FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday (9/30)
There are few things more exciting than a full eight-game slate on the second day of playoff baseball. We get high-end pitching, a slew of young stars, and the unpredictability of a three-game series. As we saw on Tuesday, these playoff games figure to be low-scoring, which means that we must hit on several value plays since you’ll likely roster an ace. We get favorable weather conditions in three of the games, with the wind blowing out to right field in each. That means we target lefty hitters in those games. Simple enough, right?
|Chris Paddack (SD)||vs. STL||$8,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR)||@ TB||$8,300||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Paddack gave up five runs in less than four innings in his most recent start, so we need to acknowledge that. He’s also struck out fewer batters this year, despite inducing a similar swinging strike rate. One of the drivers seems to be that hitters are not chasing as many pitches out of the zone. However, the Cardinals do that in spades, striking out over 28% of the time over the past two weeks. Their offense ranks in the bottom five in that time frame. A get-right start in the playoffs doesn’t exist, but this is as close as we’ll get.
Ryu has had a fantastic season, pitching to a 2.69 ERA, striking out over 26% of the hitters he’s faced. The Rays lead the league in strikeout rate over the last two weeks, striking out over 30% of the time. The only concern with this matchup is that the Rays have several lefty boppers that could take Ryu yard, which makes him a GPP play only.
Catcher/ First Base
|Jesus Aguilar (MIA)||@ CHC||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Carlos Santana (CLE)||vs. NYY||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Tyler Flowers (ATL)||vs. CIN||$2,400||⭐⭐⭐||High|
Not a whole lot of value targets at C/1B amongst these playoff teams. Aguilar has the best skills of the bunch, striking out just 18% of the time with a double-digit walk rate. He was on pace to match his breakout 2018 campaign despite missing nine games. The wind will be blowing out at Wrigley, which gives Aguilar a decent chance to hit a bomb.
Santana’s batted ball skills have declined this year, but he still has tremendous discipline at the dish. The wind will be blowing out to right field on Wednesday, and since he’s slugged .500 in 18 at-bats against Masahiro Tanaka, he could come up big in a spot where his team needs him. You can’t quantify that!
Flowers could be one of those picks that wins a GPP, but he’ll more than likely just put up a big, fat zero. Why is he here then, you ask? Well, he’s 6-for-11 against Trevor Bauer in his career, with half of those being extra-base hits. One would assume that the Reds are trying to prepare for more potent hitters in that Braves’ lineup, making Flowers a candidate to go yard.
|Mike Brosseau (TB)||vs. TOR||$2,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Cesar Hernandez (CLE)||vs. NYY||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
If you’ve been following along all season, Brosseau is an automatic entry on this list when a lefty is on the mound. He has four homers against lefties this year with a 198 wRC+ in 47 plate appearances.
Hernandez has been a top-ten hitting second baseman this year. Hitting in the top of the lineup should give him the chance to fill up the box score against one of the worst pitchers on this slate, albeit a great pitching slate.
|Kris Bryant (CHC)||vs. MIA||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|David Bote (CHC)||vs. MIA||$2,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Justin Turner (LAD)||vs. MIL||3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Bryant ended the season hot by hitting homers in back-to-back games, including a grand slam. With the wind blowing out and his confidence high, I’m expecting him to continue his hot streak. It’s a matter of time before he’s back up to $3,500+, so take advantage.
Bote has been a Statcast darling this year, and he ranked in the top nine percent in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. He strikes out a bit too much, but this is less of a concern with Sandy Alcantara on the mound. Just make sure he’s in the lineup.
Turner has had a great year despite playing in just 42 games, as he’s sporting a 140 wRC+ with a sub-15% strikeout rate and double-digit walk rate. Turner is relatively immune to the sneaky ways of the Brewers, as he hits both righties and lefties well. He is a nice cash-game play.
|Chris Taylor (LAD)||vs. MIL||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Javier Baez (CHC)||vs. MIA||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
Chris Taylor has been on another world in September, sporting a 164 wRC+ and hitting six homers. I’m expecting him to carry it into October. Like Turner, he has hit lefties and righties evenly throughout his career. I like him in both cash and GPP.
Baez plus wind out equals endless possibilities. Baez feeds off of energy, and while there still won’t be fans in the stands, I’m guessing that he wipes away his awful regular season and turns a corner this week. He’s still making hard contact and is hitting homers, which is what you want out of a value play in a GPP.
|Michael Brantley (HOU)||@ MIN||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Kyle Schwarber (CHC)||vs. MIA||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Randy Arozarena (TB)||vs. TOR||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Josh Naylor (CLE)||vs. NYY||$2,200||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|A.J. Pollock (LAD)||vs. MIL||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
All of the value plays lie in the outfield, so I chose to be picky and only pick the cream of the crop. Brantley is always a great cash-game play due to always getting on base and having the potential drive in runs and score himself.
Schwarber has gone through a rough patch this year, but you would be silly to not have a share of him with the wind blowing out to right field on Wednesday. Ian Happ works too — he has a similar price and a similar range of outcomes.
Arozarena is hot, as he hit a triple in Game 1 of the Wild Card series, and he has a 183 wRC+ in 69 plate appearances in September. He feasts against lefties, and he gets one Wednesday.
Naylor had himself quite a game on Tuesday, hitting a single, two doubles, and a homer. If he can do that against Gerrit Cole and company, I think he can handle Tanaka.
Pollock quietly (at least in the Midwest) had 14 homers in 55 games. Wait, *checks notes*. It was 16 homers? What? I like him matched up against Brent Suter and whatever bridge the Brewers use to get to Devin Williams.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB) $10,400: Blake Snell carved up the Jays on Tuesday, striking out nine hitters in under six innings. Glasnow may have a longer leash, and he has even higher strikeout upside.
- Jose Ramirez (SP – CLE) $4,100: Wind is blowing out in Cleveland, and Ramirez finished the season on a tear to potentially capture the MVP. With their backs against the wall, I expect Ramirez to shine when the lights are bright.
- D.J. LeMahieu (2B – NYY) $3,900: He hasn’t stopped hitting this year, and he provides star power at a weak position.
- Anthony Rizzo (1B – CHC) $3,600: Rizzo is the only Cub who is actually somewhat pricey, and he gets a solid matchup against Alcantara with the wind blowing out. Have I mentioned that yet?
- Francisco Lindor (SS – CLE) $3,600: I had sweet dreams of Lindor turning on a Tanaka splitter and sending it into the abyss. Okay, that dream didn’t happen, but you could imagine it happening…right?
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Walker Buehler (SP – LAD) $10,400: Buehler threw six innings in a start just once all season, and the Dodgers have a deep bullpen they will go to without hesitation if Buehler gets in trouble.
- Kyle Hendricks (SP – CHC) $10,600: Hendricks made this list last week and had a great performance, but I don’t want any part of him with fly balls sailing to Lake Michigan.
- Max Fried (SP – ATL) $7,900: Fried looks like a viable option against the hit-and-miss Reds, but he is still working back from an ankle injury. If he was all-systems-go, this is a different story…but his price would also be significantly higher.
- Yoan Moncada (3B – CWS) $3,400: Moncada has admitted that he is still suffering from not having a full Spring Training 2.0 due to getting COVID-19. There are plenty of other third base options to consider before thinking you’re getting a bargain here.
- Cavan Biggio (2B – TOR) $3,600: Biggio looked awful against Snell on Tuesday, and I’m not confident that he turns it around against Glasnow. Even if you are more confident than I am, why not get LeMahieu for only $300 more and then target a cheap outfielder?
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