This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
This was one of the craziest weeks of trading in recent memory, so it should make for some fascinating FanDuel options. This will open up the door for super values as well as numerous lineup changes. This weekend will be as important as any to monitor lineups, bullpens and rotations to see where clubs are going. We wil avoid players who just got traded for this particular article, simply to play it safe. This 12-game slate is one of the largest of the season for a Saturday, so I'm looking forward to digging deep and finding cheap options to win some cash.
Joe Ross $6,200
My two pitchers are by far the cheapest options I have recommended this season, but they are just too valuable to pass up. We start with youngster Joe Ross who takes on the woeful Mets lineup. This is likely Ross' last start as Stephen Strasburg is due to come off the DL next week and will be surely want to leave a lasting impression hoping to secure a spot in the rotation. The recent additions to the Mets lineup make them scarier, but it's still not enough to keep me away from Ross. The best part of this play is the price tag, as you can stack your lineup with stud bats with a pitcher this cheap. Ross is no scrub either, as he has 3.03 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 34 Ks in 32.2 innings this season. Vegas believes this will be a low-scoring game as well, as the total is at a measly 6.5 in pitcher-friendly Citi Field. A quality start seems like a good bet for Ross, and if that's the case, a $6,200 price is far too cheap.
Aaron Nola $5,900
In a matchup with two of the worst offenses in baseball, why not use a top prospect at a cheap price? Nola was the big beneficiary of the Cole Hamels trade. As the Phillies highest-ranked prospect, Nola made his first two starts in epic fashion, allowing just two runs in his first 13 innings. Unfortunately, in a game with a big lead, he was left him out there too long and conceded two more runs in the eighth in his most recent start. That doesn't take away from his fine performances, though, as he struck out six in each game while keeping his pitch count low. For Saturday's game, he faces the Braves' depleted offense and should fair pretty well. The Atlanta offense lost some of its best bats in Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson over the trade deadline, which says a lot about their lineup, considering Uribe and Johnson are below-average big-league players. The real kicker is the $5,900 price, as FanDuel is pricing him based on his inexperience. With Philadelphia favored in game total of only seven, there are many reasons to like Nola.
Evan Gattis $3,200
Catcher is tough, so let's just use the triples-machine known as Evan Gattis. I have always liked stacking against Jeremy Hellickson, and with the lack of lefty bats in Houston's lineup, I had to go with Gattis. In 98 games this season, Gattis has 16 home runs and seven triples, both of which lead catchers. Obviously, Gattis is not a catcher anymore, but for the sake of FanDuel, he is to us. I love the build of this lineup with the addition of Carlos Gomez, and Gattis should be in line for more RBI opportunities. The Astros should be pretty big favorites in this game as well with Dallas Keuchel on the mound, and I expect them to abuse Arizona's pitching in this game with one of the worst bullpens in baseball. There's nothing about this head-to-head matchup that made me pick Gattis, but with all of these other factors in play, he's a nice value.
Anthony Rizzo $3,100
I have been surprised to see how low Rizzo's price has dropped, but you know why if you look at his recent numbers. That said, I love the matchup against Matt Garza for Saturday night. Garza has had a nightmare season, posting a 5.20 ERA and a 1.55 ERA in 18 starts. While I don't necessarily believe Garza is this bad, I do anticipate the Cubs putting up some runs against him Saturday. Rizzo should be in his standard cleanup spot and likely will have multiple RBI opportunities in this great matchup. With the platoon advantage in Rizzo's favor and the breakout power he's provided this season, a home run seems like a decent bet. He is also a fantastic value as some first basemen cost about $5,000, nearly $2,000 more than Rizzo. That amount of FanDuel money can give you an upgrade at pitcher from Lance Lynn facing Colorado ($9,600) at home to Chris Heston ($7,700) traveling to Texas. The price is what makes Rizzo so intriguing, and the combination of that with his matchup against Garza makes him hard to pass up.
Scooter Gennett $2,600
I've always been a fan of Scooter, not only for his baseball name, but his impressive game. Gennett got off to a horrible start this season, but the last two months, he's been fantastic. In fact, the last two months Gennett has an average just short of .300 with an OPS higher than .800. These are elite numbers for a second basemen and just recently he was moved up to the leadoff spot. This should help to improve his ability to score and quite simply, it gives him more at-bats. Gennett squares off against Kyle Hendricks on Saturday and should be right back into the leadoff spot yet again with the platoon advantage in his favor. With the pop he provides, ability to score and his cheap price, Gennett is a great bet to exceed his price.
Miguel Sano/Kyle Seager $2,800
I just couldn't pick between these two, so I'll suggest both and let you decide. These two sluggers are actually playing in the same game and both have platoon advantages. Sano faces lefty Mike Montgomery, while Seager squares off against righty Kyle Gibson. These are both back end of the rotation arms and they're far from the types of pitchers you want to avoid in DFS. With the top third basemen costing $4,400 (A-Rod), Sano and Seager are fantastic values. Both have the ability to go deep and both bat in prominent spots in their respective lineups. At least one will have a big night.
Jhonny Peralta $2,600
Is it just me or does this price seem crazy? Peralta is arguably the best hitting shortstop in baseball this season and faces a Rockies lefty at home. The price is absurd in itself, but the matchup against Jorge De La Rosa is the icing on the cake. Not only does Peralta have the platoon advantage, De La Rosa has just been dreadful this season. In 17 games, De La Rosa has an ERA above 5.00 and a WHIP at 1.43. In 101 games, Peralta has a .286 average, with 14 homers and 51 RBI. The numbers alone tell you that Peralta should be in for a solid night, but the price makes it impossible to pass up. The Cardinals could be in line to put up a crooked number, and if that's the case, Peralta will be the catalyst in the cleanup spot.
Chris Young $3,400
Last Saturday I wrote about Chris Young because of his success against lefties, and we're going right back to the well, as he has only improved his numbers this week. On Saturday, Young faces southpaw John Danks, a matchup Young can definitely benefit from. Danks has been killed by righties all season to the tune of an .889 OPS. Young, on the other hand, has been obliterating lefties this season to the tune of an absurd 1.137 OPS. These two stats alone paint a beautiful picture for Young to have a big game Saturday. Not to mention, the Yankees have scored at least five runs in seven of their last nine games and should be in line for another big game against a pitcher with a dreadful 4.97 ERA. The price tag is a bit high for a player of Young's ability, but he's a must-use against any lefty at nearly any price.
Shin-Soo Choo $3,200
Choo is a go-to player when he faces an average righty. Choo has platooned lately, sitting against almost all southpaws with a dreadful .177 average and .306 SLG against left-handers. But he has a .354 OBP and .835 OPS against right-handers this season. The Rangers face righty Chris Heston on Saturday, and while I really like this guy's stuff, he's walking into a buzzsaw facing the lefty-dominant Rangers. I anticipate Choo manning the two-hole in the order in front of Prince Fielder and should see plenty of good pitches with that spot in the lineup. The only reason Choo's price is barely above $3,000 is because of his struggles against lefties, and FanDuel simply can't change the prices every day to account for these crazy splits. Let's take advantage of this bug in the system and use Choo.
Gregory Polanco $2,500
Polanco has been a regular in my lineups lately, and it's hard to understand why he is so cheap still. Not only has he solidified a spot as the leadoff hitter for the Pirates, he's playing well. In July, Polanco hit .273 with a .787 OPS. That stretch includes 10 doubles, 14 runs and 12 RBI as well. Another plus with Polanco is the power-speed profile he provides. While the four homers are below what people expected from him, the 18 steals put him just outside the top-10 in the league in that category. The $2,500 price is just too cheap for a player of Polanco's ability, and I bet that number rises as the season progresses with the power and speed he can provide. The only worry for Polanco are his struggles against lefties, but we don't have to worry about that Saturday as he and the Bucco's face Rasiel Iglesias. The young Reds righty has struggled lately, allowing 16 runs in his last four starts. The Pirates should have success against Iglesias, and there's no better player to choose from than the $2,500 leadoff hitter.