FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Value Plays

FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

This is it for me with 2018 DFS baseball slate write-ups.

I hope you've enjoyed the breakdowns and found paths to profit each Tuesday (and for many Fridays) throughout the year.

There is more rain in the forecast than usual Tuesday, creating a few potential trouble spots, led by the Red Sox-Orioles matchup in Boston. Keep an eye on the Indians-White Sox matchup in Chicago, in addition to the Pirates-Cubs, Mets-Braves, and Royals-Reds (not on Main slate).

As I went position-by-position, I realized that non of the Angels' bats surfaced as top plays at their respective positions, but there is plenty to like (perhaps even a stack) with their matchup against Yovani Gallardo.

Remember, a strong cash-game play isn't necessarily a "bad" tournament play, but too many "chalky" players can create a limiting factor in big-field tournaments.

Your constructive feedback is appreciated, and always welcomed.

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Pitcher

Preferred Cash Play: Max Scherzer, WAS vs. MIA ($12,400)

Also Consider: Walker Buehler, LAD at ARI ($10,100)

Preferred Tournament Play: Josh James, HOU at TOR ($6,500)

Also Consider: *Weather Permitting*David Price, BOS vs. BAL ($9,800), Noah Syndergaard, NYM vs. ATL ($9,500), Luis Severino, NYY at TB ($10,000)

As win probabilities go, Scherzer's -370 moneyline status against the Marlins will be difficult to top, as David Price and the Red Sox (-310) are the only team in the neighborhood as of Tuesday morning. Scherzer is making his penultimate push for the NL Cy Young award, getting one final home turn before a weekend road start in Colorado against the Rockies, and a pair of opportunities to finish the season on a high note after he's posted a 5.06 ERA over his last five starts. Given the current state of their latest rebuild, it hardly surprising that the Marlins have been among the league's worst offenses over the last 30 days, posting a 78 wRC+ (tied for 26th in MLB) while carrying a 24.4% K%. Scherzer already has a career-high 290 strikeouts this season, and without question, he'll be aiming to eclipse the 300-strikeout mark for the first time in his career with a big performance Tuesday.

Buehler has made his case to be considered an ace for 2019, and the only thing holding up back is a slight workload restriction next season (he'll likely finish around 160 innings in 2018 including the postseason). Over the last 60 days, Buehler has posted a 79:18 K:BB in 62.2 innings, carrying a 1.58 ERA and 0.86 WHIP during that span. The over/under total for Tuesday's Dodgers-D-backs matchup in Arizona is 8.0, but that's simply the impact of Matt Koch getting the start for Arizona. Given the discounted price compared to Scherzer, it's easy to see the case for saving cash with Buehler to save for upgrades elsewhere (specifically, Coors bats).

It's a Coors night, so saving a lot on the mound creates stack opportunities with the Phillies and Rockies, and James is the rare cheap, young pitcher capable of piling up a high strikeout total and a win, making him an option for tournament lineups as the Astros go on the road to face the Blue Jays. Over 16 innings with Houston, James has overpowered hitters en route to 24 strikeouts. In his last start, James threw 87 pitches and went 5.1 scoreless innings against Seattle, finishing with seven strikeouts. He shouldn't face any workload restrictions Tuesday, giving him a shot at getting deep enough for a quality start bonus as well.

Price's start might be postponed, as rain is in the forecast in Boston throughout gametime. If things improve and the game is played without concern of a lengthy delay, he'll face a bottom-10 offense at home (the Orioles have an 86 wRC+ over the last 30 days) and carry the second-highest win probability on the slate. Skills-wise, he's in line with his recent career norms, with the only red flag coming in the form of a career-worst 1.21 HR/9.

Keep an eye on the Braves' lineup Tuesday night against the Mets, as rest for some of the key regulars could significantly increase the appeal if using Syndergaard in cash games. The assumption here is that the bulk of the regulars will be back in the saddle after the off-day Monday, which makes me comfortable with him as a tournament option.

Severino allowed just one extra-base hit in his last outing against the Red Sox, which marked back-to-back turns in which he did not allow a home run after a two-month stretch in July and August in which he allowed 13 homers in 52.2 innings (6.32 ERA, 1.56 WHIP). He seems to be righting the ship now, however, and the risk Tuesday comes from a matchup against the league's hottest offense on the road, as the Rays have the best wRC+ in MLB (127) over the last 30 days.

Note: Be sure to avoid Trevor Bauer on this slate, as he'll likely be capped around 50 pitches after he recorded four outs and threw 34 pitches in his first start back from the DL on Friday against the Red Sox.

Catcher/First Base

Carlos Santana, PHI at COL ($3,400) -- Consider Santana a free square in cash games, as he should have a prominent spot in the Phillies' lineup against Colorado right-hander Chad Bettis on Tuesday night. Playing him in tournaments is possible with less chalk at other lineup spots. Most of Santana's production this season has come at home (.266/.391/.475) in a hitter-friendly environment, but his underlying numbers at the plate (39.6% hard-hit rate, 89.1 average exit velocity, 7.4% barrel rate) are in line with his four-year output, which hints at bad luck being a factor in his appointing first season with the Phillies. With a top-five projection at the first base position, Santana offers the lowest price of the bunch, and the most favorable park factors.

Those looking to steer away from him in tournaments should consider Matt Olson at $3,800 with a matchup against Mike Leake and the Mariners, Luke Voit at the same price against a combination of Jake Faria and Jalen Beeks, or Max Muncy ($4,000) against Arizona right-hander Matt Koch.

Second Base

Jose Altuve, HOU at TOR ($4,300) -- Altuve has had a few brief stretches in which he's looked like the player many expected him to be as an early first-round pick on draft day, but even if 2018 represents a new baseline, a .317/.388/.456 hitters with 15-plus home pop and 20-steal speed is a very good player. Tuesday brings a particularly interesting matchup against Sam Gaviglio, a right-handed starter whose low K% makes him vulnerable to an excellent contact hitter like Altuve. Plenty of interest will go to Colorado as both Coors options are reasonably priced, with Cesar Hernandez ($3,400) offering up a little more flexibility elsewhere than DJ LeMahieu ($3,900), leaving Altuve as an underowned option capable of having a huge night at a relatively thin position.

For those looking to save money, Daniel Murphy ($3,300) is a nice tournament play against Chris Archer, whose 1.41 HR/9 (since 2016) allowed to left-handed hitters is the sixth-worst among Tuesday's starting pitchers. Also keep an eye on the status of Jonathan Schoop ($2,800) with respect to the Brewers' lineup, as he would match up against St. Louis rookie Austin Gomber if he receives the starting nod from manager Craig Counsell.

Third Base

Anthony Rendon, WAS vs. MIA ($4,200) -- There are plenty of similarly priced, high-projection options at third base on this slate, but Rendon's matchup against 26-year-old rookie Jeff Brigham might get somewhat overlooked since Alex Bregman ($4,300), Nolan Arenado ($4,500) and Justin Turner ($4,200) are all in good situations. If the rain holds off in Cincinnati and you're playing the All Day slate, Eugenio Suarez ($4,000) is a big part of the conversation as well, matching up against Royals starter Eric Skoglund in a park that boosts homers.

Ultimately, the direction you choose to go at third base hinges on the type of contest you're playing (in cash, go to Bregman or Arenado), and the cheap tournament options if you can't pay $4K+ include Jedd Gyorko ($3,000) against Gio Gonzalez and Josh Donaldson ($3,600) against James Shields.

Shortstop

Jean Segura, SEA vs. OAK ($3,500) -- Since the start of last season, Segura has posted a .317/.370/.432 line against lefties, often giving him one of the more favorable matchups on the board when he draws a southpaw. Unless you're on the Josh James-lineup, pay top dollar for everything (Manny Machado against Matt Koch for $4,500, please!), dipping into the second-tier price point at shortstop is necessary for those paying up to get top options at second and third base.

Outfield

Joc Pederson, LAD at ARI ($3,100) -- The GPP chalk might steer you to limit Pederson to cash-game lineups only, but Matt Koch is on the short list of pitchers starting Tuesday who I am making point to get at least one bat again in every lineup I put together. Interest in Pederson against righties comes from his .502 slugging percentage against them since the start of last season. The Dodgers are facing a right-handed starter for only the second time in the last six games Tuesday night, but Pederson has led off against every righty the Dodgers have faced dating back to August 28. If you have the cash to pay up for Cody Bellinger ($3,700) instead, you'll likely get a slightly lower ownership rate (albeit, a still popular play).

David Dahl, COL vs. PHI ($3,600) -- As the Rockies bats go, Dahl is the best value on the board, and much like the Carlos Santana recommendation above, you'll need to have unique wrinkles elsewhere in tournament lineups if you're going to use him in GPPs. Dahl is hitting .296/.351/.546 against righties, and he's moved up to the No. 3 spot in the order for manager Bud Black in each of the team's last four games against right-handed starters entering play Tuesday night.

Jose Martinez, STL vs. MIL ($3,600) -- Cardinals-Brewers is another game with some rain in the forecast, so this will require keeping tabs on the situation closer to lineup lock. Martinez struck out looking on a Corey Knebel curveball to end Monday's game, but that plate appearance followed a long ball against lefty Josh Hader earlier in the contest. Martinez is extremely dangerous against left-handed pitching, with a .322/.402/.550 line against southpaws since the start of last season, and it's simply not fully reflected in his price.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Derek VanRiper plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: RotoWireDVR, DraftKings: BentleysChair, Yahoo: d.vanriper,.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek VanRiper
Derek was a frequent writer and media host. During his tenure, he'd been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also had hosted RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).
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