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 7.
Taijuan Walker, Mariners ($8,100): The best bargain buy of the day. Walker is 6-1 with a 1.68 ERA and 51 strikeouts compared to just three walks in his last 48⅓ innings. He'll face a Miguel Cabrera-less Tigers lineup on Tuesday at Safeco Field, where he has an ERA of 2.79 on the year (compared to 5.47 on the road). The Tigers still have some punch, but you're better off taking Walker for this price instead of a guy like Max Scherzer for about $4,000 more.
Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers ($3,000): Perhaps the best matchup of the day. The switch-hitting Grandal has crushed righties all season, to the tune of .273/.389/.540 and 13 home runs in 176 at-bats. On Tuesday he'll face right-hander Chad Billingsley, who's essentially been tossing beach balls to hitters. Billingsley has made four starts this season and has an ERA of 7.71. Left-handed batters are hitting an astronomical .475/.512/.800 off of him. And you're getting all that for just $3,000.
Ike Davis, Athletics ($2,200): The left-handed hitting Davis will face Yankees right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on Tuesday. In 13 at-bats against Eovaldi in his career, Davis has five hits, two home runs and three walks. This season, left-handers are hitting .352/.411/.491 off Eovaldi. The only reason Davis is still in the majors is his ability to hit right-handers.
Jason Kipnis, Indians ($4,300): The left-handed hitting Kipnis is batting a ridiculous .375/.463/.557 this season off right-handers. He'll face one on Tuesday in Astros pitcher Vincent Velasquez.
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays ($4,100): Few batters hit southpaws better than Donaldson (.343/.387/.642) and he gets to face one on Tuesday in White Sox hurler Jose Quintana.
Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals ($3,000): The Cubs are sending 26-year-old rookie right-hander Dallas Beeler to the mound Tuesday night. It will be his season debut and just the third Major League start of his career. Beeler was 1-5 with a 6.33 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A Iowa this season, which makes him no better than a batting practice pitcher, so it's hard to see him faring well against the Cardinals lineup. As for Peralta, he's hitting .313/.367/.451 this season off right-handed pitchers. Taking advantage of a rookie like Beeler should be no issue for him.
Bryce Harper, Nationals ($5,000): Harper is facing Johnny Cueto on Tuesday, so there is potential here for a rough night. But Harper's insane .348/.473/.746 batting line this season of right-handers, such as Cueto, make spending cash on him worth the gamble.
Josh Reddick, Athletics ($2,800): Another Athletics batter who crushes right-handers (.329/.384/.537 off righties with 10 home runs in 216 at-bats) and who will be facing Nathan Eovaldi.
Gregory Polanco, Pirates ($2,200): Polanco is hitting just .231/.300/.329, but he has swiped 17 bases, which is why he's worth gamble on this night. Padres pitcher Tyson Ross, who Polanco will face Tuesday, has allowed an MLB-high 25 stolen bases this season. His catcher, Derek Norris, has allowed an MLB-high 52. If Polanco can just figure out some way to get on base he should be able to steal multiple bases. With Josh Harrison out it's also likely Polanco will bat leadoff for the Pirates.