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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Monday (9/14)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 14, 2020

FanDuel’s main MLB slate tonight is only a four-game slate, so today’s piece is stripped back a bit to fit its limited size.

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Value Plays: Pitcher

There are only eight starting pitchers to choose from tonight, and the cheap pitching selections are gas cans that would be a mistake to roster. The pitcher I’d prefer turn to can be found below in the studs worth their salary section.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Austin Nola (SD) vs. LAD $3,100 High
Chance Sisco (BAL) vs. ATL $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Nola’s something of a contrarian pick against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw tonight. His inclusion in the table isn’t a reflection of how Kershaw’s pitching — he’s been great this year. Instead, it’s a way to be different on a small slate. Nola has amassed a .239 ISO and 110 wRC+ against southpaws since he reached the majors last year, according to FanGraphs. Sisco’s no sure thing to be in the lineup, but, if he is, his power plays in a five-star matchup. My favorite option at this position, however, is included as one of the three studs worth their salary below.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Nick Madrigal (CHW) vs. MIN $2,800 ⭐⭐ Medium
Marwin Gonzalez (MIN) @ CHW $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Second base is ugly tonight. With Ozzie Albies hiding down in the ninth spot in Atlanta’s order since his reinstatement from the IL, spending his $3,700 salary feels like only a contrarian move. Instead, Madrigal and Gonzalez make for palatable punts thanks in large part to the lack of interesting alternatives.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Josh Donaldson (MIN) @ CHW $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Low
Austin Riley (ATL) @ BAL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High

I love this duo, so doubling up with one at the hot corner and the other in the utility spot is a stellar decision. Donaldson’s been a man on fire since returning from the IL, and he smacked his fourth homer of the season yesterday in only 65 plate appearances on the year.

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jorge Polanco (MIN) @ CHW $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jose Iglesias (BAL) vs. ATL $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

I can certainly understand the appeal of using Fernando Tatis Jr. ($4,800), but a matchup with Kershaw is enough to dissuade me from paying top dollar for his services. Ditto on the likes of Corey Seager ($4,100) and Tim Anderson ($4,000) in tough matchups, too. Instead, Polanco and Iglesias make for appealing options due to their favorable pitching matchups and their fantasy-friendly lineup spots, as the former often hits leadoff or third and the latter hits in the two-hole for the O’s.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Adam Duvall (ATL) @ BAL $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Max Kepler (MIN) @ CHW $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Byron Buxton (MIN) @ CHW $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High
Nick Markakis (ATL) @ BAL $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

The outfield table consists of Braves and Twins. Duvall’s mashed 14 taters with a massive .345 ISO this year. Teammate Markakis is in the midst of a down year, but the left-handed outfielder has been above average with a 107 wRC+ against righties since 2017. Between Kepler and Buxton, Kepler is my preferred Twins outfielder to use. He’ll hold the platoon advantage against righty Dylan Cease and take aim at his .351 wOBA yielded to left-handed batters this year.

3 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Jose Berrios (MIN) $9,200: The Pale Hose make for a tough matchup for Berrios, but their gaudy 25.3 K% against righties this year elevates Berrios’ ceiling tonight, and that makes him my favorite pitching selection.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL) $4,900 AND
  • Freddie Freeman (ATL) $4,300: Jorge Lopez is a mess with a 6.38 ERA, 4.56 SIERA, and .363 xwOBA allowed to hitters, per Baseball Savant, this year, making Atlanta’s best two hitters my favorite studs to pony up for.

3 Notable Players to Fade

  • Clayton Kershaw (LAD) $10,600: Kershaw has been excellent this year, but the Padres are a tough assignment. Further, for his salary, I’d want him to eclipse 50 FanDuel points, which is something that he’s done in just two of seven starts.
  • Mookie Betts (LAD) $4,700: Dinelson Lamet is a handful for right-handed batters, so paying top dollar to roster Betts feels like a bad use of cap space.
  • Cody Bellinger (LAD) $4,400: Bellinger was demoted to the sixth spot in the order against a righty yesterday, and that’s hardly a ringing endorsement for using him at his sizable salary tonight.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.