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Gavin Lux
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MLB DFS Bargains: Thursday 9/12

by Brad Johnson
Updated On: September 12, 2019, 10:02 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!

Let’s focus on the seven-game evening slate. Philadelphia and Minnesota aren’t entirely in the clear. Some rain is possible at both venues, although the risk of a postponement is minimal.


Justin Dunn – SP – Seattle Mariners (vs Reds)

The Mariners have announced their top pitching prospect will piggyback with Tom Milone for the remainder of the season. It’s not yet clear who will serve as the opener and who will take the bulk of the innings. Since it’s an American League game, the Mariners have a lot of flexibility. In all probability, Dunn won’t come anywhere near five innings and thus won’t be a viable play. However, if he’s following Milone, the elevated chance for a win combined with his strikeout stuff is sufficient to tease solid DFS value out of the bargain bin. A four-inning relief appearance can be expected to include three to five strikeouts and around a one-third chance for a win.

If you prefer a more straightforward play, Reds starter Tyler Mahle is priced even cheaper than Dunn and projects to post a comparable point total.

Gavin Lux – 2B – Los Angeles Dodgers (at Dylan Bundy)

Although he looks like he belongs in the majors, Lux has yet to do much for his DFS subscribers. Tonight, things might change. He’s a ground ball hitter set to face one of the most consistently homer prone fly ball pitchers in the league. Lux has amply demonstrated his ability to work counts and make frequent, hard contact. He has a better than one-in-four chance for a home run with plenty of other good outcomes on the table. If we’re lucky, he won’t hit near the bottom of the lineup. Even if he does, he’s plenty playable.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Make Shawaryn)

Rowdy Tellez – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Make Shawaryn)

The Red Sox are barely pretending to use major league quality pitchers these days. Shawaryn is a homer prone fly ball pitcher. This is a fantastic matchup for Vladito. For all his prodigious raw power, his output has been sapped by a too-high ground ball rate. Facing a (bad) Triple-A quality pitcher should jumpstart the ol’ power stroke. While a fly ball pitcher isn’t ideal for Tellez – he’s at an increased risk for easy fly outs – Shawaryn isn’t the sort of pitcher whom we need to worry too much about various splits. He’s just flat bad. Any Blue Jays hitter could go off tonight. The Red Sox will likely use a shaky opener ahead of Shawaryn and quickly dip into their equally fragile bullpen.

Also Consider: Mahle, Drew Smyly, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Duffy, Seth Brown, Willy Adames, Abraham Toro, Josh VanMeter


J.D. Martinez – OF – Boston Red Sox (at Clay Buchholz)

Martinez is one of the likeliest hitters to swat a big fly. He projects for around 35 percent of a home run. Buchholz has struggled with injuries this season. When he is on the field, his fastball velocity has sat at a career low. Consequently, he’s managed just 4.46 K/9 and 2.34 BB/9. That’s a lot of balls in play. In Martinez’s case, that’s a lot of hard-hit balls in play. Once the Red Sox dispatch Buchholz, they’ll bite into a juicy Blue Jays bullpen.

Also Consider: Nick Solak, Corey Seager, Austin Riley, Trey Mancini


Tommy Pham – OF – Tampa Bay Rays (at Kolby Allard)

While Cody Bellinger is a slightly better value tonight, he’s a very obvious pick. Meanwhile, I didn’t want to leave this Rays-Rangers game unnoticed. The Rays love playing matchups – not just lefty/righty but any platoon advantage they can find. Allard is a left-handed ground ball pitcher. Typically, the Rays a touch lame versus southpaws, but they have sufficient September reinforcements to overcome their earlier weaknesses. More importantly, Pham destroys lefties. He’s hitting .333/.467/.483 with more walks than strikeouts. Like Allard, Pham is a ground ball guy so this isn’t a perfect matchup.

Also Consider: Justin Verlander, Cody Bellinger, Ronald Acuna, Yordan Alvarez, Mookie Betts

Brad Johnson

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