This column will focus on players that are good "Values" in FanDuel's salary cap contests. Remember a value here could be a minimum-priced player ($2,200) or a higher-priced option that is still undervalued based on expected production.
Values (Prices as of Tuesday, Aug. 19)
John Jaso, $2,600 – Although Jaso isn’t always a consistent figure in the lineup; he’s still a good option when playing. While his numbers have slipped in the month of August, his spot in the order hasn’t. He has the benefit of hitting in the two-hole in an A’s lineup that has churned out the most runs in baseball this season, with protection coming from Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss. His value has dipped with his production, but the veteran catcher has turned the corner recently, collecting at least a hit and a run in three of his last four starts as of Monday.
Lucas Duda, $3,000 – While the Mets continue to fade as August progresses, Duda remains a consistent hitter in the lineup. He is arguably one of the hottest hitters in baseball since the All-Star break, trailing just Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Carter with eight home runs over that span. The lefty is especially effective against right-handed pitching, hitting all but one of his home runs against them. I would warn against using him versus lefties, however, as he sports a horrendous .156/.253/.208 slash line against south paws.
Phil Gosselin, $2,400 – Gosselin may be the answer to the Braves’ questions at second base and in the second spot in the order. He hit .344 with an .866 OPS at Triple-A this season, and has gained playing time recently with the decline of Tommy La Stella. Gosselin doesn’t provide a ton of power or speed, unfortunately, hitting just five home runs and stealing six bases in the minors this season. However, he can get on base at a high clip in front of the team’s big boppers (Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton), which gives Gosselin an opportunity to score plenty of runs while still providing enough power to collect a his fair share of doubles at a cheap price.
, $2,500 – As a Brewers fan, I hate to give credit to any former Cardinal, but Freese is a very productive player when he gets rolling (such as his MVP turn in the World Series with the Cards). August appears to be one of those runs for Freese, who is currently hitting .314 with six doubles and six RBI for the month. The RBI and run totals will continue to rack up with the players he is surrounded by in the Angels’ lineup.
, $2,200 – We are finally seeing some of the power Walters possesses shining through at the big league level. He has hit two home runs in 30 at-bats since joining the Indians, pushing his major league season total to five dingers. His Triple-A numbers best encapsulate the 24 year-old’s power, as he averaged a home run every 15.76 at-bats. Walters is best used against left-handed pitching, collecting seven hits and four home runs in 18 at-bats against southpaws, compared to an .116 average with just one home run against righties. But he gives the threat of a home run on any given night as a cheap shortstop option.
, $2,300 – Betts has finally obtained the keys to center field in Boston. The team decided to option Jackie Bradley
on Monday and call up the Betts, who could be the future franchise center fielder for the organization. He received a limited chance to play center field during his first cup of coffee, but with Bradley gone, Betts should benefit from receiving starts every day. His minor league numbers are hard to ignore, hitting .355 at Double-A and .335 at Triple-A with 33 steals between the two teams.
, $2,900 – He’s back, ladies and gentlemen. Although Phillips isn’t in his normal spot in the lineup (now batting sixth) upon his return, he still provides added power to the lineup in Cincinnati. Plus, he has the pleasure of playing in Great American Ballpark, a hitter’s dream park. Although he won’t have Joey Votto
protecting him anymore, Phillips will still get a chance to drive in runs with some quality hitters in front of him. It also wouldn’t be surprising if the team moved him back up in the order once he gets some games under his belt.
, $2,500 – If there is one stat that sticks out for the 26-year-old second baseman, it’s his walk rate. Belnome’s keen eye led him to a 15.3 percent walk rate in the minors, a number that would put him near the top in the majors. Despite going hitless in his first three major league games, he has drawn two walks in nine plate appearances. Adding a few hits would be helpful, but getting on base leads to runs, and Belome’s on-base percentage with Triple-A this season (.360) puts him on a lot for others to drive in.