MLB DFS Bargains: Monday 5/20

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson covers his favorite DFS bargain targets for Monday, May 20. (Getty Images)
Brad Johnson covers his favorite DFS bargain targets for Monday, May 20. (Getty Images)

The new MLB DFS Bargains is back! 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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We’re looking at an eight-game contest tonight.


Jake Arrieta – SP – Philadelphia (at Cubs)

Not every bargain is fun. Arrieta just happens to carry a competitive price in a tough matchup. The pitch-to-contact, ground-balling righty is returning to his old stomping grounds in Chicago. The wind is expected to be a cross-breeze, although you should always check conditions closer to game time. Arrieta is just a guy who keeps the Phillies in ball games. He consistently throws around six innings and projects for about 8.00 K/9. He sometimes struggles with walks and home runs, an issue which is more likely to arise against a top offense like the Cubs. All told, the projection for Arrieta isn’t exciting. It just happens to be a solid value.

Kendrys Morales – 1B – New York Yankees (at Andrew Cashner)

A temporary designated hitter for the injury plagued Yankees, Morales has a friendly matchup against Cashner and the Orioles bullpen. Cashner has a longstanding issue with home runs. Working against Morales is his ground ball tendency. Cashner also likes to work low in the zone. This is probably a recipe for several ground outs. Morales, however, is exceptionally cheap. And his plate discipline has improved dramatically this season, leading to a sharp decrease in strikeouts. There is enough hope for him to lift a big fly that he’s worth rostering. Beware, he’s not guaranteed to start. Cameron Maybin could take his place.

J.D. Davis – 3B – New York Mets (vs Patrick Corbin)

The Mets make a point of finding room for Davis when the club is facing a southpaw. Corbin is a decidedly difficult assignment, and there’s no reason to consider Davis to be a platoon hitter. It’s just the current excuse to give a modestly above average hitter a reliable role. He’s an extreme ground ball hitter which also isn’t a great fit against Corbin. The reasons to use him are three-fold: he’ll probably bat second, he has sufficient power and contact to get lucky, and the Nationals bullpen is terrible. Oh! And the fourth reason – he’s very affordable.

Also Consider: Hanser Alberto, Nicky Delmonico, Kyle Schwarber


Willie Calhoun – OF – Texas Rangers (vs Mike Leake)

Calhoun is a singularly unusual player. For the entirety of 2018, he lost the ability to make quality contact. Simply put, he looked hopelessly overmatched. Prior to his lost season, Calhoun featured a tantalizing blend of power, plate discipline, and contact skills. Those traits appear to have returned in 2019. He should be viewed as an on base threat with enough power to be relevant in daily fantasy. A lack of defensive position – he’s basically a tiny DH – lends uncertainty to his future. Fortunately, we just need him tonight against a pitch-to-contact righty and a bad bullpen.

Keep an eye on the wind report for this game. It’s presently blowing in at 22 mph. That shouldn’t affect your willingness to use Calhoun, but it might direct you away from fly ball hitters like Joey Gallo and several Mariners.

Also Consider: Luke Weaver, Aaron Hicks, Franmil Reyes


Ronald Acuna – OF – Atlanta Braves (at Andrew Suarez)

The Giants are trying to find anybody who can make halfway decent starts. Suarez is their latest gambit to unearth a back-end rotation arm. Honestly, this attempt is doomed before it even begins. The southpaw has struggled in Triple-A and was especially bad in recent outings. There’s little hope for a rebound against a lefty-mashing major league lineup. Since shifting to a leadoff role on May 10, Acuna is batting .297/.381/.486. Over his brief career, he’s punished southpaws to the tune of .299/.391/.610. Suarez will be among the very worst he’s faced.

Also Consider: Edwin Encarnacion, Luke Voit

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