This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
It's the final day of August. While you may want to relax on your Labor Day weekend, you should at least take some time to play daily fantasy baseball. There are actually 16 games Saturday, thanks to a doubleheader between the Reds and Cardinals. Since the first game is at 1:05 PM ET, you'll have to get your lineup in early to play a full slate. However, I will try and focus on the games in the evening, in case you can't set a lineup by the afternoon. With all that said, here are my recommendations.
Dallas Keuchel ($8,400) had to deal with not having a team when the season started, so it would have been understandable for the former Astro to struggle a bit when he actually started playing. The bearded veteran has been fine for the Braves, though, as he has a 3.78 ERA. Plus, he's only allowed one run over his last three games. On top of that, the White Sox rank 28th in runs scored. This is the best matchup of the day to me.
Joey Lucchesi's ($7,800) strikeouts are down from his rookie season, but so are his home runs allowed, so it's sort of all balanced out into a season of similar numbers. The Padres starter has a 4.01 FIP, but he's been noticeably better at home than on the road. Lucchesi has a 2.84 home ERA compared to a 5.83 road ERA. Now, this game is on the road, but it's in San Francisco. The Giants also have a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and their lineup ranks in the bottom 10 in runs scored. This should be a start more in line with a home outing for Lucchesi than, say, a trip to Colorado or Arizona.
Getting out of Texas hasn't turned Martin Perez ($7,100) into a different pitcher, but his numbers have been a little more respectable with the Twins. He has a 4.51 FIP, and he's also striking out a career high number of batters per nine innings. This is mostly about the matchup, though. The Tigers have the worst offense in baseball, and even the Marlins are starting to separate themselves from the Tigers in terms of runs scored.
I feel somewhat crazy for suggesting this but…you might want to consider Dylan Bundy ($7,300)? I know, I know it feels like madness. However, he does have a 4.03 ERA over his last five starts, and that's mostly because he got trashed by the Yankees in New York. I don't think he's suddenly a good pitcher, but the Royals rank 27th in runs scored. On top of that, they have a .396 slugging percentage as a team. If you're willing to roll the dice, why not end August by getting a little nuts?
The Indians may be regretting letting Michael Brantley ($4,000) walk away, given that he's having arguably a career year with the Astros. He's getting on base, and showing power, at previously unseen levels. The lefty has also been particularly good against righties, as he has a .956 OPS in those matchups. Clay Buchholz had a quality start in his first outing since May, but even with that he still has a 5.87 ERA on the season. One quality start won't make me worry about Brantley.
Joe Musgrove has a 4.67 ERA for the Pirates, which isn't terrible, but he's also pitching at Coors Field on Saturday. If you aren't an ace and you're pitching in Denver, I'm going to be interested in the hitters going against you. Charlie Blackmon ($4,500) is the king of home/road splits, but he's at home, which means he will be on his thrown. The outfielder has an 1.239 OPS at Coors Field this year.
Homers are not the valuable commodity they once were, but it's still notable that Christian Vazquez ($2,900) has almost doubled his career total already this year. The catcher has 19 home runs, and he also has a .281 batting average. Dillon Peters is starting for the Angels tonight. While he has a 4.11 ERA, he has a 5.68 FIP, which is in line with his career FIP of 5.19.
I recommended an Orioles pitcher, and now I'm recommending an Orioles hitter? What kind of crazy world are we living in? And yet, here I am suggesting Anthony Santander ($3,000) for your lineup. The switch-hitting Baltimore outfielder has a .288 batting average to go with a .500 slugging percentage. He's also hit 14 homers in 73 games. Kansas City's Jorge Lopez has a 6.56 ERA, and somehow at home he has a 8.92 ERA. On top of that, he also has given up 1.83 homers per nine innings.
Chicago Cubs vs. Zach Davies (Brewers)
Overall, Davies has a 3.90 ERA, which isn't bad. However, his 4.83 FIP belies the kind of season he's been truly having. He's also been terrible recently, as he has a 9.41 ERA over his last five starts. The problem? He's suddenly been giving up a ton of homers. Davies has allowed two home runs in four of his last five outings. If that continues, it bodes well for the Cubs, including these three batters.
Bryant has a .282/.380/.521 slash line to go with 26 home runs. He's not going to get over 100 RBI like he did in his MVP season, but he has only so much control over that. Bryant is taking care of his business when he steps up to the plate, and that's all we can ask.
Castellanos has been on fire since joining the Cubs from the Tigers in a deadline deal. While he was solid with Detroit, and hit well in the previous two seasons, he's taken things to a new level in Chicago. Castellanos has an OPS over 1.000 with the Cubbies, including hitting 11 homers in only 27 games.
Schwarber quietly has 33 homers and 73 RBI. Maybe that's because 30-homer seasons have been devalued a bit, but it's still noteworthy that the southpaw has set personal bests in both of those stats. I was sure to note his handedness, because Schwarber is very much the kind of lefty that needs a matchup against righties. He has an .838 OPS against right-handed pitchers and also an .868 OPS at home.
Braves vs. Reynaldo Lopez (White Sox)
Lopez could not build upon his success in 2018, as he's seen his ERA jump from 3.91 up to 5.08. The main problem? This year he's given up 1.60 home runs per nine innings. Lopez has also struggled more on the road than at home, as he has a 5.48 ERA in away games. The Braves have a strong lineup, I didn't even note Ronald Acuna or Josh Donaldson, so this could be a rather high-scoring night at home for this squad.
We take Freeman for granted. He's had a batting average lower than .276 only once in a full season, walks plenty and has a ton of power. The sweet-swinging first baseman has 36 home runs, not to mention over 100 RBI and runs. There are few steadier presences at the plate, which makes him a reliable choice for DFS players.
Last year, Albies had 24 homers to go with 14 stolen bases. That's about on the money for what he's going to do this year, as he has 19 home runs to go with 13 swiped bags. He's also been strong at home as he has a .874 OPS at the Braves' ballpark.
With Nick Markakis banged up, the Braves have turned to another older outfielder. The 35-year-old Joyce had a good season in 2017 with the Oakland Athletics but scuffled in 2018, leaving him as a bit of an afterthought when the year began. In his last 13 games, which includes the time that he's been replacing Markakis, Joyce has a 1.056 OPS.