This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
After a successful week last Saturday thanks to two homers from Mike Napoli and a near perfect game from Mike Bolsinger, we'll look to build off that and provide more solid picks for this Saturday. We have a marginal eight-game slate with five West Coast games, which should make for a fun late night of baseball. There are some weather questions in the LAD-STL, KC-CHC and BOS-TEX matchups, with the St. Louis game being the biggest question. These games were nearly impossible to avoid, so be sure to monitor weather reports as close to first pitch as possible.
Yordano Ventura $8,300
The Chicago Cubs recently took the dubious position as the league leader in strikeouts, whiffing 451 times this season in just 47 games. Ventura squares off against the Cubs in what should be a prime opportunity for him to raise his strikeout total. Ventura has recorded at least six strikeouts in his last three outings, a feat he pulled in eight of his last 11 starts last season. Wind is expected to be blowing in at Wrigley Field at nearly 30 mph by gametime, which should help him keep balls in the yard.
Charlie Morton $6,900
Morton is my bet of the night to outperform his price tag. He is incredibly undervalued because he is making just his second start of the season. At only $6,900, he's the 11th-ranked pitcher, barely ahead of no-names like Alex Gonzalez, Shaun Marcum and Williams Perez. Morton was in good form Monday in his season debut after coming off the DL (hip), going seven strong innings for the win. Saturday he faces a righty-heavy Padres lineup, which plays to his strength. Since 2011, right-handers have batted only .234/.299/.337 against Morton. A quality start will far exceed Morton's value, and that shouldn't be a problem against the Padres.
Yan Gomes $2,600
It's risky to choose a player recently coming off injury, but Gomes career splits against lefties is hard to deny. Since the beginning of 2012, Gomes has batted .312 against southpaws and has an impressive .871 OPS. Saturday, he faces Mariners lefty Roenis Elias, a solid pitcher but by no means someone to avoid. Gomes' value is the best part of the play as the top two catchers, Buster Posey and Brian McCann, exceed Gomes' value by more than $1,000. Catcher can be such a volatile position that when you find a platoon advantage like the one we have, at the price we have, it's nearly impossible to pass up. Don't worry about him not being in the lineup as he sat out Friday's game and will surely feature in a prominent spot in Saturday's lineup.
David Ortiz $2,600
We are going to do something rare and recommend two first basemen, simply because my first choice is no guarantee to make the lineup. David Ortiz was my first choice as his value is at an all-time low, and he could do some damage after a small break to find his swing. Manager John Farrell said he would give Ortiz a couple days off to reboot, and Saturday could be the day he re-inserts him into the lineup after riding the pine Thursday and Friday. Ortiz faces the lowest valued pitcher on the board (Alex Gonzalez) and that could be just what he needs to find his form. Gonzalez is a right-hander, which is all Ortiz can hit. The time off should motivate Ortiz, and he's a fantastic value in the heart of the Red Sox lineup.
Freddie Freeman $3,100
Freeman is my second first-base choice, just in case Ortiz sits another game. Tim Lincecum takes the mound for the Giants, and I'm simply not a believer in the freak. Lincecum allowed three homers in his last start against the Brewers. The bigger problem for Lincecum is his control, as he has walked at least three batters in six of his nine starts this season. Freeman not only has some pop, but he has a great eye. Freeman has a .360 OBP this season, and while he's struggled lately, he still has an average approaching .300 for the year. To reach his $3,100 price tag, he won't have to do much as he's one of the lowest-ranked first basemen on the slate. As the 12th-ranked first basemen in an eight-game slate, he's a great value and it wouldn't shock me at all to see him go deep or get on multiple times in this favorable matchup.
Robinson Cano $2,600
This is the third time I've written about Cano, and it's hard not to choose him as his value just keeps dropping. The $2,600 price tag just seems insane for arguably the best second basemen in the league, but it's indicative of his struggles as he hasn't gotten it going all season. Cano didn't start the last two games because of an illness, but it may have just been a small break to get his head right. He could break out against the likes of Shaun Marcum on Saturday as he's faced him throughout his career. Marcum has always been a back-of-the-rotation arm for the Indians and is only filling in because the Indians can't find a fifth starter. This is simply a matchup and price play. I will keep playing Cano against Triple-A arms until he inevitably gets hot and raises his value to a normal standard for the annual All-Star. With him sitting outside the top 10 in price for second basemen, he's a steal in a short-slated night.
Pablo Sandoval $2,500
It's been a tough year for the Kung-Fu Panda, but he was recently moved up in the order and that could prove to be valuable for Saturday. The Red Sox square off against righty Alex Gonzalez, who could be in for a long night in his major-league debut. Sandoval will be in the heart of the Red Sox lineup and will have a chance to drive in runs all night. A switch hitter, Sandoval has hit primarily lefty due to his struggles batting right-handed this season. As a lefty this season, Sandoval is batting .333 with all five of his homers coming from the southpaw side. He also has 16 of his 17 RBI this season on righties, so clearly, he's seeing the ball well from the left side. Sandoval is cheap, batting third against a rookie and his splits all come together to make him the play of the night at third base.
Mike Aviles $2,600
This is my value play at shortstop every time he faces a southpaw, but I just haven't had an opportunity to write about him yet this season. Aviles doesn't have crazy career splits as he bats .276 against lefties and .267 against righties, but he is in the lineup almost every single game a lefty is on the mound. Aviles can provide in many ways as he has some speed to go with some pop. The $2,600 price is what is most intriguing. Shortstop is always the most difficult position to pick for FanDuel, but it's nice to stick a cheap guy in there who can provide some pop. This was the most difficult position to pick for Saturday, so some other cheap solid options include Elvis Andrus and Brad Miller to help fill out your lineups.
Anthony Gose $3,000
The Tigers are very hit-and-miss lately, but Gose has been fantastic this season as the leadoff man against right-handers. Gose is batting .353 against right-handers and has provided all 20 of his runs against righties as well. For Saturday, the Tigers square off against Jared Weaver, and while he's been solid lately, his fastball is at an all-time low. Weaver is also a pitcher who is easy to steal on with his 83 mph fastball and Gose can do just that, with eight steals on the season so far. Being in the leadoff spot for a very dangerous lineup makes Gose intriguing, but with his ability to steal, score and hit for power, Gose is my best outfield play for Saturday night.
Jorge Soler $2,700
I never pick hitters who are facing a pitcher I've picked, but something stuck out about this particular matchup. Soler faces righty Yordano Ventura on Saturday, and while it's not an easy matchup, Soler has had success against fastballs throughout his career. Ventura throws fastballs on nearly 70 percent of his pitches, and Soler just loves to destroy fastballs. Soler notoriously struggles against breaking pitches, but he won't have to worry about that as Ventura has below-average breaking pitches and rarely throws them. My prediction here is that Soler connects with one of the fastballs and goes deep for the second night in a row. A three strikeout/one homer performance doesn't seem farfetched for Soler.
Seth Smith $2,300
I love using hot hitters, and that's what we're going to do here with Smith. The last six days, Smith is 7-for-19 with five walks and three doubles. Just last night, he hit his fourth home run in May, and it appears he's found some form after a slow start to the season. Smith also batted cleanup for the first time Friday and whether he bats first, second or fourth, he'll be in a run-producing spot in the lineup for the Mariners. The near minimum price tag for Smith is a huge reason why this play is so enticing. If he just gets on base once, he'll exceed his tiny price tag. Smith is the type who won't kill you, and that's huge for only $2,300.