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.
Doubleheaders have reduced the evening slate from 15 to 13 games. That's still plenty to work with for building a wide range of winning rosters. Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto are set to return tonight, although I have my eye on Luis Castillo as the best combination of high ceiling and modest price.
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.
On to the bargain plays...
1 – Blake Snell – SP – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $7,300)
Snell has upped his game lately. His swinging strike rates are on the rise, and he has a 3.31 ERA since the start of July (51.2 innings). Over that span, he's posted 8.19 K/9, 3.31 BB/9, and 0.87 HR/9. Snell remains prone to wild outings – he walks three or more batters in about a quarter of his appearances. He's opposed by a White Sox offense lacking in major league quality talent. Although he's unlikely to throw more than six innings, Snell has a good chance to outproduce his price.
2 – Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City (FanDuel $2,400)
Perez is having a typical season. His .298 OBP is right in line with career norms. He's on pace to set a career best in home runs. He's popped 21 to date after hitting 22 last year. The Royals will face Dillon Gee, a homer prone pitcher with middling stuff. Gee has allowed 1.77 HR/9 this season.
3 – Greg Bird – 1B – New York (FanDuel $2,300)
Hopefully you took my advice and used Kendrys Morales yesterday. He's once again a solid bargain at $2,500. After popping three home runs today, I suspect he'll be ridiculously popular.
Bird offers a similar profile with an even better matchup. Fister is coming off a strong outing, but he has a habit of mixing gems with duds. Bird has homered in his last two games and looks to be in top form. He may even find himself with a decent lineup role tonight.
4 – Yangervis Solarte – 2B – San Diego (FanDuel $1,700)
Apparently, pitting Padres hitters against Kershaw breaks the FanDuel pricing model. Since Kershaw is returning from the disabled list, there's a chance it isn't his usual crisp performance. He may also be held to a modest pitch count. Solarte need only snag a couple hits or walks to return value on this price. Even a zero isn't so bad as long as the rest of your roster performs.
5 – Matt Davidson – 3B – Chicago (FanDuel $2,500)
Although Snell has a tasty matchup tonight, it should be noted that Davidson likes to hit left-handed pitchers. He's batting a respectable .264/.306/.495 against southpaws while trimming his ludicrous strikeout rate down to 31.6 percent. Snell has platoon splits too. Righties are hitting a solid .248/.339/.437 against him.
6 – Jean Segura – SS – Seattle (FanDuel $2,700)
Often, good players become bargains by suffering through slumps. Segura is hitting just .125/.186/.150 over his last 43 plate appearances. There are no rumors of an injury. This just looks like a blip on the radar. The Mariners are set to face Sean Manaea. The southpaw has struggled mightily since the start of the second half. Of particular concern, he's managed only seven strikeouts over his last 17.2 innings (five starts).
7 – Ezequiel Carrera – OF – Toronto (FanDuel $2,000)
Carrera remains an easy bargain pick. While Kevin Gausman is a tougher matchup than Jeremy Hellickson, Carrera is still rather likely to supply more value than his $2,000 price. He's a better target if he's batting leadoff – yesterday he hit seventh. Carrera is batting .318/.385/.473 against right-handed pitchers.
8 – Andrew McCutchen – OF – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $2,700)
To start the season, McCutchen was ice cold. Then he was volcano hot. Now he's back in the tundra, having hit just .222/.300/.283 in the month of August. The Pirates have stuck with him as their third hitter, and a visit to Great American Ballpark can help to unlock his home run swing. Beware, Reds starter Luis Castillo is one of the best pitchers available tonight. However, rookies can be quite inconsistent.
9 – Bradley Zimmer – OF – Cleveland (FanDuel $2,300)
Zimmer had a miserable August. He hit just .141/.215/.155 with four steals and only one extra base hit (a double). However, for a near basement price, nobody has the potential to fill up the stat sheet like him. He's sitting out the first game of the doubleheader, so we know he'll be in there tonight. Zimmer's mix of speed and power could transform him into a weapon against Buck Farmer.
10 – Justin Upton – OF – Los Angeles (FanDuel $3,300)
We'll stretch the definition of bargain to say hello to Upton. Now batting adjacent to Mike Trout, Upton is in prime position to produce runs at a staggering rate. He's having a superb rebound season, batting .279/.362/.542 with 28 home runs. He's just three bombs shy of a career best. The Angels are visiting Cole Hamels – a difficult but not impossible opponent to defeat. Hamels was recently hammered by the Athletics. Upton has an obscene .350/.427/.738 batting line against southpaws this year. Hamels' changeup can neutralize righties.