We’re trying a slightly different format for today’s bargains column. In the past, we focused on finding the best players under an arbitrary price point. Instead, let’s focus on hunting down the top dollar-for-dollar values at different price points. We’ll split into three groups: very cheap, mid-tier, and expensive. We’ll put a greater emphasis 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.
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Please note, today’s five-game evening slate starts at 6:35pm ET.
DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS
This turns out to be a difficult slate to find dirt cheap players. All 10 pitchers are league average or better. The offenses in question aren’t likely to use unexpected players in the top of the lineup. We’re forced to scrounge among bottom feeders.
Frazier is perhaps the lone exception. He bats leadoff for the Pirates. Wacha has struggled to find the strike zone this season, and he’s allowed 1.72 HR/9. Frazier isn’t likely to participate in any home run barrage. He’s a spray hitter who feeds line drives to all fields. He also works counts. There’s a good chance he’ll reach base multiple times, making him a good stacking complement to the Pirates offense or simply a solid, cheap one-off pick.
While Minor has worked to a sparkling 2.40 ERA through seven starts, I see no reason to classify him differently as last season. He’s the same pitcher – a guy you can count on to post a 4.00 ERA and occasionally make good opponents look foolish. The Astros are one such “good opponent.” White and Gurriel are the most affordable elements of their offense.
I’m of the belief White is in need of a brief minor league tune up. Unfortunately, he’s out of options so he’ll need to work through his issues in the majors. He’s pressing at the plate and hitting way too many ground balls. Gurriel is a steadier, more aggressive alternative with less home run potential. Minor is a fly ball pitcher which might help them both to lift the ball.
Wade Miley – SP – Houston Astros (vs Rangers)
Miley isn’t the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to daily fantasy play, but he’s uniformly cheap on all sites and figures to toss a decent outing. The Rangers offense strikes out in one-quarter of their plate appearances and is especially prone to left-handed pitching. Miley has performed well since becoming a cutter specialist. While the strikeout rate isn’t anything impressive, he’ll usually prevent runs. There’s a decent chance he comes out ahead of Minor in this showdown.
MID-TIER MUST PLAYS
Andujar hasn’t worked his way back to where he was last season. The slugger is just 5-for-32 with no extra base hits and two walks. His struggles are amplified by a terrible 17.4 percent swinging strike rate and typically bad plate discipline. Simply put, he’s chasing pitches in the dirt and letting strikes pass unchallenged. Usually, he chases balls and punishes strikes. This is classic injury-related rust and likely to vanish as suddenly as it became a problem. The Yankees seem committed to letting Andujar work through his issues as the regular designated hitter. He’ll likely bat cleanup – a valuable role against a bland opponent like Leake.
HIGH PRICED VALUES
Patrick Corbin – SP – Washington Nationals (at Dodgers)
A couple factors could depress Corbin’s ownership. There is a general, well-founded fear of the Dodgers offense. However, it’s a heavily left-handed lineup. To gain some platoon help, they’re forced to downgrade the unit by starting David Freese and Chris Taylor over more talented teammates. Although they’ve performed well against lefties in a small sample, they haven’t faced any as difficult as Corbin. Even if a few things go sideways for Corbin, a high strikeout rate ensures some degree of daily fantasy success. He also has the highest ceiling in the slate.