Another massive Tuesday is on tap in Major League Baseball. Let’s dig in deep and find some plays that stand out at each position. Baseball is a sport filled with variance, but these are some of the guys standing out to me today as top FanDuel options.
Corey Kluber: $11,700 (vs. Colorado Rockies)
Kluber is striking out 36.2% of the batters he’s facing this season. Meanwhile, Colorado plays at easily the best hitters' park in baseball. Any time they travel on the road, it becomes a park downgrade for that offense. Kluber has been on fire lately, averaging 57.6 FanDuel points per game over his last 10 starts. It seems like every year we go back and forth between a handful of pitchers as to which one is the best fantasy asset around. Right now, at this point in the 2017 season, Kluber has taken the mantle as the best fantasy pitcher in baseball. With 15 games tonight and plenty of cheap offense to choose from, I see absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be starting one of the two big studs on your cash game teams tonight.
Chad Kuhl: $6,300 (vs. Detroit Tigers)
If for some reason you want to get extremely tricky about things in tournaments and go with the cheaper option, you may want to take a long look at Chad Kuhl tonight. His price tag allows you to fit in a lot of top offenses, and he has a couple of things working in his favor. His numbers say that he struggles against left handers. He’s actually been pretty good against right-handed batters. The Detroit Tigers' projected lineup tonight features seven right-handed batters and a pitcher that he will have to face. This Detroit lineup might only run out one legit left-handed hitter on him. Big checkmark in his favor. He’s coming off of seven inning shutout innings against Cincinnati and has been very adept at limiting run damage over the last two months. He’s nowhere in the neighborhood of Chris Sale or Corey Kluber, but he does have a place on tournament teams at this salary.
Jason Castro: $2,200 (vs. Milwaukee Brewers)
Unless there is a stud catcher that absolutely jumps off the page to me, my typical strategy with this position is to find the cheapest guy on the board that I feel comfortable playing. My initial research early in the day points to Jason Castro taking on Matt Garza. Castro is an average catcher offensively, but he is $2,200 on FanDuel tonight. He has averaged 8.65 FanDuel points over his last 10 games. Castro also has nine at-bats against Matt Garza in his career, racking up four hits and one home run. None of those stats are going to blow you away, but it’s just slight reinforcement that he does have the potential to rack you up SOME points tonight while saving you a ton of salary.
Freddie Freeman: $3,900 (vs. Philadelphia Phillies)
Freeman is hitting for a .446 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this season, and he has a nice matchup at home against a right hander tonight. Freeman is averaging 13.8 FanDuel points per game over his last five games, and first base is typically not a position I want to try to save money at. I want a stud at first base, and Freeman looks to be one of my top options tonight at this position.
Jonathan Villar: $2,400 (vs. Minnesota Twins)
Villar has positive splits against left handers in his career. His ISO is nearly 40 points higher against lefties as opposed to righties, sitting at .165. He takes on a very hittable left-handed pitcher tonight and his Milwaukee Brewers have a very solid 4.7 implied run total on the MLB odds board right now. The biggest factor here is the $2,400 price tag on FanDuel. This is going to allow you to grab that stud pitcher and that stud first baseman and still make a very competitive roster around them.
Todd Frazier: $3,400 (vs. Toronto Blue Jays)
Frazier has long had a reputation as a guy who destroyed left-handed pitchers for power. His numbers this year actually reflect that, after he got away from that for a little bit in Chicago. He’s hitting for a .359 wOBA against left-handed pitchers this year to go with a .311 ISO. His team is traveling to Toronto to play in one of the best hitters' park in all of baseball. This is a middle-of-the-road guy whom I think would make a good addition to any lineup if you have the room to fit him in.
Marwin Gonzalez: $3,300 (vs. Chicago White Sox)
I absolutely love to target players where their position eligibility gives them immediate extra value. Case in point, Marwin Gonzalez on FanDuel is eligible at shortstop. This is a player that hits like a first baseman or outfielder, but you can roster him at one of the thinner positions on the board, shortstop. He also draws one of the best matchups on the board tonight for any team, taking on left-handed gas tank Derek Holland in Chicago. The numbers for Gonzalez against left handers have been excellent his entire career, and so far this season he hitting for a .356 wOBA and .209 ISO against them. The Houston Astros have a massive team total of 6.2 implied runs right now. This guy grades out just below the elite studs at this position for me tonight, but saves you a lot of money by rostering him.
Others to Consider: Marcus Semien
Andrew McCutchen: $3,900 (vs. Detroit Tigers)
Playing McCutchen against left handers has been an extremely valuable commodity for his entire career. So far in 103 plate appearances against southpaws this season, he’s hitting for a .498 wOBA and .394 ISO. Over his last 10 games he’s averaging 15.9 FanDuel points per game. He’s facing a left hander in Pittsburgh tonight and, although I don’t necessarily like the venue for offense, McCutchen has proven to be a very dynamic fantasy performer against left handers throughout his career.
Ryan Braun: $4,100 (vs. Minnesota Twins)
Another outfielder with big-time splits in his favor tonight is Ryan Braun. Over the course of his career he has a .431 wOBA and .287 ISO versus left-handed pitchers; both numbers are roughly 60 points higher than his numbers against right-handers. He hasn’t fallen off very much, as his splits this year reflect the same dominance against left-handed pitchers. Tonight he travels to Minnesota, a ballpark that has sneaky good success for right-handed power, to take on a very mediocre left-handed pitcher that has a mundane 18% strikeout rate this season against right-handed hitters.