MLB DFS Bargains: Wednesday 9/18

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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Seven games are on the docket this evening.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Spencer Turnbull – SP – Detroit Tigers (at Indians)

Today is Turnbull’s 27th birthday. The Tigers second-best starter has managed only three wins (and 15 losses) despite a fairly successful campaign. Among his strengths is an ability to induce whiffs, leading to nearly a strikeout per inning (8.59 K/9). With their top-heavy offense, the Indians are a roughly neutral matchup these days. Turnbull projects to throw between five and six innings with roughly as many strikeouts. He should easily outperform his price tag even the end result isn’t exactly a carrying performance.

J.P. Crawford – SS – Seattle Mariners (at Dario Agrazal)

More often than not, we’ve hunted cheap home runs in this column. Crawford doesn’t offer much power upside tonight – perhaps a one-in-ten chance for a big fly. He’s interesting because he offers multi-hit potential against a Triple-A quality pitcher and a suddenly depleted bullpen. This pick is about getting some production rather than a big burst. His role as the second hitter in the Mariners lineup is a big part of the draw.

Joey Wendle – 2B/3B – Tampa Bay Rays (at Tony Gonsolin)

Speaking of lineup roles, Wendle is expected to bat leadoff tonight. Since returning to action in late-August, he’s put this nightmare season behind him by hitting .313/.357/.469 in 70 plate appearances. Everything about his profile is more in line with his very solid 2018 performance. A rejuvenated Wendle offers a similar profile to Crawford except with a little more where it counts for DFSers. The Dodgers pitching staff makes for a tough matchup, although I don’t expect them to go full throttle.

Rowdy Tellez – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays (at Dylan Bundy)

Of course, no bargain bin is complete without a low-cost, high-risk, multi-homer threat. Bundy is among the most consistently homer prone pitchers in the league, frequently serving up multiple blasts in any given start. Tellez continues to struggle with the adjustment from Triple-A to the majors. Since his latest promotion in mid-August, he’s batting .189/.265/.419 with a 30.1 percent strikeout rate. The power output is an obvious strength, but he’ll need to learn to make more contact. His batted ball profile hints at plenty of upside, although such long term considerations aren’t very relevant to our purposes tonight.

Also Consider: Adrian Houser, Andrew Velazquez, Zack Collins, D.J. Stewart, Jake Cave, Shed Long, Christin Stewart, Kyle Lewis, Colin Moran

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Aristides Aquino – OF – Cincinnati Reds (at Jon Lester)

Aquino is roughly tied with Nelson Cruz for the likeliest to hit a home run tonight. Wrigley Field is expected to have a mild cross breeze out to left field. The Punisher is basically an all-or-nothing selection. His aggressive, fly ball oriented approach produces plenty of home runs but also runs the risk of zeroing out. In a small sample, he’s proven especially lethal to left-handed pitchers.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Franmil Reyes, C.J. Cron, Max Kepler

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Gerrit Cole – SP – Houston Astros (vs Rangers)

Cole has one of the highest prices we’ve seen all season and yet he’s also one of the best dollar-for-dollar values in this slate. The reason is a strikeout prone opponent and a season of consistent dominance. Cole projects to outperform the next best pitcher by upwards of 30 percent. There’s nothing complicated to evaluate here. Every season, a few pitchers break the DFS pricing scale. Cole is one of those guys this year. Expect around seven innings and 10 strikeouts. The only downside to using Cole – besides the need to use some of the bargain bats above – is that he’ll be hugely popular.

Also Consider: Dinelson Lamet, Nelson Cruz, Austin Meadows

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