IL. Junis’s velocity is down over a tick, and he’s striking out only 10.3% of the batters he faces.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
Sonny Gray (SP – CIN), $10,200: Gray is a top-three NL Cy Young candidate so far this season, and he will face a Brewers team that is a whopping 43% worse than league average against righties over the last two weeks.
Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL), $3,800: Blackmon sports a .469/.490/.837 slash line against Robbie Ray over a whopping 49 at-bats. He has cooled a bit since his impossible-to-sustain start, but this matchup is the epitome of favorable.
Mookie Betts (OF – LAD), $4,400: Betts has a .375/.432/.625 slash line against Gausman and is in the thick of the NL MVP race.
Nolan Arenado (3B – COL), $3,800: Arenado absolutely crushes Ray to the tune of .349/.423/.744 over 43 at-bats. While his exit velocity is down, his barrel rate is consistent from prior years, and his strikeout rate is down. He also still has seven homers despite a suboptimal .289 wOBA. I’m betting that Arenado gets it done.
Brandon Lowe (2B – TB), $3,800: Second base is actually pretty deep on Wednesday, but Lowe has mashed righties in his brief career (137 wRC+), especially this year (157 wRC+). This will be the last time I mention that the Rays are facing Wojciechowski, promise.
5 Notable Players to Fade
Francisco Lindor (SS – CLE), $3,200: Lindor has had a crummy start to the season; he’s been striking out more, walking less, and hitting the ball softer. I’m not betting that he turns his season around facing José Berríos, who shut out the Brewers while striking out nine hitters in his last start.
Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD), $9,300: Lamet will be highly rostered as the most attractive mid-tier option, but the Mariners surprisingly are league average against righties over the past two weeks and strike out just 23.2% of the time against them. That’s in the top half of the league. Lamet should still have a good night, but taking Sonny Gray or Jacob deGrom over him is a smart move.
Mike Yastrzemski (OF -SF), $3,700: Yastrzemski has taken the league by storm, but his expected slugging (.612) is significantly lower than his actual slugging percentage (.529). Regression is going to come in short notice, as he will face Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. Kershaw is on his game at the moment, striking out 11 in his last start.
Kyle Lewis (OF – SEA), $3,700: Speaking of coming back to earth, Lewis should be here any day now. He is still striking out way too much and is going up against a pitcher (Lamet) who lives to strike batters out. While the Mariners as a team don’t strike out a ton against righties, Lewis is an exception.
Pete Alonso (1B – NYM), $3,600: Alonso is facing Elieser Hernández, who has an incredible slider. Alonso has actually fared well in a small sample against sliders this year, but he sported a 42% whiff rate against the pitch last year en route to his lowest wOBA on a pitch. If Alonso doesn’t hit a homer, he doesn’t hold much value given his profile.
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