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FanDuel MLB DFS Strategy: Friday (9/18)

Sep 18, 2020

Franmil Reyes has slate-breaking power and gets an outstanding matchup against a struggling Michael Fulmer

We’ve got a nice 12-game slate that has a little of something for everybody, with two budding All-Star pitchers headline the slate in Zach Plesac and Tyler Glasnow in plus matchups as well as a number of attackable matchups and studs in good matchups, including another fun Coors Field game.

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Pitchers

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Zach Plesac (CLE) @ DET $10,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Tyler Glasnow (TAM) @ BAL $10,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Chris Bassitt (OAK) vs SFG $7,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Yusei Kikuchi (SEA) vs SDP $7,900 ⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Plesac: We’ve got a bit of a pick-em at the top of pitching tonight, with both Plesac and Glasnow getting great matchups. I give the edge to Plesac, who has been much more consistent this season despite giving up five earned runs his last time up against the Minnesota Twins. Plesac is one of few on this slate who can shut down batters from both sides of the plate regularly, limiting both left and right-handed batters to batting averages under .202 and wOBA’s under .250. He’ll go up against the struggling Tigers who have lost seven of their last nine and have struck out at an MLB-worst 25.7% rate.

Glasnow: Unlike Plesac, Glasnow has had an up and down season to this point with highs of 13 punch out brilliance and lows of short, roughed up losses. While he’s had more lows than highs, Glasnow has started to find his footing recently, scoring 34+ FanDuel points in each of his last five outings with an average of 44.8. He’ll take the mound against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, who much like the Tigers, have struggled to the tune of eight losses over their last 10 games while averaging just 2.12 points across those defeats. It’s also worth noting that Glasnow has a strong track record against Baltimore in his young career, pitching to a 3-0 record over 5 starts while going 29 2/3 innings with a 2.12 ERA.

Bassitt: Chris Bassitt has looked really impressive lately, posting back-to-back 43+ FanDuel point outings against the Astros and Rangers where he allowed just one run over 13 innings of work while striking out a dozen. He’ll look to make it three straight tonight against the San Fransisco Giants, who will likely be without NL MVP candidate Mike Yastrzemski, who will get an MRI today to check the extent of a calf injury. Bassitt is a great value option for those looking to fill in some Coors bats in cash games rather than spend up at pitcher.

Kikuchi: Yusei Kikuchi’s luck has started to turn around recently, going 2-1 across 17 innings of work in which he allowed eight runs while striking out 18 in his last three outings. There’s still room for improvement, too, as he’s one of just two pitchers on this slate who have sub-4 marks in FIP and xFIP against both left and right-handed batters alongside the Indians’ Zach Plesac. While the Padres’ terrifying lineup is enough to make him the riskiest pitcher on my list, I feel fine rolling him out in GPPs, especially considering Kikuchi has already played them recently and earned a win in the process.

Catcher/First Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Nate Lowe (TAM) @ BAL $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Christian Walker (ARI) @ HOU $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Will Smith (LOS) @ COL $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Lowe: I love the left-handed Rays today going up against Alex Cobb, who has given up a .273/.333/.480 triple-slash to them alongside a rough 5.74 FIP. Nate Lowe might be my favorite of the bunch, as he’s raked against right-handed pitchers this season with a .500 ISO fueling a fantastic 220 wRC+ and 1.263 OPS through a small sample size. Lowe gets a boost in location, also, as the rising star already owns three home runs inside of Camden Yards along with eight RBI and a double in just six games.

Walker: Zack Greinke hasn’t had the best results lately, owning a rough 6.35 ERA over the last two weeks. A lot of his struggles can be traced back to right-handed hitters, who he’s allowed a .289/.299/.535 triple-slash to this season in addition to a 5.01 xFIP. This benefits Walker, who has performed well in righty/righty matchups this season, owning a .273 average to go with 15 of his 18 doubles and 24 of his 31 RBI through 132 at-bats.

Smith: While Ryan Castellani has been somewhat effective for the Rockies this season, he’s had a fair amount of trouble with right-handed bats this season, owning a 6.95 FIP against them while giving up a .381 wOBA through 81 total batters faced. Smith is one of a few Dodgers I’m attacking this with, as he owns a rock-solid 166 wRC+ with an even better 1.014 OPS against RHP this season while striking out just 15.8% of the time.

Second Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Brandon Lowe (TAM) @ BAL $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Michael Chavis (BOS) vs NYY $2,500 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Lowe: Brandon, the more expensive Lowe, might not be performing better against right-handed pitching like Nate is but he’s a fantastic left-handed bat going up against the Orioles’ Alex Cobb, who as mentioned owns a rough 5.74 FIP against LHH this season to go with an equally bad 12.7 soft-hit percentage through 84 total batters faced this season.

Chavis: Michael Chavis has started to get things together lately, slashing .278/.350/.389 with a home run and two stolen bases over the last two weeks. He’ll be looking to continue his success into the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry in a series that should have some offensive fireworks. The Yankees are expected to roll out Jordan Montgomery, who has been fairly soft towards right-handed bats, giving up a 17 of his 18 earned runs this season to them alongside a .290 batting average. Oh, and Chavis already owns a long ball against him.

Third Base

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Justin Turner (LOS) @ COL $3,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Jose Ramirez (CLE) @ DET $3,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Jake Lamb (OAK) vs SFG $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Turner: Justin Turner is one of my favorite Coors bats tonight, as unlike Will Smith, Turner performs better against right-handed pitchers. So much so in fact, that his .326 batting average against them sits 126 points higher than his mark against lefties this season. Yes, the veteran is still suffering from a bit of a power outage, but I have little concerns about that as Turner’s career .552 slugging percentage in the confines of Coors Field should give him a sizable boost.

Ramirez: I’m going to be running a lot of Cleveland tonight against Michael Fulmer, who owns a slate-worst 9.27 ERA and 5.52 SIERA. With the Indians and Tigers being division rivals, Ramirez has seen a fair bit of Fulmer in his career and has gotten some mixed results, owning a .250/.400/.688 triple-slash with two home runs, four RBI, and three strikeouts through 16 at-bats.

Lamb: The once rising star is finally showing signs of life again after a much-needed change of scenery, collecting six hits over his first four games with his new club, including one homer and two doubles to go with two RBI and three runs. He’ll look to keep it up against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto, who has struggled against left-handed batters this season with an allowed triple-slash of .271/.366/.469 and an xFIP of 5.09 through 112 total batters faced. Lamb and Cueto are no strangers, either, with Lamb owning seven hits over the former all-star, with two homers, two doubles, and four RBI over 20 at-bats.

Shortstop

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Fransisco Lindor (CLE) @ DET $3,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Adalberto Mondesi (KAN) @ MIL $2,700 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

 
Lindor: Fransisco Lindor has really turned around his sluggish start, slashing .309/.384/.473 with four homers, four stolen bases, and 12 RBI over the last 30 days. He’ll go up against the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, who hasn’t made it past the third inning all season and has given up more runs than he’s pitched innings. Like Ramirez, Lindor is quite familiar with Fulmer but has had much more consistent success, owning nine hits over 22 at-bats with three home runs, three doubles, seven RBI, and seven runs.

Mondesi: Adrian Houser has struggled immensely against left-handed bats this season, giving up an eye-popping .349/.430/.557 triple-slash and .422 wOBA to them through 121 total batters faced. While Mondesi is weaker from the left side of the plate, he’s one of the best options to attack this with because of how hot he’s been lately, owning a .286/.340/.551 slash with four homers, nine stolen bases, and 12 RBI over his last 49 at-bats.

Outfield

Name (TEAM) OPPONENT PRICE MATCHUP RISK
Franmil Reyes (CLE) @ DET $2,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Avisail Garcia (MIL) vs KAN $2,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Kole Calhoun (ARI) @ HOU $3,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High
J.D. Martinez (BOS) vs NYY $3,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

 
Reyes: While Jose Ramirez and Fransisco Lindor have success against the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer, Reyes has that and then some. Not only does Reyes own two long balls against Fulmer, but he’s also the main beneficiary from the former budding star’s struggles as he’ll be the Indians’ strongest hitter from the right side of the plate. Fulmer has been all-around bad this season but has almost been unable to pitch against RHH, giving up a .500/.531/.932 triple-slash with an unheard-of .593 wOBA through 62 total batters faced.

Garcia: While the Royals’ Danny Duffy is very good in lefty/lefty matchups, he leaves a lot to be desired against right-handed batters, who he owns a 5.49 xFIP against. This is good for Garcia, who has gone up against Duffy a good amount in his career and owns a .342/.390/.395 triple-slash with six runs, two doubles, and an RBI against the left-hander.

Calhoun: Zack Greinke has been shaky lately, giving up 10 earned runs over his last two starts, which makes this a great time to jump on Calhoun, who has destroyed the possible future Hall of Famer throughout his career to the tune of 11 hits, six runs and a home run through 19 at-bats. Not to mention that Calhoun has gained some pop since moving to the desert, as he’s sitting on a career-high .299 ISO against right-handed pitchers.

Martinez: While Martinez isn’t having the MVP caliber season we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years, he’s still a dangerous bat that is more than capable of busting a slate open at the misfortune of left-handed pitchers. He’ll get a chance to do just that against the Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery, who’s recent struggles have lead to a 4.91 ERA and 1.568 WHIP over the last month with no quality starts over four trips.

Five Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Mookie Betts (OF – LOS) $4,700: Betts has been surging into the NL MVP race with a .319/.373/.532 triple-slash with three homers and three stolen bases over the last two weeks and plays in the friendliest hitters’ park of Coors Field.
  • Freddie Freeman (1B – ATL) $4,200: We all know that the Mets’ Steven Matz is extremely blowup prone but his terrible .400/.471/.733 triple-slash given up to left-handed bats this season might not be so well known.
  • DJ LeMahieu (2B – NYY) $4,200: There might not be a hotter hitter right now than LeMahieu, who’s averaging 45.03 FanDuel points over his last three contests. He gets another good matchup against the Red Sox’s Martin Perez, who he’s 4-for-9 against with a home run and four RBI.
  • Corey Seager (SS – LOS) $4,200: Seager is another good Coors Field bat going up against the Rockies’ Ryan Castellani, who owns a 7.44 FIP against left-handed bats this season.
  • Giancarlo Stanton (OF – NYY) $3,800: Stanton was fashionably late to the Yankees’ home run party but owns a .429/.600/1.000 triple-slash against left-handed pitching this season and owns two home runs off of the Red Sox’s Martin Perez.

Five Notable Players To Fade

  • Christian Yelich (OF – MIL) $4,100: Yelich has fallen back into his slump, hitting just .217/.333/.326 over the last two weeks and faces the Royals’ Danny Duffy, who has some of the best splits against left-handed bats on this slate.
  • Pete Alonso (1B – NYM) $3,500: The Braves’ Max Fried has been fantastic against right-handed hitters this season with a 2.25 FIP. To make matters worse, Alonso is just 1-for-12 in his career against the rising star.
  • Tyler Mahle (SP – CIN) $8,100: While Mahle hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in an outing all season, his control issues have lead to a 4.78 ERA over his last 5 starts. He’ll get the surging White Sox, who’s lineup looks as scary as any right now.
  • Chris Paddack (SP – SDP) $8,200: Paddack is dealing with a right ankle sprain and the Padres are taking extreme caution with the issue, which could have him on a pitch count.
  • Max Kepler (OF – MIN) $2,800: Kepler is in the midst of a big slump that has him hitting .180/.265/.246 over the last 30 days and runs into the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, who has been lights out against left-handed hitters this season.

 All Advanced Statistics Sourced From FanGraphs

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Caleb Baggette is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Caleb, check out his archive and follow him @CalebBg9

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