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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.


There are 10 games on the docket today, although only seven are a part of the main slate. Let's focus on those. Detroit may be delayed by storms. Chris Sale is far and away the prize asset of the night. As usual, you'll need bargains if you want him.


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 – Jordan Montgomery – SP – New York (FanDuel $7,500)


Montgomery combines the twin desirable traits of high floor and high ceiling. Only once has he posted fewer than 25 points. And while he hasn't eclipsed 50 points yet, he has the stuff necessary to reach that vaunted level of performance. The southpaw is visiting Oakland and an inconsistent Athletics offense. He's a solid option for both GPP and cash games.


2 – Josh Phegley – C – Oakland (FanDuel $2,000)


Sure, I like Montgomery tonight. However, if I'm trying squeeze Sale onto a GPP roster, Phegley is a smart gamble. He's an all or nothing bat with a career .260/.293/.443 line versus southpaw pitchers. Rostering Phegley also gives you a chance to squeeze a stud like Mookie Betts into the lineup. The key is to get lucky with a Phegley homer AND spike that stud bat.


3 – Eric Thames – 1B – Milwaukee (FanDuel $3,000)


Thames hasn't been the same since an illness in early May. He's showed a few signs of life in recent weeks. Since May 30, he's slashing .204/.371/.551 with four home runs and a .240 BABIP. Eight of his 10 hits have been for extra bases. Even if you believe this low-average version of Thames is the real deal, he's still a stud in the OBP and SLG departments. The Brewers face struggling righty Michael Wacha.


4 – Jed Lowrie – 2B – Oakland (FanDuel $2,400)


Here's another opportunity to use a decent bargain bat in an iffy matchup. Lowrie has transformed himself at the plate this year – against right-handed pitchers. Lowrie is a switch-hitter, and there's no evidence he's made any adjustments to his righty swing. Although he's struggled against southpaws in a small sample, it's worth noting his career splits of .279/.342/.418. Lowrie may not be a stud, but he's better than a $2,400 player.


5 – Jedd Gyorko – 3B – St. Louis (FanDuel $3,200)


Gyorko is in a bit of a rut. Since his last homer on May 28, he's slashed just .213/.250/.255 in 52 plate appearances. It's possible he's playing through a minor injury. Or it might just be a plan vanilla funk. Gyorko has multi-homer potential just about any day of the week. While I prefer some of the bigger names at the position tonight, Gyorko may well outscore them.


6 – Eric Sogard – SS – Milwaukee (FanDuel $3,200)


Sogard may be the latest veteran to experience a late-career breakout. After showing decent power and walking more than he struck out at Triple-A, Sogard has transferred those numbers to his first 97 plate appearances as a Brewer. He rarely whiffs which allows he newly discovered selectivity to play up. A line drive hitter, Sogardis slashing .354/.474/.557 with a .379 BABIP.


7 – Mallex Smith – OF – Tampa (FanDuel $2,200)


This is a conditional recommendation. When picking Smith, you're obviously hoping for multiple steals. Tigers catcher Alex Avila has gunned down eight of 19 would-be base stealers. Detroit's other catcher, James McCann, has thrown out only six of 27 attempts. As long as Smith is batting leadoff, he's a viable bargain in either scenario. But if McCann starts, you almost have to play him.


8 – Lewis Brinson – OF – Milwaukee (FanDuel $2,500)


Bargain outfielders are few and far between tonight. Brinson offers a certain “anything can happen” quality. The athletic righty has pop and a patient approach at the plate. Unfortunately, his lack of aggression may be a hindrance due to a high whiff rate. His opponent, Wacha, has struggled when facing quality opponents.


9 – Andrew Benintendi – OF – Boston (FanDuel $3,200)


Benintendi was slumpy for a big chunk of May. Over the last 10 days, he's slashing .412/.421/.794 with four home runs in 38 plate appearances. He's an easy start versus Nick Pivetta and the Phillies bullpen. Benintendi got to hit cleanup yesterday because Boston is visiting a National League park.

Brad Johnson

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