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.
Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups with our DFS Toolkit!
It’s a 12-game slate tonight. Light rain is possible in Washington D.C., St. Louis, and Cincinnati. It doesn’t look like delays or postponements are likely.
DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS
Elieser Hernandez – SP – Miami Marlins (at Cardinals)
One game offers the two best bargain pitchers. Mikolas has the benefit of facing a limp Marlins offense. Platoon issues have plagued him this season. Lefty hitters are batting .302/.375/.574 in a small sample of 144 batters. Mikolas had large platoon splits last season too, but he was at least moderately decent against lefties (.283/.307/.415). He consistently limits the damage against right-handed batters. Miami may start as few as two lefty hitters – and they’re Curtis Granderson and JT Riddle. Hardly an imposing crew.
Hernandez was excellent at Triple-A this year, posting a 1.13 ERA with 12.94 K/9 and 2.63 BB/9 in nine starts (48 innings). The low inning total should clue you in to something – he’s probably best used as a Follower. He uses a three-pitch mix of 92 mph fastballs, sliders, and changeups. To induce a gaudy swinging strike rate, his stuff must be hard to identify. An extreme fly ball pitcher, he’s shockingly yet to allow a home run this year. The Cardinals offense should be a tough matchup, but it hasn’t played that way.
In a year when everybody is on pace for 20 home runs, Ramirez has swatted just four in 295 plate appearances. It’s quite possible something is very wrong with the former MVP candidate. However, I still see a batter who slugs plenty of hard-hit fly balls, rarely whiffs, and walks at a high rate. The homers are going to start to fly. Now is the time to capitalize on his cheap price tag. He should be relatively comfortable hitting against fastball-only Lynn.
Since he bats down in the lineup, Biggio probably won’t see any of projected Opener Luis Garcia. That means two or three plate appearances against Pena, a pitcher who is known to be moderately homer prone (1.63 HR/9 this season). Biggio combines patience with a batted ball profile designed for multi-homer games. So long as he remains bargain-priced, he’ll be a standing recommendation.
MID-TIER MUST PLAYS
The Mariners are expected to use an Opener ahead of Milone which might reduce the value of Soler’s first plate appearance. He appears to be an excellent pairing with Milone, a mediocre southpaw with a long history of home run problems. He’s a fly ball pitcher which meshes well with Soler’s slight lean toward ground ball contact.
HIGH PRICED VALUES
The Angels figure to be the most popular stack tonight thanks to a matchup against Jackson. The journeyman righty has a 10.22 ERA in six appearances. Much of the damage came at Coors Field (10 runs in 2.1 innings), but it’s also true he’s managed just one decent-looking appearance. That was his most recent outing against the Orioles. Jackson has yet to escape without allowing at least one home run. As for Trout, he’s never looked better – and that’s saying something. I hardly think you need to be sold on the advantages of Trout.