FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Starting Pitcher
Lance McCullers ($6,700)

McCullers at this price is way too cheap to ignore. He gets a matchup with the Seattle Mariners, who have the worst batting average in the league against right-handed pitching, the third highest strikeout rate, and are likely without two of their best left-handed bats in Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager. He has 40 strikeouts in 36 innings, an ERA of 2.00 and a 0.89 WHIP. The cherry on top is the positive park bump he gets moving to Seattle's pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. He probably will not have a higher raw score than a Chris Sale, but at a 40 percent discount, he allows you to fill out your roster with much better bats.

Catcher
Matt Wieters ($3,400)

Caleb Joseph started Thursday, so Wieters should be back behind the dish Friday. A lot of daily fantasy players will be flocking to Jonathan Lucroy ($3,200) playing at Coors Field, but Wieters has more upside and will be lower owned. Wieters is 10-for-25 against right-handed pitching to start the season with two home runs already. He plays in a great hitter's park up in Toronto and will face Marco Estrada, who has a history of allowing homers. Estrada has been better this year, with only six allowed through 45 innings, but he allowed 29 in 150 innings last season and the trend does date back a few years. Lucroy is more of singles hitter who puts the ball in play, but for upside I think Wieters' matchup is much juicier.

First Base
Anthony Rizzo ($4,300)

Rizzo is one of the most underrated first baseman in all of baseball. He is also the most expensive one Friday in the second tier. Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Cabrera are both over $5,400, and Rizzo is the third option that offers you over $1,000 of savings. He has extreme upside because Phil Hughes is a fly-ball pitcher. Rizzo does well against righties, with 35 home runs and a .285 batting average against them since the beginning of lats year in roughly 550 at-bats. Hughes has already allowed nine home runs in 45 innings to left-handed batters this season, so all the pieces fit together for a nice upside game for Rizzo.

Second Base
Derek Dietrich ($2,400)

If you want to pay up for some big bats or some stud pitching, then you are going to need to find a few salary-saving options and Dietrich is one of those guys. He is listed as a second baseman and has been batting in the second spot in front of guys like Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. Dietrich is a guy with a little bit of power who hits right-handed pitching well. He has a .308 average so far against right-handed pitching and has six homeruns in his last 150 at-bats against them. He faces Mike Leake, who struggles with left-handed batters. Leake's ERA against left-handed batters is currently over 5.00 this season and he has allowed 10 home runs in only 45 innings. The splits are not really in the favor of many of the high priced options, so it makes sense to look for a cheap play like Dietrich at second base and save the money to spend up elsewhere.

Shortstop
Carlos Correa ($4,100)

A lot of prospects come up and struggle right out of the gate but Correa is not one of those guys. He has been awesome in his first few weeks of big league action and is a godsend for daily fantasy players who have been struggling to get production from a thin shortstop position. In 11 big league games so far he is hitting .349 with three homers, four stolen bases and seven RBI. He has a OPS of 1.009, which is better than many of the power hitting corner infield and outfield options that are available. He gets his preferred splits matchup against a left-hander in Roenis Elias on Friday, and he is already hitting .381 against southpaws to start his career. All signs point to another good game for the youngster and the legend of Carlos Correa should continue to grow.

Third Base
Manny Machado ($3,800)

Machado has been red hot lately. He has scored 57 fantasy points in his last nine games for an average of 6.33 per contest. Since being switched to the leadoff spot, he has been the engine driving the Orioles' offense. He gets to hit in one of the major league's best hitters' parks against a guy who has struggled with allowing home runs over his career. Machado has five homers in his last eight games, so this is a perfect matchup for him at the perfect time. He is on the road and on top of the order, so he should see an extra at-bat as well, which is a huge bonus for a guy as hot as Machado.

Outfield
Lorenzo Cain ($2,900)

Cain has quietly been putting together a nice run of solid performances lately. He has hit safely in nine straight games and has really picked it up recently, averaging 5.7 fantasy points per game over his last five. He gets a matchup with the young left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox, and Cain is batting .347 against left-handed pitching this year. He has bounced around the order, but tends to hit in the top three when they face a southpaw. He has the right splits, good lineup placement and has been hitting the ball well recently. For less than $3,000, you will be hard pressed to find someone with more upside Friday.

Christian Yelich ($3,000)
Yelich missed the early part of the season with injury but has now hit safely in eigh of his last 10 since returning. The young lefty has slotted nicely into the meat of the Marlins' order as he finds himself in the cleanup spot between the right-handed power bats of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. He too will be matched up against Mike Leake, who struggles with left-handed bats and allowing home runs. Yelich has been doing a little bit of everything lately, with 10 runs scored, two homers, five RBI and an average of more than one hit per game. His price is still a little too low for a guy who has averaged 3.5 fantasy points per start over his last 10.

George Springer ($4,300)
Springer is not your typical leadoff hitter, but you really cannot argue with the production he has given the Astros since they switched him into the role. He has hits in 10 straight games, including multiple hits in five of his last eight. He is currently 18 for his last 35, which is an insanely good run for a guy who was batting below .220 a few weeks back. He faces a left-handed pitcher Friday and has a .282 average with four home runs in 78 at-bats so far this season against them. Most will shy away from a guy priced this highly when there are so many other big name players around him, but few of those guys have as good a matchup or have been as hot in recent starts.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Benjamin Ricciardi
Benny is an award-winning sportswriter whose work has been seen all over the daily fantasy landscape. He is the 2014 FSWA winner for best baseball article of the year (web), the co-host of a baseball webcast called "The Curve" (@rotocurve), and a featured writer for DraftKings Playbook and the DFSReport. He believes, as a former athlete and self-proclaimed "NUMBER's GUY", he has the perfect mix of knowledge and know-how to help you win your fantasy matchups. You can follow him on twitter @BennyR11.
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