When looking at bargains on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters priced $3,200 or lower. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
We are concentrating on the main slate today starting at 1:05 ET. There are 11 matchups within this timeframe, meaning I will rank the top ten value plays by priority to your lineups.
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. You can double check that your players are in the starting lineup by viewing our MLB Lineups page later in the day.
Now onto the bargain plays.
1 - Nelson Cruz – OF – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
Cruz is over what I just described as the “bargain threshold”, but he’s a relative value when considering the salary/upside equation. Even though Cruz has been pretty modest over the past week, this is easily his best matchup through that timeframe, one we can peg as a “five star draw”. As most DFS players know, Cruz hammers left-handed pitchers, and White Sox southpaw Carlos Rodon holds a .356 wOBA 14% HR/FB against righties. That cross-references very well, and U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago accentuates right-handed power. Cruz will be popular this afternoon, but for very good reason. Fade at your own risk.
2 - Wilson Ramos – C – Washington (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
There are several quality catchers to consider today (V.Martinez, McCann, G.Sanchez). Ramos gets my vote with the best matchup/price/upside combination of that group. Washington checks in with a top three run scoring projection on this slate, facing Chad Bettis’ reverse-splits of .350 wOBA and 16.1% HR/FB rate vs right-handed hitters. Needless to say, the Nationals are very stackable in this situation.
3 - Steve Pearce – OF – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
The Orioles are chock-full of powerful lefty-mashers, and that’s bad news for C.C. Sabathia. The Yankee southpaw holds a .349 wOBA and 15.4% HR/FB rate against right-handed hitters, something that could be easily exposed this afternoon. Pearce is one of the cheaper ways to gain access against that susceptibility, but you can also give a close look to Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo, and maybe Jonathan Schoop/J.J. Hardy as well.
4 - Dee Gordon – 2B – Miami (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
The Marlins settle into a pretty decent matchup against San Diego hurler Luis Perdomo. He holds a .372 wOBA mark against left-handed hitters, and an even worse .390 wOBA split against righties. You can target him from all angles, but Dee Gordon stands out with a very agreeable salary at a second base position that doesn’t carry much opportunity cost. Also consider Christian Yelich and Martin Prado of the Marlins.
5 - Corey Dickerson – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Dickerson has been very inconsistent and sometimes invisible this season, but don’t hold that against him today. The reason being comes in the form of an excellent shift in Houston, as Minute Maid Park is very kind to left-handed power. Dickerson already posted a high-upside performance in the series opener (Friday), and another one could be in store. He’s facing Astros’ pitcher Doug Fister, who carries a .348 wOBA and 13.3% HR/FB rate against lefties. All of the peripheral factors seem to align in Dickerson’s favor. Don’t forget about his teammate, Brad Miller, to take advantage of this sentiment also.
6 - Troy Tulowitzki – SS – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
I just mentioned Brad Miller ($3,600) as a very good shortstop option. If you aren’t paying up for him, or want to differentiate your lineups, Tulowitzki is a great way to achieve that without skimping on upside. After all, the Blue Jays represent the highest projected scoring team of the day. They’ll take on a struggling, contact-oriented pitcher in Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson. This is not a matchup to fear for any of the Toronto hitters.
7 - Jaime Garcia – SP – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $7,900)
Garcia has been uninspiring in his past two matchups, but a bounce-back performance could easily happen this afternoon. He has a decent matchup against a very mediocre Oakland lineup, and Garcia has pitched much better at home throughout this entire season. Even though his strikeout upside isn’t exactly consistent (usually hovers around five), it’s nice to know he has some big score potential in his back pocket. As a -175 home favorite and prospects for plenty of run support, I believe Garcia is a safe, economical play for all formats.
8 - Ryan Zimmerman – 1B – Washington (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Zimmerman follows the same rationale outlined earlier with his teammate Wilson Ramos. The Nationals represent one of the highest projected offenses of this slate, and the best way to attack Colorado pitcher Chad Bettis is with strong, right-handed hitters. There are a lot of very good first basemen to consider above the bargain threshold (Encarnacion, Cabrera, Abreu, Pujols, Napoli, Moss) – so I’m considering Zimmerman more of a value tournament play than anything.
9 - David Freese – 3B – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Freese is another play I’m looking towards more in tournaments, as third base could be a position to “pay up” for in guys like Donaldson, Arenado, Machado, Rendon, etc. However, Freese will likely carry a very low ownership rate in a solid matchup against Chase Anderson’s .360 wOBA and 15% HR/FB split against right-handed hitters. The Pirate hitters have a nice park boost in Milwaukee as well.
10 - Kirk Nieuwenhuis – OF – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
If Nieuwenhuis gets the start (which he should), you can strongly consider him as a high-upside tournament option. Pittsburgh pitcher Ivan Nova has a susceptible .374 wOBA and 15.3% HR/FB split against left-handed hitters, and Nieuwenhuis has the power to take advantage. Additionally, he’s a much different hitter at home (in a good way).