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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.


It's a thin slate day with three games early and four games late. There is no rain in the forecast. I'll split the analysis between the two contest times as best as I can. We're a bit hamstrung on bargains with so few 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.


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 – Alex Meyer – SP – Los Angeles (FanDuel $7,200) Late


I'm not a Meyer fan, but there's at least a chance for him to provide something like six innings, seven strikeouts, and a quality start. After all, he did it against the Tigers just two starts ago. Meyer's mix of 96 mph fastballs and frequently thrown curve balls could work if not for terrible command (career 6.66 BB/9). The Twins can be deceptively patient versus wild pitchers. You'll be counting on your hitters to make up the ground between Meyer and Zack Greinke. Or maybe you'll select a contrarian stack of Marlins and hope for an unlikely jackpot.


2 – Russell Martin – C – Toronto (FanDuel $2,700) Late


Since returning from the disabled list on May 20, Martin is slashing .343/.439/.543 with a pair of home runs in 41 plate appearances. When Sabathia faced the Blue Jays earlier this month, he coughed up six runs in four innings. He's currently on a three game winning streak. Martin has platoon splits – mostly a higher walk rate versus southpaws. The current version of Sabathia doesn't have notable splits.


3 – Eric Thames – 1B – Milwaukee (FanDuel $2,900) Early


First base prices are broken in the early slate. Thames, Lucas Duda, and Yonder Alonso all cost $2,900. They're all much too talented for the bargain price tag. Thames is the most egregiously priced. While he's cooled off from his world shattering April pace, he still had a solid May (.221/.375/.416 with three home runs). Most of the downturn can be pinned upon illness and minor injury. Zack Wheeler likes to overpower opponents with his fastball and hard breaking balls. Thames can fight power with power.


4 – Brandon Drury – 2B – Arizona (FanDuel $2,300) Late


Drury is a roughly league average hitter with no platoon splits. He's of interest because he'll see a mediocre southpaw return from the disabled list. Jeff Locke has occasional bouts of competence. He's usually a disaster. A Diamondbacks stack may prove excessively popular.


5 – Paul DeJong – 3B – St. Louis (FanDuel $2,200) Late


Brandon McCarthy may be my favorite pitcher in the late slate, but that isn't preventing me from using Cardinals. If you aim to roster Greinke, DeJong may prove to be a vital cog. There's power in this bargain profile. He slugged 11 home runs in 182 Triple-A plate appearances. He popped 22 homers in 552 plate appearances last season. And lest you worry the power won't play in the majors, he already hit his first big fly.


6 – Nick Ahmed – SS – Arizona (FanDuel $2,400) Late


Drury may not have platoon splits, but Ahmed sure does. This season, he's slashing .375/.432/.575 in a tiny sample versus southpaws (career .277/.325/.409). Locke doesn't have career platoon splits, although he was prone to right-handed hitters last season. Surprisingly, Ahmed has five home runs and a career best 34.8 percent hard contact rate. Sometimes these all glove shortstops suddenly figure out how to hit a little.


7 – Chris Young – OF – Boston (FanDuel $2,400) Late


Orioles starter Wade Miley is stingy to fellow southpaws. When he runs into trouble, it's usually at the hands of right-handed hitters. This season, he's been tagged for a .260/.360/.407 line versus righties. Presently, Young has unusual reverse platoon splits in a tiny sample. Don't let that fool you. He has a long history as one of the true lefty mashers in the league. In over 1,500 plate appearances, he's hitting .266/.364/.477 versus lefties.


8 – Bradley Zimmer – OF – Cleveland (FanDuel $2,600) Early


Zimmer is of interest, especially is Stephen Vogt is starting for the Athletics. Vogt is one of the most preyed upon catchers in the league, and Zimmer may be the top base thief on the Indians roster. Of course, Zimmer offers other reasons to roster him, including a high walk rate, plenty of hard contact, and potential for power. The red flag is his 29.3 percent strikeout rate. He makes up for it by hammering line drives.




Brad Johnson

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