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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Sunday (9/13)

by Josh Shepardson | @BChad50 | Featured Writer
Sep 13, 2020

Eric Thames is a bargain option thanks to his home park’s hitter-friendly park factors.

Sunday’s afternoon main slate is another I’m advocating for spending down on pitching and ponying up for the top hitters, and that’s reflected in the studs worth their salary and notable fades sections. Before reaching those, though, I offer some nifty value hitters to free up even more cap space in order to use numerous hitters from the studs worth their salary section.

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Value Plays


Tyler Mahle (CIN) @ STL $8,400 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Charlie Morton (TB) vs. BOS $7,500 ⭐⭐ High
Frankie Montas (OAK) @ TEX $6,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Mahle is enjoying a rock-solid 2020 with a 3.89 ERA, 3.87 SIERA, and 30.0 K% in seven appearances (six starts) spanning 37.0 innings, per FanGraphs. He has a middle of the road matchup, and the game’s basically a pick ’em with a non-threatening over/under total of 8.5 runs, according to BettingPros.

Morton tossed 57 pitches in his last start, and, despite the restrictive pitch limit, he finished five innings against the Nationals. He should inch closer to a full workload, and, if he’s sharp, has a chance to pitch the six innings needed to reach qualified start territory. The righty’s 4.94 ERA is ugly, but his 4.34 SIERA is more reasonable. Further, his 22.6 K% is decent and belies a stronger 11.1 SwStr%.

Montas is my preferred pitching selection after a decent start in his last turn and the need for cap space to roster numerous big bats. In that last turn, he yielded only two runs on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts in five innings and was allowed to throw 79 pitches in his return from being bumped back a few days in the rotation. He and the A’s are -129 favorites in a game with a pitcher-friendly over/under total of only eight runs. Additionally, he has a five-star matchup against a Rangers team that ranks 29th in wRC+ (63) against righties with an exploitable 23.8 K%.

Catcher/First Base

Anthony Rizzo (CHC) @ MIL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Matt Olson (OAK) @ TEX $3,300 High
Eric Thames (WAS) vs. ATL $2,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

Rizzo’s the top first base option despite his less-than-stellar 96 wRC+ this year. Opposing starter Adrian Houser has been smashed for a .427 wOBA this year, and Rizzo’s 139 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers since 2017 is much more appealing for usage in daily lineups. Thames is a bargain option thanks to his home park’s hitter-friendly park factors — it’s second in park factor for runs and fifth for homers, according to our MLB Park Factors page — and a five-star matchup with Kyle Wright.

Second Base

Mike Brosseau (TB) vs. BOS $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Luis Garcia (WAS) vs. ATL $2,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Marwin Gonzalez (MIN) vs. CLE $2,300 ⭐⭐ High

Garcia makes it a second straight table with a left-handed hitter from the Nationals in it. Further elaborating on Wright’s struggles this year, he’s coughed up a staggering .503 wOBA in 2020 and a .472 wOBA to them in his young career. He’s my preferred option at the keystone, but Brosseau and Gonzalez are viable alternatives. In short, though, this is a punt spot today.

Third Base

Josh Donaldson (MIN) vs. CLE $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

There’s only one second baseman listed in the table above because there are a pair in the studs worth their salary section below. In 30 plate appearances since returning from the IL on September 2, Donaldson’s quickly made up for missed time with a .467 OBP, .348 ISO, and 201 wRC+.


Andrelton Simmons (LAA) @ COL $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Gleyber Torres (NYY) vs. BAL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Willy Adames (TB) vs. BOS $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

Simmons is playing at the most hitter-friendly park in the Bigs, Coors Field. That’s the story for his inclusion. As for Torres and Adames, the former has a .347 OBP, .278 ISO, and 135 wRC+ against lefties since debuting for the Bronx Bombers in 2018 and the latter is raking this year with a .373 OBP, .230 ISO, and 146 wRC+. Extending the sample to include last year’s second half, Adames owns a .352 OBP, .204 ISO, and 127 wRC+ in 404 plate appearances.


Justin Upton (LAA) @ COL $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Ian Happ (CHC) @ MIL $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Franmil Reyes (CLE) @ MIN $2,800 ⭐⭐ High
Jesse Winker (CIN) @ STL $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Brent Rooker (MIN) vs. MIN $2,400 ⭐⭐ High

Upton’s at Coors Field tonight. Yup, that’ll do. Winker has been out of the lineup the last two days, so you’ll want to check and make sure he’s back in the lineup today before deploying him. Happ’s rebounded from a forgettable 2019 to post a .391 OBP, .316 ISO, and 157 wRC+ this year. He’s also been no slouch against righties since 2017 with a .359 OBP, .273 ISO, and 129 wRC+. Reyes is a power-packed selection with a .248 ISO against righties since reaching The Show in 2018 and a .205 ISO this year.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Juan Soto, WAS ($4,900): Remember Wright’s struggles with lefties noted above? Does that sound like a guy with the goods to keep Soto and his 213 wRC+ this year in check today? Nope.
  • Trevor Story, COL ($4,500):
  • Anthony Rendon, LAA ($4,500):
  • Nolan Arenado, COL ($4,300):
  • Charlie Blackmon, COL ($4,300): Coors Field has park factors of 1.335 for runs, 1.249 for homers, 1.168 for singles, 1.313 for doubles, and 2.140 for triples. This quartet of hitters will all be treated to those drool-inducing park factors, and the trio of Rockies hitters among the quartet have all hit extremely well against southpaws in their home digs.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Max Scherzer, WAS ($11,000):
  • Hyun Jin Ryu, TOR ($9,500):
  • Triston McKenzie, CLE ($9,400):
  • Lance Lynn, TEX ($9,000): Simply put, in order to pay multiple studs playing at Coors Field and/or Juan Soto, there’s not enough cap space left to roster any of these four starters with salaries of $9,000 or more. I’ll take the bats and bank on one of the volatile value starters pitching respectably.
  • Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL ($4,600): Scherzer’s held right-handed batters to a .261 wOBA. There’s not much reason to spend $4,600 to roster Acuna en lieu of another big bat in a more favorable matchup.

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