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FanDuel DFS MLB Strategy Advice: Tuesday (9/22)

Sep 22, 2020

Kole Calhoun is tattooing baseballs over the last week, hitting six homers in his last six contests.

For whatever reason, Fanduel is not including any game before 7:05 PM ET on Tuesday. Unfortunately for DFS players, this eliminates a lot of good teams to pluck studs from, including the Yankees, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Phillies. So, in the value picks below, expect to find some new, albeit not-so-exciting, choices.

Despite the thinned-out slate, there are still plenty of good arms to choose from. If you shy away from the high-dollar arms, the value pitchers listed below don’t offer much upside but can certainly free up some room for the expensive bats and stacks. I like the Padres and Dodgers for stacks, but keep reading to find out which offensive stud you should stay away from for the time being. And if you like hot hitters, there are certainly some very attractive and economic options.

We’re getting awfully close to the end of the season, so choose whatever strategy has worked best for you and deploy at will. If you get stuck in a rut, here is the rundown of Tuesday’s slate to help you fill in those gaps.

Let’s do it.

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Keegan Akin (BAL) at BOS $8,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Drew Smyly (SF) vs COL $7,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Dustin May (LOS) vs OAK $8,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Rookie left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin has been solid in his first two months as a big-league pitcher. In his last outing against the Braves on September 16, he blanked Atlanta’s potent offense for five innings, striking out nine for his first Major League win. Other than one hiccup against the Yankees in his prior start, he’s been very effective, pitching his way to a 3.38 ERA and a 12.05 K/9 in his first 18.2 innings.  He may not go longer than five innings, but those five could be full of strikeouts. He has a decent chance of nabbing a win as his opponent will be Nick Pivetta of the Red Sox, who has not fared well at all in 2020. If the Orioles can get to Pivetta and Akin pitches as he has been to a team that’s never seen him, he could reel in some nice points.

Drew Smyly is a value play on Tuesday simply because all signs point to a high floor. He hasn’t pitched into the fifth inning all season but he still is managing 21.6 FPPG. He’s struck out 23 batters in his last 11.2 innings pitched and has only allowed one homer in 16 innings. Mind you, the sample size is small, but the matchup is the antidote to that. Smyly will face the Rockies, who have been atrocious since September 1. As a team, Colorado is striking out 26.2% of the time this month while posting a league-worst 62 wRC+. They also walk only 7.3% of the time, second-to-last for the 2020 season to Detroit. Smyly is a cheap option against a struggling opponent in a pitchers’ ballpark. I’m calling him high risk because if the strikeouts aren’t there, then he’s very likely to put up a dud for you because of his limited innings.

Dustin May will have to battle a feisty opponent and continue to out-perform his metrics. The A’s are a league-average offense (98 wRC+), but they limit their strikeouts (second-best 18.4% K-rate) and walk a lot (10.7%). May lives on the ground ball, inducing them 54.6% of the time. Despite a very paltry 6.51 K/9, he’s able to provide quality outings because he doesn’t give up a lot of runs, posting a 2.68 ERA in 47 innings. His xFIP doesn’t agree though at 4.06, and May has been tagged for homers this year, giving up eight, which translates to a mildly alarming 1.53 HR/9. Still, this is about value, and May hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any outing this year, which includes three appearances against the Padres. In all three of those, he pitched at least 5.1 innings.

Catcher / First Base

Willson Contreras (CHC) at PIT $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Will Smith (LOS) vs OAK $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Nate Lowe (TB) at NYM $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Willson Contreras is pretty cheap at $2,800 and he owns a 1.629 OPS against Steven Brault of the Pirates. This is one of the better righty-lefty matchups of the day. Contreras has been pretty light-hitting this year but has still managed 9.2 FPPG; not bad for the price.

In Los Angeles, Will Smith takes his hot bat to the plate against Frankie Montas, who hasn’t been all that great this year. Smith is lighting it up the last seven games, banging out twelve hits including five doubles, five RBI, and five runs. In fact, he’s been very good over a longer period of time, failing to score at least nine points only three times since August 23. If you like consistency at a solid price, consider Smith.

Nate Lowe has provided a lot of value in the month of September, especially in the last two weeks. Since September 8, he’s batting .316 with four homers and 11 RBI. He’ll face off against fellow righty Seth Lugo, who was tagged by the Phillies in his last outing for six runs in just 1.2 innings.

Second Base

Jurickson Profar (SD) vs LAA $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
David Fletcher (LAA) at SD $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Another season, another “Hey, it looks like Profar is putting it together” campaign. Ages ago when he was the top prospect in the game, he was given high marks on his makeup and baseball intelligence. Every year he starts to get hot and people wonder if those things are finally catching up after years of injuries and frustration. He has been red-hot in September, batting .345 with two homers and 11 RBI. He’s having fun in San Diego, and his price hasn’t quite caught up to his recent production.

Equally under the radar is David Fletcher who enters Tuesday’s game batting .314 with 30 runs on the season. He’s currently riding an eight-game hitting streak.

Third Base

Jake Lamb (OAK) at LOS $2,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Bobby Dalbec (BOS) vs BAL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
Jeff McNeil (NYM) vs TB $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

I would categorize Jake Lamb as an extreme buy-low at only $2,200. Lamb has turned around his season in its final month, batting .364 in September after going just 4-for 40 in July and August. His price will still carry that horrendous start with him through the end of the year, and you may be able to cash in. He’s got at least one hit in his last seven games including two homers and seven RBI. He’s obviously risky but he costs nothing compared to some of his colleagues and he’s clearly locked in.

Just two weeks ago, Bobby Dalbec was in the midst of a five-game homer streak. He homered on Monday night against New York after doubling on Sunday.  If this is him getting hot again, he’ll be a steal at $2,900. He is facing lefty Keegan Akin and five of Dalbec’s seven homers this year have been off of left-handed pitching. Of the third baseman available on Tuesday’s slate, Dalbec is third in FPPG behind Machado and Rendon.

On a day where value options are hard to find, I like to stick with consistent hitters at cheap prices, regardless of the pitching matchup. Mcneil gets lefty Blake Snell on Tuesday, so that’s not ideal. But “Squirrel” has been consistently collecting hits and fantasy points for the better part of a month now. He’s batting .365 in his last 30 days with 28 runs + RBI. He’s also walked more than he’s struck out (13:10) in that span so he’s locked in. I’m buyin’ for $3,100.


Corey Seager (LOS) vs OAK $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Miguel Rojas (MIA) at ATL $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

It’s possible you’ve been pretty underwhelmed by many of these value picks, so it’s time to offer the main course. I’m calling Corey Seager my ultimate value pick for the day. $3,800 is a tad above a traditional value pick, but I can justify it. His price tag is his overall seasonal value, which includes his lefty-lefty stats. When he’s lefty-righty, like he is against Frankie Montas on Tuesday, he’s much better. His average (.323 against lefties vs .281 against righties), OPS (.996 vs. 847), ISO (.301 vs .228), and wRC+ (165 vs. 129) are all elite splits. Lefties are slashing .349/.433/.639 against Montas in 2020.  Seager is a must-own today.

When I look at Miguel Rojas’ game log, I’m not exactly sure where all of his points and hits are hiding. He hasn’t gotten especially hot but he’s batting .343 and posting 11.1 FPPG. In fact, Statcast seems somewhat confused as well, rating Rojas in the 32nd and 26th percentiles for exit velocity and hard-hit %, respectively, yet he’s in the 94th percentile in expected batting average (.313). He’s sporting an OPS of 1.001 in 2020 and has four homers and five steals in 105 at-bats. This would loosely translate to about a 20-25 HR / 25-30 SB season if extrapolated for a normal, full campaign. He’s not flashy, but he scores fantasy points, and he’s only $3,100.


Wil Myers (SD) vs LAA $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Whit Merrifield (KC) vs STL $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kole Calhoun (ARI) vs TEX $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Trent Grisham (SD) vs LAA $3,200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

Wil Myers is still undervalued at his price, as I mentioned in last Tuesday’s article. His price as gone up a $100 since then, but that might because of the 37.7 points he posted on Monday night when he went 1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, two walks, and a steal to boot. That’s 14 homers on the year to go along with his 38 RBI. He produces more FPPG (12.93) than anyone in his price range and more than many above his range as well.

Whit Merrifield is a multi-hit machine. In seven of his last eight games, he’s tallied two hits. Go ahead and read that again. In fact, if you go further back, he’s tallied at least two hits in ten of his last twelve. He’ll be the beneficiary of a favorable lefty-righty matchup when the Royals battle Austin Gomber and the Cardinals on Tuesday. Merrifield is averaging 13.93 FPPG over his last ten contests. For that kind of production, $3,400 is a fantastic value.

Calhoun is tattooing baseballs over the last week, hitting six homers in his last six contests. He’s also collected 12 RBI in that span and scored seven runs. He’s averaging 12.4 FPPG this season and 21.7 FPPG in his last ten. The left-handed Calhoun will face right-hander Jordan Lyles in Tuesday’s showdown with the Rangers.

One of my favorite players all season has been Trent Grisham. He’s batting .255 with nine homers, 22 RBI, 37 runs, and nine steals. What I like about Grisham is that no matter what, he seems to produce something for his owners every day. Case in point: On Friday in Seattle, he went 0-for-3 and still managed to score 18.9 points. On Monday, he took an 0-for-4 and still managed 12 points. In fact, he’s hitless in his last four games and is still averaging 10 points a game! So what happens when he does hit? Well, buy him for only $3,200 and find out. The left-handed Grisham will draw right-hander Griffin Canning on Tuesday.

Five Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Freddie Freeman (ATL), $4,000: Freeman is having a terrific season (15 FPPG) and will face Jose Urena on Tuesday. Freeman is batting .423 with four homers in 26 AB against Urena.
  • Mookie Betts (LOS), $4,600: Riding an eight-game hitting streak and is averaging 15.85 FPPG over his last ten contests.
  • Manny Machado (SD), $4,100: Had his hitting streak snapped on Monday night, but remains one of the best players in the game. Stack him up with the San Diego hitters listed above as the main dish in an appetizing Padre feast.
  • Framber Valdez (HOU), $10,000: Speaking of feasts, Valdez should dine on Seattle’s weak offense. He struck out 11 and allowed one run in 6.1 innings in his last start against Texas, earning the win.
  • Brady Singer (KC), $9,600: Singer has owned weak offenses in his last two starts, allowing three hits over 14 innings while striking out 16. He’ll draw the Cards on Tuesday who are borderline bottom-third of the league in offense this season.

Five Notable Players to Fade

  • Pete Alonso (NYM), $3,600: Two hits in his last nine games. Not sure I’d invest for the rest of the season unless the matchup is juicy.
  • Brandon Belt (SF), $2,900: Belt has been a popular value pick this year, but not Tuesday. We may not see him face lefty Kyle Freeland as Belt is just 3-for-19 against him.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD), $4,100: Seems insane to fade him, but he’s averaging just 4.93 FPPG over his last ten games and hasn’t homered since September 6.
  • Alex Bregman (HOU), $3,500: This has been a lost season for Bregman who is batting just .238 with four homers. He is 1-for-16 in his last five games.
  • Dansby Swanson (ATL), $3,500: Swanson is streaky and he’s currently riding the kind of wave we don’t like. He is just 3-for-30 since September 11.

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Steven Boysko is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Steven, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter, @StevenBoysko.

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