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FanDuel MLB Bargains: Friday

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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.

 

Fourteen of 15 games will be a part of the evening slate. Storms may interfere with the action in Minnesota. The rest of the league is dry. Aces include Chris Sale, Robbie Ray, and Luis Severino – all with favorable matchups.

 

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 – Sean Newcomb – SP – Atlanta (FanDuel $6,600)

 

Newcomb has a friendly matchup against a bad Mets offense. Surprisingly, they've been halfway decent over the last 30 calendar days, but that's mostly a function of easy opponents. Newcomb's best trait is his ability to reap strikeouts. He has 9.39 K/9. He also keeps home runs under control – 1.07 HR/9. The downside is that he has well below average command (5.34 BB/9). He only averages a little over five innings per outing, making a quality start unlikely even if he holds the Mets to fewer than three runs.

 

2 – Evan Gattis – C – Houston (FanDuel $2,200)

 

I wouldn't usually suggest using anybody against James Paxton, but this isn't a typical Paxton start. The studly southpaw is probably limited to no more than three or four innings in his rushed return from the disabled list. There is also a chance for rust. Gattis is only recently returned from an injury to his wrist. It could impact his power. In any event, the goal of this pick is to target the Mariners long relievers with a near-minimum priced catcher.

 

3 – Josh Bell – 1B – Cincinnati (FanDuel $2,800)

 

Bell is a home run hitter without high octane power. He also hits a few too many ground balls. That's alright for tonight's contest at Great American Ballpark against Homer Bailey. The once promising Reds righty has poor command of mediocre stuff. He's posted a 7.26 ERA, 6.42 K/9, and 4.24 BB/9. Bell bats cleanup for the Pirates. Even though they've had one of the weakest offenses in recent weeks, they're likely to click today.

 

4 – Ian Kinsler – 2B – Detroit (FanDuel $2,900)

 

Kinsler is having his worst season in the majors. This may be the beginning of the end for the veteran. There is some modestly good news though. His power has experienced a dead cat bounce in the last 10 days. He's popped four home runs. Kinsler still makes plenty of contact too. His opponent, Carson Fulmer, has a 6.00 ERA in 12 major league innings. He looks completely overmatched. He also had a 5.79 ERA in 126 Triple-A innings.

 

5 – Brian Anderson – 3B – Miami (FanDuel $2,100)

 

One of these days, Anderson will deliver his first home run. He wasn't bad as a bargain yesterday, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. A lack of run production limited his DFS value. He has another lovely matchup tonight. The Brewers pitching staff has fallen apart, forcing them to do a bullpen game. Jeremy Jeffress will kick things off. There is a good chance Anderson will return a profit for his owners. It doesn't take much at this price point.

 

6 – Jordy Mercer – SS – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $2,300)

 

Mercer has surprisingly decent pop in a Freddy Galvis kind of way. Unfortunately, he has trouble escaping his spacious home venue. I like to consider him any time he's on the road in Cincinnati or Milwaukee. As we've already discussed, Bailey is terrible this year. Mercer is hitting his typical .254/.327/.407 with a career best 14 home runs.

 

7 – Starling Marte – OF – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $3,000)

 

The aforementioned team-wide slump in Pittsburgh has left their entire lineup in the bargain bin despite a juicy matchup. Marte has scarcely hit at all since returning from his PED suspension on July 18. Over his last 233 plate appearances, he's batting just .249/.313/.338. There are three main reasons to try him tonight. The first two are the venue and the opposing pitcher. We should also consider his past success. Even this far into the year, the last three seasons of data are more predictive of today's performance than the current campaign alone. And Marte was quite good in 2015 and 2016. Remember how Justin Upton turned around late last year? Marte could experience a similar surge.

 

8 – Rymer Liriano – OF – Chicago (FanDuel $2,000)

 

Liriano is very strikeout prone. He's a volatile asset with the ability to hit for power or steal bases. Consider him to be a homeless man's Joey Gallo. The righty isn't guaranteed to start against Anibal Sanchez, but there's a decent chance he'll play after sitting yesterday. Sanchez and the Tigers bullpen are among the worst in the league. Even the White Sox offense should produce runs.

 

9 – Teoscar Hernandez – OF – Toronto (FanDuel $2,400)

 

Like many young hitters, Hernandez has flaws as a hitter. He's strikeout prone due to a high whiff rate, and he can get over-aggressive at times. He also consistently produces hard contact while featuring at least 20 home run ability. Hernandez is set to face Bartolo Colon. Big Sexy has been extremely hittable this year which should help with Hernandez's strikeout issues.

 

10 – Adam Duvall – OF – Cincinnati (FanDuel $2,800)

 

Duvall has produced a near-perfect replica of his 2016 season. He's batting .250/.298/.494 with 31 home runs and 96 RBI. Although he spent most of the season in the cleanup role, he's recently dropped to sixth in the order due to a slump. When you have a low average, low OBP hitter like Duvall, slumps are part of the game. So are multi-homer surprises. Pirates starter Chad Kuhl is a decent righty with big velocity. I usually prefer Duvall against softer tossing pitchers like Colon.

 

Brad Johnson
You can read more from Brad Johnson on Rotoworld, FanGraphs, and RotoBaller. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.