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 only nine games to watch today. Thankfully, they'll all be a part of the evening slate. Keep an eye on the rain in Baltimore. Consider the status of that game “doubtful.” You may wish to avoid Chris Archer and Ubaldo Jimenez. You were already avoiding Jimenez, right? Since the weather report is rather daunting, I'll focus my attention on the other eight games.
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 – Amir Garrett – SP – Cincinnati (FanDuel $7,700)
I have my doubts about Garrett as a DFS asset. Despite three strong starts to open his career, his stuff doesn't appear to support a 1.83 ERA, 9.61 K/9, or 1.37 BB/9. Th southpaw has an average or worse fastball. He complements the pitch with an average changeup and plus slider. The overall profile should produce something like a 4.00 ERA going forward. Throughout his minor league career, he's walked roughly 3.5 BB/9. Once hitters start to work the count, he could be in trouble. Despite my misgivings, Garrett's matchup versus the strikeout prone Brewers offers plenty of upside for tonight.
2 – Yasmani Grandal – C – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,800)
There is one big red flag in an otherwise must-use start for Grandal – the game is at homer suppressant AT&T Park. Grandal is usually a multi-homer threat, although we may be lucky to get one from him tonight. He's opposed by terrible right-handed pitcher Matt Cain. The former star has become homer prone despite his helpful venue. Even if Grandal doesn't go yard, he'll probably at least draw a walk or two.
3 – Mike Napoli – 1B – Texas (FanDuel $3,000)
Phil Hughes predictably works within the strike zone, and he's allowed at least a 1.65 HR/9 in four of the last five seasons (including 15 innings in 2017). His velocity is down nearly two mph. It might be time to stick a fork in him – he's done. Napoli bats cleanup for the Rangers, putting him in an excellent spot to reap run production. Although he's off to a slow start, it appears to be mostly BABIP related. There are so many ways for Napoli to post a big point total versus Hughes and a weak Twins bullpen.
4 – Jose Peraza – 2B – Cincinnati (FanDuel $3,000)
By contrast, Peraza has one path to value – reach base multiple times and steal multiple bases. He's not my favorite recommendation in this column, although I am very eager to prey upon Matt Garza in his return from the disabled list. Peraza generally bats second for the Reds. His current .246 BABIP is fueled by a 40 percent soft contact rate. Garza should help him to put a little more charge in the ball. The baserunning matchup isn't ideal – Jett Bandy has caught 35.5 percent of would-be thieves in his short career.
5 – Aaron Hill – 3B – San Francisco (FanDuel $2,500)
It's a good day to pay full price for a quality third baseman. If you insist upon reaching into the bargain bin, Hill has recently been used as the Giants leadoff man against left-handed pitching. Opposing starter Hyun-Jin Ryu has allowed six home runs out of just 11 fly balls. That's a sign he's making some significant mistakes over the plate. While Ryu will probably regress to his normal home run rate – especially with the help of AT&T Park – there's a chance Hill will get something to ambush. As long as he's batting leadoff, the lineup role is right for the price. Just keep in mind that he's a mediocre hitter.
6 – Chris Owings – SS – Arizona (FanDuel $2,900)
I usually avoid ground ball hitters versus ground ball pitchers. It's a recipe for way too many grounders. It's a lot easier to predict one home run than four seeing eye singles. In the case of Owings facing Jhoulys Chacin at Chase Field, I'll reverse my tune. Not only is Chacin one of the worst pitchers in the league, the rock hard infield is great for ground ball hitters. Owings is also a threat to run if he reaches base. He generally ping-pongs between second and seventh in the lineup.
7 – Adam Duvall – OF – Cincinnati (FanDuel $3,100)
Duvall may be a safer matchup than Peraza for those looking to exploit Garza tonight. The right-handed slugger doesn't have platoon splits so there's no reason to worry about him facing a righty. He's an obvious multi-homer threat. The biggest issue with Duvall is a low OBP, making him a better choice for GPPs than smaller formats. Miller Park is one of the best venues for power.
8 – David Peralta – OF – Arizona (FanDuel $3,000)
As I noted with Owings, I usually wouldn't use a ground ball hitter versus a pitcher like Chacin. Since Chacin is Chacin and Chase Field is Chase Field, I'm open to bucking the normal trends. Peralta is off to a steamy start thanks to a .377 BABIP. He's continued to make his typical low-angle hard contact. This year, he's shown an ability to hit the other way – good for beating those pesky shifts. He's batting .448 when opponents use a traditional lefty shift.
9 – Andrew Toles – OF – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,200)
With Joc Pederson possibly DL-bound, Toles is a candidate to re-gain the leadoff job versus right-handed pitchers. He's hit for decent power while making much more contact than he did last season. The increased contact could be related to his willingness to use the opposite field this year, something he did sparingly in his 2016 debut. Toles has a gimme matchup against Cain. The vast ballpark probably eliminates him as a good pick if he's down in the order. As the leadoff man, he's well worth his $2,200.