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MLB DFS Bargains: Monday 8/19

Brad Johnson

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 nine games of the docket today kicking off at 7:05pm ET.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Brendan McKay – SP – Tampa Bay Rays (vs Mariners)

McKay has turned in mixed results through his first seven big league starts. On the plus side, 10.69 K/9, 2.41 BB/9, and a 12.2 percent swinging strike rate speaks to a sustainable ability to retire hitters. Unfortunately, an elevated .352 BABIP and 15 percent HR/FB ratio suggests he’s making too many mistakes over the plate. This is a not uncommon issue for recently promoted pitchers who are used to getting away with hittable pitches in the minors. The good news is these sorts of high-quality hurlers usually adjust. The Mariners offense has performed well against left-handers, but much of the damage was contributed by players no longer with the club. The current unit projects as an easily exploited opponent for McKay.

Manny Machado – 3B/SS – San Diego Padres (at Trevor Bauer)

Bauer is not somebody we typically target with bargain players. However, Machado isn’t your typical bargain. The $300 million dollar man is having a merely decent season. He’s more strikeout prone this year while the rest of his hitting profile appears to be unchanged. A visit to Great American Ballpark could put some pep in his swing. Bauer has allowed 1.30 HR/9.

Josh Rojas – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks (vs Kyle Freeland)

Rojas features a tantalizing set of skills including plate discipline, high contact rate, power, and speed. He’s the total package which is all the more surprising since he wasn’t a touted prospect. Rojas has a mildly challenging assignment tonight. Freeland may be struggling this year, but he’s still tough on left-handed hitters. Especially recently when he’s looked more like the quality control artist we glimpsed in 2018. Even so, Rojas has multiple ways to contribute to the DFS scoresheet, including against a bad Rockies bullpen.

Trent Grisham – OF – Milwaukee Brewers (at Dakota Hudson)

Speaking of total packages, Grisham has that same bundle of discipline, contact, power, and speed. As the Brewers leadoff man against Hudson, he’s well positioned to do some serious damage. As a bonus, Grisham is a fly ball hitter while Hudson is a homer prone ground ball pitcher (1.34 HR/9). This is a perfect opportunity for Grisham to go yard.

Also Consider: Zach Davies, Trevor Williams, Ryan O’Hearn, Ty France, D.J. Stewart, Nick Dini, Jake Cave, Max Stassi, Josh VanMeter, Luis Rengifo

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Renato Nunez – 3B – Baltimore Orioles (vs Jorge Lopez)

Lopez is a bad ground ball pitcher. Nunez is an all-or-nothing fly ball hitter. It’s a perfect pairing to promote a Nunez home run. You’re unlikely to get much production if he doesn’t go yard. However, a one-in-three chance for a big fly is more than good enough at this price.

Also Consider: Mike Moustakas, David Peralta, Shin-Soo Choo, Max Kepler

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels (at Kolby Allard)

How boring, a reasonably priced Trout visiting Texas in the peak of homer season. Globe Life Park turns massively power friendly in the dog days of summer. Rangers starter Kolby Allard has some potential to turn in a tolerable outing for his owners, but it’s more likely to turn sour in a Trout-fueled way. Most of the Rangers bullpen is also exploitable. The best player in baseball is arguably in the midst of his best season ever.

Also Consider: Yordan Alvarez, Aristides Aquino, Eddie Rosario