MLB DFS Bargains: Friday 8/16

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 the full monty tonight with 15 games in the evening slate.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Mike Leake – SP – Arizona Diamondbacks (vs Giants)

Boring ol’ Mike Leake costs next to nothing tonight against a bad Giants lineup. Leake figures to supply palatable if uninspiring numbers in the neighborhood of six innings, 4.5 strikeouts, and three runs allowed. He almost certainly won’t carry your roster, but he does promise to be a reasonable safe dollar-for-dollar investment.

For those who fuss over very recent performance, Leake has pitched poorly in two starts since joining the Diamondbacks. Those starts came against the Phillies and Dodgers.

Isan Diaz – 2B – Miami Marlins (at Jon Gray)

Lewis Brinson – OF – Miami Marlins (at Jon Gray)

Even though they’re always cheap, we hardly ever find many Marlins in this column. Their low-price tag is more than offset by miserable production. The different today is a visit to Coors Field. While Gray has pitched well at home this season, there are red flags suggestive of a partially luck-based success. Both Diaz and Brinson look overmatched in the majors. However, they also feature interesting traits which could play up at elevation – particular power and hard contact. Despite the friendly venue, I do not recommend a full Marlins stack. Instead, look to these two as inexpensive, high variance gap-fillers.

Rowdy Tellez – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Wade LeBlanc)

Toronto features an inexpensive lineup you can stack tonight. They’ll face an opener, LeBlanc, and whatever garbage is left over in Seattle the bullpen. As a left-handed hitter facing a left-handed pitcher, Tellez is likely to be unpopular this evening. Although he’s demonstrated modest platoon splits – namely a decrease in his already poor plate discipline against same-handed pitchers – Tellez’s power is unaffected. Both Tellez and LeBlanc have similar ground ball and fly ball traits which tends to favor the hitter. LeBlanc has allowed 1.93 HR/9 and does not perform better versus left-handed hitters.

Also Consider: Joe Musgrove, Nicky Lopez, Ryan O’Hearn, D.J. Stewart, Jake Cave, Yonathan Daza, Josh VanMeter, Scoot Gennett, Brandon Belt, J.P. Crawford, Joey Votto, Mike Ford, Josh Reddick

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Wade LeBlanc)

While Tellez may slip through the cracks, Guerrero should be on everybody’s shortlist. Since his light show at the Home Run Derby, he’s hitting .316/.375/.538 with five home runs. His home run rate is still negatively affected by a high ground ball rate. He has around a one-in-four chance to go yard tonight against a weak opponent. Even if he doesn’t hammer one, he possesses multiple ways to return value. Vladito is no one trick pony.

Also Consider: Daniel Murphy, Cavan Biggio, Jon Berti

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Charlie Morton – Tampa Bay Rays (vs Tigers)

If your process involves using the top pitcher in the slate, don’t be fooled by the presence of Justin Verlander. His moderately challenging matchup against the Athletics is overshadowed by Morton’s can of corn pairing with the Tigers. The Detroit offense is an embarrassment. Aside from Niko Goodrum and the shambling corpse of Miguel Cabrera, the lineup is stuffed with players who barely rate a starting role in Triple-A. Morton should chew through them like it’s a rehab assignment en route to the top pitching performance of the day.

Also Consider: Charlie Blackmon, Rafael Devers, Trevor Story, J.D. Martinez, Nolan Arenado, Mookie Betts

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