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 are concentrating on the main slate starting at 7:05 ET. There are 15 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 - Tim Anderson – SS - Chicago White Sox (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
It’s hard to believe Anderson is this cheap. He is slashing right now, collecting multiple hits in four of the past eight games. There’s some upside within that as well, smacking three round-trippers in that span. He’s comfortable at the plate, and settling into a great matchup this evening against Kyle Gibson. The Twins’ pitcher has struggled this season, most recently allowing 19 earned runs over 21 innings in his four previous starts.
2 - Willson Contreras – C - Chicago Cubs (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Contreras has made a splash just nine games into his major league career. Over that span, he has collected a hit in eight of them, totaling three homers, nine RBI, and five runs scored. He’s looking at an excellent righty/lefty matchup against John Lamb in Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly park. Lam holds a .343 wOBA and 14% HR/FB split against righties. The Cubs project as the highest scoring team outside of Coors Field, which should serve plenty of RBI and run scoring potential for Contreras … Other catchers I like are Nick Hundley ($3,200) and the cheap punt play of Robinson Chirinos ($2,100).
3 - Todd Frazier – 3B - Chicago White Sox (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
I mentioned Kyle Gibson’s struggles earlier in the column, and that directly correlates to Frazier’s fantasy prospects this evening. We must take into consideration that third base is loaded with opportunity cost tonight (Donaldson, Bryant, Arenado, etc), but Frazier provides a cheaper alternative to those sluggers. On top of the great matchup against Gibson, Minnesota has a struggling bullpen to take advantage of.
4 - Brandon Barnes – OF – Colorado (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Barnes had been called up due to injuries in Colorado’s outfield, and he’s starting to make the most of that opportunity. Over his past three starts, Barnes has collected seven hits with five runs scored. He doesn’t necessarily play every day, so we’ll need to double check the starting lineup before locking him in. If Barnes gets the nod (even towards the bottom of the order), you can feel confident about his prospects in a nice righty/lefty matchup in Coors Field. He’s one of the cheaper ways to get exposure to this insanely high-scoring game (12 over/under).
5 - Ubaldo Jimenez – SP - Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Jimenez has been through a rough-patch over the past month, sending his price tag to a new low. However, he had a pleasant bounce-back performance last Wednesday vs San Diego, racking up 45 fantasy points. He’ll face that same Padre offense tonight (ranked in the bottom five vs right-handed pitchers) with the added security of a pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Look to stack around Jimenez in tournaments.
6 - Dae-Ho Lee – 1B - Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Lee and Adam Lin platoon the first base position, with Lee being the specialist against left-handed pitching. That means he’ll likely get the start tonight against southpaw Jon Niese, who holds a .348 wOBA and 17.6% HR/FB split against right-handed bats. There are plenty of expensive first baseman to consider this evening, but Lee provides some upside for a non-prohibitive salary if you are strapped for cash.
7 - Justin Upton – OF – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Undoubtedly Upton is a boom-or-bust recommendation geared for tournaments. The matchup is decent against left-hander Adam Conley, but the Detroit outfielder hasn’t displayed much consistency throughout the season. That’s part of the reason he’s priced in bargain territory. However, we are all aware of Upton’s two-homer upside on any given night … If you need someone cheaper to fill out your lineup, consider Max Muncy of Oakland ($2,200), who should receive another start with Josh Reddick’s return pushed back at least another day.
8 - Hyun Soo Kim – OF - Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Kim may have the best matchup of any bargain recommendation in this column. He and the Orioles will take on Erik Johnson, who holds a .375 wOBA and 19.6% HR/FB split against lefties. The numbers are even worse against righties (.438 wOBA, 25.6% HR/FB rate), so don’t forget about Trumbo, Jones, Machado, Schoop, and others. However, Kim is the economical selection of that pack. San Diego’s pitcher-friendly park pertains more to right-handed power than left, as it rates somewhat neutral in the latter regard.
9 - Franklin Gutierrez – OF – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Take the matchup outlined in Dae-Ho Lee’s write up and directly apply it to Gutierrez. He’s a platoon specialist that feasts on left-handed pitchers, and Pittsburg hurler Jon Niese definitely exploitable. I like Gutierrez’s upside tonight, and he has belted four homes in his past six starts … Another outfield recommendation in this price range is Adam Eaton ($3,200) in the aforementioned tasty matchup against Kyle Gibson.
10 - Howie Kendrick – 2B – LA Dodgers (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Milwaukee pitcher Chase Anderson got shelled in his last start (2.1 innings, 7 earned runs), which happened to be against the same Dodgers’ team he’ll face tonight. Kendrick played a key part in that, smacking a homer and scoring two runs to jump on the Brewers’ pitcher early. He’s reasonably priced with upside again tonight, as the matchup shifts to the hitter-friendly ballpark in Milwaukee.