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Before we dig into our FanDuel picks for Saturday, I thought it would be good to discuss the differences between Daily Fantasy Baseball play and yearly leagues.

Most of the DFS players out there also play in seasonal leagues, which is slow and plodding in comparison.

But keeping one eye on the overall season numbers and one eye on the day’s matchups isn’t the easiest thing to do. You often find good DFS value on cheap players with good matchups that just don’t have much value in season-long play.

Ideally, you’d use your DFS knowledge to spot players trending upward that you could pick up for your yearly league.

But more often than not, I find, I’ll use my yearly knowledge of what I believe a player’s true value to be, and I’ll target him as a cheap player in DFS games.

For instance, Yadier Molina is struggling a bit this season, hitting .269, and you can often find him among the cheaper plays of the day. (He’s just $2,300 tonight against the Pirates.) His price has been cheap recently, but you know he’s an overall better catcher than that over the course of the season. That’s enough to let me go back to him again and again – and his 13 RBI are tied for seventh among catchers this season already.

FanDuel MLB Games for Saturday, May 9

There are nine nighttime games tonight – and we’ll be focusing on the night games primarily.

Interesting Notes About Tonight’s Starting Pitchers

Here are a few things that stand out to me about today’s list of starting pitchers, and why you should or shouldn’t consider using some of these players.

  • Of the 18 starting pitchers tonight, eight of them are left-handed! And of those eight, two are among the best lefties in the game (Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner), one leads the majors in ERA (Dallas Keuchel) and one more is considered one of the top young pitching prospects in the game (Carlos Rodon). Don’t get too excited to use right-handed hitters this evening..
  • Clayton Kershaw is the most expensive pitcher on the day, but the weather is expected to be tricky once again tonight, with a 94-percent chance of rain. Also, Coors Field trumps him, as he has a 4.58 ERA here, with a 7-3 lifetime record, which is all very un-Kershaw-like. Plus, he has already allowed five home runs this season, which is more than half of what he gave up last season.

Weather Notes

It should be a pretty nice evening across the country – with just one game with a 50-percent chance of precipitation (or higher).

  • L.A. Dodgers at Colorado: 94% chance of precipitation
  • Kansas City at Detroit: 43%
  • Minnesota at Cleveland: 40%
  • Louis at Pittsburgh: 32%

FanDuel Picks for Saturday, May 9

I’ll try to give you a regular choice (mid and expensive), with a bargain option as well, for each position. As always, check the team’s lineups as you get closer – a great spot to do that is on MLBStartingNine.com.

Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood, LHP, Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, $7,500

Sure, the Brewers offense is bad, but they’re especially bad against left-handed pitching, hitting just .181 as a team against lefties, with just 12 runs scored. Wood has averaged six innings pitched in his past four starts, and he’s striking out more than a batter per inning.

J.A. Happ, LHP, Seattle vs. Oakland, $7,300

I know it seems like I’m southpaw-happy today, but these are just good matchups at good prices. Happ faces an Athletics offense that has a .248 wOBA against LHP (third-worst in the majors). Happ has gone at least six innings in every start this season, and he has a 2.51 ERA at Safeco Field. Oakland also has a major-league low seven extra-base hits against LHP this season.

Catchers

Yadier Molina, St. Louis ($2,300)

As I mentioned above, he’s a good hitting catcher with a great price. Sure, his matchup is against right-hander Vance Worley, but he’s batting better against RHPs this season anyway. Plus, Molina’s heating up – his nine hits in May are the fourth-most among catchers.

Jason Castro, Houston ($2,200)

A solid lefty-righty matchup, with the cheapest price possible. Castro also has a base hit in seven of his past nine games, with four doubles and a homer.

First Basemen

Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs ($4,400)

“Sizzle Chest” goes up against Lohse at Miller Park, and all six of his home runs have come against RHP this season.

Matt Adams, St. Louis ($2,700)

Facing a righty, Adams is batting .311 with three home runs and 14 RBI – and Worley has a 4.50 ERA vs. lefties.

Second Basemen

Robinson Cano, Seattle ($3,400)

He’s back home to Safeco Field for the first time in a while, where he’s batting .333 on the season, and he’ll go up against a right-hander, which he’s batting .301 against.

Kolten Wong, St. Louis ($2,400)

Wong is red-hot right now over the past week, and he’ll go up against a righty, which he has a .338 BA, 3 HR and 12 RBI against.

Shortstops

Jean Segura, Milwaukee ($2,600)

He’s batting.500 against lefties this season (small sample size), and if we don’t count last year’s disaster, Segura also hit lefties to the tune of .317 in 2013.

Freddy Galvis, Philadelphia ($2,200)

The switch-hitter is hitting really well this season, in his first full year as Jimmy Rollins’ replacement, and he faces LHP Jon Niese Saturday night. His 10 hits in 18 at-bats is a small sample size, but so is his salary.

Third Basemen

Todd Frazier, Cincinnati ($4,000)

He’s the NL co-leader in home runs with Bryce Harper with 10 bombs, and Frazier faces a rookie pitcher (albeit a good one), in a hitter’s park in U.S. Cellular Field.

Brett Lawrie, Seattle ($2,600)

Only Pablo Sandoval (28) has more base hits against RHPs this season than Lawrie (27), who is batting .297 against them in 2015.

Outfielders

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami ($4,800)

Super expensive, sure, but he’s facing a lefty that has given up three homers to right-handed batters this season (Madison Bumgarner).

Alex Guerrero, L.A. Dodgers ($3,800)

If weather permits, Guerrero’s a powerful right-handed hitter going up against LHP Jorge De La Rosa in Coors Field.

Seth Smith, Seattle ($2,400)

Smith is seeing more action with Austin Jackson on the disabled list, and he’ll go up against RHP Jesse Hahn Saturday night. Smith has eight extra-base hits in 70 at-bats against RHP this season.

Khris Davis, Milwaukee ($2,300)

We’ve been waiting for him to heat up this season, and he went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run Friday night against the Cubs. He’s also facing a LHP, and he has two homers in his past eight games.

Good luck with your FanDuel picks for Saturday, May 9!

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Sports online since 2000 – and playing Fantasy Sports since 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner, along with Big Unit and Big Papi. A veteran of hundreds of drafts in the past 15 years alone, Gonos is closely acquainted with sleepers, breakouts and busts – as he has drafted many of all three. He was a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBSSports.com for five years, and he has been columnist on SI.com and FanDuel.com, while also getting published on MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and USAToday.com.
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