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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.


We have a 14 game slate tonight. The Diamondbacks and Cubs are playing a day game at Wrigley Field. Weather could affect several locations including Baltimore, Texas, Minnesota, and St. Louis. None of the storm risks are above 50 percent so keep an eye on them. Aces include Johnny Cueto, Noah Syndergaard, and David Price. As always, you'll need some bargains.


If you prefer to avoid the most expensive pitchers, I do recommend ponying up for one of the many mid-tier guys. I don't consider any of the pitchers under $8,000 to be rosterable 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.


Editor's Note: Don't whiff on this special FanDuel offer: win your first contest or get your money back (up to $10) to keep playing. Try FanDuel now.


Onto the bargain plays...


1 – Brian McCann – C – New York (FanDuel $2,800)


Camden Yards has a 128 park factor for left-handed home runs. Translation: lefties are 28 percent more likely to hit a home run than at a neutral park. Orioles starter Chris Tillman has pitched well this season, but he's not opposed to coughing up the occasional home run. Of the available bargain catchers, McCann is the most likely to send one deep.


2 – Freddie Freeman – 1B – Atlanta (FanDuel $2,900)


It's funny how sequencing of events can affect how we perceive player value. Freeman was terrible through his first eight games. He was so bad that he still has a mediocre batting line after two months. If we selectively ignore those eight games, he's hitting .276/.344/.466 with eight home runs in 192 plate appearances. That's normal Freeman which is easily worth $3,400. He's opposed by a good but beatable pitcher in Kenta Maeda.


3 – Tommy Joseph – 1B – Philadelphia (FanDuel $2,000)


The Phillies will give Joseph a look as a major league regular. And while the result is likely to overexpose an unpolished Triple-A quality hitter, we can temporarily benefit from a piddling price. Joseph has decent power and a hyper-aggressive approach, making him a high risk, high reward play. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson is merely solid, and their bullpen is uninspiring.


4 – Jurickson Profar – 2B – Texas (FanDuel $2,500)


Tonight is the seventh and final day of Rougned Odor's suspension. In his absence, Profar has filled in admirably with a .357/.357/.571 line in 28 plate appearances. Batting leadoff, Profar's produced near the top of his position in all six games. And all with a bargain price too. We'll see if he has one more outburst up his sleeve against Taijuan Walker.


5 – Maikel Franco – 3B – Philadelphia (FanDuel $2,800)


I swear I'm not advocating a Phillies stack. It just happens that they have a non-terrible matchup and good prices. You could also try Jimmy Paredes ($2,100) or Andres Blanco ($2,100). As for Franco, he's a power bat with a good spot in the lineup. Entering the season, many analysts (including yours truly) thought he would take a small step forward in plate discipline. Instead, it's ever-so-slightly worse than last year. He still projects to pop another 15 or more home runs with a chance for one tonight.


6 – Brandon Crawford – SS – San Francisco (FanDuel $3,100)


There are several solid shortstops in the $3,100 to $3,200 price range including Brad Miller, Aledmys Diaz, and Trevor Story. I happen to like Crawford as a power threat against Adam Wainwright. The former ace has been extremely hittable this year. His whiff rate is in freefall, and hitters are teeing off on all the pitches over the plate. All of Crawford's power has come against right-handed pitching this year, including a healthy .266/.352/.476 slash.


7 – Joc Pederson – OF – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,800)


Pederson has settled in as the Dodgers fifth or sixth hitter most nights. The left-handed bomber has a serious problem with whiffs, but there's no questioning his power. Dodgers Stadium is slightly friendly to left-handed home runs. Braves starter Julio Teheran dealt with a blister on his foot last week. If that's still hanging around, he could be off his game. Pederson is always a multi-homer threat.


8 – Adam Duvall – OF – Cincinnati (FanDuel $3,100)


If anybody tells you they understand Gio Gonzalez, they're lying. He's as enigmatic as they come. He usually clamps down on home runs allowed, but he's suffering an elevated homer rate this season. Throw in a two mph drop in velocity and a game at Great American Ballpark, and Gonzalez could have a rough night. If he does, it's probably because Duvall went yard. The Evan Gattis clone has plenty of power to achieve exit velocity in Cincinnati's bandbox. 

Just don't be surprised if Gonzalez turns in a gem. Reds hitters are best used in GPPs. 


9 – Nomar Mazara – OF – Texas (FanDuel $2,700)


Walker is a good pitcher capable of shutting down the best of hitters. Mazara is a good hitter capable of punishing the best of pitchers. The barely 21-year-old has a .299/.344/.471 line with nine home runs in 192 plate appearances. He's easily a $3,500 hitter even with the iffy matchup. If there's a fly in the ointment, it's that both Mazara and Walker are ground ball guys. That usually favors the pitcher.


10 – Chris Heisey – OF – Washington (FanDuel $2,000)


The Reds will send lefty Brandon Finnegan to the hill which should mean Heisey bats first. It's not like he's a particularly good hitter – there's a reason he's played for three different teams since the start of 2015. His role in the Nationals lineup, .263/.364/.579 slash against left-handed pitchers, and matchup against a terrible Reds pitching staff is quite attractive. Don't forget, Great American Ballpark is sea level Coors Field.

Brad Johnson

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