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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Thursday (9/10)

by Jon Mathisen | @eazymath | Featured Writer
Sep 10, 2020

We have nine games on the All Day Late Swap slate to choose from, and there are some tantalizing pitching matchups with lots of great stacks to consider on offense.

I like stacking Braves against Nationals starter Austin Voth, Padres against San Francisco’s Trevor Cahill, and Astros against Sean Manaea of the A’s. There’s some deeper value on the slate, so take your time when picking your lineup and try to find matchups a few thumb scrolls down the page. I’ve highlighted some players with career success against their opponents, as well as some hitters that are just plain hot right now. Remember to always stack the deck! Enjoy.

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Value Plays: Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Dylan Bundy (LAA)  @ TEX $9,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Dustin May (LAD)  @ ARI $7,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Josh Fleming (TB)  vs. BOS $7,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

  • Bundy faces the light-hitting Rangers at the new Globe Life Park, which ranks bottom five in MLB park factor with a score of 0.800 (any score below 1.000 favors pitchers). Texas is also dead last in all of the MLB at 3.68 runs/per game (they’re clocking a 3.65 runs/game rate at home). They’re also second to last in team BABIP with a .214 average and an OPS+ of 74. Any way you slice it, the 2020 Texas Rangers are a poor offensive unit. Bundy has yet to face them this year, but he’s coming off one of his best performances of the last month — he went seven strong innings and only allowed two runs while striking out eight against Houston. He’s the third most expensive pitcher on the main slate, but he’s significantly cheaper than Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray. He’s a good bet to nab a quality start, and with the Angels offense playing better lately, he has a chance to secure a win as well.
  • Arizona is bottom four in all of baseball in runs created per game (3.9), team BABIP (.271), team OBP (.304), and team slugging-percentage (.307). Chase Field has a ballpark factor score of 1.171, which favors offense, but May has been solid on the road this year with a 3.20 ERA, 1.169 WHIP, and a 16:5 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings. May has given up just two of his six home runs on the road, and Arizona is ranked 26th teams with 38 homers. Any Dodgers pitcher has a good chance to pick up a win with that loaded offense behind them, and May is a solid bet to get a QS and a victory against a division rival.
  • The rookie Fleming is a perfect 3-0 in three starts this year. So far, the 24-year old southpaw has put up a 3.52 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and a 11:2 K/BB ratio over those three starts (15 1/3 innings). The middling Red Sox offense has been worse on the road this season with a .739 team OPS and .286 BABIP. There are some unknowns here with Fleming, but you’ll never be rewarded without taking some risk. He’s yet to pitch into the sixth inning, so there’s a chance he doesn’t get a quality start, but Tampa is 5-1 against Boston this year, and they’ve averaged 7.83 runs/per game in the series. He could grab a win here, and his price lets you save and load up on offense to balance out the rest of your lineup.

Catcher/First Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Travis d’Arnaud (ATL)  @ WSH $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jesus Aguilar (MIA)  vs. PHI $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Austin Nola (SD)  vs. SF $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Nationals starter Austin Voth has surrendered 10 earned runs in two starts against the Braves this year over a combined 8 2/3 innings. Travis d’Arnaud has done the majority of his damage against right-handed pitching with a .367 batting average, 1.090 OPS, and all seven of his home runs. He’s a cheap piece of a loaded Braves lineup in a plus matchup.
  • Aguilar is working on a six-game hitting streak and is slashing.284/.337/.481 against righties this year (81 at-bats). He’s just 2-for-9 in his career against Jake Arrieta, but he has a homer and five RBI. Arrieta has been anything but special this year with a rough 5.67 ERA over 33 1/3 innings (seven starts). He’s been slightly better on the road with a 4.22 ERA over 21 1/3 innings, but Aguilar is a good, cheap piece of the Marlins offense in what could be a high-scoring affair.
  • Nola is hitting just .200 (5-for-25) with a pair of dingers since joining the Padres at the trade deadline, but this game sets up perfectly for him. Probable Giants starter Trevor Cahill has been dealing with hip inflammation, which forced him to leave a start early in late August. He only lasted 2 2/3 in his next turn and appears to be less than 100 percent. Now he has to face the loaded Padres and will likely be on a pitch count. There’s a good chance that Cahill doesn’t last long, turning this into a bullpen game for San Francisco. To make things sweeter for Nola, he’s slashing .337/.404/.627 against righties this year over 83 at-bats.

Second Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jake Cronenworth (SD)  vs. SF $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jean Segura (PHI)  @ MIA $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • The Trevor Cahill hip issue narrative applies to Jake Cronenworth the same way it did with Austin Nola. The Padres rookie is mashing righties this season to the tune of a .341/.392/.659 slash line to go along with four homers and 18 RBI across 88 at-bats. His .361 BABIP, which is only 20 points above his true batting average against righties, suggests that he hasn’t gotten that lucky, either. He’s another capable piece of one baseball’s best lineups in a great matchup.
  • Segura is 4-for-7 (.571) in his career against Sandy Alcantara, the highest average of any qualified member of the Phillies. His batted-ball profile and .279 BABIP against righties suggest that he’s been having some bad luck this year, though. His average exit velocity of 90 mph is above his career average of 88 mph, and his launch angle of 12.7 is well above his career mark of seven. He’s been trying to elevate the ball more, and it shows in his 0.94 GB/FB ratio, which is well below his career average of 1.26. This as good a game as any for Segura to put a charge into one, and his low price reduces your risk if he stumbles.

Third Base

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Alex Bregman (HOU)  @ OAK $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Austin Riley (ATL)  @ WSH $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Maikel Franco (KC)  @ CLE $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐ High

  • Bregman just came off the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain, so there’s always the outside chance that he could re-aggravate it, as soft tissue injuries can be tricky. But he has a very intriguing matchup against A’s starter Sean Manaea. Not only has Bregman been crushing left-handed pitching this year (.407/.500/.704 across 27 at-bats), but he’s also excelled against Manaea in head-to-head matchups. He is 6-for-20 against him in his career, and he’s scored three home runs, four RBI, and five walks lifetime.
  • Austin Riley has collected nine hits in his last 34 at-bats. He has a .880 OPS with three home runs and nine RBI over the last two weeks. It’s worth stacking Braves against Austin Voth, who hasn’t looked particularly great in any of his seven starts this year. Riley is one of the cheapest pieces of the Atlanta offense and has a chance to go yard against Voth, who’s coughed up 10 long balls on the season.
  • Franco is 10-for-35 in nine games in the month of September. On the season, he has hit 11 of 14 doubles against right-handed pitching this season. His total is also tied for third in the bigs! There’s always the risk of an 0-for-4 with Franco, who has never gotten on base at a healthy clip, but he’s performed well this month, and he has just one home run in his last 23 games. He’s worth a dart throw if you think he’s “due.”

Shortstop

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Dansby Swanson (ATL)  @ WSH $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Carlos Correa (HOU)  @ OAK $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Willy Adames (TB)  vs. BOS $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Swanson has put up a .818 OPS with 17 runs scored, three home runs, and eight RBI over the last two weeks. The Braves are averaging 8.75 runs/per game, granted that’s buoyed by their ridiculous 29-run output on Wednesday against the Marlins. Point being, the Braves have one of the hottest offenses in baseball, and they’re facing Austin Voth, who carries an 8.26 ERA and 1.82 WHIP over 28 1/3 innings. Dansby will hit in the heart of the Atlanta lineup and is a good bet to wreak havoc.
  • Correa has had his way against lefties this year with a .341 batting average and a .889 OPS. Although that’s come with a .426 BABIP, the sample size is big enough to draw a conclusion from (41 at-bats). He has a .393 lifetime OBP (22 at-bats) against Sean Manaea as well. Manaea has picked it up lately after a brutal start to the year, but he’s faced some weaker offenses in San Francisco, Arizona, and Texas. Correa and the Astros will prove to be a tough test for the left-hander. I think the shortstop is a good bet to reach base and score some runs, which more than justifies his inexpensive price tag.
  • Adames and the Rays are facing lefty Mike Kickham, who holds a career 10.19 ERA across 35 1/3 innings. He’s only made two appearances for the Red Sox so far this year, and he gave up three runs over five innings with a 2.00 WHIP. Adames, who is tied for third in the MLB with 14 two-baggers, is slashing .333/.429/.528 across 36 at-bats against southpaws on the season. If you’re trying to save money at shortstop, then Adames is your guy — don’t overthink it.

Outfield

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Marcell Ozuna (ATL)  @ WSH $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Mike Yastrzemski (SF)  @ SD $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Michael Brantley (HOU)  @ OAK $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Trent Grisham (SD)  vs. SF $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Starling Marte (MIA)  vs. PHI $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Ozuna has been on a tear over the last month, as he’s gone 33-for-101 with 18 runs scored, 10 home runs, and 30 RBI to go along with a 1.106 OPS. If you’ve read this far, you’ll notice that Ozuna isn’t the first Brave I’ve mentioned in this article. He’s priced fairly and should smash against the Nationals.
  • Yastrzemski scuffled at the plate to close out August, but he has been stroking since the calendar flipped to September. He’s 12-for-32 with a 1.025 OPS with two homers and a triple over his last eight games. His opponent, Chris Paddack, has just two quality starts over his last six, and he has coughed up six long balls to lefties this year. Yaz should get at least three at-bats against the hard-throwing right-hander, and I like his chances to perform.
  • Despite the fact Brantley is facing lefty Sean Manaea, I don’t see it as a huge disadvantage here. He’s hitting a respectable .296 with a .900 OPS across 27 at-bats against LHP. The real appeal here is that Brantley has hit an insane .429/.457/.750 with three home runs and 12 RBI over 42 at-bats in the last two weeks. He’s a bat you’ll want in your lineup, and he’s significantly cheaper than other top-flight outfielders.
  • Grisham is batting just .258 against righties this year (120 at-bats), but he is slugging .517 with seven bombs, six doubles, and two triples. He’s also riding a six-game hitting streak and is a threat to steal a base. I like the idea of stacking the Padres against Cahill, who’s been dealing with hip inflammation, and Grisham is one of the more affordable pieces of the San Diego lineup.
  • Marte has a lengthy history against Philadelphia starter Jake Arrieta. He’s faced him 42 times in his career, and he’s gotten 12 hits off him for a solid .286 BA and two home runs. He’s just 7-for-35 with a pair of homers since joining the Marlins at the trade deadline, and this sets up as a good opportunity for Marte to get going against a familiar foe.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Sonny Gray (CIN) $10,100: Gray struck out 11 Cubs over 6 2/3 innings (zero earned runs) in a start back on July 29th. His last start against the Cardinals did not go well (six earned runs over 2/3 inning), so this feels like a nice buy-low bounce back.
  • Freddie Freeman (ATL) $4,100: Freeman recently snapped an 18-game hitting streak, but he has collected hits in 21-of-22 games. He’s destroying right-handed pitching this year to the tune of a .339/.468/.652 slash line (112 AB’s) with seven homers and 28 RBI. Enter Nationals starter Austin Voth with his 8.26 ERA.
  • Anthony Rendon (LAA) $4,000: Rendon has excelled against righties this season with a .970 OPS, five home runs, and 15 RBI. He gets the ailing Kyle Gibson, who hasn’t looked right since donning a Rangers uniform. The right-hander has a 5.91 ERA and 1.60 WHIP over 42 2/3 innings (eight starts).
  • Ronald Acuna Jr (ATL) $4,400: Acuna has been crushing the ball since coming off the IL in late August. Over the past two weeks, he’s registered a 1.258 OPS with six home runs, 11 RBI, and three stolen bases. He’s got a smash spot against the Nats and Austin Voth.
  • Manny Machado (SD) $4,200: I like Machado here for the same reason I like the aforementioned Padres against Trevor Cahill. He’s been on fire over his last two weeks, slashing .364/.371/.618 with four bombs and 15 RBI. It’s just hard to bet against the talent in a great matchup.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Gerrit Cole (NYY) $11,200: Cole’s first two starts against Baltimore didn’t go well. He yielded eight runs (four earned) over 12 2/3 innings. Now he gets to face the birds at the launching pad at Yankee Stadium. Cole has performed better at home this year than on the road, but this is just a steep price to pay in a matchup that is harder than it looks.
  • Brandon Lowe (TB) $3,300: Lowe has really struggled over the last two weeks with a .379 OPS with one home run and just three RBI. His cost hasn’t really adjusted to reflect his recent slump, and it’s a steep price to pay for a struggling player.
  • Rafael Devers (BOS) $3,700: Devers is facing a left-handed pitcher in rookie Josh Fleming, and the third baseman has a .599 OPS with no home runs against southpaws this year. He has three homers in his last three games, but there are more affordable options at the hot corner.
  • Corey Seager (LAD) $4,000: It’s not easy to fade someone as hot as Seager, but he’s facing lefty Madison Bumgarner. Even though Mad Bum hasn’t looked great this year (8.44 ERA across 21 1/3 innings), Seager is batting just .231 with a .528 OPS with no home runs across 26 career at-bats against him.
  • Mike Trout (LAA) $4,700: Trout and the Angels have a good matchup against the Rangers and Kyle Gibson, but he’s the second most expensive offensive player on the main slate, and there’s a myriad of cheaper, solid options in the outfield to choose from instead.

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Jon Mathisen is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him @eazymath.

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