When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
How do you feel about aces? There are six of them tonight – Jose Fernandez, Jake Arrieta, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Noah Syndergaard, and Stephen Strasburg. Or, if you stretch the definition of ace, you can add in Cole Hamels, Chris Archer, and Jeff Samardzija. Only Archer has a tough matchup (Red Sox). We're going to need to dig deep for bargains tonight!
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
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Onto the bargain plays...
1 – Matt Shoemaker – SP – Los Angeles (FanDuel $7,700)
In a 15 game contest with so many aces, any pitcher lacking a 60 point ceiling is tough to roster – especially in GPPs. At least one of those studs is going to have a huge game, and somebody will find eight very productive bargains to fill the rest of the squad. While Shoemaker is pricier than my typical bargain pitchers, he's the only guy I see with a 60 point ceiling and a price below $9,000.
We already know Shoemaker's best case scenario against the Orioles. On May 21, he delivered a 7.1 inning, 12 strikeout start worth 58 points. Had he notched the win, he would have netted a cool 70 points. Baltimore has a high variance lineup featuring strikeouts and power galore. The downside for Shoemaker looks like his outing last week – eight points versus the Red Sox.
2 – James McCann – C – Detroit (FanDuel $2,000)
Willson Contreras for $2,700 is mighty tempting, but it's a good day for a full punt at catcher. McCann is a good alternative at the minimum price. He's batting .279/.338/.541 against lefties this season. He'll face J.A. Happ at the Rogers Centre. McCann has similar numbers versus southpaws throughout his career. If there's an issue with this pick, it's that it's too obvious. If McCann happens to sit Jarrod Saltalmachia for $2,100 is a fine alternative.
3 – A.J. Reed – 1B – Houston (FanDuel $2,300)
There are so many reasons not to use Reed tonight. He's hitting just .138/.235/.345 with an over 40 percent strikeout rate. Well, that's just two related reasons, but they're powerful. On the positive side, he's homered twice in his last 13 plate appearances, and he'll have the platoon advantage against possibly homer prone righty Daniel Mengden. Reed's performance to date should keep his ownership low too. The game is in Houston where the conditions are ripe for a big fly. If Reed can make contact...
4 – Jose Abreu – 1B – Chicago (FanDuel $2,800)
If you prefer your first baseman to be of the name brand, high ceiling variety, give Abreu a look. He's up against Matt Wisler and the Braves. Wisler has made modest improvements this season. He's no longer somebody to automatically target with a stack. Still, he coughs up more than his share of home runs. Abreu's power is down this year - .263/.319/.426 with 11 home runs through 367 plate appearances.
5 – Devon Travis – 2B – Toronto (FanDuel $2,700)
Well, Travis is the cheapest usable second baseman on the list today. Only a couple of the minimum cost crowd are likely to start, and they'll be opposed by guys like Kluber and Fernandez. Travis is more than just a cheap guy, he's a daily power and multi-hit threat. The Blue Jays are hosting Mike Pelfrey tonight. The only downside to using Travis, besides popularity, is that he's been batting eighth or ninth the last few days.
6 – Pedro Alvarez – 3B – Baltimore (FanDuel $2,700)
If you're comfortable using a quality player who's yet to do a thing in the majors, Jeimer Candelario is just $2,000 versus Francisco Liriano. Alternatively, you can scrape together another $700 to roster Alvarez against Shoemaker. As I mentioned earlier, the Orioles offense is extremely high variance. Alvarez certainly plays his part in that variance. Shoemaker is a splitter specialist. Mistakes with the pitch tend to go over the wall. Alvarez is hitting .323/.358/.645 (.412 BABIP) with six home runs in 67 plate appearances since the start of June.
7 – Carlos Correa – SS – Houston (FanDuel $2,900)
Correa is hitting well. He bats cleanup. He's opposed by a non-ace. The park and weather are hitter friendly. Oh, and he's Carlos Correa. There are shortstops facing lesser pitchers, but none of them possess half of Correa's upside.
8 – George Springer – OF – Houston (FanDuel $3,100)
I expressed my confusing about Correa and Springer's prices yesterday. Last week, when the Reds best bats were temporarily reduced in price, they were fixed in one day. No adjustments were made to these two Astros studs. I like Mengden as a guy who could give Shoemaker a run for best bargain of the day. I'll still happily take players of this talent level at these prices. The obvious issue is ownership rate. It's up to you if you're better off with a less used, lower quality asset.
9 – Kolten Wong – OF – St. Louis (FanDuel $2,500)
Prior to this season, Wong flashed fantasy monster potential while providing decent production. He was just a small positive adjustment from turning his 10 home runs and 15 steals into the full package. When a player is a small step from being good, it also means they aren't far removed from poor numbers. Unfortunately, Wong took his small step in the wrong direction.
Since the club re-called him from Triple-A, Wong has hit for a solid average with minimal power. Tonight's matchup against Jimmy Nelson at homer friendly Miller Park might give Wong a chance at his second home run of the season.
10 – Steven Souza – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $2,400)
Even though he's $100 cheaper, Souza is definitely a more attractive option than Wong. Souza doesn't have platoon splits, and he's opposed by Sean O'Sullivan – the worst pitcher of the day. Souza's contact issues should be ameliorated by O'Sullivan's awfulness. An extreme pull hitter, he's a multi-homer threat at Fenway.