This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We have 11 games Thursday, so there's a wealth of options out there. In addition, five of them are day games; so make sure to check the early lineups to ensure you don't waste money on players who won't be on the field. Here are our daily value plays for Thursday, August 27.
Yordano Ventura, $8,200:Gerrit Cole ($10,000) is a great play today, especially in cash games, as he is the fourth-cheapest pitcher available, but has a great matchup with an atrocious Marlins offense in their spacious home park. The Marlins have scored the third-fewest runs in MLB, and has second-worst team OPS, plus his team has a decent shot to win, which gets an extra four points in FanDuel play. But if you want to go for a cheaper option on the mound, Ventura represents great bang for your buck. The 24-year-old flamethrower has had his share of struggles and injury issues this season, but may finally be rediscovering what made him so successful last year. Ventura has yielded only three earned runs in his last three outings and has lowered his walk percentage significantly over his last two starts, posting a 13:2 K:BB over 13 innings. Finally, he faces an Orioles team that had lost six straight games heading into yesterday's action, and has struggled lately scoring runs. For the low price of $8,200, Ventura is a great upside play for a very modest investment.
Buster Posey, $3,000: Posey has struggled over the last few weeks, which is represented in his depressed FanDuel price. He's the fifth-most expensive catcher, which is crazy, and is available at the same price as noted hitting savants Anthony Recker and Cameron Rupp. Cameron freaking Rupp! Posey, who has actually been significantly better against right-handed pitching (.874 OPS) than left-handers (.729), faces right-hander Dan Haren, who's struggled to a 6.05 ERA in the month of August. Between the matchup and the price, Posey is an outstanding play at a weak position.
C.J. Cron, $2,600: Despite being part of a badly slumping Angels offense, Cron has actually been pretty good lately. The 25-year-old has an .908 OPS and four homers over the last 28 days. Cron faces 1,000-year-old lefty Randy Wolf, who I was shocked to learn is still in Major League Baseball. Wolf, who's really "only" 39 years old, has thrown seven innings this season, allowing three earned runs, making it hard to draw any real statistical conclusions on him for 2015; however, he's struggled more against right-handed hitters than lefties in his career --.767 OPS vs. .706 OPS -- which is a positive for Cron. And oh yeah, Wolf stinks. .
Chase Utley, $2,300: Utley hasn't done much since joining the Dodgers, but had really turned things around prior to being moved, and actually sports some impressive numbers of late. In the 11 games he's played since returning from the DL, the 36-year-old has a 354/.360/.563 slash line that's reminiscent of the Utley of old. In addition, Utley faces right-hander Anthony DeSclafani in the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ballpark. DeSclafani has struggled against left-handed batters, allowing a .799 OPS against them this season, which Utley should be able to take advantage of. Add in Utley's dirt cheap price and he's the clear play at second base.
Evan Longoria, $2,500: Longoria has not had a good season. The 29-year-old has struggled to find any consistency and his numbers are down across the board as a result. However, despite what has been a disappointing season for his fantasy owners, he can still have value in daily leagues. This is especially true when Longo is facing a lefty; his .353/.429/.520 slash against left-handers is tremendous, especially when considering how average Longoria has been this season. Luckily, Longoria faces lefty Tom Millone, who for his part has been far more effective against left-handed batters than righties --.495 OPS vs. .828 OPS -- which makes Longo a great play with a ton of upside, especially for the insanely low price of $2,500. He's one of my favorite plays on the board today.
Eduardo Escobar, $2,600: Shortstop is the weakest position today, as there aren't a lot of good value plays available. Escobar is the only the 15th-most-expensive shortstop, yet he's been pretty good lately, with an .876 OPS over the last 14 days and an even better 1.095 OPS over the last week. Escobar, a switch-hitter, faces lefty Drew Smyly, who is still working his way back to maximum effectiveness after spending a majority of the season on the shelf rehabbing from a shoulder injury that was originally thought to be season-ending. Though Smyly is talented, he hasn't looked very sharp in either of his two outings since returning to action, so it should be considered a solid matchup for Escobar, who's a great value today at such a cheap price.
Yoenis Cespedes, $4,200: Cespedes has been white-hot. He has an excellent .969 OPS over the last month, and has been especially dialed in lately, with a borderline incomprehensible 1.504 OPS over the last seven days. Cespedes faces embattled Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang, who has allowed at least four runs in nine of his last 11 starts, including yielding six runs, seven runs and eight runs (twice) over that span. Also, Cespedes actually has reverse splits and has been significantly better against right-handed pitchers (.907 OPS) than lefties (.653), making the matchup with Harang that much sweeter. And even though Cespedes is not cheap, he's still only the eighth-highest-priced outfielder when there's a clear case to be made that he should be the most expensive.
Jason Heyward, $3,800: Heyward, like Cespedes, is not super cheap, but still an insanely great value. Also like Cespedes, Heyward has been one of the league's hottest hitters, with a 1.027 OPS over the last 14 days, as the 26-year-old seems to finally have found his stroke for the first time since coming to St. Louis in the offseason. In addition, Heyward faces right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who has been a train wreck against left-handed hitters allowing an awful .936 OPS against them.
Curtis Granderson, $3,300: The Mets lineup as a whole has been good lately, and the matchup with Harang makes a Mets stack very enticing. Granderson is a great play either way. While Grandy has struggled against left-handers this season, he's been a force against righties, with a .909 OPS and 21 of his 22 home runs on the season. I already noted Harang's struggles this season, but it is worth nothing that he's been worse against left-handed hitters than righties, which also plays into Granderson's favor. For the moderate price of $3,300. the Grandy man is a must-buy today.