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FanDuel MLB Plays: Thursday

by Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:05 pm ET

Tonight we have a nine game slate, with only one ace toeing the rubber. Finding value and nailing the right top games is going to be the key to having a big night. I’m here to help build your FanDuel cash lineups, but I will also mix in some tournament options as well.






Jacob deGrom, NYM, $10,800 – Picking on the Padres with right-handed pitching continues to be a thing, and deGrom has been one of the best pitchers for the last two seasons. The Padres have the lowest team wOBA with a 26% strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season. It’s concerning that deGrom’s velocity is down, but his swinging strike rate is still above 12% to start the season. It’s a slate with a lot of bats to target, and I see no reason not to lock deGrom into you cash lineup on this slate. He is also the biggest favorite on the MLB odds board at -180.



J.A. Happ, TOR, $7,800 – Tanaka has a tough matchup against Baltimore, and I think he’s a very risky GPP option on this slate. With the win being so important on FanDuel, I think Happ is a solid GPP option on this slate. The Blue Jays are too talented, and I expect them to break out of this funk tonight. The Rangers are right at league average against left-handed pitchers, and they’re striking out at a 21.6% against lefties this season. The Rangers can’t go right-handed heavy, and Happ over a 25.7% strikeout rate with a .293 wOBA against left-handed hitters dating back to last season.



Other Options: Kyle Hendricks, Adam Conley






J.T. Realmuto, MIA, $3,000 – It’s very rare that we see a catcher hit leadoff, but Realmuto has hit leadoff in back-to-back games. This is a great matchup for the Marlins, and I really like targeting right-handed hitters against Robbie Ray. He’s allowing a .340 wOBA with a 37.7% hard contact rate to right-handed hitters dating back to last season. Realmuto is hot at the plate right now, and he’s always a threat to steal a base, which is very rare for a catcher. I like Realmuto a lot for cash games tonight.



Welington Castillo, ARI, $3,400 – Sticking to the same game, I like Castillo against the left-handed pitcher here. In 30 at bats against lefties, Castillo has five home runs with a 58.3% hard contact rate. In 2015, Castillo had a .228 ISO with a 39.3% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching. Conley’s fly ball rate plays to his favor at home, but I still like the power righties against him in this matchup.



Other Options: Jonathan Lucroy, Buster Posey




First Base


Edwin Encarnacion, TOR, $3,400 – The Blue Jays have been stone cold lately, but I’m going right back to the well with them tonight. Holland is allowing a .339 wOBA with a 36.7% hard contact rate to right-handed bats dating back to last season. His high flyball rate, and his very solid HR/FB against righties, really plays well to the Blue Jays here. Encarnacion had a .220 ISO with a .356 OBP against left-handed pitchers last season. I really like this price tag, so I’m locking him into my cash lineup tonight.



Joey Votto, CIN, $3,600 – I love everything about this game tonight, and I highly recommend targeting bats here. Votto is too good to be playing this bad, and I feel like he continues to be very unlucky at the plate. The Reds have the third highest team total on the slate. I like to target right-handed hitters against Anderson, but I really like the lefties for GPPs tonight. Votto hit .306 against right-handed pitchers last season, and again, I just feel like he’s too talented not to break out of this funk.



Other Options: Chris Carter, David Ortiz




Second Base


Jose Altuve, HOU, $4,200 – I’m going to do everything I can to work Altuve into my cash lineup tonight. Altuve has been so good against left-handed pitching, and in 2015, he hit .372 with a .431 OBP. If that’s not enough for you, he also had a 166 wRC+ against lefties last season. Miley has a very solid ground ball rate, but he’s allowing a .334 wOBA to right-handed hitters dating back to last season. Altuve has a ton of upside in this matchup, and he’s coming off a big game on Wednesday night.



Brett Lawrie, CWS, $3,300 – I’ve always been a fan of Lawrie against left-handed pitching, but he’s crushing the ball right now. He had a .354 wOBA with a .825 OPS against left-handed pitching, and he’s picked up right where he left off this season. Owens has a 4.93 xFIP in 60 innings against right-handed pitching, and he’s allowing a very high flyball rate. He’s limiting the hard contact rate, but that doesn’t mean he’s inducing soft contact (17.4%). Lawrie is a very solid GPP option, and he’s been underowned all season.



Other Options: Daniel Murphy, Tommy La Stella




Third Base


Travis Shaw, BOS, $3,200 – I don’t mean to get you guys caught up in my man crush, but Shaw is one of my favorite young hitters in baseball. Shaw has cooled down a little, but he does have hits in five of his last seven games. Johnson’s xFIP suggest some serious regression, and he’s facing a very tough Red Sox offense. Johnson is allowing a .368 wOBA with a 35.7% hard contact to lefties in his last 16.1 innings. It’s a small sample size, but everything is pointing to the Red Sox bats in this game.



Josh Donaldson, TOR, $4,600 – Donaldson was one of the highest owned players on Wednesday, and he continues to struggle at the plate. That being said, he has been so good against left-handed pitching. In 2015, he had a .428 wOBA with a 175 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Like I mentioned above, Holland has a very high hard contact rate against right-handed hitters. Donaldson has massive upside in this game tonight, and I’m going back to the well.



Other Options: Martin Prado, Nolan Arenado






Zack Cozart, CIN, $3,300 – Chase Anderson has allowed 55 ERs in his last 97.1 innings against right-handed hitters. He’s allowing a .357 wOBA with a 33.1% hard contact rate to right-handed hitters dating back to last season. Cozart is dealing with a knee injury, but played in the game on Wednesday afternoon. He has hits in seven of his last ten games, and he’s one of my favorite plays for cash games tonight. On top of everything, this is a great ballpark to target hitters in.



Jonathan Villar, MIL, $3,300 – Villar has been one of the biggest shocks of the season so far, and he’s a guy that continues to produce in the leadoff spot. He comes in with at least 20 fantasy points in three of the last seven games. He doesn’t have a lot of home run upside, but he’s always a threat to steal a bag or two. Alfredo Simon might be one of the worst pitchers on the slate, and he has allowed a .386 wOBA to left-handed hitters dating back to last season.



Other Options: Trevor Story, Carlos Correa






Marcell Ozuna, MIA, $3,400 – I easily could have put Stanton here as my top option, and I think he’s a great play in this matchup. Ozuna is crushing the ball right now, as he has hits in eight of the last ten games. He has a 219 wRC+ against lefties this season, and he had a .384 wOBA with a 145 wRC+ against lefties last season. I really like to target righties against Ray, so I’m all over the Marlins stack in this matchup tonight.



Kirk Nieuwenhuis, MIL, $2,500 – I love to take cheap power in GPPs, and Nieuwenhuis fits the build on this slate tonight. He had a .193 ISO against righties in 2015. Simon is a guy I really want to pick on in this matchup. He allowed a 15.2% HR/FB to lefties dating back to last season, and like I mentioned above, he is allowing a .386 wOBA to lefties in that span. Nieuwenhuis is a boom or bust play, but I really like him in this spot tonight.



Other Options: George Springer, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gonzalez

Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.