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FantasyDraft MLB: Top Picks and Value Plays

Josh Collacchi

Josh is a fantasy sports writer from northern Delaware who covers nearly every fantasy sport for various sites in addition to RotoWire. He has been published in the Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, Philly.com, AOLSports, and more. Follow him on Twitter @JoshCollacchi.

There is a lot going on at FantasyDraft these days, and one bit of news includes the signing of Clayton Kershaw as a member of the team. In a unique span of events, you will get your chance to meet the Dodgers’ ace in Los Angeles.

Starting on Tuesday, FantasyDraft will run a contest each night for the rest of the week that includes a grand prize of meeting one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Here are some details on the contest:

- $5 Entry
- 1112 Entries
- 280 in PayoutZone
- First place wins: $375, a trip for two to L.A. with one night in a hotel, airfare, two tickets to a Dodgers game, and a meet and greet with Clayton Kershaw.

For those unfamiliar with FantasyDraft's MLB offerings, click through for the scoring/rules and available contest types.

FantasyDraft's roster construction is as follows: two pitchers, three infielders (can be anyone listed as a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman or shortstop), three outfielders and two utility spots.

FantasyDraft offers contests at a benefit to players by placing a multi-entry cap on tournaments. This allows just a few lineups per player to be entered, making for a more level playing field in terms of how many entries one player owns.

There is a larger payout zone on FantasyDraft, meaning you have an even better chance of cashing. In a $5 tournament, 139 entries are paid out. That is 25 percent of the total field, or five percent higher than most tournaments pay. There has been some overlay on FantasyDraft, so be sure to get into those tournaments for a higher chance of cashing.

Each week, RotoWire will provide picks and analysis for players to target on FantasyDraft for your DFS MLB lineups.

Pitcher

Value Play

Chris Tillman, BAL, $14,200

Tillman has been a value before against the Rays, and Tuesday’s game is no different. The Rays rank as one of the worst offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching, which includes a high strikeout rate of over 20 percent.

Tillman’s price is a lot lower than some of the other top pitchers, but he has a top-tier matchup that makes him a value play for Tuesday’s slate. In Tillman’s last eight starts, he has only struggled twice. Once was against the Royals, who have one of the better offenses in baseball. The other was against the Mariners, who were able to club eight hits off of the Orioles’ right-hander. In the other six starts, Tillman has been excellent. His current form and top-tier matchup make him a solid value play on FantasyDraft.

Top Play

Madison Bumgarner, SF, $24,000

Bumgarner is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he’s a top option almost any time he takes the mound. For Tuesday’s slate, he faces a Dodgers offense that has been reeling of late. Los Angeles has been no-hit twice in recent weeks, and ever since acquiring Chase Utley the offense has been dreadful. In the last 10 games, the Dodgers have scored more than five runs just once and they have scored two runs or less in five times.

Bumgarner looks to extend that mark, and the Dodgers’ relative struggles against left-handed pitching make for an even better matchup for the Giants’ ace. In Bumgarner’s last five starts, he has allowed a combined six earned runs while striking out 54 in 37.2 innings of work.

Infield

Value Play

Didi Gregorius, NYY, $5,400

The Yankees’ shortstop is extremely cheap on FantasyDraft, as he is one of the cheapest starters in Tuesday’s slate. Gregorius has been on fire of late, with nine hits in his last four games including two home runs, a double, and 10 runs batted in.

Gregorius is known for his glove, but his bat has been a huge asset for the Yankees this season. He will face Rick Porcello on Tuesday, which gives Gregorius a matchup bump in a hitter’s park. Porcello has allowed left-handed hitters to bat .306 with a .376 wOBA against him this season.

Gregorius has hit right-handers well this year, which complements the matchup perfectly. He is hitting .281 this season and has been even better of late, making him a top value play at a criminal price.

Top Play

Joey Votto, CIN, $10,500

Votto is in play almost every game, but Tuesday’s matchup completely justifies the price of over $10K on FantasyDraft. Votto and the Reds face Dan Haren, who is one of the most split-heavy pitchers in baseball.

This means that one side of the plate does very well, and the other struggles. Luckily for Votto the splits lean heavily in his favor, as Haren has allowed a .274 batting average and a .533 slugging percentage to left-handed bats this season. He has allowed 18 home runs to lefties, which is among the most in baseball in a given split.

Considering Votto’s incredible success against right-handed pitching throughout his career (.418 wOBA and .232 ISO), he makes for a top play in the infield.

Outfield

Value Play

Jay Bruce, CIN, $7,300

Votto was just discussed as a top infield option against Haren, and the guy who hits below him in the Reds’ lineup is a top value play as well. Of course, Haren’s struggles against left-handed hitters are evident, but Bruce is another player who hits righties very well. He has a .230 ISO rating and 16 homers against right-handed pitching this season.

Bruce is starting to heat up, having hits in four of his last nine at bats including two doubles and a home run. With Haren standing 60 feet six inches from him, Bruce has an excellent matchup and is a very cheap option with home run upside. He is worth taking as a value play in a tournament on FantasyDraft.

Top Play

David Peralta, ARI, $9,500

Each time Peralta faces a right-handed pitcher, he is on most radars in DFS. He is hitting .315 with a .549 slugging percentage off righties this season and has clubbed 14 home runs in just over 300 at-bats.

Tuesday is a dream matchup for Peralta, as he faces Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick is one of the top pitchers to target for DFS players each time he takes the hill, as he has allowed a .316 batting average and a staggering .608 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters this season. He has allowed 26 home runs in 113 innings pitched, which means an opposing stack is always in play.

One last thing that adds to this dream matchup for Peralta is the fact that the game takes place in Coors Field, which is the top ballpark in baseball for hitters. The thin air causes the ball to fly, and pitches are more flat because of the lack of movement. A hitter like Peralta against a pitcher like Kendrick in a ballpark like Coors Field is something for fairy tales, but it’s happening in real life on Tuesday, so take advantage.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.