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FanDuel MLB Plays: Saturday

by Tony "TheTonyM Mauriello
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:06 pm ET

Each day I will be providing my recommended player picks for your FanDuel daily fantasy baseball lineups. The goal is to help you build the optimal cash game (50/50s/double-ups/head-to-head) lineup. Make sure to double check the weather on the RotoGrinders’ Weather Page before making your lineups!

 

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I am making a special appearance on this Saturday evening for Rotoworld. With four games off the board already in the early slate, we still have 11 matchups to analyze. Let’s dig in!

 

 

 

PITCHERS

 

Max Scherzer — Washington Nationals — $11,800 — The easiest play to fill on the board this evening is your starting pitcher slot. Just ink in Max Scherzer and move on. That said, Scherzer is the most expensive play on the slate and I could make an argument for Carlos Martinez against the Atlanta Braves, but the San Francisco Giants have the worst team wOBA this season and the worst wOBA against RHP. The Giants may only strikeout 19.2% of the time against RHP, but that statistic rises dramatically with a high-quality SP like Scherzer on the mound. The Nationals pitcher has a K/9 of 12.33, which is over one batter higher than he struck out per nine last season. EDITOR'S NOTE: Word just came down that Edwin Jackson, NOT Max Scherzer will be starting for the Nationals. Pivoting to Carlos Martinez or Hyun-Jin Ryu seems like the move for your DFS lineups. 

 

 

Top-Tier: None
Mid-Tier: Carlos Martinez (STL)

Low-Tier: Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD)

 

 

 

Catchers

Tucker Barnhart — Cincinnati Reds — $2,600 — Aside from Yasmani Grandal (who is a great play but I want to write up another Dodger), I am not fond of the catcher spot on the main slate. Because I know that I want to pay up at a position where I usually find value (second base), I need to roster a value backstop.  The switch-hitting Tucker Barnhart gets to face LHP Brent Suter this evening who has weaker numbers against RHBs, who are hitting to a .310 wOBA against him and who have caused him to earn an xFIP of 4.11. Barnhart’s numbers are not spectacular, but you’re paying down here and just need a base hit at the price and the catcher has hit in five of his last seven games.

 

 

Top-Tier: None
Mid-Tier: Yadier Molina (STL)

Low-Tier: Yasmani Grandal (LAD)

   

 

 

First Base

 

Joey Gallo — Texas Rangers — $3,800 — Cody Bellinger is the top option at the position, but I’ll discuss picking on Jhoulys Chacin below. Another first baseman that I have become more comfortable using in cash games is Joey Gallo who has hit seven homeruns this month and has at least one hit in every game. Mike Fiers will be on the mound for the Houston Astros, which is great news for Gallo as he hits RHP to the tune of an astonishing .366 ISO and .372 wOBA. I’m comfortable paying $3.8K for at least one hit and likely an RBI or R even if Gallo doesn’t go yard.

 

 

Top-Tier: Cody Bellinger (LAD)
Mid-Tier: None

Low-Tier: Eric Thames (MIL)

  

 

 

Second Base

 

Jose Altuve — Houston Astros — $4,100 — The Houston Astros second baseman is a player that I have regrettably not used enough this season. At $4.1K, I am typically able to find great value at the position, but he feels like a must play against RHP Tyson Ross who has shown extreme reverse splits this season. Ross has allowed RHBs to hit to a wOBA of .455. The pitcher also has an xFIP of 6.72 against RHBs, which opens the door for the one of the most consistent hitters this season. At a price over $4K, you are paying for security and you will get that in Altuve. Find value elsewhere.

 

 

Top-Tier: Whit Merrifield (KC)
Mid-Tier: Logan Forsythe (LAD)

Low-Tier: Adrian Sanchez (WAS)

 

 

 

Shortstop

Corey Seager — Los Angeles Dodgers — $3,800 — Shortstop is loaded this evening, but the top SS that I am targeting in cash games is Corey Seager at home against RHP Jhoulys Chacin.  The San Diego pitcher is striking out just 7.41 hitters per nine innings and is allowing 1.16 HR/9. Moreover, he is also allowing LHBs to hit to a .351 wOBA this season, which poses problematic for him as Corey Seager has been a steady producer at SS for the Dodgers in 2017. Seager is crushing RHP as indicated by his .203 ISO and .374 wOBA against that handed pitching in 261 ABs.

  

 

Top-Tier: None
Mid-Tier: Jean Segura (SEA), Marcus Semien (OAK)

Low-Tier: Jose Peraza (CIN)

 

 

 

Third Base

Alex Bregman — Houston Astros — $4,000 — As I mentioned in the Jose Altuve write-up above, the Houston Astros offense is in play against RHP Tyson Ross. The third baseman from the visiting team gets a favorable park shift and has now hit in 12 consecutive games. While his price has now hit the $4K mark for the first time, Bregman is such a safe cash game play given his hot streak and the fact that he hits on an Astros team that is first in the majors in wOBA against RHP. In cash games, you can safely roster two to three hitters from the visiting team.

 

 

Top-Tier: Mike Moustakas (KC)
Mid-Tier: Eugenio Suarez (CIN)

Low-Tier: Derek Dietrich (MIA)

 

 

 

Outfield

 

Brandon Moss — Kansas City Royals — $2,500 — Good ole James Shields is back on the mound in the hitter’s park that is Guaranteed Rate Field which means that the Royals left-handed bats are all in play. The best value play of the lineup is Brandon Moss who continues to be underpriced on FanDuel when he faces a weak throwing RHP. Shields is allowing LHBs to hit to a .447 wOBA against him and has also allowed an incredible 3.95 HR/9. At such a cheap price, Moss is a plug and play this evening.

 

 

Giancarlo Stanton — Miami Marlins — $4,700 — RHP Jeff Hoffman is on the mound for the Colorado Rockies this evening and he gets to face a strong Miami Marlins offensive team that is hitting to a .321 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Hoffman has shown reverse splits this season as indicated by the .370 wOBA that righties have hit against him. His xFIP of 4.61 should allow a strong RHB lineup, including Giancarlo Stanton, to tee off against Hoffman.  The star outfielder has hit six HRs since August 4 and has a great chance to hit another in a game that has the Marlins with one of the higher implied run totals.

 

 

Top-Tier: Mike Trout (LAA), Bryce Harper (WAS), Ryan Braun (MIL)
Mid-Tier: George Springer (HOU), Dexter Fowler (STL)

Low-Tier: Derek Fisher (HOU), Domingo Santana (MIL)

Tony "TheTonyM Mauriello
A 25-year fantasy sports veteran and a California and New York licensed corporate transactional attorney by day, Tony has been a part of the daily fantasy sports world for four years and joined the RotoGrinders team prior to the 2013-14 NHL season. A Duke law graduate and Boston sports (and Eagles) fan, he is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and contributes to RotoWorld, FantasyPros, and ProjectRoto. Please feel free to contact him at any time on twitter @TheTonyM with your fantasy sports questions.