We have a nine-game main MLB slate going down on this Saturday evening, so let’s dive right in and see where the money is to be made!
FanDuel MLB DFS Picks – September 12, 2020
P – Zac Gallen (ARI) – $10,000 vs. SEA
Pitching is paper thin on this slate, so I think it’s wise to pay up and grab one of, if not the most consistent pitcher on this slate in the form of D-backs right-hander Zac Gallen.
Gallen enters this one sporting a 2.29 ERA/3.46 FIP on the season to go along with a strong 9.82 K/9. While we’ll call this a breakout season, it’s only his second season in the bigs after he worked to a stellar 2.81 ERA/3.61 FIP with a 10.80 K/9 last season split between the Marlins and D-backs. That was across 15 starts and 80 innings after he handled Triple-A hitters to the tune of a 1.77 ERA and 11.04 K/9 in 14 starts to begin his season in the Marlins’ organization.
Gallen takes on a Mariners team that has been about league average against right-handed pitching. Their .316 wOBA off of righties ranks 17th and while their 22.5% K-rate against them isn’t overly high, Gallen brings solid strikeout upside to the mound each and every time he starts.
Nothing too much against the Mariners here, but given how good Gallen has been for quite some time, I believe he’s the best option on this slate.
C/1B – Jeimer Candelario (DET) – $3,000 vs. CWS
There was a time when Jeimer Candelario was near the minimum price on FanDuel, but his bat has been among the best in the business over the last little while.
Over the last 30 days, Since August 1, Candelario is tied for seventh in all of baseball with a 1.8 fWAR. During that time he’s posted a monster .369 average, .285 ISO, 1.076 OPS, .450 wOBA and 189 wRC+. For comparison, Mike Trout owns a 190 wRC+ in that time. In other words, he’s been one of the very best hitters in the game over the last six weeks or so.
He’ll take on a right-hander in Reynaldo Lopez who is the not-so-proud owner of an 8.38 ERA/7.95 FIP on the season while struggling mightily with walks (7.45 BB/9) and home runs (2.79 HR/9). Don’t expect him to last long in this one as he hasn’t exceeded four innings in any of his four starts this season and has maxed out at 70 pitches. While the Tigers will see a good chunk of a solid White Sox bullpen, I think they’re a nice GPP look on this slat given Lopez’s struggles and given Candelario’s monster performance of late, he is a great place to start with this stack.
2B – Jonathan Schoop (DET) – $3,000 vs. CWS
Next man up in this stack is Schoop who has been a consistent threat in this Tigers lineup this season.
Schoop enters this one sporting a .201 ISO, .816 OPS, .345 wOBA and 117 wRC+ on the season in what amounts to his best offensive season since 2017 to this point.
Schoop’s splits have been erratic over the last few seasons, but the good news for this matchup is that he’s fared far better versus right-handed piching this season. Schoop has hit righties for a .205 ISO, .834 OPS, .357 wOBA and 125 wRC+ on the season while seven of his eight home runs have come against a right-hander.
He was hit on the wrist by a pitch against the Brewers a few games back and is just 2 for 11 since, but with Lopez’s home run woes popping up again this season, we certainly want Schoop’s power in this stack tonight.
3B – Alex Bregman (HOU) – $3,600 vs. LAD
He’s back from the Injured List and it’s a good thing because I love the matchup he has tonight against Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias. Actually, I like the matchup Bregman finds himself in against just about every left-handed pitcher on the planet.
This season, all Bregman has done against lefties is post a .367 average, .267 ISO, 1.090 OPS, .452 wOBA and 195 wRC+. Yup, his bat has been 95% above league average against left-handed pitching this season, but it’s nothing new.
For his career, Bregman has tortured lefties to the tune of a .325 average, .283 ISO, 1.017 OPS, .421 wOBA and a 171 wRC+. In other words, his 2020 performance versus lefties it’s a little better than par for the course.
He’s still trying to find it after spending about three weeks on the IL has he’s 0 for 8 with a walk since returning, but perhaps a matchup with a left-handed pitcher is just what the doctor ordered for the all-world third baseman.
SS – Willi Castro (DET) – $2,700 vs. CWS
Continuing with our four-man Tigers GPP stack here is Castro who has been a pleasant surprise on the offensive side of the baseball this season.
He started the year at the club’s alternate training site, but Castro got his chance with the big club and has thrived at the plate.
The switch-hitting shortstop is hitting .354 with a .925 OPS, .391 wOBA and 149 WRC+ on the season with three homers and 13 RBI in his 25 games. Castro has yet to steal a base in 53 career MLB games between this season and last, but he did swipe 19 bases in 119 Triple-A games last season, so let’s give him at least some stolen base upside here against a pitcher in Lopez who allowed 27 steals between the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
He’s hit both lefties and righties well, but the power has come exclusively from the left side where he’ll be tonight as he owns a .242 ISO, .966 OPS, .402 wOBA and 157 wRC+ on the season versus right-handed pitching.
Castro is sporting a sky-high and unsustainable .472 BABIP at the moment, but that still doesn’t eliminate the power/stolen base potential in this matchup tonight.
OF – Victor Reyes (DET) – $2,900 vs. CWS
Let’s complete this Tigers stack with the man who will be leading things off tonight in the form of Victor Reyes.
Like Candelario, Reyes has been on a mission of late. Since August 21, Reyes has hit .333 with an .873 OPS, .371 wOBA and 135 wRC+. The 25-year-old brings a nice combination of power and speed to this lineup as well as he’s hit four homers and stolen six bases on the season. Overall, he’s hit .305 with a .792 OPS, .340 wOBA and 114 wRC+. Unfortunately, his numbers are dragged some down some by a minuscule 3.8% walk rate, but he gets plenty of hits and has seen some pop work its way into his game.
Reyes is the third switch-hitter in this stack along with Candelario and Castro, and he’s hit righties for far more power with a nice .188 ISO against them compared to a tiny .029 mark versus southpaws. Of course, the stolen base potential increases against a righty as five of his six steals have indeed come at the expense of a right-hander pitcher.
These are the Tigers’ top four bats versus right-handed pitching this season, so let’s see if they can get to Lopez early and often in this one.
OF – George Springer (HOU) – $3,500 vs. LAD
I’ll complete my Astros mini-stack here with Springer as he too sits in a fine position tonight against the lefty Urias.
Springer has hit left-handed pitching for a ton of power this season as he’s posted a .333 ISO against them to go along with a healthy .865 OPS, .355 wOBA and 129 wRC+ against them.
Again, this is nothing new. For his career, Springer has tattooed left-handed pitching for a .239 ISO, .902 OPS, .385 wOBA and 148 wRC+ – all of which are superior to his figures against right-handers.
For good measure, his 40.1% hard-hit rate against lefties is also superior to his 35.5% mark against righties.
With this mini-stack, we get two lefty-mashers hitting 1-2 in the Astros’ lineup tonight, something I feel real good about heading into this one.
OF – Whit Merrifield (KC) – $3,300 vs. PIT
I’m not going to get too crazy with the Royals in this one, but I do like a mini-stack at the top of their lineup as they take on Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams.
Williams enters this one sporting a 5.80 ERA/5.94 FIP on the season while struggling with the long ball in the form of a big 2.23 HR/9. That said, a big reason why I’m targeting him is the fact he’s allowed three steals in his 40.1 innings this season. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s 13.5 steals in a normal, 180-inning season, an elevated number to be sure.
So, we have a pitcher struggling with homers and stolen bases, so let’s get some power/speed combinations into this lineup. Merrifield brings that in spades with eight home runs and seven steals on the season. His numbers are better against lefties, but he’s still hit seven homers and swiped all seven of his bases against a right-hander.
He’s one of the peskiest bats in the game out of that valuable leadoff spot, so let’s look forward to what Merrifield brings to the table tonight.
UTIL – Adalberto Mondesi (KC) – $2,800 vs. PIT
I really need Mondesi to remain in the two-hole here where he is projected to hit tonight after enjoying a big night out of that spot last night.
Mondesi’s season has largely been a struggle at the plate, but there’s power and elite speed in this player. He hit a home run in his first at-bats last night – albeit off a lefty in Steven Brault – but went on to actually walk twice and stole two bases in the same inning later on in the game. Add it up and he went 1 for 2 with a homer, two walks, two steals and an RBI while scoring three runs. More of that tonight, please.
The two steals gives Mondesi a whopping 15 on the season – the most in the bigs. He’s also been running like a mad man of late, racking up three steals over his last two games, five of his last five games and seven of his last eight with a pair of two-steal games in that time.
He’s running at will right now, and despite a tough season against right-handed pitching, perhaps he can run into another one tonight while lighting up the basepaths once again.