When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. For DraftKings, the threshold is around $3,800. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
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It’s a split-action Thursday slate. Let’s focus on the evening slate. That’s a five-game, 7:05pm start time on DraftKings and a six-game, 6:35pm start time on FanDuel. We’ll have to relax the bargain requirements a bit.
FANDUEL & DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
Roark isn’t even the best pitcher available in his game – that honor belongs to Chris Paddack. The Padres rookie righty is rather expensive though. Roark, with his bland, steady performances, offers a better dollar-for-dollar investment. He’s increased his slider usage this season, riding the pitch to 9.20 K/9. At his best, Roark induces boatloads of frequent, soft contact. Visiting the Padres at Petco Park is a roughly neutral matchup.
2 – Justin Bour – C/1B – Los Angeles (FanDuel $2,700 / DraftKings $3,800)
The Mariners are calling upon Felix Hernandez. Since turning pumpkin a few years back, King Felix has especially struggled with left-handed hitters. Bour should bat third this evening, sandwiched between Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons. Bour himself is a well-known platoon bat. Over his career, he’s hit .268/.352/.494 against righties. He is one of the five likeliest hitters to homer tonight.
Hampson is a patient hitter verging on passivity. The scouting report is well-circulated at this point, and opposing pitchers are taking advantage. He’s struggling this season specifically because he’s constantly behind in the count. It doesn’t help that the Rockies have played few games at home. Zach Eflin and the Phillies are visiting. Eflin is a command and control righty whose fringy stuff will play down at altitude. This is exactly the sort of opponent Hampson needs for a spark.
4 – Eugenio Suarez – 3B – Cincinnati Reds (FanDuel $3,300 / DraftKings $4,200)
Suarez is priced a hair north of our usual bargain threshold. The discount tonight is a tad strange. Perhaps the sites are really bullish about Paddack. He is arguably the most talented pitcher available tonight. We’re also talking about a guy who has averaged less than five innings per start and has needed a .194 BABIP to fuel his success. Suarez is hitting for power and working his usual share of walks. As the Reds cleanup hitter, he has potential to post the top point total in a thin slate.
5 – Franmil Reyes – OF – San Diego Padres (FanDuel $3,300 / DraftKings $3,900)
Reyes is on the cusp of a power barrage. A combination of frequent hard contact, terrifying exit velocities, and a shift to hitting more fly balls has me expecting big things from Reyes this season. Like a shot at Khris Davis-like stat line. For the moment, Reyes remains reasonably priced. He’ll probably bat in the top four of the Padres lineup. His opponent, Roark, occasionally runs into trouble with home runs. The Reds bullpen is also susceptible to big boppers.
If you like living on the edge, Kyle Freeland (COL – SP) has an incredibly cheap price and a terrifying matchup against the Phillies at Coors Field. The Philadelphia lineup is slightly beat up with both Jean Segura and Odubel Herrera nursing minor injuries. Freeland is one of the top values on both sites, but even a newbie could see this is a dangerous play. Save it for GPPs.
Joey Votto (CIN – 1B) is clearly trying to turn back father time. His batted ball profile is wonky, and StatCast data paints an ugly picture. Personally, I think he’s just tinkering to find a new, maximally effective approach. It may take time for him to adjust. The good news is his OBP skills remain completely intact. He’s expected to bat leadoff tonight against Paddack.
Andrelton Simmons (LAA – SS) remains a premium bargain play due to a valuable lineup role mixed with fluky poor performance to date. Everything under the surface suggests he’s his typical self – a solid contact hitter with a touch of pop and speed.