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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.


Tonight's main slate includes 10 of the 15 games to be played today. Unfortunately, many of the most interesting pitchers like Max Scherzer, Vince Velasquez, and Michael Fulmer are a part of the day slate. At $8,000, Francisco Liriano is the best/most expensive arm available this evening.


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.


Editor’s Note: Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball: Get in the game and create or join a league today.


Onto the bargain plays...


1 – Derek Holland – SP – Chicago (FanDuel $6,200)


With FanDuel's new addition of quality starts (four points), there's more emphasis than ever on finding starters who will reliably reach six innings. Among the bargain bin, Holland is the most likely to earn a quality start. He'll even occasionally rack up a few strikeouts, although he's equally likely to ruin your evening. The matchup with the Twins is interesting in that they do strike out quite a bit. They've been strangely patient early in the season, and we'll see if that keeps up against a known nibbler like Holland. I'll be honest, I'm quite hesitant to use Holland tonight.


2 – Gary Sanchez – C – New York (FanDuel $3,100)


All catchers are cheap on FanDuel. We'll usually reach deep into the well to find a viable punt, but there's no need to do that tonight without any star pitching. Sanchez has scuffled through the first few games (1-for-14) which may be off-putting to his most vocal supporters. He also struggled upon his debut last season – until he spontaneously erupted. He's an explosive home run threat with a positive matchup against Ubaldo Jimenez.


3 – Greg Bird – 1B – New York (FanDuel $2,400)


FanDuel didn't buy into the Spring Training hype when setting Bird's price. Thus far, he's done nothing to reward owners for investing in a huge bargain. Bird has matched Sanchez's 1-for-14 start at the plate. The pull-hitting fly ball masher pairs well with ground ball pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Bird has good plate discipline which should offset Jimenez. At his best, the Orioles righty is effectively wild. In recent years, he's been particularly bad early in the season.


4 – Albert Pujols – 1B – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,900)


Another ice cold batter, Pujols is just 1-for-17 this season. On the plus side, the 37-year-old says he's pain free for the first time in years. He's opposed by newly minted Mariner Yovani Gallardo. The righty is coming off his worst season in which he mixed bad command with reduced velocity. Pujols' fly ball tendencies match up well against Gallardo's sinker.


5 – Ben Zobrist – 2B – Chicago (FanDuel $3,000)


It's possible Zobrist will slip through the cracks of a deep second base pool despite possessing one of the top projections. The Cubs cleanup hitter is well-positioned to produce heaps of runs. He may be overshadowed by his teammates opposite Jimmy Nelson at homer friendly Miller Park. Zobrist's patient approach ensures a high floor of production. And while he isn't much of a multi-homer candidate, he doesn't have to go yard to be valuable. Remember, the Brewers bullpen is weak.


6 – Miguel Sano – 3B – Minnesota (FanDuel $3,000)


Sano has looked superb through the first half-week of baseball. He's hammered everything he's seen and even has three walks to one strikeout. Over his brief career, he's shown very little indication of platoon splits. Even so, he's a tempting target versus Holland. The White Sox starter has been homer prone throughout his career – 1.21 HR/9 in nearly 1,000 innings. He's not as good as his past self.


7 – Addison Russell – SS – Chicago (FanDuel $2,700)


Russell projects to perform similarly to Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, except for at least $1,000 less. The Cubs fifth hitter is another slugger off to a slow start. Now 23, Russell has improved every season of his young career. His fans expect an uptick in power courtesy of either more fly balls or consistent hard contact. Even if neither condition manifests tonight, he's in a good spot to drive in runs at a hitter friendly park.


8 – Carlos Gomez – OF – Texas (FanDuel $2,900)


Athletics starter Raul Alcantara is a bit of an unknown. In five starts last season, he showed a pitch-to-contact profile. The best of those pitchers limit hard contact, but Alcantara was hammered nearly 50 percent of the time. Gomez, the Rangers leadoff man, likes to ambush fastballs. He'll be big fly hunting tonight.


9 – Khris Davis – OF – Oakland (FanDuel $3,200)


Is any player more likely to hit two home runs in a given game than Davis? GPP players should consider him an auto-play any time he's near the bargain bin. The A's cleanup man already has one multi-homer game this season after supplying five last year. A.J. Griffin is incredibly homer prone – he allowed 2.12 HR/9 last season. The Rangers bullpen is currently in full-blown struggle mode too.


10 – Matt Joyce – OF – Oakland (FanDuel $2,100)


If you're hunting a deep discount, Joyce bats first or second, has 25 or more home run power, and plenty of plate discipline. He posted above a .400 OBP last season, giving his owners a high floor. Joyce is a bit of an experiment for the Athletics. Long viewed as a platoon-only bat, he broke out against right-handed pitching for the Pirates last season. His success was of the small sample variety. Now Oakland wants to see if he can continue his mashtastic ways.  

Brad Johnson

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