FanDuel MLB: Saturday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

A smaller eight-game slate is featured in Saturday's main contest, which goes off at 7:05 pm ET, though at time of submission, there was a glaring omission of the Tigers-White Sox second game of a DH.

Pitching Breakdown

Justin Verlander ($11,400) is in a class of his own Saturday, $2,100 more than the next option in Robbie Ray ($9,300). Verlander gets an injured Angles offense playing out their final two days, which is a positive for him, as they've had his number, earning 10 runs and 18 hits over 18.1 innings against him across three starts, though fanning 18 in the process. Ray meanwhile has gone for 27 or more FanDuel points (FDP) in five of his last six and always brings strikeout upside. The Padres fan 25.3 percent of the time against lefties, and while Ray has fanned 13 across 10.2 innings against them, he's also allowed six runs in 10.2 innings. As such, there's clear volatility atop this slate.

Mike Foltynewicz ($8,900) makes him an obvious pivot against the Mets. He's averaged 48 FDP over his last three and has looked every bit the All-Star he was a season ago. Folty threw seven innings at Citi Field in late August, allowing only two hits and two runs while striking out seven in route to 43 FDP. Adam Wainwright ($8,700) comes with less upside but is in a solid spot with the Cubs trotting out a hodgepodge lineup absent of stars. His game log shows his stability, and the Cardinals remain in a must-win mode if they want to clinch the division. Nothing suggests an implosion.

Cole Hamels ($7,300) gets his own paragraph here. I absolutely hate the way the Cubs are finishing out their year, and Hamels has been sidelined for 12 days due to a sore shoulder. He also lasted only 4.1 frames or less in each of his last three starts, and it's anyone's guess how much the Cubs will let him throw here. But his BvP stats against all things Cardinals are good to great, and he's shut out this lineup across 15 innings to date, allowing five hits while fanning 14. Do with that as you will.

Brett Anderson ($6,700) looks to be the best of the lower tier. He's had an 11 FDP floor and 42 FDP high over his last 14 starts and faces a Mariners offense that fans 24.9 percent against lefties, and one that he's allowed seven runs and 16 hits over 18.2 innings, fanning 13 though allowing five long balls. I'd never target a pitcher in Coors Field, and Rockies' bats will be named below, but Gio Gonzalez ($6,000) has been surprisingly serviceable, failing to reach double-digit points just twice in 18 starts. The Brewers are in must-win territory and certainly are expecting a quality start here.

Key Chalk/Value

The limited slate paired with teams trotting out end-of-year lineups means we may have some heavy tinkering to do once we see managers' intentions. Assuming we can trot out regulars here, this slate is very, very chalky and is Coors Field, Yankees and Astros.

Starting in Colorado, the Rockies get the aforementioned southpaw in Gonzalez, which means we start lineup construction around Nolan Arenado ($4,500), with Trevor Story ($4,400) being the pivot and Ian Desmond ($3,400) the usual cheap in, though Garrett Hampson ($3,700) and Sam Hilliard ($3,500) are having a better final month. The Brews continue to defy odds without Christian Yelich and should be heavily relied upon against Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is allowing a .395 wOBA and .944 OPS to lefties at home. With Mike Moustakas ($4,100) uncertain, we can queue up Yasmani Grandal ($3,900) and Eric Thames ($3,700) at prices that don't appear inflated for the ballpark. Trent Grisham ($3,400) hitting atop the lineup may be even more appealing.

With the Rangers' pitching plans uncertain, it's difficult to target specific matchups in favor of Yankee bats. That said, there's obvious value in Giancarlo Stanton ($4,000) who homered Friday, and Edwin Encarnacion ($3,900), who was expected back Friday but again rested. I think they'll get him some live ABs Saturday to get his timing right for the playoffs. Gio Urshela ($2,800) and Brett Gardner ($3,000) offer cheap buy ins, the latter of which has a .390 ISO and .392 wOBA in September.

With Jose Suarez likely on the mound for the Angels, it's all systems go on whomever the top names are in the lineup for Houston. Suarez has allowed six runs and 14 hits over 10 innings against Houston this year, and at least four runs in seven of his last 10 starts. Jose Altuve ($4,100) is the normal plug and play against a lefty, though Alex Bregman ($4,400) and Yordan Alvarez ($4,200) present well also. 

Stacks

Reds vs. James Marvel (Pirates)

Eugenio Suarez (3B - $3,900), Aristides Aquino (OF - $3,800), Joey Votto (1B - $3,300)

To be very clear, the preferred stacks come from the offenses above, and none are overly cost prohibitive. But they're obvious plays, and to take down a tournament, you're gonna need lower-owned options. Marvel has allowed 14 runs and 19 hits across 12.1 innings, and looks ripe for picking if we can get all the Reds' top bats in the lineup. Suarez has struggled from a power perspective in September but remains a viable option with a .303 ISO against righties. Aquino has enjoyed a better month, and the upside far surpasses the price. Votto's power is gone, but his lineup spot gives him run-producing potential. Phillip Ervin ($2,800) and Alex Blandino ($2,100) are easy and cheap pivots if necessary.

Athletics vs. Marco Gonzales (Mariners) 

Marcus Semien (SS - $3,800), Khris Davis (OF - $3,100), Stephen Piscotty (OF - $3,000)

Gonzales has solid BvP numbers against most A's, but has allowed five homers, 26 hits and 14 runs over 27 innings against Oakland to date. A lefty on the hill allows us to use Davis and Piscotty on the cheap, with the latter leading A's regulars with a .419 wOBA, 169 wRC+ and .267 ISO, while Davis sports a .381/143/.260 line. Semien is usually the stability of this lineup, and his .380/142/.217 should keep this otherwise power-heavy stack from busting.

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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