Clayton Kershaw is pitching today, which means value will be a necessity if you plan on clicking his titanic price tag ($12,600) into your lineup. So, where are some of the best places to bargain shop for Wednesday’s MLB slate? I would first refer you to the Astros’ bats, who will step in vs Texas spot-starter, Lisalverto Bonilla.
Despite Bonilla being a young, subpar pitcher, he’s only expected to last 4-5 innings (80+ pitches), which means the Rangers underachieving bullpen will step in earlier than normal. Jose Altuve and Chris Carter are the premium picks for Houston, while Dexter Fowler, Alex Presley, and Robbie Grossman profile as serviceable plays for an unimposing price.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Wednesday. Here's the FanDuel link.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – TOR: Despite dealing with a back issue, Encarnacion has been raking as of late. He and the Blue Jays touched up King Felix last night, and EE profiles very well in this matchup against Taijuan Walker. He’s the top 1B pick tonight, even coming at a small discount to upper-echelon counterparts like Cabrera and Ortiz.
Jose Altuve (2B) – HOU: As noted above, Altuve will enjoy one of the better matchups of the day. His inflated price doesn’t coexist well with Kershaw, but if you are looking to save on pitching to load up on bats, Altuve is a top 2B play.
Chris Carter (OF) – HOU: Carter’s price is much more manageable ($3,500 on FanDuel), and he profiles as a top-5 outfielder for this mid-range price.
Dee Gordon (2B) – LAD: Tim Hudson has seemingly fallen off a cliff in the month of September (16 IP, 18 ER), and the Dodgers could easily keep that theme going. Gordon is the type of contact hitter that can give Hudson fits, and he comes with a substantial amount of lineup security with Puig, Gonzalez, and Kemp batting behind him.
Adrian Beltre (3B) - TEX: A lot of DFS’ers will have a tough time choosing between Beltre and Donaldson tonight, but I’m siding with the Texas third baseman, given he is less expensive and playing in a friendlier park for hitters. Scott Feldman has been pitching better as of late, but Beltre’s righty/lefty and home/away splits line up nicely for a quality fantasy outing.
Brett Gardner (OF) – NYY: Gardner has come out of his recent funk with a few multi-hit games in the past week. Bud Norris has a susceptibility to lefties (.356 wOBA), and the ever-present park boost of Yankee Stadium doesn’t hurt either.
Mike Zunino (C) – SEA: Going cheap at catcher is the way to go tonight. Zunino, vs a lefty, with a dramatic park shift to the Rogers Centre is worth a flier at his near-minimum price tag.
Elvis Andrus (SS) – TEX: Saving at the shortstop position is a viable strategy also, given the high-end options don’t profile well enough to justify their inflated salaries. Andrus is a serviceable, plug n’ play option against the subpar pitching of Scott Feldman for a bottom barrel price. Take the left over cash and upgrade elsewhere.
Alejandro De Aza (OF) – BAL: He’s a great tournament pick, given his homerun potential could be accentuated by Yankee Stadium’s short porch. Shane Greene has been pitching well over the past few weeks, but De Aza poses the most viable left-handed threat given his .340 wOBA vs RHP.
Clayton Kershaw – LAD: You don’t need me to type up a full paragraph to explain why Kershaw is a premier play at home vs the Giants. The only problem comes with his colossal price tag, which gives you an average of $2,800 per positional spot (at FanDuel). By going cheap at catcher and middle infield, you can round out a pretty respectable lineup of mid-range players in the outfield and first-base.
Phil Hughes – MIN: Hughes has been great this year, especially after the All-Star break. His strikeout rate is up, and he his flyball tendencies are much more forgiving in Minnesota’s Target Field. Today he’ll battle a depleted Diamondbacks lineup, providing a great position for a quality outing potentially topped off with a victory.
Jake Arrieta – CHC: Arrieta is the mid-range pick who could possibly come close to sniffing Kershaw’s numbers tonight. The matchup against St. Louis isn’t exactly inspiring, but Arrieta is pitching well with the strikeout upside to bolster a satisfying fantasy line. Double-check the weather to see what the wind is doing in Chicago; if it isn’t blowing out, consider Arrieta as an economical alternative to Kershaw.