A big Tuesday slate awaits us in Major League Baseball. Let’s dig in deep and find some options that we should target at each position. Baseball is a sport filled with variance, but these are some of the guys standing out as top FanDuel plays.
Max Scherzer: $10,600 (vs. Atlanta Braves)
Yes, Max Scherzer has been off of his game the last two starts, but he is not the type of player that is going to mail it in at the end of the season. He is as hyper-competitive as any pitcher that will ever take the mound, and I trust that he’s going to go out and give it 100% effort tonight. He’s taking on Atlanta, a team with a slate low 3.3 implied run total on the MLB odds board. The numbers have been spectacular from Mad Max this season. He is striking out slightly more than 12 batters per nine innings and doing this while holding a 3.31 xFIP. As you’re going to see with the hitters, there are plenty of places to save money tonight, so you can easily fit the best pitcher on your roster. In my opinion, the best pitcher is Scherzer.
Collin McHugh: $7,700 (vs. Chicago White Sox)
If you wanted to take a more balanced approach at pitcher, my number one guy in this price range is Collin McHugh. He had an odd start last time out and only went three innings. But prior to that he had four straight starts in which he allowed two runs or less in each. He is at home tonight and taking on a very weak Chicago White Sox lineup. McHugh been solid at home this year, allowing only a .303 wOBA, and he has only given up one home run at home on the season. I think it’s very easy to fit a stud pitcher on your FanDuel lineup tonight, but if you want to be a little bit different in tournaments, McHugh is the route to take.
Chris Iannetta: $2,600 (vs. San Diego Padres)
Against left-handed pitching we usually see Chris Iannetta draw the number two spot in the batting order for Arizona. At the catcher position, for only $2,600, you’re just not going to find that kind of value anywhere else, with this kind of upside. I always preach to take the cheapest catcher possible that can rack up points, and this is the guy tonight. So far this season against left-handed pitching he’s put up some monster numbers that include a .398 wOBA, .208 ISO and a solid 21.2% line drive rate. This is my preferred catcher in all formats tonight.
Justin Smoak: $3,200 (vs. Kansas City Royals)
Justin Smoak has had an incredible season thus far, and tonight he has a matchup at home against Sam Gaviglio. Prior to his two-month break from the major leagues, Gaviglio had surrendered six home runs in his four most recent starts. Smoak has been phenomenal this year against right-handed pitching, racking up a .364 wOBA and hitting 31 of his home runs. This is just a great hitter in a solid matchup with a price tag that is far too low for his skill level.
Taylor Motter: $2,000 (vs. Texas Rangers)
You’re going to have to double check the lineups when they come out to make sure Taylor Motter is in there, but if he is then I think this is a great place to save money tonight. The second base position is relatively weak when matchups are factored in. Motter is the stone cold minimum on FanDuel, and in seven at-bats against Martin Perez he’s racked up two extra-base hits and has never struck out. Perez is definitely a pitcher to attack, having surrendered 19 home runs this season to right-handed hitters already. I think this is a safe move that will accumulate some points while allowing you to grab a stud pitcher and a couple of other high-priced batters.
Kyle Seager: $3,600 (vs. Texas Rangers)
Typically I don’t like to recommend a left-handed batter when taking on a left-handed pitcher, but in this case I’ll make an exception for Kyle Seager. What really leads me his way tonight is his previous history against Martin Perez. He has a wealth of at-bats (41) against Perez in his career and he’s been able to record four home runs and a .483 wOBA in those at-bats. I think this is a shrewd tournament play that has big upside.
Trea Turner: $4,000 (vs. Atlanta Braves)
All this good value that we have tonight on FanDuel is going to allow us to spend up on certain studs. For me Trea Turner is one of those guys to spend up on. It’s a very thin shortstop position tonight, and this is the best player on the board in this spot. He’s so safe for cash games because he helps you in a multitude of ways. In an injury-shortened season so far, he still managed to pile up nine home runs and six triples to go along with 20 doubles. He can pound out the extra-base hits and put the “power” stats on the board. But if he’s not doing that, he’s contributing to his fantasy column by running. He’s already logged 40 stolen bases this year in less than 400 plate appearances. He’s the ultimate weapon at the shortstop position tonight, and I plan on making sure he is locked in to my cash game team.
Others to Consider: Thomas Pham, Marcus Semien
Giancarlo Stanton: $3,800 (vs. New York Mets)
We all know Stanton has had a great year this year, but we’ve also seen his streaky side. He hits home runs in bunches and then goes on cold benders for a while. Well, he popped a home run last night, so perhaps another warm streak is in the cards. One thing is for sure: I think he belongs in the elite group of outfielders in fantasy baseball, yet he is priced well below that elite level tonight. Forty-one of his 55 home runs this season have come against right-handed pitching, and tonight he takes on a very hittable Seth Lugo, who is surrendering 1.52 home runs per nine innings this season to right-handed hitters.
Chad Pinder: $2,700 (vs. Detroit Tigers)
One of your outfield spots is another place you can save some money, and one of the options I’m eyeballing is Chad Pinder from Oakland. In 297 plate appearances this year he has 15 home runs. He’s only $2,700 but projects to be hitting number two in the lineup tonight against a very hittable left-handed Chad Bell. Bell has surrendered a .403 wOBA and eight home runs in 35 innings pitched this season to right-handed hitters. Oakland would be one of my top three stacks on the day, so it stands to reason that grabbing the cheap #2 batter in the order in your cash games is more than acceptable.