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.
We have a busy 14 game slate tonight. The top end of the pool includes decent matchups for Max Scherzer and Cole Hamels. If you want a second shot at 20 strikeouts, you'll need big bargains. The White Sox-Royals contest is a postponement risk for a second straight day.
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.
Onto the bargain plays...
1 – Julio Urias – SP – Los Angeles (FanDuel $6,900)
Let's talk about Urias. You've undoubtedly heard the accolades and seen the minor league stat line. The teenager is going to be a good major league pitcher – barring injury. Unfortunately, there is a fly in the ointment. Actually, two flies. Urias was capped at six innings or 80 pitches in the minors. I doubt those numbers will change in the majors. He also occasionally loses command within the strike zone. That's fine when you're overwhelming minor league hitters, but major leaguers will turn around his mostly flat 94 mph fastball. It's almost better to be wild outside of the zone like Robbie Ray ($6,800 versus the Padres).
Urias draws the Mets for his debut. It's tempting to take a stab at his six inning, 10 strikeout ceiling. Even with a successful debut, there are so many ways for him to be a DFS flop today. Most importantly, a win may be out of reach.
2 – Welington Castillo – C – Arizona (FanDuel $2,900)
If there's an issue with using Castillo tonight, it's that his ownership could push 35 percent in GPPs. Even with a recent slump, Castillo is hitting .326/.380/.739 versus lefties this season with five of his seven home runs. He's opposed by Christian Friedrich today. Over his career, right-handed hitters have a .314/.392/.510* line against Friedrich. That slash does come with an asterisk – a bunch of those innings were at Coors Field.
3 – Chris Carter – 1B – Milwaukee (FanDuel $3,200)
Carter is an equal opportunity masher – he doesn't care if you're a righty or a lefty. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that he has the platoon advantage against Reds lefty John Lamb. His stuff is much diminished this season with a two mph loss in velocity, weaker command, and vanishing strikeout rate. Carter's biggest flaw is the whiff. If Lamb isn't inducing swinging strikes, then that makes Carter a high ceiling pick. Bonus: the game is at power friendly Miller Park.
4 – Dae-Ho Lee – 1B – Seattle (FanDuel $2,100)
If you're looking for a mega bargain to pair with Scherzer, try Lee. The righty has a .250/.294/.531 line with six home runs in limited action (68 plate appearances). He's slightly strikeout prone and hasn't walked a ton. He'll be starting in place of Adam Lind with Twins lefty Pat Dean on the bump. Dean is barely a swingman quality pitcher. The Mariners should mash. If the game is close, Lind might sub in for Lee once a right-handed reliever enters the game. Lee actually has better numbers versus righties in his small sample, so the substitution might not be automatic.
5 – Brandon Phillips – 2B – Cincinnati (FanDuel $2,600)
Entering this season, I had no idea I would write so many words in defense of Phillips. He's just a guy – a below average hitter who happens to bat cleanup for a non-terrible lineup. The Reds are opposed by Zach Davies and his 5.75 ERA. Davies is a homer prone pitcher at a homer prone park. Phillips may not have a ton of power, but there's enough chance for a home run to take him at this price. Besides, even without a long ball, he should get plenty of run production opportunities.
6 – Luis Valbuena – 3B – Houston (FanDuel $2,800)
Valbuena has spent most of the season in the garbage bin. Now he's back in the bargain bin after homering in three straight games. Valbuena's actually been hitting decently since May 4. Over 71 plate appearances, he has a .266/.319/.563 slash with five home runs. That's typical for the healthy version of Valbuena. He's an all-or-nothing righty masher. He's opposed by homer prone Matt Shoemaker. It's one of his best matchups to date.
7 – Nick Ahmed – SS – Arizona (FanDuel $2,300)
Those digging for lost treasures may have noticed Ahmed's career .259/.315/.395 line versus southpaws. He has similar numbers this season. Basically, he's merely below average in his matchup tonight. The Diamondbacks offense should roll over Friedrich. There's a small chance Ahmed will be called upon to bat leadoff. If so, he becomes a must-play at this price.
8 – Matt Kemp – OF – San Diego (FanDuel $2,500)
Kemp has scuffled through the month of May. He's a high variance hitter which makes him prone to these peaks and valleys. I can find no sign that he's hurt. In other words, he could bust out at any time. Kemp is batting .262/.250/.595 against lefties this season. That's no typo, he has no walks and potent power numbers. Kemp's made a long career of lefty mashing. Erratic Robbie Ray could get ambushed.
9 – Rickie Weeks – OF – Arizona (FanDuel $2,400)
The Diamondbacks are supplying droves of big bargains tonight. Weeks tends to bat second or cleanup when the Diamondbacks face a lefty. Like Phillips, the role is worth more than Weeks' price. It helps that he's killing lefties. Currently, he has a .250/.333/.563 slash with as many walks as strikeouts against southpaws.
10 – Franklin Gutierrez – OF – Seattle (FanDuel $2,300)
Since resurrecting his career last season, no spot starter has been a more reliable source of power than Gutierrez. With Ketel Marte out, Gutierrez will probably bat second tonight. This season, he's hitting .267/.370/.444 versus southpaws. As with Lee, there is risk he'll be pulled for Seth Smith once a right-handed reliever enters the game. It's entirely justifiable – he has an ugly .067/.125/.133 slash against righties with a 43.8 percent strikeout rate.