MLB DFS Bargains: Monday 7/15

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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We have 10 games on the agenda this evening. There’s a doubleheader in Colorado which sometimes affects when lineups are posted. Rain could induce a delay or two in St. Louis. It’s supposed to be mild enough to play through.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Joe Musgrove – SP – Pittsburgh Pirates (at Cardinals)

The aforementioned rain is the biggest damper to Musgrove’s ludicrously affordable price tag this evening. The righty has experienced a tale of three seasons. He started the season on a high note before falling into a deep slump from early-May through mid-June. Over his last four starts, he’s posted a shiny 1.64 ERA with a strikeout per inning. The Cardinals offense is limping through the summer months. Musgrove is priced like a scrub, but he’s a reasonable bet for a mid-tier performance with a typical range of upside and downside.

Jordan Luplow – OF – Cleveland Indians (vs Daniel Norris)

Luplow is an unlikely cleanup hitter. He’s been used almost exclusively as a platoon starter this season. In a very small sample (96 PA), he’s batting .309/.417/.691 with eight home runs versus southpaws. Norris, his opponent, doesn’t have notable platoon issues, but he allowed an elevated 1.49 HR/9 to go with a 4.96 ERA. Luplow is positioned to deliver early damage before potentially giving way to a replacement later in the contest. He’s generally hidden from right-handed pitchers if the game is close.

Kyle Schwarber – OF – Chicago Cubs (vs Luis Castillo)

There’s no question Castillo is a top pitcher. At times, he looks like a true workhorse ace. However, he also runs afoul of home runs from time to time. The wind is blowing out to right field at 15 mph today, making Wrigley Field a potential launching pad. Schwarber has just under a 30 percent chance to pop a big fly. Even if Castillo handles him, the Reds bullpen is exploitable.

Guillermo Heredia – OF – Tampa Bay Rays (at James Paxton)

Like Luplow, Heredia has impressive small sample platoon splits. He’s batting .307/.350/.493 against left-handed pitchers in 80 plate appearances. Unlike Luplow, he’ll have to overcome a very difficult opponent in Paxton. The Yankees southpaw faced the Rays just before the All Star Break, recording 11 strikeouts in the process. Notably, Heredia wasn’t even in the lineup for that game – perhaps signaling a perceived issue with the matchup. Lately, Heredia has hit leadoff for the Rays. Yankee Stadium could help his very modest power to play up.

Also Consider: Rick Porcello, Max Fried, Tyler White, Christin Stewart

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Jose Altuve – 2B – Houston Astros (at Griffin Canning)

At times, Canning is a very attractive mid-tier target. His matchup against the vaunted Astros lineup makes a quality start unlikely. I find myself frequently recommending Altuve this season because the biggest change in his profile is a career-worst .280 BABIP. If anything, his quality of contact has improved, meaning we should expect him to match or exceed his career .338 BABIP. He does seem to be selling out a tad for power, but that’s hardly a bad thing when it comes to DFS. He can supply value through multiple hits, power, run production, or a combination thereof.

Also Consider: Joc Pederson

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Coors Field – ALL (Dereck Rodriguez at Chi Chi Gonzalez)

Virtually all hitters at Coors Field are a solid value tonight. The sites usually do a good job of marking up the biggest bats like Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story. However, the pitching matchup nearly ensures a high scoring affair.

After a solid debut in 2018, Rodriguez’s command has declined enough that he’s no longer viable as anything more than an emergency starter. He’s allowed 1.60 HR/9 this year despite tossing half his innings at Oracle Park – the most pitcher friendly venue in the land. Coors Field is liable to provide a rude awakening. Even the lowly Giants lineup is bound to provide ample firepower against Gonzalez, a former prospect who has never shown any aptitude against major league hitters. In 86.1 career innings, he has 4.48 K/9, 4.90 BB/9, and a 4.69 ERA. Expect a worsening of all three stats tonight.

Also Consider: Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Yordan Alvarez

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