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FanDuel MLB Bargains: Thursday

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 bit of a mess to sort through today. FanDuel has a six game early slate and a five game night crew. Three of the early games – New York (AL), Washington, and Philadelphia – have rain in the forecast. Two from the evening quintet – New York (NL) and Boston – are weather risks. Gross. I'll focus most of my attention on dry venues, but we'll include the wet games too since there's a decent chance they'll play.

 

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 – Dinelson Lamet – SP – San Diego (FanDuel $6,000) Evening

 

You never know when a new guy is going to come along and surprise you. Especially when he's a deceptive pitcher making his major league debut. Lamet throws a low-to-mid 90s fastball from an extreme over-the-top arm slot. He also has an upper-80s vertical slider. Scouts say his minus command and lack of tertiary pitches will push him to the bullpen. However, he could carve through an unprepared Mets lineup tonight. Even without rain in the forecast, this is an extremely high risk play.

 

2 – Cameron Rupp – C – Philadelphia (FanDuel $2,400) Early

 

I'm leaning towards using Tyler Anderson in the early slate, but that doesn't stop me from like Rupp's matchup. He's a classic lefty masher with a career .303/.361/.566 slash versus southpaws. Anderson has recently flipped the switch, piling up ground balls and strikeouts. If he reverts to his early season form, Rupp could have a field day. Even the good version of Anderson is exploitable enough for Rupp to return a profit.

 

3 – John Jaso – 1B – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $2,800) Early

 

The Pirates are visiting homer happy, dry SunTrust Park. Although Jaso has struggled at times this season - .196/.297/.361 with a .229 BABIP – he's also increased his fly ball rate while maintaining plenty of hard contact. That may not be a good thing at cavernous PNC Park, but it should help him to homer versus Colon and the Braves.

 

4 – Brandon Drury – 2B – Arizona (FanDuel $2,600) Evening

 

Drury is an unexciting, roughly league average hitter who typically bats sixth for the Diamondbacks. His aggressive approach has allowed him to post a solid .296/.340/.474 line with the help of a .369 BABIP. Brewers starter Zach Davies has been making mistakes up in the zone this year. Miller Park could help Drury over a wall.

 

5 – Josh Harrison – 3B – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $3,000) Early

 

Like Jaso, Harrison has buffed his fly ball rate enough to be a sneaky good DFS play. Although his home park isn't built for homers, he did pop three big flies when visiting tiny Great American Ballpark. SunTrust Park is playing similarly hot for homers. Colon has been hammered this year, although his peripherals look normal. Don't be surprised if the Pirates do very little today. I like several of them individually, but I'm wary about committing to a full stack.

 

6 – Elvis Andrus – SS – Texas (FanDuel $2,700) Evening

 

Back in the day, building a winning DFS roster was about mixing high floor players with high ceiling talent. Now we just chase 10 home runs a day. Andrus is a high floor option versus Drew Pomeranz. The Red Sox lefty is struggling to survive five innings per start. And while he's continued to rack up strikeouts, that isn't Andrus' weakness. The speedy shortstop has become very pull heavy. He could bang a couple doubles off the Green Monster.

 

7 – Kevin Kiermaier – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $2,700) Early

8 – Colby Rasmus – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $2,700) Early

 

The Rays are facing Daniel Wright, a mediocre righty with a 90 mph fastball. He tries to keep hitters off the pitch by throwing a barrage of sliders, curves, and changeups. Kiermaier got off to a slow start this season. Over his last 50 plate appearances, he's slashing .289/.347/.489 with a pair of homers and stolen bases. He bats second for the Rays.

 

Rasmus bats sixth. He's already hit five home runs in just 67 plate appearances. He's also accrued an ungodly 41.8 percent strikeout rate fueled by a 20.8 percent swinging strike rate. His inability to make regular contact ensures he's a high risk, high reward play. Since Wright induces few whiffs, it's a solid matchup.

 

9 – Justin Upton – OF – Detroit (FanDuel $2,800) Evening

 

Mike Fiers is a ground ball pitcher with an extreme home run problem. He's allowed 3.64 HR/9 this season. And while that figure will decline, regression won't necessarily occur tonight versus a tough Tigers lineup. Upton's fly ball tendencies make him a great bet for a home run.

 

10 – Dexter Fowler – OF – St. Louis (FanDuel $3,000) Evening

 

Fowler will bat leadoff versus Kenta Maeda in his return from the disabled list. Maeda's season has been a mixed bag. While he's posted typical strikeout and walk rates, an increase in home runs allowed has led to a 5.03 ERA. Fowler gets to hit lefty at a park that rewards southpaw power. Aside from an unfortunate .232 BABIP, he's hitting just like he did last season.

 

 

Brad Johnson

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