MLB DFS Bargains: Thursday 7/18

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 a seven- or eight-game slate tonight depending on which platform you play. Either way, it kicks off shortly after 7:00pm ET.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Tanner Roark – SP – Cincinnati Reds (vs Cardinals)

As with most bargain pitchers, there is considerable risk with using Roark tonight. The St. Louis offense is finally warming up after a long slump. Furthermore, Roark’s home park is extremely homer friendly. He’s extremely prone to opposite-handed hitters. The Cardinals will likely start at least four left-handed or switch-hitting position players. For all the reasons to avoid him, he’s appropriately priced in a slate with many overly expensive arms. He won’t lead the way in point scoring, but he’s a decent bet for a healthy return on your investment.

Jordan Luplow – OF – Cleveland Indians (vs Matt Boyd)

Luplow bats cleanup for the Indians when they face southpaw pitchers. Boyd is a fairly difficult opponent who has shown almost no hints of platoon splits this year. Despite his excellent results this season, including 12.00 K/9, Boyd consistently allows a high hard contact rate with 1.50 HR/9. Luplow has torched lefties in a small sample this year, batting .299/.402/.667 with eight home runs in 102 plate appearances.

Josh Reddick – OF – Houston Astros (at Matt Harvey)

The Dark Knight must have pulled his Batman suit out of a dumpster fire. He’s hot trash this season. Harvey has a 6.88 ERA with 1.84 H/9. The Astros figure to feast. While most of the stack is extremely expensive, you can squeeze in Reddick at an affordable price. He usually bats sixth for Houston. You’re hoping for multiple hits and run production rather than juicy power output.

Ryan Zimmerman – 1B – Washington Nationals (at Kyle Wright)

Speaking of feasts, Braves prospect Kyle Wright has struggled to adjust to life in the majors. In three starts, he’s managed a meager 7.07 ERA with 7.07 K/9 and 6.43 BB/9. He’s been completely ineffectual at inducing swinging strikes. Although Zimmerman is a shadow of his former self, the Nationals do still bat him fifth in the lineup. He’s demonstrated good plate discipline even if his power isn’t quite up to snuff.

Also Consider: Joey Votto, Khris Davis

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Tyler O’Neill – OF – St. Louis Cardinals (at Tanner Roark)

O’Neill is on a bit of a hot streak. Since his recall on June 29, he’s batting .354/.392/.667 with four home runs and three doubles in 51 plate appearance (.500 BABIP). His 35.3 percent strikeout rate over the span still highlights issues with his plate approach. The righty slugger is a fly ball hitter who should enjoy facing Roark at tiny Great American Ballpark. His recent surge has earned him a job as the Cardinals cleanup hitter. He has roughly a 40 percent chance to hit a home run tonight. A golden sombrero is also on the table.

Also Consider: Madison Bumgarner, Derek Dietrich, Jesse Winker, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Yordan Alvarez – Houston Astros (at Harvey)

Alvarez sat yesterday in what would have been a favorable matchup due to a minor knee injury. We can't 100 percent count on him starting tonight. The potent rookie is right up there with O’Neill when it comes to home run potential. Expect a two-in-five chance for a big fly. Multiple home runs are always possible with Alvarez too. Unlike O’Neill, Alvarez can also deliver value via plate discipline, multiple hits, and general run production. The entire Astros stack will be very popular this evening.

Also Consider: Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor, Matt Olson, George Springer, Alex Bregman

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