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.
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The primary slate is in the afternoon today. However, since you’re likely accustomed to checking this column in preparation for the evening slate, let’s focus on the five games tonight. Do note, the action kicks off at 6:40pm ET. Light rain in Baltimore and Boston could lead to an interruption.
DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS
Yusei Kikuchi – SP – Seattle Mariners (vs Padres)
Terrible results have shoved homer prone Kikuchi deep into the bargain bin. At this price, a five-inning outing with three runs and four strikeouts would be viable. He projects to do ever so slightly better than that. It’s not a great matchup – the Padres are better against left-handed pitchers. They also have plenty of power. Kikuchi fits best with an expensive Red Sox or Yankees stack.
I expect Grisham to bat leadoff tonight. If he’s down in the lineup, he’s still a viable bargain. He just won’t be nearly as must-play. After existing as a decent prospect for nearly half a decade, things clicked for Grisham in 2019. He made short work of Triple-A, hitting .381/.471/.776 with 13 home runs in 158 plate appearances. While we can’t expect anything like that in the majors, he has more than enough power, plate discipline, and contact skills to more than support a mid-tier price tag. That he’s actually bargain-priced is a huge bonus.
Manuel Margot – OF – San Diego Padres (at Kikuchi)
Luis Urias – 2B – San Diego Padres (at Kikuchi)
If you’re taking a pitcher-first approach to lineup building tonight, a Padres stack against Kikuchi and the bad Mariners bullpen should pay dividends. Among the more affordable and interesting targets are Margot and Urias.
Margot will likely bat second. Over the last month, he’s hitting .280/.386/.587 with more walks than strikeouts and five home runs in 89 plate appearances. We’ve seen this sort of teasing hot streaks from Margot in the past. Ride the wave; just don’t get overly attached.
Urias will bat at the bottom of the lineup, but he costs nearly nothing. That’s because he’s yet to shown any aptitude in the majors. Since his most recent recall, Urias is batting just .171/.346/.244. It’s good to see his plate discipline and contact skills are on display. Once his .188 BABIP corrects, he should be a decent little player (that’s a pun – he’s one of the most physically slight players in the league). This is a good opportunity for a coming out party.
MID-TIER MUST PLAYS
Zac Gallen – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks (vs Phillies)
If you want a pitcher you can trust, well… you’re watching the wrong sport. Trust doesn’t really come into it. However, Gallen is likely to return value on his upper-mid-tier price tag. The righty records over a strikeout per inning while keeping opponents uncomfortable with an offspeed-heavy repertoire and deceptively effective fastball. Despite 4.46 BB/9, he should be viewed as a command and control pitcher. Over six innings and seven strikeouts are on the table.
HIGH PRICED VALUES
The Royals have regularly sacrificed Sparkman on the altar of “well somebody has to pitch.” Rarely has he been tasted with tackling an offense as dangerous as that of the Red Sox. Despite complaints by traditional fantasy players, Betts is having another spectacular season. He’s a threat to pile up multiple home runs and gaudy run production. Having already scored 103 runs this season, it’s clear he pairs well with other Bostonians.