When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
We have 10 baseball games to watch today, but the DFS slate is thin. Four games are early while five will be played this evening. An interesting matchup between Charlie Morton and James Paxton will be lost to the aether. Aces abound including Chris Sale versus Justin Verlander in the early round. Jon Lester against the Dodgers and Jacob deGrom at Philadelphia are the best arms in the night crowd.
Due to the split action, I'll split the bargain picks.
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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Onto the bargain plays...
1 – Tyler Glasnow – SP – Pittsburgh (FanDuel $4,400) Evening
Glasnow is arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball, but that does little to succor DFS participants. It's all about what Glasnow will do today, and the answer to that question is a big 'ol shrug. The righty has ace quality stuff coupled with below average command. In his four starts last season, he only twice pitched beyond the fifth inning. Never did he reach the sixth. As such, he's an obvious risk for a very short outing. The upside includes something like six innings and nine strikeouts. To be clear, this is a high risk, modest reward play.
2 – Willson Contreras – C – St. Louis (FanDuel $3,100) Evening
Contreras stands out like a sore thumb in an otherwise thin field. He has an advantageous matchup against Alex Wood. The Dodgers starter, filling in for blistered Rich Hill, is unlikely to throw more than five innings tonight. In a tiny sample, Contreras mashed lefties last season. Wood also has steep platoon splits, but he's still good versus righties (career .255/.322/.381). It's just that he's especially stingy to left-handed hitters. There's enough here to like Contrera tonight even though it's not a drool worthy matchup.
3 – Greg Bird – 1B – New York (FanDuel $2,400) Early
I'm standing firm with my recommendations of Bird. This time, you'll have to make sure he's in the lineup. A minor ankle injury and food poisoning held him out of the weekend contests. With any luck, Bird is recovered enough to play tonight versus ground ball pitcher Alex Cobb. Bird matches up fantastically against Cobb's sinker. It's less clear how Bird will handle Cobb's top offering – a split-change. Bird looked uncomfortable against Cobb last week.
4 – Brad Miller – 2B – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $2,900) Early
Before discussing Miller, I'll note that DJ LeMahieu is just $3,100 in the night slate. I didn't think you needed much help picking a bargain Rockie at home.
Miller is interesting due to his tendency to pull the ball. His opponent, Michael Pineda, has one of the worst performing fastballs in the majors. Pineda uses his fastball as a ground ball pitch. Analysts - including Craig Edwards of FanGraphs - have noticed that Pineda's heater would probably be more effective if used as a fly ball pitch. In any case, with the help of tiny Yankee Stadium, Miller is among the top bets for a home run today.
5 – Yangervis Solarte – 3B – San Diego (FanDuel $3,200) Evening
There is no question – San Diego has a bad roster. However, the lineup isn't terrible, especially near the top of the order. Solarte, the cleanup hitter, is well positioned to drive in several runs as part of a multi-hit game against Tyler Chatwood. Solarte even has enough power to turn on mistakes. A steady hitter, Solarte features a high floor profile. And with Coors Field in play, he also has a high ceiling.
6 – Chris Owings – SS – Arizona (FanDuel $2,700) Early
Owings is a hyper-aggressive right-handed hitter. He's off to a hot start at the plate. Hitters like Owings make for useful bargain picks. By frequently putting the ball in play, they have a chance to collect multiple hits. He also has home run power and leads the league with four stolen bases. His success should ensure that he continues to bat second today. Neither Owings nor opposing pitcher Matt Moore have platoon splits.
7 – Kevin Kiermaier – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel $2,800) Early
Any number of left-handed Rays are viable bargains today. Corey Dickerson homered against Pineda last week. He costs the same $2,800 as Kiermaier. I prefer the multi-talented center fielder because he has more ways to produce value. While Dickerson must homer his way to DFS glory, Kiermaier can string together hits and steal bases against backup catcher Austin Romine. And, if he gets the right pitch, Kiermaier can easily escape Yankee Stadium. Remember, Pineda has a fastball built for flying out of the park.
8 – Brett Gardner – OF – New York (FanDuel $2,900) Early
Gardner is the old man version of Kiermaier. His legs can help to supply multiple hits and stolen bases. Rays catcher Derek Norris is known to struggle with the running game at times. Cobb's split-change adds to the challenge of preventing steals. Gardner is also perfectly capable of looping a home run over the short right field porch.
9 – Hunter Renfroe – OF – San Diego (FanDuel $3,000) Evening
10 – Manuel Margot – OF – San Diego (FanDuel $3,000) Evening
All three Padres outfielders cost $3,000 tonight. While Margot and Travis Jankowski could post big numbers via multiple hits, Renfroe is a true multi-home run threat. A fly ball hitter, his matchup against a pitch-to-contact ground ball pitcher could not be more exciting. If there's one downside, it's that Chatwood has a knack for keeping the ball in the park. Despite spending most of his career at Coors Field, he's allowed only 0.87 HR/9.
If you worry that Renfroe won't make good on his powerful upside, Margot's leadoff role and versatility should also provide value. As Margot showed on Friday, he's also capable of poking multiple home runs. Treat that as a fluke performance. You should hope for a couple singles, two runs, and a stolen base.