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FanDuel MLB Plays: Friday

by Dean "Dean78904 Shavelson
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:02 pm ET

No, the MLB DFS season is not over - you can join plenty playoff leagues. In fact, FanDuel is hosting a $55,000 Rally tournament in which a $5 entry fee will net the winner a sweet $5,000.

 

As always, make sure to check all MLB lineups and potential inclement weather before submitting your rosters. 

 

 

STARTING PITCHERS

 

Clayton Kershaw vs NY Mets, $12,700

 

I don't care about your "Kershaw isn't clutch, and can't pitch in the playoffs" narratives. He is the unquestioned best pitcher in the game, and is a - 200 favorite in a game with a paltry 5.5 over/under for a reason. Digging deeper, the Dodger ace is on ridiculous heater. Picking an arbitrary starting point, Kershaw has allowed an absurd .189 wOBA since the All-Star break. That is just crazy! Throw in his whopping 11.64 K/9 rate on the season along with the Mets propensity to punchout vs lefties (23.6%, second most in MLB), and the only thing keeping you from rostering Kershaw is the daunting asking price.

 

 

Marcus Stroman is the cheapest pitcher on the board despite being a heavy favorite (-175) and having closed the season very strong (22 IP, 2 ER with an average of 16 FD points in his last three starts). I think he is a fine option, especially if you are looking to squeeze in an extra big bat or two. 

 

 

CATCHER

 

Russell Martin vs Texas, $3,200

 

With only four games and a handful of aces taking the bump, there aren't a lot of appealing targets when considering your bats. For instance, I don't want to necessarily pick on Cole Hamels, but here we are. Martin has been better vs lefties this season, and best when he takes his hacks vs them at home. A 171 wRC+ along with a .423 wOBA confirms this.

 

 

If you are looking to punt the position, Miguel Montero is probably your best bet. John Lackey can be had by lefty sticks (.326 wOBA / 12 HR in 94.1 IP), while the Chicago backstop is competent vs righties. That said, there is some risk in rostering Montero if we don't get a peek at the Cubs lineup pre-lock, as backup David Ross has generally been Jon Lester's personal caddy. If you aren't willing to take the risk, Salvador Perez is a reasonable pivot, as, while he has been frustrating at the plate this season, he does come with homer upside. 

 



FIRST BASE

 

Anthony Rizzo at St. Louis, $4,400

 

If salary wasn't a thing, the Chicago first baseman would be my top choice. A .384 wOBA coupled with a .255 ISO vs righties will do that. The RotoGrinders Daily Batter Hub confirms this as he comes in with the highest MUwOBA (.357) among all options on the slate. That said, I don't know if this is the spot you want to spend up, as there are some worth pivots.

 

 

I know I said I like Marcus Stroman, but Prince Fielder is simply too cheap when considering the appealing ballpark environment and his ability to smash righties (.392 wOBA). Justin Smoak is cheap and the switch hitter will swing from the right side vs a lefty, whom he sports a .308 ISO against this season. 

 

 

SECOND BASE

 

This position is an absolute dumpster fire today. Basically I'm working backwards by crossing out the guys I have the least desire to play, and then checking on who is left standing. Daniel Murphy and Kolten Wong are an absolute no go for me. I don't mind the Dodgers (Howie Kendrick or Chase Utley), but we won't have a lineup to confirm who cracks it. This leaves me two distinct directions to go. One would be to pay up for Jose Altuve, who, no, won't be facing a preferred lefty, but can cause plenty of havoc (especially on the bases) with five potential at-bats. The other route I'd consider is, assuming he draws the start, is Tommy La Stella, who comes in at the site minimum $2,200. He isn't a particularly good, but hey, he'll help you roster the players you actually want. 

 

 


THIRD BASE


Luis Valbuena at Kansas City, $3,000

 

The Houston all-or-nothing slugger makes for the perfect GPP play. Don't let the batting average, or even the cavernous ballpark chase you away, as when Valbuena hits the baseball, it has a decent chance to travel far. This is especially true when facing a right-hander; he has banged out 20 dingers in 320 at-bats versus righties. Again, I don't really want to pick on Johnny Cueto, but this is where are at with this slate.

 

 

If Josh Donaldson passes a concussion and is deemed good to go, there is basically no more appealing option in DFS than rostering the Blue Jays third baseman at home vs a left-hander. Under these circumstances, Donaldson's numbers jump off the page (.453 wOBA/ ISO.373). He won't be easy to pay up for, but the upside is immense.

 

 

SHORTSTOP

 

Corey Seager vs NY Mets, $3,400

 

I suspect he will be the lowest owned among the top options (Carlos Correa and Troy Tulowitzki), as I'm guessing people will either find a way to pay all the way up, or find a way to punt the position altogether. Jacob deGrom certainly isn't someone I want to attack, but the rookie prospect has really thrived since getting the call-up. This is especially true against righties, who he has an impressive .437 wOBA against.

 

 

Now, if you are going to go cheap here, good old Jhonny Peralta and his .201 ISO vs southpaws is worth a look.

 

 

OUTFIELDERS

 

Lorenzo Cain vs Houston, $3,700

 

The Kansas City outfielder absolutely walloped left-handers this season to the tune of a .405 wOBA. I'm not too concerned that Scott Kazmir has exhibited reverse splits this season, as he has really sputtered down the stretch. Teammate Ben Zobrist is a cheaper option to consider, as this is a plus matchup for him as well.

 

 

We saw Kyle Schwarber's silly power in the play-in game, and the numbers back it up (.407 wOBA / .278 ISO vs righties). Colby Rasmus, like pretty much all of the Astros, makes for a fine GPP play with his ability to leave the yard, and the asking price is fair. Ranger teammates Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton are both super cheap and have the ability to go yard. Chris Coghlan is too cheap when considering how well he has hit righties this season. His biggest hurdle is making the lineup, and avoiding the dreaded nine-hole. 

 

Dean "Dean78904 Shavelson
Dean Shavelson has soared up to the Top 25 Overall Rankings and is a well-rounded top player at Daily Fantasy Football, Baseball and Basketball. Dean78904 is contributor to and Assistant Producer for RotoGrinders and can be found on Twitter @DFS_Almanac.