FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy Advice: Wednesday (9/9)
We get a decent nine-game slate tonight filled with high-end pitching. The mid-tier options aren’t anything to salivate over, so the strategy is to pick your ace of choice, and then find value bats and cheap stacks along the way. We do just that below. As always, remember to check starting lineups, Vegas over/under lines, and weather factors prior to the slate starting.
|Jesús Luzardo (OAK)||vs. HOU||$7,700||⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Zach Davies (SD)||vs. COL||$9,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Dane Dunning (CHW)||@ PIT||$7,700||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Luzardo has been a bit uneven from outing to outing, not making it past five innings in his most recent start against the Padres. However, his 12.7% swinging strike rate suggests positive regression in terms of strikeouts, and the Astros have a depleted lineup with José Altuve on the IL. Yes, Alex Bregman is back, but he figures to be a little rusty for at least a couple of games. Luzardo, the most talented pitcher in the mid-range, could be worth the risk at home.
Davies has gotten lucky this year (2.23 ERA, but a 3.30 FIP and 4.85 xERA), but he gets the Rockies at home on Wednesday. The Rockies are a bottom-five hitting team in MLB over the past two weeks, a whopping 18% below league average. Davies has the ability to go deep into the game, albeit with a lack of strikeouts, and get a win.
Dunning has the best combination of stuff and matchup of the value plays, facing a Pirates team that is 28% percent below league average in hitting over the last two weeks. Dunning has been striking out batters at a 30%+ clip, which balances out his above-average walk rate. Dunning figures to be the most highly rostered of the bunch, but his matchup and skills warrant it.
Catcher/ First Base
|Christian Walker (ARI)||vs. LOS||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Renato Núñez (BAL)||@ NYM||$3,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Jesús Aguilar (MIA)||@ ATL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
For Walker, I’ll just leave you with this tweet, as he faces Clayton Kershaw again:
Here's my DFS play for the day:
Christian Walker: 4 homers, .462/.462/.1.385 in 13 ABs against…
Also, this is the GIF of Clueless I get when I type in Christian Walker, so I'll just leave it here. pic.twitter.com/R4n5GLLFeS
— Carmen Maiorano (@carmsclubhouse) September 3, 2020
Núñez has been hot over his last 11 games, mashing five homers but slashing .178/.229/.533 with a very unlucky .130 BABIP. That should positively regress against the mediocre Rick Porcello.
Aguilar hits lefties about 10% above the league average for his career. He will face off against the really, really bad Tommy Milone — who is, you guessed it, a lefty! Milone hasn’t lasted more than 5.1 innings in any of his last three starts and has a 5.30 ERA and 1.43 WHIP on the year.
|Wilmer Flores (SF)||vs. SEA||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Donovan Solano (SF)||vs. SEA||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Second base is full of Giants value plays tonight! Flores is a lefty-crusher, sporting a 162 wRC+ this year against them this season and a 119 wRC+ for his career. Nick Margevicius takes the mound for the Mariners. While he has pitched well this year, he still doesn’t do anything particularly well. To make matters even better, Flores is slashing .262/.326/.476 over the last two weeks. Keep in mind that the fences were moved in at Oracle Park this year, making it a much more hitter-friendly venue.
Solano has fared even better than Flores over the past two weeks, slashing .359/.405/.615. This is mostly buoyed by a monster game last week against the Rockies at Coors (4-for-6, 6 RBIs on 9/1), but he has shown that he can hit for both average and power.
|Dylan Moore (SEA)||@ SF||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
|Jeff McNeil (NYM)||vs. BAL||$2,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
Moore has hit all types of pitchers, and he has returned to his red-hot streak since coming off of the IL. He’s hit over 50% better than league average this year, and facing Tyler Anderson should help him keep that streak up. He strikes out a bit too much, but the tradeoff for power is a risk worth taking.
McNeil has heated up recently, posting the top wRC+ (189) over the last two weeks among qualified second basemen, per FanGraphs. He’s back to hitting for average and power, and the Orioles are trotting out Jorge López on Wednesday, giving McNeil a favorable matchup.
|Mauricio Dubón (SF)||vs. SEA||$2,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Jose Iglesias (BAL)||@ NYM||$2,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Low|
|Pat Valaika (BAL)||@ NYM||$2,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Dubón is buried in the bottom of the order, but he will likely have more run-scoring opportunities than if he hit sixth or seventh. He is 20% better than league average against lefties, and he is able to control the bat well with a solid 15.2% strikeout rate against them. He’s also posted a 144 wRC+ over the last two weeks, so round out a cheap Giants stack with Dubon.
Iglesias is a cash-game play, as he provides nothing but a fantastic batting average. If you haven’t noticed, he is hitting third in the order and batting .396. He will face Porcello, owner of a 19.5% strikeout rate and 5.54 ERA. If you want to fade the high-end shortstops Wednesday (or slot them in at UT instead), Iglesias is a safe play.
Valaika is a higher upside play, as he has shown power with six homers this year. He doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard, but he optimizes his launch angles, strikes out below 20% of the time, and doesn’t walk much. He will also hit in the lower-third of the order, but at $2,200, he has a good chance to exceed his value.
|Dominic Smith (NYM)||vs. BAL||$3,400||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Michael Conforto (NYM)||vs. BAL||$3,200||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Wil Myers (SD)||vs. COL||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Brandon Nimmo (NYM)||vs. BAL||$2,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
|Starling Marte (MIA)||@ ATL||$2,500||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Medium|
Myers hits Antonio Senzatela well, slashing .391/.400/.696 over 23-at bats. He’s also hot, crushing two home runs last night.
Marte has hit lefties well in his lengthy career, about roughly 8% better than league average with a league-average strikeout rate. Milone is one of the poorer lefties out there, and the Marlins are out of their home park. Those two variables, plus the fact that he is a top-30 season-long pick living up to expectations, makes him severely under-priced.
Did I mention that the Mets face Jorge López on Wednesday? Nimmo, Conforto, and Smith all hit righties very well, and the Mets rank second in team wRC+ this season. Nimmo won’t provide too much power, but Conforto and Smith certainly have enough to drive him in multiple times.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
Yu Darvish (SP – CHC), $11,500: He’s the highest-priced pitcher because he’s, at worst, the second-best pitcher in the NL right now. The Reds are a league-average hitting team the past two weeks and strike out at the 10th-highest rate.
Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD), $11,000: Kershaw is on a brilliant run of his own, sporting a 1.50 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and 41 Ks in just 36 innings. He faces the Diamondbacks, who have baseball’s second-worst wRC+ (66) over the past two weeks.
Anthony Rizzo (1B – CHC), $3,800: Rizzo has a lifetime .500/.579/1.000 slash line against Bauer in 16 at-bats. While his current .211 batting average is too low, his nine homers suggest that he’s capable of going yard at any point.
Mike Trout (OF – LAA), $4,700: Trout has a 301 wRC+ over the last two weeks. That’s like three Anthony Rizzo’s in one player. Yes, I’ll take three Anthony Rizzo’s in my lineup.
Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA), $4,000: Rendon is no slouch either, hitting 45% better than league average in the same timeframe. The Angels will face Kyle Cody, who lacks command — 40 grade out of 80 — with five walks in 7.1 innings this year.
5 Notable Players to Fade
Trevor Story (SS – COL), $3,900: Story has just two hits in 11 at-bats against Davies and has struck out about 20% more on the road than at home. Colorado as a whole is a bottom-five hitting team over the last two weeks.
Charlie Blackmon (OF – COL), $3,700: Blackmon hasn’t fared much better against Davies, collecting two hits in 15 at-bats. He has also fallen off considerably after his red-hot start in August.
Kole Calhoun (OF -ARI), $2,900: Calhoun may look like a nice contrarian play at a low value, but he is 2-for-18 with 10 strikeouts against Kershaw. Pass.
Eugenio Suárez (3B – CIN), $3,600: Suárez is 5-for-23 with 10 Ks against Darvish. And he probably hasn’t faced super-Darvish a lot.
Kyle Seager (3B – SEA), $3,400: Seager has been a renaissance man, but he has done most of his damage against righties. He will face lefty Tyler Anderson on Wednesday. Further, while San Francisco moved in the left-center field fences, they didn’t move in the huge brick wall in right field.
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