This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We have a nine-game slate this Saturday and some interesting games. As the season winds down, season-long fantasy leagues are ending and there's no better time to get involved with FanDuel. I have a bit of a different strategy for this article, as there were many batter versus pitcher stats I loved. The strangest part is I'll give you two pitchers from the same game. I would almost never do this, but both players are just priced way too cheaply, and I anticipate at least one having a huge game, relative to price. So let's get into those pitchers and I'll explain.
Ervin Santana $6,900
Santana is strictly a tournament player for DFS simply due to the fact that he is so hit and miss. He has his fair share of blow-ups and fair share of gems. Santana faces the Astros, and while it's a risky matchup, it could be a fantastic performance for Santana. The Astros are one of the most strikeout-prone teams in baseball and are susceptible to poor offensive outings. In fact, Santana's last start came against these same Astros, pitching a seven-inning shutout with 10 strikeouts. That sort of gem is what makes Santana so enticing and at a cheap price, it would be silly not to make at least one lineup with this sort of upside.
Lance McCullers $9,000
I really didn't want to write about Santana's counterpart, but this price is too good to pass up. The reason McCullers is so cheap is he was recalled from the minors less than two weeks ago. The 21-year-old has had a fantastic season for the Astros, as he has a 3.21 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched this season. Those strikeout numbers are ridiculous, but his home numbers are just absurd. In eight starts at home, McCullers has a 1.65 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP. His matchup against the Twins is a friendly one as well as the Twins are one of the worst offenses in baseball against right-handers. I anticipate the Astros being a -150 favorite in this game and that should give McCullers a good chance at a win, as well.
Salvador Perez $2,400
This is the beginning of our BvP plays as there seem to be some crazy career numbers for this Saturday slate. Perez squares off against Jose Quintana on Saturday, and while that's no easy matchup, it gives Perez a nice platoon advantage. Along with the platoon advantage in Perez's favor, these two have squared off on numerous occasions throughout their careers. In 41 at-bats, Perez has 15 hits, including seven extra-base hits with two homers and eight RBI. It's clear he sees the ball well out of the lefty's hand, and the icing on the cake is the cheap price. The top-priced catchers cost more than $1,000 than Perez, and Perez has the upside of any one of them with this particular matchup.
Prince Fielder $3,000
I wrote about Fielder last weekend and still have no clue why his price is so low. Yeah, Fielder is in a bit of a slump, but he's still batting well over .300 with an OPS higher than .850. Those are elite numbers and those alone should value him in the $4,000 range. Those statistics make him a nice play, but he faces Jered Weaver on Saturday, which makes it even better. When I saw that, I put a huge circle around Fielder and I knew he'd be in my article. Weaver is a slow-ball pitcher who can barely crack 80 mph, and Fielder could feast off that "fastball." Over his last two starts, Weaver has allowed 14 runs and he could be in for another blow-up against the lefty-heavy Rangers. With numerous first basemen costing in the $5,000 range, Fielder is an absolute steal. Look for Fielder to be the catalyst in the heart of the Rangers order and feast on Weaver's meatballs all game.
Jason Kipnis $3,400
I really like all the higher-end second baseman like Robinson Cano and Anthony Rendon, but I decided to go with the reliable Kipnis. The Indians second baseman is having an amazing season for the Tribe and he's always a good choice for FanDuel with his .317 average and 50 extra-base hits. A player like Kipnis can provide through hits, runs, RBI, steals and even homers. I love a player who can provide in every facet and like him even more against a struggling pitcher like Alfredo Simon. Not only does Kipnis have the platoon advantage against Simon, but the right-handed Simon has allowed 61 runs over his last 13 starts, raising his ERA nearly three runs. With all the hot lefties the Indians have, Simon will be in for another poor outing, and the leadoff hitter is always the best bet for success in these types of situations.
Lonnie Chisenhall $2,700
Let's continue our Indians stack with Lonnie Chisenhall. Since being called up at the end of July, Chisenhall has been great after a rough start to the season. In August, Chisenhall batted .403 with an OPS higher than 1.000. Those are elite numbers, and it's not indicative in his FanDuel price. The top third baseman costs more than double what Chisenhall does and that seems ridiculous with the upside Chisenhall provides. The demotion to the minors was a major wakeup call for the 26-year-old, and it's clear he's found his swing in his time at Triple-A. Like I said, the Indians should destroy Alfredo Simon, and Chisenhall is a great bet to contribute to their success.
Erick Aybar $2,200
This is my BvP pick of the day as Aybar has his best career numbers off pitcher Derek Holland. In 46 at-bats against Holland, Aybar has 16 hits with nine for extra-bases. A player at a minimum price is there for a reason, but at a position like shortstop, it's nice getting a steal like Aybar in there. Not only do we have these fantastic career numbers, he'll be hitting behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in the lineup and will be in great RBI opportunities all game. Holland is in the midst of a nice stretch, but he's due for some regression as his stuff doesn't match with his strikeout total and has been susceptible to home runs this season. Aybar should barrel up Holland at least once, which alone makes him worth a play at a minimum price.
Mike Trout $4,300
Trout will be in my lineup at this sort of price every day until he inevitably gets hot again. Trout is the best player in baseball and is too good to be slumping like he is now. It very well may be a wrist injury, but I'm going to bank on him having a huge final month to the season and he'll start this weekend against a weak Texas pitching staff. On Saturday, he gets a platoon advantage against the aforementioned Derek Holland and could have some success here. In 31 plate appearances against Holland, Trout has a .424 OBP with nine RBI. That's not the main reason I like the play, but it's nice to have some background to back the choice. The main reason I like this play is because of the price. As I said, Trout is the best player in baseball and when there are 10 or more players priced higher than him, that's just wrong.
Michael Brantley $4,300
Brantley is scorching hot and is my favorite play for the Indians in a fantastic matchup Saturday. Since July 17, Brantley has seven homers, 16 doubles, 28 RBI and an average well over .350. The most under-reported aspect of Brantley's game is that he puts the ball in play and almost never strikes out, whiffing just 43 times in nearly 500 at-bats. If it weren't for the form of players like Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Gonzalez, Brantley would be getting more press for the run he's on. It's quite clear that Brantley is seeing the ball very well now and that shouldn't change against Alfredo Simon, as he has 10 hits in 17 at-bats against the right-hander. A $4,300 price tag seems a bit pricey for a value article, but everything is in line for him to have a huge game.
Shin-Soo Choo $3,200
Most people look at Choo's numbers and think he's having a down year, but he's fared pretty well against righties this season. Choo has notoriously struggled against southpaws throughout his career, and that's no different this season. Choo is batting just .196 with a .600 OPS against lefties and has a .374 OBP with an .858 OPS against righties this season. Clearly it's the numbers against southpaws that are killing his season stats, but we'll continue to use him on FanDuel against right-handers with the success he's had. On Saturday, he faces Jered Weaver, a matchup I love. The lefty is 14-for-37 in his career off Weaver with six extra-base hits. It's not just the career numbers I like, it's the situation he's in. I anticipate the Rangers putting up a crooked number, and Choo and Fielder should be the main beneficiaries to the onslaught.