Saturday is another busy day across Major League Baseball, which means another busy day for DFS players as well. We’re starting to get some data on players and teams this season, and that means we have more to work with in determining our picks for today’s games. Let’s take a look at some of the top options for FanDuel on Saturday. (I’ll denote early game plays with an “E” and late game plays with an “L.”)
Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres, $8,700 (E) – Ross is a little risky, as he is away from his pitcher-friendly home park, and you need to double check that the wind won’t be blowing out at Wrigley. However, he’ll save you some cap room from the top guys and has big strikeout potential against the young Cubs, which is what we are looking for. According to the RotoGrinders Starting Pitcher hub tool, he checks in as the pitcher with the most projected strikeouts on the day.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, $11,400 (L) – This was a tough choice for me between King Felix and Jacob deGrom. I like some of the more expensive bats tonight, so I’ll roll with deGrom in some GPPs to get some extra bats, but for H2H and 50/50’s the security of King Felix is too tough to pass on. He’ll be back in his pitcher-friendly home park and the Rangers are projected to score only 2.83 runs, which is the lowest total of the day.
Early – Anibal Sanchez
Late – Jacob deGrom
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, $3,000 (E) – A trim downed Yadier started off the season slow. However, he’s really picked it up recently with six hits in his last 11 at-bats, and RBIs in three straight games. The Cards have hit Homer Bailey well in the past and Vegas likes them to do so again as they are projected for 4+ runs. I also really like Russell Martin, but think Yadi is the safer option for your cash games, with Martin an excellent tournament option.
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers, $3,500 (L) – I was set to target Lucroy yesterday as his price has fallen and he was set to face lefty, Jeff Locke. However, Locke had his start pushed back, so today is the day we get to roll out Lucroy, provided he is in the lineup. He’s smashed lefties with a career batting average of .315 and should be hitting second in the lineup against an average righty in Locke.
Early – Russell Martin
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves, $3,500 (E) – Freddie is very affordable and is seeing a big park boost going to the hitter friendly Rogers Centre. He hit a home run yesterday and now faces a pitcher in R.A. Dickey, who he has owned in his career going 10/21 with 2 home runs. BVP is controversial among DFS circles, but it’s something I like to look at with Dickey as it’s often said in baseball that you can either hit a knuckler or you can’t, and Freddie has shown that he can definitely hit it.
Logan Morrison, Seattle Mariners, $2,200 (L) – I love Adrian Gonzalez tonight, but it’s tough to fit a 5k hitter into your lineups if you’re spending at pitcher. Morrison isn’t swinging the bat well, but he’s an interesting minimum priced punt as he’s facing Colby Lewis. Vegas likes the Mariners to get to Lewis tonight as they are the fourth-highest projected scoring team, and are filled with lefty bats, like Morrison. That’s a bad sign for Lewis, as he allowed a .316 batting average and .373 wOBA to left-handed batters last year.
Late – Adrian Gonzalez
Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins, $3,100 (E) – The Minnesota Twins are expected to be the second-highest scoring team of the day with 4.34 runs. They’ll be facing Danny Salazar, who has electric stuff, but struggles with command both in terms of walks and location. Dozier hits in the middle of the Twins order and should have guys in scoring position if Salazar’s command issues surface, which Vegas thinks will happen.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros, $4,100 (L) – You can go either Robinson Cano or Altuve here as both are terrific options tonight. It might be my hometown Houston bias, but I think Jose Altuve hitting against a lefty should be a national holiday so that everyone can watch greatness unfold. He’s 5 for 8 against left-handed pitchers this year, and hit .414 for the season against lefties last year.
Early – Danny Espinosa (punt option)
Late – Robinson Cano
Daniel Santana, Minnesota Twins, $3,300 (E) – Prior to being shut down by Corey Kluber, which is not surprising, Santana had hits in five straight games, including three multi-hit games. He’ll be hitting atop a Twins lineup that is expected to score some runs today, and he even provides some stolen base potential. He’s a switch-hitter who hits better as a lefty and will be facing a righty in Danny Salazar, who can be wild.
Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3,600 (L) – It’s tough to fit in Adrian Gonzalez tonight, but I still want exposure to the Dodgers’ left-handed bats. Rollins is a lefty who will be hitting lead off. The Dodgers’ offense is clicking right now and they are hammering right-handed pitching. Lyles has struggled with lefty bats his entire career with a career wOBA of .357, and Rollins, Gonzalez, and Co. should make his struggles continue.
Early – Jhonny Peralta
Late – Jean Segura
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, $4,200 (E) – Homer Bailey will be making his first start of the DL, so he could be a little rusty. He really struggled against the Cardinals with a 6.46 ERA in three starts last year, and a 4.01 ERA in four starts in 2013. He’s been susceptible to left-handed bats for his career and Carpenter is a great lefty bat hitting atop the Cards order, and he’s smoking hot with multi-hit games in five straight games.
David Freese, Los Angeles Angels, $3,400 (L) – I expect Kyle Seager to be the highest owned third baseman in the night slate, and he’s the top option on my board for 50/50 and H2H. However, for tournaments, I like the pivot to David Freese at a similar price point. Freese is a guy who has hit .316 against lefties for his career, but only .266 against righties. His struggles against righties keep his price affordable, and make him a great value when he gets a lefty like Dallas Keuchel.
Early – Josh Donaldson
Late – Kyle Seager
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals, $4,200 (E) - Harper came through last night with a big three-run homerun in his first at bat, and has been very productive in his last three games with the Nationals lineup getting healthy. Aaron Harang has been great to start the season, but Vegas doesn’t expect that to continue today and Harang allowed a. .284 batting average and .330 wOBA to left-handed batters last year.
Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2,600 (L) – I’m going to give you two cheapies in the outfield so you can afford to spend on your other outfield or at first base with Adrian Gonzalez, but you’ll need to double-check that they are in the lineup. Yasiel Puig is listed as DTD, so Ethier has been getting everyday at-bats in the sixth spot in the lineup over the last few days, and has been very productive. He gets a terrific matchup with Jordan Lyles, who we know struggles with lefties and is a terrific source of salary cap relief if he is in the lineup tonight.
Seth Smith, Seattle Mariners, $2,600 (L) – The second value play is Seth Smith. He’s known for his ability to mash right-handed pitching and Colby Lewis is known for getting smashed left-handed pitching… which should mean good things for Seth tonight. He’s been hitting second in the lineup for the Mariners when they face a righty so this is great value for a top of the lineup hitter.