FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (9/26)
Well, we have reached the final weekend of the 2020 MLB regular season. For quite a while, it appeared that the season would never get started. After some obstacles in the beginning, there was an uncertainty that the season would ever be completed.
I’m grateful that the MLB players association and owners were able to come to an agreement. Cooperation from all involved allowed us to enjoy live baseball over a summer when we were all desperate for sports. While this will be the final Saturday with a full slate of games, we will continue to offer DFS advice during the MLB playoffs.
More than ever, it will be imperative to monitor starting lineups. Most playoff berths have been locked up, with some teams simply jockeying for seeding. The only games left off the slate are the doubleheaders featuring the Athletics, Giants, Mets, and Nationals.
|Luis Castillo (CIN)||@ MIN||$10,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU)||@ TEX||$9,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Dane Dunning (CHW)||vs. CHC||$7,700||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
After finishing last in the NL Central in four of the last five seasons, the Cincinnati Reds clinched a playoff spot. They did so on the back of fantastic starting pitching to go along with a powerful batting order. Castillo has three straight games of 50+ fantasy points, as he continues to be one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball. The matchup with a good Twins lineup is not ideal, but he at least gets to face them away from Great American Ball Park.
Admittedly, I was late to the party on Lance McCullers Jr. I wrote him off as just some other starting pitcher who benefits from run support provided by one of the best lineups in baseball. However, he has simply been a great starting pitcher in his own right, and he finds himself as one of the top options on the All Day slate at FanDuel on this final Saturday of the regular season. He dominated this same Texas lineup ten days ago with eight punchouts in seven scoreless innings.
After making his MLB debut in August, Dunning has been an impressive young pitcher for the playoff-bound White Sox. He is one of the few pitching options on the slate who I like that can also provide salary relief. In this tune-up game before the postseason, he will matchup against the crosstown Cubs who are bottom ten in the MLB in team batting average and runs/game.
|Jesus Aguilar (MIA)||@ NYY||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Edwin Encarnacion (CHW)||vs. CHC||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Carlos Santana (CLE)||vs. PIT||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
The Marlins are another team to make it back to the MLB postseason after a lengthy drought. Aguilar is currently riding a five-game hitting streak, and he has had a solid year with a .283 batting average to go along with eight HRs, 34 RBIs, and 31 runs scored. He has also walked 22 times, and he will benefit from playing at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
A common theme this season, I am once again in on the White Sox batting order for Saturday. Some DFS players could be scared off by the matchup with a well-known starting pitcher in Jon Lester. However, many White Sox hitters absolutely mash left-handed pitchers. Encarnacion is a great budget option to get a piece of the dangerous lineup, and he has three career HRs and a .781 OPS against the Cubs’ starter.
The veteran’s batting average is way down this year, but Santana has found ways to get it done at the plate and be a contributor for this Indians club. He has improved his OBP by walking 46 times, and he still possesses respectable power as he has hit seven long balls in the shortened season. The Indians will face off against Joe Musgrove of the Pirates, who enters with an 0-5 record, a 4.68 ERA, and a 1.41 WHIP.
|Yolmer Sanchez (CHW)||vs. CHC||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|David Fletcher (LAA)||@ LAD||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Jose Altuve (HOU)||@ TEX||$3,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
I’m definitely not excited about many of the 2B options on the slate. I can’t argue if you want to pay up for D.J. LeMahieu. However, if you are looking for a budget option, I think you could do much worse than Yolmer Sanchez. Though he has not been an everyday player, Sanchez is hitting .313 with a 1.164 OPS. I would be surprised if the White Sox refuse to give him more opportunities as they prepare for the postseason.
In another disappointing season, Mike Trout and the Angels will miss the playoffs yet again. However, leadoff man David Fletcher appears to be part of their future plans. He put together a terrific 2020 campaign with a .318 batting average and a .796 OPS. He had double-digit fantasy points in both of his past two games.
The Astros locked up a playoff spot, and this is me simply expecting Altuve to turn it on in preparation for the postseason. There is no doubt that the Houston second baseman has struggled mightily in 2020. However, he does have four double-digit fantasy point performances in his last eight games, including a 37.9 FP total against these Rangers on Thursday.
|Yoan Moncada (CHW)||vs. CHC||$3,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Brian Anderson (MIA)||@ NYY||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Justin Turner (LAD)||vs. LAA||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
White Sox against left-handed pitchers. Rinse, repeat. The switch-hitting Moncada should remain near the top of the batting order and will receive run-scoring and RBI opportunities.
It’s tough to not be excited about a Marlins lineup that led the franchise to its first postseason since their World Series win in 2003. On Saturday, they will get a big test against a Yankees team that has had its sights on the playoffs since the offseason. Anderson has ten HRs on the season, and a multi-HR game is in his range of outcomes, as he showed just over a week ago with three bombs against the Nationals.
Simply one of my favorite players in baseball, Turner is consistently priced around $1,000 cheaper than some of the elite options at the hot corner. However, he has been on an absolute tear since returning from the injured list on September 15th. The Cal State Fullerton product has racked up 12 hits including two HRs and two doubles. While Bundy has been a solid starting pitcher this year, the Dodgers lineup can always score in bunches.
|Tim Anderson (CHW)||vs. CHC||$4,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Francisco Lindor (CLE)||vs. PIT||$3,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Didi Gregorius (PHI)||@ TBR||$3,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
He’s not a budget option, but I have to make it clear that Tim Anderson is by far my top option at the shortstop position for the All Day slate on Saturday. Anderson is sporting a 1.629 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. Yes, you read that correctly. Jon Lester is a left-handed pitcher going for the Cubs on Saturday. Fade Tim Anderson at your own risk.
There are too many elite options at shortstop to fade them all. A salary of $3,600 is a discount at the shortstop position, and Lindor finds himself in a great matchup. While the Indians have struggled to score all season, their lineup could have success against the struggling right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove of the Pirates. Lindor has eight HRs and six stolen bases on the year. Each stolen base is the equivalent of a double on FanDuel scoring.
If I had an “honorable mention” in this article, Gregorius would have been mentioned many times this season. I have had trouble declaring him as one of my top three plays with all of the elite options at shortstop. However, I cannot exclude him any longer. The journeyman is having a solid 2020 with a .290 batting average to go along with ten HRs, 40 RBIs, and 34 runs scored. He has produced 22+ fantasy points in two of his last three games, and the Phillies are still fighting for a playoff spot.
|Luis Robert (CHW)||vs. CHC||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Michael Brantley (HOU)||@ TEX||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|George Springer (HOU)||@ TEX||$4,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
The rookie sensation, like his White Sox club, was laboring through a slump of late. The White Sox have lost six straight, including a 10-0 shutout at the hands of their crosstown-rivals on Friday night. I’m betting on the White Sox figuring it out on Saturday to prevent limping across the finish line into a postseason that has been hard to achieve for the club. Robert did end a hitless streak last night, and I expect him to begin trending up once again. A White Sox lineup that features many right-handed hitters who hit southpaws well will have a chance to rebound on Saturday against Jon Lester.
This is the most discounted that I can remember seeing Astros hitter. The 2020 season is definitely not what they expected, but the reality is that this is a Houston team that is heading to the playoffs with a lineup that remains dangerous. Brantley has been one of the few bright spots all year, and he will benefit from a matchup with Kyle Gibson of the Rangers who enters Saturday with a 5.87 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.
Springer is another Astro who is in play on Saturday. He has 14 HRs on the year, and he has had a big week to close the season with a triple and three HRs. He has posted fantasy performances of 46.4, 37.9, and 15.5 fantasy points in the past six days.
Beyond our daily fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Baseball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.