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Joe Musgrove
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MLB DFS Bargains: Friday 6/21

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: June 21, 2019, 9:39 am ET

Welcome to MLB DFS Bargains. We’ll split the analysis into three groups: very cheap, mid-tier, and expensive. A greater emphasis will be placed on the lower end of the price scale.

Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!

It’s a 14-game mega-slate tonight.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Joe Musgrove – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates (vs Padres)

Cheap pitchers frequently have serious flaws. Musgrove seems to have two – he’s struggled to prevent runs this season, and his strikeout rate is below average. The Padres could help with the latter shortcoming – they’re tied for the highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. They’re a modestly risky opponent, mixing tempestuous power with otherwise below average production (89 wRC+ vs RHP). The reason is easy enough to see. Their lineup is heavily right-handed. Only Eric Hosmer bats lefty among the regulars. Musgrove has large platoon splits this season and should enjoy seeing few southpaws swingers.

Renato Nunez – 1B/3B – Baltimore Orioles (at Mike Leake)

Nunez has his share of issues which is why he’s fallen back into the bargain bin. With a low average and low OBP approach, he’s only useful in DFS settings for his power upside. Given a penchant for hard fly ball contact and a soft-tossing opponent with a home run problem (2.07 HR/9), Nunez rates among the most likely to homer this evening. Of course, if he doesn’t, he’ll likely zero out. Leake is a ground ball pitcher which further improves Nunez’s chance for a big fly.

Jake Cave – OF – Minnesota Twins (at Jakob Junis)

Junis has a serious issue with left-handed hitters. They’re batting .302/.364/.522 against him this season. Cave has some issues of his own – namely with strikeouts. He’s also a good bet to make hard contact – hopefully with the right launch angle to leave the park. Interacting two flawed players like Junis and Cave is bound to produce a volatile range of potential outcomes. He typically bats near the bottom of the Twins lineup.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (at Chris Sale)

There isn’t much clever to be said here. We’re simply pitting one of the best pitchers in the league against the top prospect in the sport. Guerrero’s debut has lacked the face-melting spectacles we all anticipated, but he’s performed satisfactorily while flashing all the traits that will one day make him an elite hitter. On occasion, patient hitters like Guerrero will set aside their usual tactics against an opponent like Sale. Look for him to try to ambush an early-count fastball.

Also Consider: Joey Wendle, Jose Ramirez

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Aaron Nola – SP – Philadelphia Phillies (vs Marlins)

This season hasn’t gone Nola’s way, mainly because his command seems to have stepped back a full grade. Command always had an outsized influence on his success as it allowed his mostly average stuff to play at elite levels. Now he’s basically down to just his curve ball as a weapon. The peripherals seem to suggest he may be creeping back towards his typical self. A matchup against the Marlins is good opportunity to target a vintage ace outing at a mid-tier price.

Also Consider: Matt Carpenter, Justin Upton, Tommy La Stella, Tommy Pham

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Austin Meadows – OF – Tampa Bay Rays (at Tanner Anderson)

The Rays leadoff man continues to roll. He’s a fly ball hitter with one of the highest hard contact rates in the league. His opponent, Anderson, is a ground ball pitcher who allows copious hard contact rates. There’s every reason to believe Meadows will rip into some sinking fastballs for multiple bases.

Also Consider: Austin Meadows, Eloy Jimenez, Alex Bregman

Brad Johnson

You can read more from Brad Johnson on NBC Sports Edge, FanGraphs, and RotoFanatic. Find him on Patreon and Twitter @BaseballATeam.