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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 only have 10 games on the schedule today, and they're split into a three-game early slate and a six-game late slate. One is lost in the middle. Since the early contest is so small, let's focus on the late crew.


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.


On to the bargain plays...


1 – Michael Wacha – SP – San Francisco (FanDuel $6,900)


Wacha has an infuriating habit of going from five scoreless innings to six mediocre ones. He just falls apart mid-game. Lately, he's been crumbling even earlier in his outings. Despite rarely surviving more than six innings, Wacha's price looks quite affordable for a visit to AT&T Park. Between the pitcher friendly environment and the possibly Posey-less Giants offense, Wacha's well positioned to supply a quality start. He's striking out nearly a batter per inning this season thanks to an increase in velocity.


2 – J.T. Realmuto – C – Miami (FanDuel $2,600)


The Marlins are set to face arguably the most exploitable pitcher in the slate – Ben Lively. The Phillies righty relies purely on a deceptive release point. In this way, he's rather similar to Yusmeiro Petit. Lively's stuff isn't especially... lively. He's one of the most hittable pitchers in the league. Realmuto brings a little bit of everything to the table. He's on a 20 home run pace, he'll occasionally steal a base, and he has a .280 batting average. He's been batting fifth lately.


3 – Kendrys Morales – 1B – Toronto (FanDuel $2,600)


Morales has slumped through most of the season's second half. Those looking for a silver lining may note his decent performance since August 22 - .303/.324/.455 with a home run and two doubles in 34 plate appearances. He even had two hits against Chris Sale. Morales regularly bats fifth for the Blue Jays. A visit to Jeremy Hellickson at Camden Yards is a good spot for a home run.


4 – Ian Happ – 2B – Chicago (FanDuel $2,900)


Happ was a triple shy of the cycle yesterday, and he went for it despite hitting a lazy fly out (just watch the link). The switch-hitter has adjustments to make if he wants to reach his massive offensive ceiling. Still, there's nothing wrong with a .252/.327/.524 batting line and 20 home runs in 323 plate appearances. His 30 percent strikeout rate makes him a volatile asset. He mixes big point total with goose eggs. The Cubs will face wild southpaw Sean Newcomb.


5 – Dansby Swanson – SS – Atlanta (FanDuel $3,000)


The Braves are opposed by control artist Kyle Hendricks. While not an ideal matchup for Atlanta hitters, Hendricks has thrown his share of duds this year. Since returning from a punitive demotion to the minors, Swanson is slashing .328/.443/.453 with more walks than strikeouts. He doesn't have any home runs over the 79 plate appearance sample. Swanson should be viewed as a high floor, low ceiling asset.


6 – Ryan Braun – OF – Milwaukee (FanDuel $3,000)


Players of Braun's stature don't land in the bargain bin unless they're slumping. Sure enough, Braun is slashing .128/.159/.179 over his last 44 plate appearances. Don't let it get to you. The Brewers third hitter is just suffering through a fluky cold spell. The Brewers are set to face inconsistent southpaw Gio Gonzalez. Braun is having another superb season against left-handed pitchers. He's hitting .286/.378/.524 with more walks than strikeouts.


7 – Ezequiel Carrera – OF – Toronto (FanDuel $2,000)


Carrera usually serves as the Blue Jays leadoff man against right-handed pitching. The role combined with Carrera's decent power, speed, and contact abilities make him an easy $3,000 asset. While he still isn't a world beater, a friendly matchup against Hellickson at a minimum price is too good to pass up. He's batting .321/.383/.477 against righties, albeit with a lucky .390 BABIP.

Brad Johnson

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