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    DFS Baseball Value Plays (8/24/16)

    By Mark Dankenbring
    Value Plays to Target by Position

    When creating a lineup, there are always solid options to select at the top of each position pool. Whether it be Mike Trout at outfield or Jose Altuve at second base, they are far ahead of the pack when it comes to consistent productivity. In order to separate yourself from the group of players who also choose the top options, it's key to pair these selections with successful bargain plays. Below you'll find players in each category that can serve as fillers when selecting top players in the league for other spots. Criteria for selection requires at or below a salary of $3,500 on DraftKings and $2,900 on FanDuel*.

    Catcher

    Sandy Leon – Boston Red Sox ($2,900 FD, $3,300 DK)


    Leon comes into Wednesday hitting safely in 10 of his last 12 games, and reached base via walk in his two hitless games. Leon has been a model of consistency for the Red Sox since taking over the starting catcher position, hitting .375 in just under 50 games. Leon's power game has also picked up in the second half as he's hit six of his seven homers after the All-Star Break. Leon has hit well everywhere this year, but especially well at home. After finishing up their series at the Trop, the Red Sox will head back to Fenway for a weekend series against the Royals where Leon will see Danny Duffy on Saturday. Even though Duffy's thrown the ball extremely well lately, Leon has hit .476 at home against left handed pitching this year.

    Evan Gattis – Houston Astros ($2,800 FD, $3,300 DK)


    Gattis hasn't had a great year offensively, but has multi-hit games in three of his last four starts. Gattis has hit left handers far better than righties this year, .278 vs. .218, and will face two of them in consecutive nights against the Rays this weekend. Gattis has been hitting well all of August, posting an average just under .300 at .296. Look for Gattis to have a good offensive weekend with the Rays coming to town, offering him consistent at bats against left handed pitching.

    First Base

    Justin Morneau – Chicago White Sox ($2,700 FD, $2,900 DK)


    The pickings are very slim for value plays at first base this week, so we're left with the only one I could make somewhat of a case for putting in your lineup this week. Morneau has hit safely in five of his last seven games, including two home runs and six RBIs. Morneau has fared much better against right-handers this year, hitting .284 as opposed to just .222 against lefties. Morneau will face Jerad Eickhoff on Wednesday, and the Sox welcome the Mariners to the South Side for a four game series this weekend where Morneau will face at least two more right-handed starters. He offers good upside for a value play as he sits fifth in the White Sox batting order between Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, which offers him good opportunities for RBIs and runs.

    Second Base

    Starlin Castro – New York Yankees ($2,900 FD, $3,400 DK)


    Castro enters Wednesday hitting safely in nine of his last 11 games, including five homers in that span. After finishing the series in Seattle on Wednesday, the Yankees will head home for a weekend series against the Orioles starting Friday. So far at home this year, Castro has hit .303 with 12 of his 17 home runs, and has slugged .504. August has been Castro's best month of the season, as he's already posted 16 RBIs this month, already four more than any other month this year. Look for Castro to continue his hot month through the weekend.

    Third Base

    Danny Valencia – Oakland Athletics ($2,700 FD, $3,000 DK)


    Valencia has had a great 2016 so far, hitting .302 overall with 15 home runs. In the last seven games started by Valencia, he's posted multi-hit games in every one of them, and has scored six runs in the process. Valencia has also hit much better on the road this year, as his average is .346 and he's hit 12 of his 15 homers away from Oakland this year. The A's will visit the Cardinals for the weekend, so look for Valencia to continue his hot week of hitting.

    David Freese – Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,800 FD, $3,300 DK)


    Freese has become the everyday third basemen for the Pirates since Jung Ho Kang is now on the DL. He'll travel to Milwaukee for a four game series starting Thursday, where he's had success against a couple of the starters he'll be facing. Freese is 4-10 lifetime against Wily Peralta, including a home run and 5 RBIs. He'll also face Matt Garza, who Freese hasn't hit as well for average against, but boasts a .529 slugging percentage against which includes a home run and two doubles. Look for Freese to establish a rhythm at the plate now that he's assured at bats daily and to perform well against a division foe he's familiar against.

    Shortstop

    Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets ($2,500 FD, $2,400 DK)


    Since returning off the DL this past week, Cabrera has gone 6-17 with two doubles and two RBIs. Cabrera's next two games come on the road against a Cardinals team who has struggled at home and who he's hit .385 against in his career. After finishing up the series in St. Louis, Cabrera will return to New York to face left-hander Adam Morgan on Friday. Cabrera has hit very well against left handers at Citi Field this year, posting a .340 average and an OPS of .928. With Cabrera fresh and ready to go off the DL, look for him to stay hot at the plate over the next couple days.

    Erick Aybar – Detroit Tigers ($2,700 FD, $3,300 DK)


    In five games since joining the Tigers, Aybar has gone 7-25 (.280) with four runs, a double, and a home run. This output is below what Aybar has been producing all of August, as he's hit .321 so far in the month and has slugged .513, .200 points higher than in July. He seems to have found his offensive stroke, which is a great sign for the Tigers while Jose Iglesias is on the DL. Plus, with Aybar hitting in the second spot, if he continues to get on base, expect Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to drive him in frequently. The Tigers have two more games left with the Twins, as well as a weekend series against the Angels on the horizon, so look for Aybar and the Tigers offense to perform well against these two weak pitching staffs.

    Outfield

    Leonys Martin – Seattle Mariners ($2,300 FD, $3,000 DK)


    Martin comes into Wednesday's game against the Yankees having hit safely in nine of the last 10 games, including four stolen bases and nine runs scored. Martin hasn't produced much power so far in August, but he's still been effective at getting on base and scoring runs. The Mariners will travel to Chicago for a four game series with the White Sox starting Thursday, where Martin will face left handed starters on Friday and Saturday. So far this season, Martin is hitting .333 on the road against lefties, including a slugging percentage of .544. This week lines up well for Martin as a value play in DFS.

    Denard Span – San Francisco Giants ($2,700 FD, $3,200 DK)


    The Giant's leadoff hitter has been on a tear in the month of August, especially over the last few games. In his last five games, Span has gone 11-23 at the plate with two homers and two doubles. This recent hot streak has lifted Span's August average up to .345 and increased his slugging percentage to .540 for the month. Span has a tough matchup against Rich Hill on Wednesday, but will face right handers for the rest of the weekend. The Braves come to town Friday, and Span is hitting .324 vs. right handers at home, so look for him to continue his successful August.

    Andrew Benintendi – Boston Red Sox ($2,900 FD, $2,400 DK)


    Benintendi has been nothing but successful since his major league debut on August 2nd. Benintendi is batting .323 and slugging .477 in the first month of his career, aiding the the already stout Red Sox offense. After two more games in Tampa, the Cincinnati native will return to Fenway where he's hitting .400 on the year with an OPS of 1.028. He seems to be extremely comfortable already in the majors, and after making one of the catches of the year by robbing a home run on Monday, look for his confidence to grow even more. Benintendi is a valuable DFS stream for the week to come.

    *Prices reflect 08/24 and may vary slightly from day-to-day.
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