This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Today we have a rare Saturday schedule with only two day games and 13 night games. We'll focus on the night games as most tournaments will center on them. This is one of the stranger slates I've seen as few true aces are available. Chris Archer, Johnny Cueto and Jake Arrieta are aces to most, but I don't like their matchups. The season is starting to wind down, and now is a great time to get involved in FanDuel to build some bankroll for the upcoming football season.
John Lackey $8,500
Lackey has been one of the most underrated pitchers this season, and I love him in a matchup against one of the worst offenses in baseball. The Cardinals play host to the Marlins this weekend and likely will be a -200 favorite or larger in every game. In 23 starts this season, Lackey has fantastic numbers, posting a 2.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 110 strikeouts. He has also been a quality start machine, recording 13 consecutive quality starts outside of one start in Coors Field. If you remove that disastrous eight-run outing, his ERA drops nearly half a run to an incredible 2.50. Not only is his price too cheap, he faces arguably the league's worst lineup. A quality start and a win seem nearly guaranteed, which is all you can ask for from an $8,500 pitcher.
Brett Anderson $7,200
I'm not the biggest Brett Anderson fan, but this price and matchup are too good not to recommend. Anderson faces Cincinnati's lefty-heavy lineup in a matchup he can definitely exploit. The big bats are Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton, who are all left-handed. The southpaw Anderson is great against lefties, allowing just one home run and a .660 OPS this year. Vegas put up a marginally low run total of 7.5 and made the Dodgers nearly a -200 favorite. This should put Anderson in line for a good start and a good chance at a win. When we're only paying $7,200, a win alone can pay for that price, and Anderson should limit the damage against the lefties like he has all season.
Jonathan Lucroy $2,200
Lucroy is a far cry from the player he once was, but a minimum price for him just seems ridiculous. The numbers are not going to paint a pretty picture for endorsing Lucroy, but the price and matchup should. The Brewers face the Phillies and get to square off against Jerome Williams. This is one of the best matchups in baseball, as Williams has a 5.73 ERA and has struggled getting batters out throughout his career. In fact, he's the second-lowest priced pitcher at just $5,100 on FanDuel. The price is yet another plus. This might be the only day all season when Lucroy will be just $2,200, and we have to continue to use him until he inevitably gets in the $3,000 range. When he's right, he's one of the best catchers in baseball, making him a must use at a minimum price.
Carlos Santana $3.300
It was tough to pick a first basemen, but Santana looks like a good value. The season numbers from Santana are not spectacular, but he's been productive through his patience. Santana is fourth in baseball with 76 walks, which are valuable on FanDuel, as a walk earns just as many points as a single. His power hasn't been awful either, as he has a .737 OPS, 60 lower than his career average. One sneaky surprise about Santana is his ability to steal. This season, he has eight steals in nine attempts, fourth among first basemen. Santana is also a nice bargain, as many of the first basemen cost at least $1,000 more than Santana. The final thing to like is the matchup against rookie Tyler Duffey, who was roughed up for six runs in two innings in his first start. The Indians could post a crooked number on Duffey, and Santana should be the catalyst in the cleanup spot.
Anthony Rendon $2,600
Here's yet another player we will use at an all-time low price. Rendon was a second-round pick in standard fantasy leagues until he was diagnosed with a knee injury just before the start of the season. After playing some rehab games, he was then diagnosed with an oblique strain and missed even more time. It's just been that type of season for Rendon, and he has yet to get anything going. We'll bank on his track record and bet on him having a strong finish to the season. Last year he showed some amazing skills, batting .287 with 110 runs scored, 21 home runs, 83 RBI and 17 steals. Those are MVP-type numbers, and he's more of that player than the .250, one homer, no steals and seven RBI player we've seen this year (in 36 games). On Saturday, he faces the aging Jake Peavy, against whom the Nationals could have success. This is simply a play on the price alone, and we'll look for him to have some big games as the season concludes.
Todd Frazier $3,200
This is only the second time this season I've written about a position player facing a pitcher I recommended, but this play is just too hard to pass up. Frazier has had a dreadful second half, but he seems to be turning it around the last few days. Entering Friday, Frazier had six hits, including three doubles, a homer and a steal in the last three games. He's a streaky player and his success against lefties this season is hard to overlook. In 109 at-bats against southpaws, Frazier has 12 homers for an elite .670 slugging percentage. Like I said earlier, Anderson is a solid pitcher, but he's just $7,200 for a reason. I like Frazier to continue his hot stretch, and if you use Frazier and Anderson together and they both are successful, you could separate yourself from the field by doing something no one else will do.
Jhonny Peralta $2,700
I am going to recommend Peralta every single week until he surpasses $3,000. Peralta is one of the few shortstops with elite power, and he sits in the heart of one of the best lineups in baseball. Not only do we get the cheap price, we have a great matchup against left-handed Brad Hand, which us a platoon advantage against one of the three lowest-price pitchers Saturday. The top shortstop, Carlos Correa, costs more than $4,000, and saving $1,300 on Peralta offers upgrades across the board. That's the difference between John Lackey against Miami ($8,500) and Andrew Cashner pitching at Colorado ($7,200). The season numbers speak for themselves with Peralta, and he likely will be widely owned, but he's a must at such a cheap price.
Yasiel Puig $3,000
I had to get a couple righty bats for the Dodgers against lefty David Holmberg. The young lefty has not been bad this season, but the $5,400 price tells us that FanDuel has absolutely no trust in him. We'll bet on some regression for Holmberg in a tough matchup. The most dangerous righty bat for the Dodgers has to be Yasiel Puig, who is quite a bargain. Each of the top-five outfielders costs at least $4,800, and Puig could surpass all of them in fantasy points Saturday night. Puig can provide in many ways; he has some speed, power and the ability to drive in runs and score. His season statistics are nothing special, but the talent he has is. Puig should be right in the heart of the order for the Dodgers and is a great bet to exceed his cheap price.
Scott Van Slyke $2,700
Let's continue our Dodgers stack with lefty-masher Scott Van Slyke. The bearded wonder has been a staple in the Dodgers' lineup against left-handers. A .440 OBP and .899 OPS against lefties are elite, and FanDuel simply can't change its price on him day-to-day, making him immensely valuable. The reason he is so cheap is because he sits against righties and misses more than half of the games. Anytime a lefty is on the mound against the Dodgers, Van Slyke should be in your lineup. As with Puig, I love the matchup against David Holmberg, and Puig and Van Slyke will contribute to putting up a big number in a game that could be a blowout.
Josh Reddick $2,300
It's not every day you get a three-hole hitter for only $2,300, but we have that with Reddick. The price would indicate that Reddick has been terrible this season, but his .282 average and .784 OPS indicate otherwise. His success against right-handers is what I really like about this play, though. Reddick squares off against righty Miguel Gonzalez, and this season, Reddick has posted a .308 average with an .853 OPS, 11 homers and four steals against right-handers. Gonzalez is far from a pitcher we need to worry about as well, as he has a 4.45 ERA in 21 starts. I like Reddick against any righty, and with him being nearly minimum priced, he's a great value play.