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FanDuel MLB Bargains: Thursday

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.


The final Thin Thursday features an eight game evening slate. None of the pitchers are true aces, opening up a wide array of strategies. No matter how you play it, you'll probably need a bargain or three.


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 – Lance Lynn – SP – Washington (FanDuel $7,100)


Lynn is coming off his worst outing of the season. He allowed eight runs to the Pirates in just 0.2 innings. Even with that ugly performance, the righty has a palatable 3.47 ERA (4.78 FIP) and an average of nearly six innings per start. He's set to face the Cubs. Normally, that would be a reason to avoid Lynn. However, Chicago clinched last night, making this a hangover game. Expect to see their best players on the bench.


2 – Evan Gattis – C – Houston (FanDuel $2,900)


Gattis has quietly cut down on his strikeout rate this season (15.4 percent). The right-handed slugger sat yesterday, and he almost always plays against left-handed pitchers. Although he isn't a platoon masher, a visit to Fenway increases his odds to hit a double or home run. He's one of the top projected catchers this evening. However, it should be noted that he's typically an all or nothing asset.


3 – Josh Bell – 1B – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $2,400)


The Pirates cleanup man is set to face a quickly imploding version of Edwin Jackson. The Nationals starter has allowed 23 runs over his last 16 innings (four starts). It felt like only a matter of time before the wheels fell off the Jackson bus. Bell has slumped his way through September, but there's no sign of an injury. He has 25 home runs and a .256/.333/.467 batting line through 603 plate appearances.


4 – Starlin Castro – 2B – Los Angeles (FanDuel $3,100)


Castro offers a high floor and relatively modest ceiling. The righty is batting .302/.339/.459. He averages over a hit per game and has even homered in both of his most recent starts. The Rays are set to call upon Jacob Faria tonight. The righty has quality stuff, but he's unlikely to pitch more than four innings. That means Castro will receive at least two plate appearances against the soft underbelly of the Rays bullpen.


5 – Luis Valbuena – 3B – Los Angeles (FanDuel $3,000)

6 – Andrelton Simmons – SS – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,700)

7 – Kole Calhoun – OF – Los Angeles (FanDuel $3,100)


Once again, the Angels have an extremely advantageous matchup at Guaranteed Rate Park. This time, they're opposed by massively homer prone righty Dylan Covey. He's allowed 2.66 HR/9 through 64.1 innings to go with a 7.83 ERA, 5.04 K/9, and 4.48 BB/9. He's not a major league quality pitcher. His minor league success was predicated upon a high ground ball rate. It hasn't transitioned to the majors.


The Angels offer three very different bargains. Valbuena is a homer or bust kind of guy. Since Covey is a ground ball pitcher and Valbuena skews to fly balls, there is an elevated chance for a home run. By comparison, Simmons is far less likely to homer. However, he's not entirely without power (14 home runs), and he has the speed necessary to exploit the White Sox on the bases. Chicago is arguably the worst team at holding base runners. Calhoun is the least exciting of the options. Consider him a source of steady but uninspiring production. He fits well with an Angels stack.


8 – Matt Joyce – OF – Oakland (FanDuel $2,900)


Joyce scuffled through most of the first half of the season. Since the All Star Break, he's hit a healthy .268/.342/.546. It's the power we're chasing tonight. The Athletics are visiting homer friendly Globe Life Park to face mediocre starter Miguel Gonzalez. The Rangers righty has some trouble with left-handed hitters – they're batting .285/.350/.517 this season. Joyce is a long standing righty masher. This year, he's posted a .251/.346/.505 line with the platoon advantage.


9 – Delino DeShields – OF – Texas (FanDuel $3,200)


The Athletics tend to struggle with base runners, giving DeShields a chance to do some damage on the bases. The Rangers opponent, Sean Manaea, hasn't been particularly effective this season. DeShields has a surprisingly robust 9.7 percent walk rate despite a lack of power. His easiest path to DFS value is to pick up a single, a walk, and a pair of stolen bases.


10 – Cameron Maybin – OF – Houston (FanDuel $2,800)


Maybin is another threat to steal a base. He also has more than enough power to take advantage of the Green Monster. In fact, since joining the Astro, Maybin's lone saving grace has been his four home runs in 54 plate appearances. A dismal .125 BABIP has led to a .160/.208/.440 batting line. He generally bats at the bottom of the order, further limiting his value.  

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