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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (9/12)

Sep 12, 2020

Jonathan Schoop is a great bat in a Detroit lineup that offers plenty of upside on Saturday.

The MLB season has seemingly flown by. I opened up my fantasy baseball app earlier this week to plan my lineup for the week when I realized that I was in a playoff matchup. In a season that is normally a marathon, we are nearing the end of this sprint.

As teams make their final push to be a part of the extended playoff field, the MLB action is heating up and the stakes are getting higher. Let’s take a look at some of the best buys for the All-Day slate over at FanDuel for this Saturday.

The only games left off the slate are Oakland-Texas (doubleheader) and Giants-Padres (positive Covid test). Throughout this piece, I will reference implied team totals and winning probabilities that are generated from our consensus odds over at BettingPros.com.

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Pitcher

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Zac Gallen (ARI) vs. SEA $10,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) @ MIL $9,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Dakota Hudson (STL) vs. CIN $7,800 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Gallen saw his historic streak of 23 straight games to start a career allowing three runs or less. One of my favorite young pitchers in all of baseball, Gallen has put up an NL Cy Young worthy season, posting a 2.29 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 55 innings. As he has posted quality starts against the Dodgers, A’s, Astros, and at Coors Field, it is tough to not be excited about Gallen when he is at home against what is likely the weakest lineup he will face this season. He has been robbed of wins all year, but his Diamondbacks are -167 home favorites over the visiting Mariners.

Hendricks has had a bit of an up and down season, and he does not possess the same strikeout upside as other pitchers usually priced in this range. However, his best outing of the season came against these same Brewers when he posted a complete-game shutout in which he only allowed three hits while striking out nine.

We lost one of the elite arms of the slate in Dinelson Lamet when the Giants-Padres game was postponed due to a positive Covid-19 test. If I’m going to pay up for a pitcher, it’s certainly Gallen for me. There are not a lot of viable pitching options that offer a ton of salary relief. However, one budget pitcher is Cardinals starter, Dakota Hudson. Two starts ago at Great American Ball Park, he was able to hold the Cincinnati lineup to just four hits and one earned run over seven innings while striking out seven in the process. Hudson will now get to face the Reds lineup away from their hitter’s paradise of a baseball stadium.

C/1B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Jose Abreu (CHW) vs. DET $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jeimer Candelario (DET) @ CHW $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Miguel Cabrera (DET) @ CHW $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Saturday’s slate features a lot of games that hover at an 8.5 or 9 run over/under. Additionally, there are not any massive favorites on the slate. All of that adds up to teams with similar implied run totals. In fact, only three teams are projected to score over five runs, and two of those teams are playing at Coors Field.

A game that could see a lot of scoring on both sides is White Sox at Tigers. The White Sox have been a productive lineup all year, and they have great stacking potential for the Saturday slate. Any of their C/1B eligible options (Edwin Encarnacion, James McCann, Yasmani Grandal) will be great budget options, and we will just need to monitor who cracks the lineup on Saturday against struggling RHP Michael Fulmer of the Tigers. In his 19.2 IP on the season, Fulmer has posted an 8.24 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP.

Tigers stacks have been profitable at times this season, and Saturday appears to be another great opportunity. The Detroit lineup offers more salary relief, and the 1B eligible bats of Miguel Cabrera and Jeimer Candelario could both return value for DFS owners. White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez has an 8.38 ERA and a 2.44 WHIP in just over nine innings of work in 2020. We could see a lot of runs scored in Chicago, and I like the bats on both sides.

2B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Ryan McMahon (COL) vs. LAA $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jonathan Schoop (DET) @ CHW $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Brandon Lowe (TBR) vs. BOS $3,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
I mentioned the game at Coors Field, and McMahon will be the best 2B option from that contest. Fresh off a HR last night, he will faceoff against Jaime Barria of the Angels. Barria is transitioning from a reliever for the Angels, so the Rockies lineup will be able to get to an Angels bullpen that has struggled all season and just allowed five runs in the bottom of the 9th on Friday night.

Schoop is another great bat in a Detroit lineup that offers plenty of upside on Saturday. He is hitting .283 on the season with eight HRs, 23 RBIs, and 26 runs scored. Hitting near the top of a Tigers lineup that could do some damage on Saturday, he is a great play for only $3,000.

The Rays have been one of the best teams in baseball as we near the final stretch of the season, and Lowe has been a productive bat in their lineup. He enters Saturday’s action with 29 RBIs and 29 runs scored on the season. He has also been destroying Red Sox pitching in this series, posting 24.2 and 21.7 fantasy point performances in his past two games. Lowe and the Rays could score early against struggling Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi who holds a 4.98 ERA on the season.

3B

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Yoan Moncada (CHW) vs. DET $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Josh Donaldson (MIN) vs. CLE $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Taylor Ward (LAA) @ COL $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Rinse, repeat. Moncada hits near the top of the White Sox lineup that carries plenty of scoring upside against RHP Michael Fulmer of the Tigers. Before having the night off on Friday, Moncada had posted two straight double-digit fantasy point performances at a pitcher’s park in Pittsburgh.

It’s not often that I would recommend hitters against Zach Plesac, but most games today project to be low scoring. Therefore, I’m fine snagging budget bats who are part of a strong lineup, even if that lineup has a tough matchup. Josh Donaldson only recently returned to the Twins lineup, and he has been excellent since doing so. He has been hitting in the tw0-spot of a strong Minnesota lineup where players like MLB OPS leader Nelson Cruz can drive him in after he reaches base.

Kyle Freeland’s numbers for Colorado do not look too bad on the surface. However, it is not a surprise to learn that he has been hit much harder in his starts that have come at home at Coors Field. Facing an Angels lineup that is full of right-handed hitters, Freeland could land himself in some trouble once again on Saturday. Taylor Ward is a budget bat for the Angels who carries 3B eligibility while primarily starting in the outfield following the departure of Brian Goodwin. Ward has posted fantasy point scores of 24.9, 18.2, and 9 in his last four games, and he carries plenty of upside as part of an Angels lineup that can put up runs in bunches at Coors Field.

SS

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Andrelton Simmons (LAA) @ COL $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Nick Ahmed (ARI) vs. SEA $2,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Gleyber Torres (NYY) vs. BAL $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Following the injury to David Fletcher, Simmons has been the primarily leadoff hitter for the Angels over the past ten games. Another right-handed hitter for the Halos, Simmons will have the opportunity to set the table for the elite right-handed bats behind him in Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.

A gold-glove shortstop for the D-Backs, Nick Ahmed has seen a bump in his offensive production during the 2020 season. Previously placed in the bottom half of the lineup, Ahmed hit second in the batting order recently against a LHP starter, and he could do the same against Seattle starter Justus Sheffield on Saturday. Sheffield has been a solid pitcher thus far in 2020, but Ahmed offers plenty of salary relief with the potential to post double-digit fantasy points.

Since returning from injury one week ago, Torres has posted at least 9 fantasy points in all but one of his starts. He posted a contest-winning 35.2 fantasy points at Toronto on Wednesday, as he racked up four RBIs on a double and a HR. The Yankees have an implied team total above 5 runs as they get set to face Orioles in the Bronx.

OF

NAME (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Eloy Jimenez (CHW) vs. DET $3,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Luis Robert (CHW) vs. DET $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Victor Reyes (DET) @ CHW $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Adam Duvall (ATL) @ WSH $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low

 
Two of the best young hitters in baseball, Jimenez, and Robert are both terrific outfield options that can be paired together and as part of a larger White Sox stack. As I’ve mentioned throughout the piece, we could be in for a high-scoring affair on the Southside of Chicago, and there are plenty of great hitters to choose from on the White Sox.

Reyes will most likely get the game started as the leadoff hitter for the visiting Detroit Tigers. Facing Reynaldo Lopez who has a 2.44 (!!) WHIP, the Tigers will have plenty of opportunities to reach base and put up runs. Reyes is as likely as anyone to be part of the scoring action, and he offers salary relief with his sub-$3,000 price.

Look, it’s not every day that an MLB club scores 29 runs in a game. However, it’s just as rare to find a player who has posted fantasy point scores of 89.5 and 63.1 in the past 10 days priced below the $3,000 mark. Duvall has 13 HR, 29 RBIs, and 27 runs scored on the year. I don’t project him to hit three HRs in a game for the third time in the past two weeks, but Duvall definitely has the ability to hit the ball out of the park, and he could do so against a left-handed pitcher in Patrick Corbin.

Three Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Nolan Arenado (3B – COL) $4,200: The Rockies are at home against a weak starting pitcher and a team with one of the worst bullpens in baseball. Arenado went five-for-ten with two doubles and a HR in a series at Petco Park this week, and he should be happy to be back at Coors Field.
  • Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA) $4,500: The man playing at the hot corner during the bottom half of innings at Coors Field will also be a great option today. Rendon will get to face a left-handed pitcher, against which he has a .966 OPS on the season.
  • Mike Trout (OF – LAA) $5,000: Not like he struggles to hit HRs anyway, but Trout has an even greater chance to go yard at Coors Field. Along with the rest of the powerful right-handed hitters in the Angels lineup, Trout could have success in what should be a shootout in Colorado.

Three Notable Players to Fade

  • Tyler Glasnow (P – TBR) $9,900: Just $300 cheaper than the most expensive arm on the slate, Glasnow does not warrant a salary near $10,000. The Rays are having a tremendous season and are preserving their starters for the playoff run instead of stretching them out for long outings.
  • Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE) $3,700: I’ve been fading strong bats in weak lineups all season long. Unfortunately, that has made Ramirez a frequent mention in this part of the column. Rich Hill is an above-average starter for Minnesota, and Cleveland has struggled to score regardless of opponent.
  • Christian Yelich (OF – MIL) $4,100: Hitting just above .200 in 2020, Yelich has struggled during this sprint of a season. Cubs’ starter Kyle Hendricks dominated the Milwaukee lineup on Opening Day, limiting Yelich’s upside even if he personally manages to have success at the plate.

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Shane Bryant is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Shane, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ShaneBryant31.

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