MLB

FanDuel MLB Sunday Night Baseball Single-Game Helper: 8/4/19

J.D. Martinez has been lethal against lefties this year, and he's taking on J.A. Happ at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. Who else is worth targeting on this single-game slate?

FanDuel's single-game slates are a great way to make any MLB matchup more exciting, and FanDuel is offering single-game contests the Sunday Night Baseball clash each week. What better way to wrap up the MLB week than to play a little DFS on Sunday night?

Single-game contests are a different beast. You have $35,000 to fill out a five-man lineup. There are no positional requirements, but there are three utility spots, one All-Star slot, and an MVP position. The player you put in the MVP spot has his points multiplied by two while the All-Star position gets his points multiplied by 1.5. The three utility places are scored like normal.

This Sunday's game is a clash between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the Bronx, which starts at 7:08 p.m. EST and features lefties David Price and J.A. Happ squaring off. Our models project Boston to win by a score of 5.13-4.87, so we should have plenty of offense on this slate.

Let's get to it.

J.D. Martinez ($8,500)

It's J.D. Martinez against a lefty. We don't need to elaborate too much, but I'm here, you're here, so let's do some elaborating.

In 2019, Martinez owns a whopping .381 average, .534 wOBA, 46.5% hard-hit rate and 46.5% fly-ball rate versus southpaws. He's also been swinging a hot bat, donging four times in his last nine games. Plus, the lefty he's facing, J.A. Happ, is a pretty blah lefty as Happ is surrendering a 42.2% hard-hit rate and 43.1% fly-ball rate to right-handed hitters this year.

In a game in which our models have the Red Sox scoring 5.13 runs, Martinez is the top play of the single-game slate, and he's firmly in play for the MVP slot.

Xander Bogaerts ($7,500)

Xander Bogaerts is having a career year, notching a career-best 25 jacks already while also pacing for career-best clips in walk rate (11.8%), fly-ball rate (42.0%) and wOBA (.397). He's got a .394 wOBA this season with the platoon advantage. At a fairly modest price, he's really easy to like tonight.

Aaron Judge ($9,500)

Given the seasons Price and Happ are having, it's tempting to load up on Boston bats. But baseball is weird, and as we mentioned in the intro, our projections have the Bronx Bombers plating 4.87 runs today. Judge could be somewhat contrarian for a few reasons -- namely he's in a power slump right now (no dingers since July 19th) and is the slate's most expensive bat.

But single-game slates can turn on one swing, and Judge is more than capable of leaving the yard in this spot. At home against lefties in 2018, Judge posted a .396 wOBA with a 47.4% hard-hit rate. In that same split this season, he's got a .538 wOBA and 63.6% hard-hit rate.

While Price has been good this year, he is allowing a 37.8% hard-hit rate and 38.6% fly-ball rate to righties. Judge's power potential makes him an MVP option on any single-game slate, and it shouldn't be too hard to jam in his salary.

Andrew Benintendi ($7,000)

Andrew Benintendi could fly under the radar a bit since it's a lefty-lefty spot for him, but he has been pretty good this year against southpaws. He's put up a .358 wOBA in the split with a 13.1% walk rate -- numbers that are better than what he's doing versus righties (.346 wOBA and 8.3% walk rate).

The sample size is small, but over 115 lefties faced this season, Happ has been tagged for a .352 wOBA in the split, though he was excellent against left-handed hitters a year ago.

It's easier to take the risk here in a single-game contest. Plus, Benintendi figures to see at least one plate appearance -- maybe more -- against a reliever.

Sam Travis ($4,500)

Sam Travis offers salary relief and has the platoon advantage against Happ. Facing lefties in 2019, Travis has a 43.2% hard-hit rate, and that pairs well with the batted-ball numbers Happ is giving up to righties. If you're going with a stars-and-scrubs approach, Travis will help you pay up for the studs you want.