When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
It's Thin Thursday! We have nine games total – two of which are early with the remaining seven late. Let's focus solely on the night action. Aces Jose Fernandez, Johnny Cueto, Chris Sale, David Price, and Cole Hamels will absorb most of your budget.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
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Onto the bargain plays...
1 – Matt Wisler – SP – Atlanta (FanDuel $6,700)
If you're looking to sneak an expensive hitting stack like the Red Sox on this day of aces, Wisler might be your guy. Atlanta is hosting a Battle of the Badies. Cold Aaron Nola and the light-batted Phillies are visiting. Wisler's in a slump of his own with 17 runs allowed in his last 15.1 innings. Those all came in extreme hitters parks. Wisler has upside for six innings, six strikeouts, a couple runs, and a win tonight. That's 42 points for nearly half the price of Fernandez.
2 – Kurt Suzuki – C – Minnesota (FanDuel $2,500)
With the odd exception of Salvador Perez, every catcher fits in the bargain bin tonight. Buster Posey ($3,100) is tempting, but I figure you'll need a true punt here. Suzuki is never an obvious pick due to middling power (he did homer yesterday) and all-around questionable talent. However, the Twins are in good shape to bat five times apiece opposite Ubaldo Jimenez. If the lineup clicks, Suzuki will have plenty of opportunities to make good on his low price.
3 – Brandon Belt – 1B – San Francisco (FanDuel $2,900)
Regular readers of the column may already know where I'm going with this pick. Belt is a fly ball hitter. Nationals starter Tanner Roark is a ground ball pitcher. When those tendencies diverge, the matchup usually favors the hitter. Belt is in the midst of a fine season with a high average, high OBP, and solid power numbers. It's too bad the game is at offense suppressing AT&T Park.
4 – Jurickson Profar – 2B – Texas (FanDuel $2,300)
Texas second basemen offer the top projections at the position opposite Yordano Ventura. If you don't have $3,900 for Rougned Odor, then Profar is a potent alternative. The top-of-the-order utility man doesn't have the same upside as some at the position, but he does offer a high floor. At this price, I'll take five plate appearances versus Yordano and Friends.
5 – Todd Frazier – 3B – Chicago (FanDuel $2,900)
Frazier spent most of the season at an unownable price. Recently, he's fallen into the bargain bin where he makes for a solid all-or-nothing pick. Frazier's matchup isn't a gimme – he is opposed by righty John Lackey. Wrigley Field is power friendly this time of year so there's always a chance for a multi-homer game. If Lackey has a strong start, a stacked Cubs bullpen will prove hard to beat.
6 – Brandon Crawford – SS – San Francisco (FanDuel $2,500)
Your shortstop options tonight are rather painful. If you don't have money for Xander Bogaert or Eduardo Nunez, you'll be stuck digging through bad hitters and worse matchups. Crawford offers a best of the bad scenario. Tanner Roark has his occasional poor starts, and Crawford has more offensive potential than most shortstops. As with Belt, it's too bad the game is at AT&T Park.
7 – Bryce Harper – OF – Washington (FanDuel $3,200)
He has a bad matchup. He's playing in a terrible park for left-handed power. The Giants even have a good bullpen. All signs point to passing on Harper tonight. However, there's the matter of this $3,200 price. In a disappointing follow up to his incredible 2015 campaign, Harper has still averaged nearly 12 points per game. Among available outfielders, he's been the sixth most productive. And while there are plenty of reasons to avoid Harper tonight, there's no getting past this – he's still Bryce Harper.
8 – Jackie Bradley Jr. - OF – Boston (FanDuel $3,200)
While we're on the subject of performance, Bradley Jr. is hot, and he's the fourth highest scoring outfielder available. Unlike Harper, the Red Sox center fielder has a favorable pairing against Jered Weaver and a sloppy Angels bullpen. Angels Stadium is decidedly pitcher friendly, but that's the only strike against Bradley Jr. tonight.
9 – Joey Gallo – OF – Texas (FanDuel $2,200)
The Rangers have finally deemed it time to give Gallo a second shot in the majors. From what I can gather from minor league data, Gallo is a fly ball hitter with big pull tendencies. Ventura is a ground ball pitcher. Assuming Gallo can connect with anything, there's a good chance for a big fly. Hell, you might get two of them. For $2,200, I'll roll the dice.