MLB DFS Bargains: Friday 8/23

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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The main slate features 13 games this evening.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Hector Noesi – SP – Miami Marlins (vs Phillies)

There are quite a few very bad pitchers who are borderline viable today specifically because they’re so cheap. In three starts, Noesi has posted fugly numbers including a 9.39 ERA, 7.63 K/9 and 5.28 BB/9. However, there is some cause for hope. At Triple-A, he worked to a 3.82 ERA in 125 innings with 9.58 K/9 and 2.16 BB/9. If he can put a lid on the free passes and buff his strikeout rate more in line with his excellent 13.0 percent swinging strike rate, then there’s a chance for a reasonable decent outing. Home runs figure to be a problem. In fact, a stack of the Phillies best sluggers is a very viable option tonight.

Jake Fraley – OF – Seattle Mariners (vs Trent Thornton)

In the prospecting world, Fraley elicits shrugs more often than glowing praise. The physical tools don’t leap off the page. The statistical results, while good, aren’t unimpeachable. However, with the miserable state of affairs in Seattle, Fraley should be given plenty of leash to carve out a long-term role. He’s a fly ball hitter with just enough pop, speed, and contact skills to matter. Plate discipline can be an issue for Fraley. His opponent, Thornton, is known for tossing the occasional cookie over the heart of the plate.

Abraham Toro-Hernandez – 3B – Houston Astros (vs Jose Suarez)

Toro is a switch-hitting, hard-hitting, line-drive machine. He may not have the home run pop of other DFS assets, but he offers a high floor and decently high ceiling for a bargain target. Toro-Hernandez posted twice as many walks as strikeouts in a short stint at Triple-A. He’s a low-whiff batter who should have no issue putting the ball in play opposite Suarez. The Angels southpaw is a fly ball pitcher with a fatal case of homeritis (2.70 HR/9).

Trent Grisham – OF – Milwaukee Brewers (vs Merrill Kelly)

So long as Grisham remains bargain-priced, he will be a regularly highlighted portion of this bargain column. While the results haven’t been particularly notable through his first 60 plate appearances, he’s amply demonstrated the underlying skills which make him a $4,000-quality hitter – namely power, speed, discipline, and a high contact rate. His fly ball contact should serve as a bonus versus Kelly’s preference for ground balls.

Also Consider: Mitch Keller, Jordan Lyles, Justus Sheffield, Peter Lambert, Isan Diaz, Ryan O’Hearn, Lewis Brinson, Ty France, Cavan Biggio, Rowdy Tellez, Jake Cave, Randal Grichuk

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Zack Greinke – SP – Houston Astros (vs Angels)

The Houston rotation has yielded a couple contest-winning gems over the last two days. Greinke won’t get the benefit of facing the Terrible Tigers, but he’s still among the most talented pitchers in the slate. What’s more, he’s bookended on the price list by two pitchers with terrible matchups – James Paxton (at Dodgers) and Chris Paddack (vs Red Sox). If you’re looking to play in this mid-tier space, Greinke is your guy. Run support and a win are likely even if you can only count on a little under a strikeout per inning.

Also Consider: Vince Velasquez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rhys Hoskins, Josh VanMeter

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Tommy Pham – Tampa Bay Rays (at Ty Blach)

Blach may well be the very worst pitcher in the majors. He doesn’t induce whiffs, lacks command, and coughs up oodles of hard contact. He’s a massively homer prone fly ball pitcher too (2.30 HR/9). Pham is a ground ball hitting, hard contact machine. This matchup is liable to produce ideal launch angles and sizzling exit velocities for the Rays second hitter.

Also Consider: Jacob deGrom, Austin Meadows, Max Kepler