We are looking towards the seven-game main slate on FanDuel, starting at 7:05 ET. It appears that Toronto-Minnesota could have weather issues, so keep that in mind while moving closer to first pitch. Otherwise, team lineups can be somewhat surprising for non-contenders this time of year. Be sure to double-check who is starting and the emerging values from that. Our MLB Rotoworld team will keep you in the loop via News & Headlines Feed and the MLB Lineups page.
With that being said, let’s get started with tonight’s FanDuel MLB Breakdown!
Zack Greinke – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $9,800)
I’m usually in charge of MLB Bargains and GPP Pivots here at Rotoworld, so getting to write-up the headliner recommendations comes as a nice change of pace. Greinke is the top pitcher I’m trying to squeeze into my lineups. That’s easier said than done with high-priced Colorado hitters also demanding attention. However, Greinke is tough to ignore, while facing a subpar San Francisco offense in one of the best pitching environments. The Giants rank dead last in wOBA (.295) and wRC+ (82) on the season, solidifying my faith in Greinke tonight. Keep in mind that the Diamondbacks are still trying to clinch a playoff berth, meaning they’ll likely keep the pedal down with their ace.
Also Consider: On the other side of this Arizona-San Francisco matchup lies Madison Bumgarner ($9200). Greinke has the better draw and better shot at earning a victory, but Bumgarner remains in the conversation for $600 less … Ben Lively ($6900) of Philadelphia hasn’t been too bad as of late, racking up three straight quality starts (ERA down to a respectable 3.86 level). He has a mediocre draw vs Oakland, being one of the few cheap pitchers I’d consider stacking around. It’s somewhat of a risk, but Lively will help you gain exposure to those expensive Colorado bats.
Jorge Alfaro - Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Double check his status in the lineup. Alfaro sat out yesterday, so I’m assuming he’ll return tonight. The 24 year-old catcher has been seeing regular at bats for Philadelphia, paying dividends with 12 hits, two homers, five RBI, and four RBI over his last ten games. The catcher position is pretty sparse tonight, leading me to Alfaro in this non-imposing matchup (vs Graveman – OAK) rather than taking an inconsistent, overpriced option playing in Coors Field.
Also Consider: Speaking of those inconsistent, overpriced options playing in Coors Field: Jonathan Lucroy ($3500) and Austin Hedges ($3600) are boom-or-bust tournament lifts (borderline cash options) who will likely be hitting down in their respective lineups. If Hector Sanchez ($3000) is starting for San Diego, I may take a chance on him in cash games due to the more relaxed salary.
Joey Gallo – Texas (FanDuel Price: $3,400)
Gallo continues to impress through the month of September, still retaining fantasy value despite not smacking a round-tripper in 13 starts. Of course, the upside certainly remains in that department. Gallo could deliver tonight, especially considering a juicy matchup against Angels’ RHP Parker Bridwell (.379 wOBA 2.14 HR/9 vs LHB).
Also Consider: If you have the extra salary to squeeze Mark Reynolds ($4000) in your lineup, go for it. Colorado easily holds the highest run-scoring projection as home favorites with an over/under of 12 … Jesus Aguilar ($2300) is a bargain basement tournament option with power upside in a righty/lefty matchup vs mediocre Miami LHP Adam Conley.
Rougned Odor – Texas (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Odor should benefit from the same matchup outlined with teammate Joey Gallo. Angels’ RHP Parker Bridwell has been very generous to left-handed bats this season, not to mention the recent struggles of 15 earned runs through 12 innings over his past three starts. Odor has been shaky over the past week, but he still carries enough power upside to make good here. On top of that, the second base positive on is one I’m mining for value, and Odor provides the most potential in that regard.
Also Consider: Brian Dozier ($3900) is pretty expensive, and there’s rain concerns in Minnesota. If the weather clears, you can consider him against Marco Estrada’s .377 wOBA 1.43 HR/9 … I’m mostly focusing on the value Odor provides at this position.
Josh Donaldson – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
Here’s the disclaimer again: There’s weather concerns in Minnesota, so double check the forecast before locking Donaldson in your lineup. If this game plays, the “Bringer of Rain” (note the irony) makes for an excellent option through all formats against LHP Adalberto Mejia. The Minnesota southpaw is making his first start in over a month (bicep injury), and we all know Donaldson feasts on lefties.
Also Consider: If Donaldson becomes too risky, you can always upgrade to Nolan Arenado ($5000) as the platinum option. Assuming you don’t have enough salary to make that happen, Matt Chapman ($2800) is a plausible bargain commodity with some pop and a park upgrade.
Trevor Story – Colorado (FanDuel Price: $4,000)
Shortstop is a pretty scarce position, similar to the conundrum at catcher. You can either spend up on an inconsistent expensive play, or take a chance with value. I’m more likely to spend up here, as Story brings significantly more upside than anyone near bargain territory. I already mentioned that Colorado carries an obscene run-scoring projection, and Story carries the ability to cash in. Sure, the strikeouts can be frustrating, but the Rockies’ shortstop should see several RBI opportunities to reward shareholders.
Also Consider: Richard Urena ($2700) is a sneaky-good bargain hitting towards the top of Toronto’s order; however, the weather concern persists in this game … Orlando Arcia ($2500) is a cheap flier looking at a decent righty/lefty matchup against Adam Conley.
Clicking Greinke and Blackmon in the same lineup results in an average of around $2900 for the seven other hitter positions. This leads me to the following conclusion: if you want more than two Colorado hitters in your lineup while still holding enough salary to stabilize the rest of your lineup, you’ll likely need to go cheap at pitching. The Rockies have a high enough run-scoring projection to actually entertain that strategy in cash games. Charlie Blackmon and the resurgence of Carlos Gonzalez could lead the way.
Even though Milwaukee @ Miami is listed on the schedule, keep in mind that this game will be played in the hitter-friendly environment of Miller Park (due to the hurricane). That’s an important park shift and promising upgrade for Milwaukee’s right-handed bats. Domingo Santana is my favorite lift within this trio, holding a desirable salary/upside combination. Ryan Braun is always a solid lift against southpaws, while Hernan Perez will likely hold a premium lineup spot to garner tournament (borderline cash) consideration.
Justin Upton – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
This is not the same Cole Hamels daily fantasy enthusiasts have been shying away from for years. He has coughed up 26 hits and 17 earned runs through 21.1 innings over his past four starts. Justin Upton is a nice mid-range selection to take advantage, currently riding a heater since the calendar flipped to September.
Also Consider: Maybe they’ll play a game in Minnesota tonight; maybe I’m just wasting our time while continuing to recommend players in that matchup. Max Kepler ($2700), Kevin Pillar ($2900), and Teoscar Hernandez ($2500) make for appealing outfield bargains, but Mother Nature could be the only pick here. Last I checked, she’s not listed on FanDuel.