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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The weather should cooperate with our 10-game slate this evening.
DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS
Zac Gallen – SP – Miami Marlins (at St. Louis)
Gallen’s stock as a prospect has risen more than any other pitcher. Entering the year as an apparent inventory arm, a 1.77 ERA with 11.04 K/9 and 1.68 BB/9 through 14 starts have led to a clamoring for debut. Coincidentally, he’ll arrive in time for a visit to the Cardinals – the team that drafted him. The Marlins acquired him in the Marcell Ozuna trade. Notably, scouts agree his stuff hasn’t improved from past seasons. That means we’re either looking at fluky success (his 3.47 xFIP isn’t especially impressive) or he’s tidied up other aspects of his game like sequencing or tunneling.
This is indisputably an ugly pitching slate. The lack of top-end options makes it easier to justify playing in the muck. LeBlanc may not be a scion of run prevention or strikeout padding, but he’s well-placed to earn a mid-tier point total at a bargain basement price. He’ll follow an Opener which puts him in line for an easy victory even if he doesn’t last a full five frames. Since the Orioles are calling upon homer prone Dylan Bundy, run support is likely.
Yesterday’s recommendation of Hernandez and Garlick holds steady for today. Garlick, an all-or-nothing power threat with one of the lowest prices in the slate homered in yesterday’s contest. Once again, he’s not guaranteed to start. If he’s in the lineup, he carries something like a one-in-four chance for a home run.
Many will recall Hernandez’s epic history with Bumgarner. While I’m uniformly dismissive of batter versus pitcher data, it’s at least interesting to acknowledge his .500/.513/.842 batting in 39 plate appearances. More to the point, Hernandez is simply a legitimate platoon masher. And he’ll have the advantage tonight.
MID-TIER MUST PLAYS
Who had the bright idea of pricing Alvarez so affordably for a visit to Yankee Stadium? He is perhaps the likeliest hitter to homer. By extension, he’s also likeliest to bop multiple homers. Alvarez has shown a little more swing-and-miss than was hoped for through his first 36 plate appearances. In every other regard, he appears to be one of the best hitters in the league. He’ll likely bat between fourth and sixth in the lineup.
HIGH PRICED VALUES
Trout predictably made a mockery of Aaron Sanchez and the Blue Jays bullpen last night. He’s once again a value play despite one of the highest prices in the slate. Yesterday, we anticipated success because the Blue Jays were calling upon a middling ground ball pitcher. Trout is a low-ball masher. Tonight, Toronto will summon a terrible, left-handed ground ball pitcher. Another feast awaits.