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FanDuel MLB Bargains: Friday

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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.


The Cubs are hosting on of their typical Friday afternoon games. This time, the Rangers are visiting Chicago. Everybody else will be playing tonight. Even though it's the first day back from a long break, there are only a few aces on tap – namely Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg, and Carlos Carrasco. You know the drill. If you want shares of the studs, you'll need some bargains.


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 – Bud Norris – SP – Los Angeles (FanDuel $7,000)


It would be easy to wave off Norris' resurgence as a blip on the radar. He's been bad for so long that it's hard to imagine him suddenly becoming good. While pitching in the Atlanta bullpen, he added a cutter. Since returning to the rotation, he has a 2.23 ERA, 2.31 FIP, and 3.11 xFIP with 9.37 K/9 and 2.45 BB/9. The difference between the FIP and xFIP owns to his “luck” with home runs. Any way you slice it, he's pitched well.


Of course, that's no guarantee he'll continue to pitch well. A matchup against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field is no walk in the park. Norris usually throws five to seven innings which limits his DFS ceiling. Most days, he'll score around 26 points – acceptable for this price. On a few lucky occasions, he'll exceed 50 points.


2 – Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee (FanDuel $3,000)


Lucroy is the total package today despite an easily rosterable price. DFS owners traditionally deploy him as a platoon bat, but he's good against righties too. This year, Lucroy is running a reverse split with a .329/.387/.527 line versus northpaws. He'll be playing at homer friendly Great American Ballpark opposite Anthony DeSclafani and the Reds terrible bullpen.


3 – Eric Hosmer – 1B – Kansas City (FanDuel $2,900)


It's a good day to pay for your first baseman. If you're in dire need of a cheap option, Hosmer is the guy. There's nothing exciting about his matchup with Justin Verlander. The former ace is still a good pitcher capable of shutting down the Royals lineup. He's also a little homer prone this year. Hosmer is batting .312/.376/.464 against right-handed pitching. Like Lucroy, he offers a high floor with a moderately high ceiling.


4 – Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati (FanDuel $2,700)


Phillips isn't having a good season at the plate, batting .259/.298/.372. Shortly before the break, he was demoted from third to sixth in the lineup. Even with largely unimpressive numbers, he's a useful target when cheap and playing at home. Great American Ballpark can make home runs out of miss-hit fly balls. It's no surprise all six of Phillips' home runs have come at home. It doesn't hurt that he's opposed by Matt Garza, arguably the worst pitcher of the day.


5 – Kyle Seager – 3B – Seattle (FanDuel $3,200)


Astros starter Doug Fister is having a surprisingly good season despite extremely mediocre peripherals. Fister's walk rate is at a career worst 3.05 BB/9 with just 5.59 K/9. He's been slightly homer prone too. Safeco Field will give Fister some margin for error, but Seager is still a good bet for a home run or extra base hit. As a fly ball hitter, he pairs well against ground ball pitchers.


6 – Trea Turner – SS – Washington (FanDuel $2,300)

7 – Danny Espinosa – SS – Washington (FanDuel $3,100)


The Nationals offer a couple interesting bargain options versus southpaw Francisco Liriano. Let's start with Espinosa since he's the pricier pick. This season, he has seven home runs in 75 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching. He shouldn't be expected to maintain his .362 ISO, but Liriano has struggled enough this year to gamble on more power tonight.


You've undoubtedly heard some things about Turner. The hype is a little out of control for a contact guy with good speed and plate discipline. He projects to be a slightly below average hitter with minus defense at shortstop. He's on the major league roster because Ryan Zimmerman returned to the disabled list. Daniel Murphy can shift to first with Turner taking second. Turner doesn't have much pop. His best path to DFS value is a multi-hit game with a stolen base.


8 – Adam Duvall – OF – Cincinnati (FanDuel $3,000)


Duvall is best used against left-handed pitching for OBP reasons. Against righties, he's a low average, low OBP bomber. Unfortunately, Garza is indeed a righty. The platoon split effect is still fairly small for Duvall. His power is completely unaffected. As mentioned earlier, Garza may be the worst pitcher of the day. Duvall is a daily multi-homer threat, especially at home.


9 – Josh Reddick – OF – Oakland (FanDuel $3,100)


Reddick is one of my favorite DFS bargains anytime he's cheap and facing a righty. He disappears versus left-handed pitchers due to a collapse in his power. Against righties, Reddick is one of the highest floor options out there. This season, he's batting .338/.410/.514 with the platoon advantage. Fister is overdue for a healthy dose of regression his current ERA is about a point below where it belongs. He's suffered at the hands of lefties with a .279/.350/.534 line allowed.


10 – Brandon Nimmo – OF – New York (FanDuel $2,000)


Mega bargains were few and far between today. Nimmo is perhaps the most obvious with his combination of decent power, plate discipline, and contact skills. I still think the overall profile reads as a fourth outfielder – a fringy one given that he can't really play center field. So long as he's playing regularly and batting sixth, he's easily a $2,700 hitter. He's been overhyped as a prospect which could lead to a high ownership rate. Nimmo is opposed by Jeremy Hellickson – a good but beatable pitcher.

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.