MLB DFS Bargains: Friday 7/19

Brad Johnson
Rotoworld

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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It's a typical 14-game slate for us tonight.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Tyler Mahle – SP – Cincinnati Reds (vs Cardinals)

Mahle is coming off a 10 run disasterpiece at Coors Field. The irony of it all is he didn’t even allow a home run – and that’s his biggest weakness (1.67 HR/9). Otherwise, he’s worked to a not-terrible 4.82 ERA with 9.37 K/9 and 2.32 BB/9. On his best days he’s a contender for a quality start with over a strikeout per frame. After a strong start to the season, he’s lasted six or more innings in just two of his last nine appearances. He’s mostly of interest for his bargain basement price with a decent chance for a mid-tier quality outing.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Jordan Zimmermann)

Although it hasn’t quite happened yet for Guerrero, the 20-year-old showed us a glimpse of the future during the home run derby. In actual games, he’s had some issues with passivity. He’s perhaps trying to do a little too much at the plate. In short, he still needs to settle into the majors. A pairing against Zimmermann should help to jump start Guerrero’s bat while supplying an elevated chance for a home run.

Joey Votto – 1B – Cincinnati Reds (vs Adam Wainwright)

Picking bargains isn’t just about chasing home runs. When you have the option, you can also use them to add steady production between pricier building blocks like Christian Yelich. Votto offers that steadier performance. He’s a roughly league average hitter with a valuable lineup role, high walk rate, and just enough power to still offer some upside. Despite just eight home runs to date, he continues to hit plenty of hard line drive and fly ball contact. It would not surprise me if he had a modest late-season power surge.

Khris Davis – 1B – Oakland Athletics (at Jake Odorizzi)

Davis hasn’t homered in over a month, a plight that has been blamed upon a couple nagging injuries. While it’s perfectly sensible to avoid probably-injured players, I rather think it’s been priced in. Even a banged up Davis is probably a multi-homer threat on a regular basis. Odorizzi and the Twins bullpen isn’t an easy matchup by any measure. This is purely a GPP play – and you won’t want to overexpose yourself to it (i.e. don’t use him in ALL your lineups).

Also Consider: Jhoulys Chacin, J.A. Happ, Sam Travis, Jesse Winker, Derek Dietrich, Joey Wendle, Randal Grichuk, Ji-Man Choi, Adam Haseley

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Cavan Biggio – 2B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Jordan Zimmermann)

The Zimmermann contract didn’t work out for the Tigers. He currently has a 7.01 ERA while showing no aptitude for recording outs. Biggio is among the more affordable mid-tier targets, and his matchup a beyond juicy. Zimmermann struggles with left-handed hitters – .330/.405/.515 in a small sample this season. Biggio has the plate discipline, pop, and high fly ball rate of a multi-homer threat. A mini-slump extending back to early July has lowered his price.

Also Consider: Dan Vogelbach, Tommy Pham, Matt Olson, Nate Lowe, Jean Segura, Paul DeJong

HIGH PRICED VALUES

J.D. Martinez – Boston Red Sox (at John Means)

I’ll be waiting for Martinez’s power surge right up until the last week of the season. I’ve seen nothing to lead me to believe he’s not still one of the premier sluggers in the game. Even in a disappointing year, he’s posted a robust .286/.360/.512 batting line with 19 home runs. He’s a regular multi-homer threat. The Red Sox are visiting power friendly Camden Yards. Although some may note Means’ 2.94 ERA and assume this is a difficult outing, he’s actually a well-below average southpaw. Advanced ERA estimators and projection systems all believe he’s due for a 5.00 ERA going forward. Additionally, the Baltimore bullpen is a wasteland.

Also Consider: Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge

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