FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

The Trade Deadline is fast approaching, so make sure to check on the status of your players before lineups lock. Last-minute deals and rumors of trades are an acceptable reason to not play someone. Someone will be traded at some point and ruin a few rosters, so try to be vigilant up until lineups lock.

Starting Pitcher
Taylor Jungmann ($7,800)

Jungmann has been very good over the last few weeks. He has made nine starts since being called up to the majors and has only allowed more than two runs once. That one bad start was a four-run game at Coors field, which can be excused. He now faces a Cubs team that has the fourth lowest batting average against right-handed pitching and the second highest strikeout rate in the majors. He has averaged 15 fantasy points per game over his last four starts and has started to raise his strikeouts per game as well, making him a solid play against the strikeout-prone Cubs.

Catcher
Welington Castillo ($3,200)

Castillo faces one of the weakest pitchers on the mound in Scott Feldman, who has allowed right-handed bats to hit .283 with six home runs in 38 innings this year. Castillo has great numbers against right-handed pitching, with a wOBA of .403 and .283 ISO. That means he is getting a lot of bases per at-bat and also hitting the ball with power. Both are key indicators of fantasy success and are strongly in his favor. He has three home runs in his last seven at-bats, so he's as hot as any hitter in the league right now.

First Base
Eric Hosmer ($3,500)

Hosmer is heating up again, as he has 16 hits, including three home runs, in his last 33 at-bats. He now faces Drew Hutchinson, who has been tough at home this year, but historically struggles with solid left-handed bats. Hosmer is currently hitting .339 with a wOBA of .402 against righties with an ISO over .200. As far as salary saving options with upside go, he is probably the one with the best upside at the lowest price.

Second Base
Logan Forsythe ($3,100)

Forsythe is a sneaky play that tends to fly under the radar, but he shouldn't when he faces a left-hander. Forsythe has a wOBA of .406 with an ISO of .320, which are elite level numbers for a power hitter, and particularly a second baseman. He faces Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox, who came out of the gates on fire and has cooled off since. Forsythe has been so good against left-handed pitching this year that it almost feels like stealing when you can roster him at $3,100.

Shortstop
Jimmy Rollins ($2,800)

Rollins is a very intriguing salary saving option. He faces Hector Santiago, who has been pretty good this year, but allows a higher average to right-handed hitters. When the Dodgers faced a left-handed pitcher in recent games, Rollins has found himself back on top of the order. He has a wOBA of .381 which is very good for a shortstop. Guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Correa will be expensive and popular, but neither has a great matchup. The low price on Rollins means he does not need to do much to pay off, and he has a solid enough matchup to try and get that done.

Third Base
Miguel Sano ($2,800)

Sano is the cheap option that makes the most sense to roll out on this slate. Guys like Alex Rodriguez and Todd Frazier are great options too, but they are very pricey. Sano has better advanced metrics than both guys Friday at a much lower price. Sano is the rare right-handed batter who smashes right-handed pitching. He faces Taijuan Walker, who has allowed right-handed batters to hit .286 against him with 11 home runs in 45 innings. In about 60 plate appearances vs. right-handers since his call up, Sano has a robust .501 wOBA with an ISO of .326. That means he profiles very well as a guy who should rack up some hits and do it with power against a guy like Walker. Walker has struggled on the road and against right-handed bats, and none of that is positive in this matchup with Sano.

Outfield
Bryce Harper ($5,000)

At $5,000, Harper is not a value option, but he will likely be a lower owned as he goes up against Matt Harvey, who not many people target against. They should look to target against him though, because Harper is the type of hitter Harvey struggles with most. Left-handed bats only hit .241 against Harvey, but they also have 13 home runs in only 58 innings. Harper has smashed right-handed pitching all season to the tune of a .342 batting average with 20 home runs. His wOBA of .493 and ISO of .386 are two of the higher numbers we see from qualified batters against any handedness of pitcher in all of baseball. He will likely not be highly owned, which makes him a great play in a plus matchup.

Chris Young ($3,400)
Young is no longer the cheap option under $3,000 against left-handed pitching that was a staple of winning lineups recently, but the price is still not too prohibitive. He faces Carlos Rodon, who has allowed right-handed bats to hit .290 against him so far this year. Young has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball against lefties this year, with a .477 wOBA with ISO of .340. Those are numbers that superstar power hitters would be envious of. In 97 at-bats against left-handed pitching, he has a .371 batting average and seven home runs. At a discount from some of the biggest bats, those numbers are hard to ignore.

Nelson Cruz ($4,200)
Cruz is another great option because of his numbers and splits advantage in Friday's matchup. Cruz faces Tommy Milone, who has allowed right-handed batters to hit .282 with 11 homers in 51 innings. Cruz has a .483 wOBA against left-handed pitching with an ISO of .321. He gets a park bump as they travel out of Safeco Field and should be in the middle of the order with a chance to do some real damage. He has seven home runs in only 85 at-bats with a .376 batting average this year against southpaws. He has owned left-handers throughout his career, so the trend is strong and he should be able to do some damage in this matchup.

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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