FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Monday (9/7)
Tonight’s main slate is a six-gamer, but, despite the smallish nature of the slate, it’s packed with quality pitching. A couple of value options stand out as my favorites, while a pair of aces also make it into this space with one in the studs worth their salary section and the other among the notable fades. Some of the hitters facing the ace in the notable fades section appear in the value plays among hitters as contrarian GPP options. There are plenty of other value plays among the hitters who aren’t best reserved only for GPP usage. Further, a handful of stud hitters warrant spending up for and appear in the studs worth their salary section.
|Dinelson Lamet (SD)||vs. COL||$9,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Kevin Gausman (SF)||vs. ARI||$7,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Lamet’s my favorite pitching option on tonight’s slate. He blends a great ceiling with a five-star matchup and a discount from some of the other top choices on this slate. The Rockies rank 28th in wRC+ (72) on the road this year, per FanGraphs, and have punched out at a 25.2% clip in road tilts. The high-strikeout percentage plays right into the hands of Lamet and his gaudy 31.7 K%.
Speaking of gaudy strikeout rates, Gausman doesn’t sit far behind Lamet with a 31.0 K%. He, too, has an excellent matchup. The Diamondbacks rank 29th in road wRC+ (66) and 25th in wRC+ (87) against right-handed pitchers this year. A win could be tough to come by due to who takes the bump opposing him — spoiler alert, more to come on this “mystery” pitcher — but Gausman can return value without a win at a sub-$8,000 salary.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)||vs. NYY (BUF)||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Carlos Santana (CLE)||vs. KC||$2,700||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Ji-Man Choi (TB)||@ WAS||$2,500||⭐||High|
The matchups for the value catcher/first base options range from mediocre to challenging, but all three call a favorable lineup spot home. The player I want to draw specific attention to in this table is Choi. In 715 plate appearances against righties since 2017, Choi has a .369 OBP, .229 ISO, and 133 wRC+. He’ll get a nifty park factor value bump tonight, too. According to our MLB Park Factors, Nationals Park has the second-highest park factor for runs (1.096) and has the fifth-highest park factor for homers (1.158). Further, Max Scherzer has stumbled against left-handed batters this year, yielding a .364 OBP, .511 SLG, and .369 wOBA to the 99 of them he’s faced.
|Tommy La Stella (OAK)||vs. HOU||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Cesar Hernandez (CLE)||vs. KC||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Ketel Marte (ARI)||@ SF||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
The options in the table aren’t going to cause you to do backflips rostering them, but they’re collectively a rock-solid group in non-imposing matchups. Since 2017, all three are above-average against righties with La Stella amassing a 114 wRC+, Hernandez tallying a 105 wRC+, and Marte sandwiched between both with a 108 wRC+.
|Asdrubal Cabrera (WAS)||vs. TB||$2,700||⭐⭐||High|
|Maikel Franco (KC)||@ CLE||$2,700||⭐||High|
The value third base options stink. If you find yourself compelled to root around in the bargain bin for an option at the hot corner, these two are the most palatable. That’s relative, though, and I’d much rather pay up for one of the hitters featured below in the studs worth their salary section.
|Francisco Lindor (CLE)||vs. KC||$3,400||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Gleyber Torres (NYY)||@ TOR (BUF)||$2,700||⭐||Medium|
Not so coincidentally, my favorite third baseman’s stud teammate at shortstop is also in the studs worth their salary section. Unlike the options at third base, there are a pair of possibilities which are strong alternatives at shortstop. Switch-hitting Lindor boasts a .243 ISO against righties since 2017, and Torres has a .345 OBP, .281 ISO, and 135 wRC+ against lefties since reaching The Show in 2018.
|Michael Brantley (HOU)||@ OAK||$3,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Randal Grichuk (TOR)||vs. NYY (BUF)||$3,300||⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Wil Myers (SD)||vs. COL||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR)||vs. NYY (BUF)||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Austin Meadows (TB)||@ WAS||$2.900||⭐||High|
This is a tightly clustered group from a salary perspective. Brantley’s tied for the highest salary and my preferred option at the $3,300 price point. Opposing righty Frankie Montas has been tattooed for a .389 wOBA by the 77 lefties he’s faced, and Brantley owns a .381 OBP, .200 ISO, and 139 wRC+ against righties since 2017.
Grichuk and Gurriel Jr. both offer right-handed exposure to lefty Jordan Montgomery. The young southpaw’s struggled mightily with righties this year, coughing up a .603 SLG and .394 wOBA to the 77 of them he’s faced. Both Grichuk and Gurriel Jr. have the pop to add to Montgomery’s woes with the former ripping off a .232 ISO against lefties since 2017 and the latter tallying a .263 ISO against them since 2018.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Zac Gallen, ARI ($10,600): The matchup isn’t great for Gallen with the Giants playing surprisingly well against right-handed pitchers, but Gallen’s been downright awesome this season with a 1.80 ERA and 27.8 K%.
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SD ($4,600): Tatis Jr. is tied for the MLB lead in homers with 15, has added seven stolen bases and is sitting on a crazy-good 179 wRC+.
- Kyle Tucker, HOU ($4,000): Tucker was one of the top prospects in the game, and he’s gone from teasing his potential in the Bigs to tapping into it a bit more with five stolen bases, a .312 ISO, and 146 wRC+ in 154 plate appearances this season.
- Manny Machado, SD ($4,000): Machado slaughters lefties, and, since 2017, he has a .371 OBP, .276 ISO, and 146 wRC+ against them.
- DJ LeMahieu, NYY ($3,500): I don’t think LeMahieu is a necessary use of salary resources in cash games, but with a .397 OBP and 151 wRC+ this year and a track record of raking against lefties, he’s an attractive GPP option.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Max Scherzer, WAS ($11,000): When Scherzer’s on, he can deliver an eye-popping fantasy point total. Still, I’m not particularly interested in paying his exorbitant salary for a matchup with a Rays team that ranks seventh in wRC+ (111) against righties this season.
- Juan Soto, WAS ($4,700): Soto could be back in the lineup tonight, but I’ll pass on paying the highest salary for a hitter on tonight’s slate for a player who’s less than 100%.
- Charlie Blackmon, COL ($3,900):
- Trevor Story, COL ($3,900):
- Nolan Arenado, COL ($3,500): Suffice to say, if the Rockies are awful on the road — as they are and I noted touting Lamet — their top options are contributing to those struggles and not worth their high salaries in a road tilt tonight.
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