MLB DFS Bargains: Monday 9/23

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.

We have a tiny five game slate for the start of the final week.

DIRT CHEAP BARGAINS

Clay Buccholz – SP – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Orioles)

By now, we should all be used to Buchholz’s Jekyll and Hyde performance. The 2019 campaign has been a huge bust for the longstanding veteran. He’s not inducing whiffs (5.22 K/9) or preventing runs (6.48 ERA, 5.12 FIP). However, since he’s set to face a weak Orioles offense, he has some modest upside in this tiny slate. He can be expected to deliver a little over five innings with around four strikeouts. Given his miniscule price, there’s upside for top-tier value. Of course, the downside might be ruinous.

Josh Rojas – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks (vs Adam Wainwright)

Jake Lamb – 1B/3B – Arizona Diamondbacks (vs Adam Wainwright)

Rojas is a frequent guest of this column. Despite a general failure to deliver much value to date, I’ll continue to bet on his skills – plenty of hard contact with enough power, speed, and plate discipline to make things happen. Wainwright is one of the tougher matchups in the slate. Since they’re both ground ball guys, Wainwright has the advantage. Rojas is likely to roll over a couple ground balls.

Lamb matches up better with Wainwright, although I have concerns about his actual talent. He’s in the midst of another miserable season. While he has a history of mashing right-handed pitching, this season he’s produced a meager 62 wRC+ with the platoon advantage (read 38 percent worse than average). Wainwright also has serious platoon issues. This year, lefties are hitting .270/.369/.461 against him with elevated walk and home run rates.

Rowdy Tellez – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays (vs Chandler Shepherd)

Shepherd is a minor league-quality pitcher who gives every indication of being hit and homer prone. He allows copious quantities of hard, line drive contact. Tellez has struggled with strikeouts in the majors, but he absolutely annihilated the competition in Triple-A. He has a one-in-four chance for a home run. It’s your best shot for a cheap burst of firepower.

Also Consider: Lewis Brinson, D.J. Stewart, Wilson Ramos, Austin Dean

MID-TIER MUST PLAYS

Steven Matz – SP – New York Mets (vs Marlins)

Matz is in the midst of an under-reported breakout. His velocity has climbed throughout the season, and he’s generally delivered strong results in the second half. Sure, there have been occasional setbacks, but that’s true of nearly any pitcher. He’ll face one of the weakest offenses in the league at a top pitcher’s park. Over six innings and six strikeouts with quality run prevention are likely. There’s upside for him to lead the slate.

Also Consider: Adam Wainwright, J.D. Davis, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rhys Hoskins, Lourdes Gurriel

HIGH PRICED VALUES

Pete Alonso – 1B – New York Mets (vs Caleb Smith)

Smith is massively homer prone (1.89 HR/9), and it’s only become more of a problem as the season has progressed. He’s particularly susceptible to right-handed power hitters (2.15 HR/9). For his part, Alonso is an equal opportunity masher. He carries a forty percent chance to hammer a deep fly tonight – easily tops in the slate. If there’s a downside it’s because he is the most obvious elite hitter.

Also Consider: Paul Goldschmidt, Juan Soto