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FanDuel MLB Plays: Monday

by Stephen Keech
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:05 pm ET

We have 11 games on tonight’s schedule, five of which have totals of at least 9.5 runs on the MLB odds board.



There is a nice balance of high-end pitching and arms we’ll want to pick on with bats, so there are no shortage of viable options despite the shrunken FanDuel slate.




Starting Pitcher

Aaron Sanchez ($9,600) – While his swing-and-miss stuff hasn’t been there lately (7.4 SwStr% over the last month), Sanchez is still generating a ton of contact on the ground (57.1 GB%) and isn’t allowing much in the way of hard contact (6.2 Hd-Sft%). The Padres own the second-highest K% against RHP (24.6%) which should help make up for Sanchez’s dipping strikeout numbers, and the fact that the San Diego lineup leans heavily right-handed works very much in his favor. The recent emergence of Ryan Schimpf and the added DH in an AL park does give the Padres a chance to attack Sanchez’s biggest weakness (LH bats), but it’s not quite enough to scare me away in this spot. Sanchez is also a huge favorite (-270 as of this writing) which is about the only reason I’m willing to pay this price for him with Noah Syndergaard available for just another $500.



Dallas Keuchel ($8,600) – His slow start to the season has allowed us to roster him at a discount over his last few turns, and although he still doesn’t look like a Cy Young winner, things are headed in the right direction. The Yankees don’t strike out much against southpaws (17.1%), but that’s about the only thing they have going for them in this matchup. They own the fourth-worst wOBA (.304) and third-worst ISO (.127) against LHP and have been one of the poorest offenses on the road this season. Keuchel is still very good at keeping the ball on the ground (56.8 GB%) and has pitched much better in his home park over the last two seasons.





Willson Contreras ($3,200) – Contreras will take part in his first crosstown series in Chicago and will be in a nice spot to produce against Miguel Gonzalez, who has been the definition of average when pitching at home this season. Gonzalez has been very fortunate in the HR department this season (only eight allowed through 80+ IP) considering that he doesn’t have an eye-popping GB%, and if his 2015 numbers are any indication of future results, the HRs should begin to pile up shortly. Contreras has fared well against RHP in his rookie season, racking up a .374 wOBA, .224 ISO and 134 wRC+.



If you really want to punt the catcher spot, Miguel Montero ($2,200) will also likely be in the lineup tonight with the Cubs afforded the DH. Otherwise, Jonathan Lucroy ($3,400) is another top target of mine against Braden Shipley, who will make his MLB debut on the road this evening.




First Base

Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200) – There are plenty of appealing options at the high-end of the first base pool, but Goldy takes the cake as the top option for me. His numbers don’t jump off the page against RHP (.365 wOBA, .207 ISO, 36.5 hard%) which isn’t that concerning given that he’s proven to be more than capable against them over the course of his career, and the matchup tonight couldn’t be much better. Chase Anderson has been absolutely dreadful against RH bats – he’s allowed 12 HRs to them in 45 IP (2.4 HR/9) to go along with a porous 1.78 K/BB ratio and 42.5 hard%. Anderson has been a reverse splits pitcher dating back to his time with the Diamondbacks and Goldy is very likely to exploit that tonight.



Edwin Encarnacion ($4,800) – First base is not a position where I’ll be paying down tonight. There is simply too much upside here at the high end that missing out on a monster performance from one of these guys could leave you out to dry in GPPs if you don’t have exposure. Encarnacion is certainly capable of posting one of those massive FP totals. He’s recorded a .374 wOBA, .267 ISO and 35.1 hard% against RHP this season, and getting to face Colin Rea at home only further increases his upside. Rea has been awful away from Petco Park this year (5.5 xFIP on the road) and has managed to allow a 2.57 HR/9 rate on the road against RH bats.




Second Base

Jean Segura ($3,700) – I’m shocked that I’m willing to pay more for Segura’s services with Jose Altuve available at a $100 discount, but that’s what happens when Chase Anderson is your opposing pitcher. I’ve already noted Anderson’s severe struggles with RH hitters and I’ll be aiming to take advantage of that as often as possible. Segura isn’t really a power bat but he can contribute in a variety of ways and should have plenty of run scoring opportunities tonight. The D’Backs as a whole are an excellent team stack.



Jurickson Profar ($2,400) – He has not been hitting lately, but if he finds himself in the top six of the Texas order tonight he’s a perfectly viable punt play. Daniel Mengden has had some ups and downs early in his rookie season and this will be one of the tougher tests he’s endured to this point in a positive run environment. The Rangers have one of the highest team totals of the day at right around 5.5. Profar has been much better against RHP this season (.373 wOBA, .173 ISO) and will now hold onto an everyday role with Prince Fielder on the shelf.




Third Base

Manny Machado ($4,000) – If you can pay all the way up for Josh Donaldson at $5,100, do it. If not, Machado is a fine option at a relatively large discount. The Orioles as a team have been underwhelming against LHP this season, but Machado hasn’t struggled much (.386 wOBA, .222 ISO, 36.0 hard%) and Jorge De La Rosa is by no means an above average arm. DLR has allowed a .391 wOBA to RH bats and that number jumps to .407 on the road, and despite a fairly high GB% he’s still allowing an ample number of HRs (1.58 HR/9 vs. RH bats). Outside of Machado, Adam Jones, Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo are all recommended options.



Danny Valencia ($2,700) – He’s been ice cold lately, but it’s hard to pass him up at this price tag against Martin Perez in a hitter friendly park. Perez has allowed a .349 wOBA to RH bats this season and hasn’t completely dominated in the HR department like he did last season (1.06 HR/9 allowed to RHs this season) which bodes well for guys like Valencia and Khris Davis. Perez has walked one fewer RH bats than he’s struck out this year, so Valencia and his strong numbers against LHP (.436 wOBA, .244 ISO, 39.7 hard%) should be closely considered.





Troy Tulowitzki ($2,800) – This price seems a little too good to be true given the matchup. Tulo started 2016 in a very slow fashion and has thankfully picked it up considerably over the course of the summer. He’s sitting at a healthy .332 wOBA, .220 ISO and 34.6 hard% against RHP on the year, while Padres starter Colin Rea has allowed a .353 wOBA to RH bats to go along with a 2.57 HR/9 on the road. You’ll need to save cap somewhere, and this is a great way to do it without sieving much upside.



Jonathan Villar ($4,000) is my top overall target at the SS spot, so if you have the cap to shell out, go for it. Marcus Semien ($3,200) will be an elite target if he’s hitting towards the top of the Oakland order against Martin Perez, and he’s still a suitable GPP target regardless of where he is in the lineup.





Michael Saunders ($4,000) – The Jays should absolutely knock Colin Rea around tonight and Saunders is a likely candidate to be right in the middle of it. The outfielder sports a .396 wOBA, .242 ISO and 40.5 hard% at home against RHP, while Rea has allowed a ton of hard contact to LH bats on the year (21.5 Hd-Sft%) and isn’t particularly good at keeping the ball on the ground. Most of these high-upside Toronto bats are very expensive, although they carry enough upside to justify the price tags.



Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones ($3,300) – Both of these guys are elite targets this evening. Trumbo owns elite power numbers against lefties (.305 ISO) despite a .159 BABIP that should rise quite a bit if he’s able to maintain his 36.1 hard%. He’s playable in any format but is better suited for GPPs given his boom or bust mentality. Jones’ numbers against lefties aren’t strong this season (.263 wOBA) but he’s fared well against them over the course of his career and is absolutely capable of taking advantage of Jorge De La Rosa’s struggles with RH bats.



Suitable targets at or below $3,200: Yasmany Tomas, Giancarlo Stanton, Billy Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Nomar Mazara, Jake Smolinski

Stephen Keech
Stephen "SBK" Keech is a head-to-head specialist who has shot up to being ranked in the Top 100 for Overall, MLB, NBA, and NHL. SBK’s a lead contributor on RotoGrinders, and can be found on Twitter @StephByronKeech.