First off, a quick introduction, though if you don't know what FanDuel is, well, you're missing out. FanDuel is a site that offers daily fantasy sports games. Participants are given a chance every day to select new players, fill out a lineup and, most importantly, win some cash. If you choose poorly Monday you can come back Tuesday and try again. Easy as that. Click here to enter a $5 FanDuel contest that offers a $10,000 prize today!
As for what we're going to be doing in this space: The goal here will be to direct your attention toward some players who you might not otherwise consider. If you're here and reading this, then you already know that Mike Trout is really good. But when filling out a roster you can't just pick out stars. You'll blow your cap that way and get stuck praying to the baseball gods that a guy like Wilmer Flores actually gets a few hits. No, if you want to win, you have to take advantage of certain matchups -- and in order to do that you have to know where to look. That's what we're here for. Below is the lineup I'll be using for Tuesday, July 21.
Aaron Nola, Phillies ($4,600): If you feel like gambling on a cheap pitcher and going with a bunch of high-priced hitters instead of a hurler like Jacob deGrom ($11,100), then Nola is your guy. Tuesday the 22-year-old and 2014 first-round pick will be making his MLB debut. This season, Nola has thrown 32.2 innings over six Triple-A starts. In those games he's surrendered 13 earned runs for an ERA of 3.58 and struck out 33 batters while walking just nine. Nola has a strong 95 mile-per-hour fastball to go with a good curveball and changeup and was ranked by Baseball America in early July as the 12th best prospect in baseball. The talent is clearly there for the young right-hander.
Nola will also face a weak Rays lineup Tuesday night. Tampa Bay has whiffed in 22.1 percent of its at-bats against righties this season, the fourth-highest number in MLB, and its .291 wOBA off right-handers is the third-lowest. Yeah, things could go horrible for Nola in his first-ever Major League start. But for less than $5,000, it's worth taking a shot on his talent and this matchup.
Kyle Schwarber, Cubs ($2,500): One of two left-handed hitting Cubs that will be slotted into this lineup. The reason: Reds right-hander Raisel Iglesias, who Chicago will face Tuesday night in the hitter-friendly confines of Citizens Bank Park. Iglesias has surrendered 19 earned runs in the 29 innings he's thrown this season. He allowed 11 in 29 Triple-A innings before being called up. Schwarber is hitting .385/.429/.615 in 26 at-bats off righties this season. Tuesday could be a big scoring day for the Cubs, and Schwarber should play a major role.
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs ($3,800): See above. Rizzo this season is hitting .279/.385/.543 in 247 at-bats off right-handers. In those plate appearances, 14 of his 16 home runs have come in those situations.
Robinson Cano, Mariners ($3,200): One of three left-handed hitting Mariners in this lineup. On Tuesday Seattle will get to go up against Tigers right-hander Shane Greene and his 6.32 ERA. Greene has struggled this season, but he's been even worse against left-handed hitters (.349/.401/.592). While Cano has been awful this season, he's managed to at least have some success when facing right-pitchers (.270/.315/.440 with eight home runs). He should be able to do some damage against Greene.
Nolan Arenado, Rockies ($5,000): One of the studs all that bargain shopping allows you to slot in. Any time you can get a right-handed batter hitting .287/.322/.584 with 24 home runs going up against a left-handed pitcher (Rangers starter Matt Harrison) with a career 4.21 ERA, in Coors Field, well, that's always something to be excited about.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockiers ($4,400): Expect a lot of scoring in Tuesday night's Rangers-Rockies game. Oh, and this season Tulo is hitting .397/.408/.618 off left-handers, which, as mentioned above, Texas hurler Matt Harrison is.
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates ($4,800): Nothing fancy about this selection. This lineup doesn't leave over enough money for Mike Trout, but Pittsburgh's MVP candidate is a pretty solid consolation prize.
Mitch Moreland, Rangers ($4,200): Texas's lefty slugger will get to face a weak right-handed pitcher, in Coors Field. Moreland is hitting .302/.347/.598 off righties, to go along with 14 home runs. Colorado starter Kyle Kendrick can't seem to get anyone out (5.94 ERA) and has been even worse against lefties. Did we mention this game is in Coors Field?
Seth Smith, Mariners ($2,300): Seattle is facing a right-hander, which means the left-handed hitting Smith and his .275/.355/.478 career numbers against righties should be slotted into your lineup.