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FanDuel MLB Plays: Sunday

by Josh Lewis
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:02 pm ET

It’s Sunday, so that means some players are getting the day off, and likely some interesting lineups.  As always, make sure the players you’ve selected are in their team’s lineup, and be ready to make some adjustments if certain players are in more favorable positions as they normally would be.

 

Despite every team being in action today, most of my picks will be coming from two or three teams.  The dream combination of facing a weak pitcher in an extremely favorable ballpark cannot be ignored, and when the opportunity presents itself, you need to be loading up on hitters from the team that has everything in their favor.   That said, let’s take a look at who I’m targeting in my FanDuel lineups today.

 

 

Starting Pitcher


Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians, $8400 – Today’s slate is missing a must play at starting pitcher, which makes things interesting.  Bauer’s having somewhat off a breakout season, and almost all of his starts have been very good.  He’s striking out batters at a very high rate, and I like him to continue his recent success against a Reds lineup that has really been struggling lately.  Expect a high number of strikeouts, and also a win as the Cleveland lefties should give Raisel Iglesias plenty of trouble today.

 

Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers, $8600 – Normally, a good starting pitcher with solid strikeout upside would be my top recommendation against the whiff-happy Astros. However, Sanchez’s propensity for a bad outing has me slightly concerned.  Sanchez has been able to bounce back after poor outings this season, and my suspicion is that his recent struggles will drive his ownership percentage down.  He’s still a very good play given the high strikeout potential, and the Tigers should be able to give him the necessary run support to earn a win today.

 

Additional Plays: Sonny Gray



Catcher


Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays, $3400 – I really like Jays’ righties against Taijuan Walker today.  Walker is sporting a much lower strikeout rate against righties, and is giving up fly balls at a 50% rate.  That’s a recipe for disaster against a power lineup like Toronto in the hitter-friendly confines of the Rogers Centre.  With Martin crushing both right and left-handed pitching this season, I think he makes for a high upside, yet safe play at the catcher position today.

 

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants, $4600 – Posey is likely going to be too expensive for most players to roster, but I think he makes for a solid contrarian play for that reason.  The Giants face Chad Bettis, who is almost certainly the weakest starting pitcher toeing the rubber today.  Combine a poor pitcher and the extremely hitter-friendly park in Colorado, and the Giants instantly because the top team to target today.  Bettis isn’t a lefty, but given the Giants should pile on runs once again today, Posey is a very good option if you can afford him.

 

Additional Plays: Stephen Vogt, Nick Hundley, Brian McCann



First Base


Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants, $4100 – There’s just no reason to fight Coors Field, especially when such a low-quality pitcher is starting for Colorado.  Bettis struggles with lefties.  His strikeout rate is low, walk rate is high, and he gives up too many fly balls.  Facing a Giants lineup with several very good left-handed hitters, I expect Bettis to struggle once again, paving the way for the Giants to be the top offense of the day.  Belt has been crushing opposing righties lately, and the matchup here is just too good to ignore.

 

Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs, $4100 – There are several high-quality first base options today, and while my default tiebreaker is always going to be Coors Field, Rizzo comes in a very close second facing Jeremy Hellickson at Chase Field.  Arizona is another great place to hit, and while Hellickson is a better pitcher than Chad Bettis, he also has very poor splits against opposing left-handed hitters.  Either Belt or Rizzo make for a terrific play at first base, and I would prioritize rostering one of the two today.

 

Additional Plays: Edwin Encarnacion



Second Base


Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants, $3200 – It may seem lazy to just recommend a bunch of Giants hitters today, but the fact of the matter is that you should be going out of your way to take hitters against bad pitchers in very favorable parks for hitting.  Today, the Giants are giving you the opportunity to use batters against the worst starting pitcher in the absolute best park for hitters.  Stuffing as many Giants as you can into your lineup is the correct play.  Panik doesn’t have much power, but as long as he’s hitting second for my top offense of the day, he’s going to be a solid option given he should reach base multiple times and score some runs when the big bats behind him knock him in. 

 

DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies, $3300 – I much prefer LeMahieu if he finds himself in the number two spot in the lineup, but likely he’ll be batting low in the order.  Outside of Panik, I don’t find myself gravitating toward anyone at second base.  When in doubt, pick someone playing at Coors.  It sounds silly, but it’s absolutely the right way to go.  Games are almost always high-scoring, and many of the players involved have huge days at the plate.  LeMahieu isn’t a high-upside play in a vacuum, but when you factor in Coors Field and the reasonable expectation that the Rockies have a solid day offensively, LeMahieu is a safe option at second base. 

 

Additional Plays: Jason Kipnis, Dustin Pedroia



Third Base                                                   

 

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays, $3800 – Donaldson continues to be underpriced on FanDuel, and while we love him against lefties due to his elite splits, he’s pretty good against right handers as well.  I touched on Taijuan Walker’s struggles against right-handed hitters in Russell Martin’s write-up, but in summary, he gives up a lot of hard hit fly balls, while posting a very low strikeout rate.  Donaldson’s power plus the very hitter-friendly park in Toronto make him a high-upside play at third base.

 

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs, $4000 – I really like using Bryant because he contributes in so many ways.  He has power, gets on base very well, and can steal.  Opposing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson mainly struggles with lefties, but he’s not exactly good against right-handed hitters.  Bryant is getting it done nearly every night, and he should be targeted liberally in a very favorable matchup in a great hitter’s park in Arizona. 

 

Additional Plays: Nolan Arenado, Kyle Seager

 

 

Shortstop


Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants, $3400 – Shortstop is easy today.  There’s Crawford, and then there’s everyone else.  He’s having a breakout season, and given the matchup with Chad Bettis and a struggling Rockies bullpen, Crawford is easily the top shortstop play.  Coors Field is terrific for lefties, and there’s simply no reason to avoid using Crawford unless you want to play the fade in GPPs.  Crawford is hitting righties very well this season, and he should see some very good run-producing opportunities as Chad Bettis is likely going to allow a lot of base runners.

 

Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners, $2700 – I like Miller if he’s leading off again.  Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez really struggles with lefties, and while I tend to avoid Seattle because of how inconsistent their offense is, they’re in a good situation today.  Toronto is a much better hitting environment than Seattle, and their lefty-heavy lineup should give Sanchez a lot of problems today.  If Miller can get on base out of the leadoff spot, expect him to score some runs when the big bats like Cruz and Seager drive him in.

 

Additional Plays: Freddy Galvis, Jimmy Rollins



Outfield


Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, $3600 – Pederson has rediscovered his home run swing, as he’s gone deep in two straight.  Opposing starter James Shields is striking out a ton of hitters, but he’s also giving up home runs at an alarming rate.  I like this as more of a GPP play, because Shields is a very good pitcher, and targeting him in cash games on a big slate isn’t going to be a winning strategy. 

 

Chris Colabello, Toronto Blue Jays, $2500 – We’ve seen this before from Colabello.  He went on a torrid run last season with Minnesota, and when it was over, he fell off the map and was sent back to the minors.  This run will likely end, but it probably won’t be today.  He’s a solid value option facing Taijuan Walker and his very poor splits against right-handed hitters.  Colabello is a good candidate to go deep, and he should see some good RBI opportunities as I don’t expect Walker to have any success against the righty-heavy Jays’ lineup.

 

Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants, $3400 – Pence’s price is still too low, and he’s an easy play for me in Colorado against a low-quality starting pitcher.  Chad Bettis struggles against both righties and lefties, and with San Francisco being the top offense of the day, Pence is simply an easy play at a very affordable price tag.  As he is the last player I’m writing up, I’ll once again remind everyone that you’ll do your lineups (and your bankroll), a lot of good if you just focus on taking good hitters against poor pitchers in parks that play well for batters.  Pence meets all three of those requirements, and gets the added bonus of likely seeing RBI and opportunities when he comes up to bat.

 

Additional Plays: Jose Bautista, Angel Pagan, Nori Aoki, Andrew McCutchen, Charlie Blackmon, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Trout

Josh Lewis
RotoMonkey83 is a top 25 grinder overall and has expertise in the NBA, MLB and NHL. He is a leading contributor to RotoGrinders.