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MLB DFS Bargains: Wednesday 7/17

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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It’s a nine-game slate tonight with rain on the table in Boston, New York, and Baltimore. Keep an eye on those weather reports.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Jesse Chavez – SP – Texas Rangers (vs Diamondbacks)

Chavez is the top dollar-for-dollar value among pitchers today, but that’s because he’s priced like a mid-tier hitter rather than a pitcher. He also figures to be one of the worst arms in a weak slate. Lately, Chavez has consistently thrown between five and six innings. The Twins and Astros got to him in his two most recent appearances, but the Diamondbacks are a considerably weaker foe. If you can fit Chavez with an expensive stack, I see more upside than downside.

Trevor Richards – SP – Miami Marlins (vs Padres)

Richards costs quite a bit more than Chavez, yet he’s comparably valuable. That’s because his cheap price is paired with a fifth-best projection in the slate. The Marlins are facing the Padres. As a team, they are a slightly below average offense against right-handed pitchers. The real value lies in their near-27 percent strikeout rate. A strikeout is the same as an inning pitched. If Richards can manage something like six innings and seven strikeouts, he’ll be useful to his owners even without the win bonus.

A.J. Pollock – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers (at Nick Pivetta)

Since returning from the injured list, a span of just four games, Pollock is batting .444/.474/.944 with three home runs in 19 plate appearances. There are signs of rust including a 31.6 percent strikeout rate.  The Phillies starter, Pivetta, is severely homer prone, especially at bandbox Citizen’s Bank Park. Pollock is just the most affordable component of what should prove to be a potent and popular stack. These are the guys you might consider pairing with Chavez.

Jose Rondon – 2B/3B – Chicago White Sox (at Danny Duffy)

A Dodgers stack is also going to require some deeply discounted batters. Rondon seems to be the best value of those available because he costs nearly the minimum. In a tiny sample, he’s batting a respectable .266/.319/.406 against left-handed pitchers. His platoon splits are backed by plate discipline data which shows he’s been far more discerning against southpaws. There’s no reason to expect premium output, but even a single and a run would return value on this price.

Also Consider: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Michael Brosseau

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Kevin Cron – 1B – Arizona Diamondbacks (at Chavez)

Cron is a deep bargain on some sites and borderline expensive on others. He’s playable in both cases. A visit to Chavez, a middling ground ball pitcher who allows high hard contact rates is a near-perfect matchup for Cron. Although he has only 58 plate appearances, a 39.7 percent strikeout rate, and an 88 wRC+, he’s already become known for making some of the loudest contact in the league. He’s a fly ball and line drive-oriented hitter, making him one of the best bets to homer tonight. The strikeout rate is a concern, although there’s reason to believe it’ll eventually settle in at a more manageable rate.

Also Consider: Kenta Maeda, Kevin Cron, Matt Adams, Alex Verdugo

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers (at Pivetta)

Pivetta has allowed 2.16 HR/9, a rate that is unlikely to improve this evening against a Dodgers juggernaut. Bellinger hardly needs any discussion. He projects as the most likely to hit a home run this evening and, by extension, the most likely to contribute multiple big flies. Teammates Joc Pederson and Max Muncy are also very high on the list. Bellinger carries the top offensive projection in the slate by nearly a full point.

Also Consider: Mike Clevinger, Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, J.D. Martinez, Pederson, Muncy