Since Major League Baseball has a buy week ahead with July 4th on Thursday, there are just five games on the fantasy baseball slate for this Monday. Even with only 10 teams in action, though, there are multiple options to consider as you build your lineup. There are plenty of big bats with hefty salaries with Mike Minor ($10,500) leading the way as the most expensive starting pitching option.
Whether you build around Minor as your SP1 or stock up on some power hitters, you might find yourself short of salary as you round out the roster. If you’re out here hunting for a bargain, start with a look at these five players who are affordably priced and set up for success.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Angels and Rangers has been postponed due to the death of SP Tyler Skaggs.
PLR RYAN YARBROUGH, TB vs. BAL, $6,500Yarbrough had to be used out of the bullpen on Thursday in the Rays’ 18-inning win over the Twins, so he missed his last game as the probable long reliever. He did go three shutout innings and get the win in that game to improve to 7-3 on the season with a 4.62 ERA. He had 19.6 DKFP, giving him at least 18 DKFP in four of his past eight games, plus has allowed just one total run in his last three appearances over 12 innings.
After Ryne Stanek ($4,200) opens, Yarbrough should be in a great spot to come in and get a win on Monday against the Orioles, who were shut out Sunday by the Indians. The Orioles’ offense has been a little better lately, but the birds are still hitting just .235 on the road where they have averaged 4.0 runs per game this season. Yarbrough hasn’t faced Baltimore yes this season but went 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA against them last year.
SP ADBERT ALZOLAY, CHC at PIT, $6,400Alzolay has lived up to the hype for the Cubs since joining the team for his Major League debut June 20. The 24-year-old struck out five in four solid innings of relief, allowing just one run on one hit and getting the win for 19.2 DKFP. In his second game, he got the start and went 4 2/3 innings allowing just one run and one hit but struggled with his control, walking four batters and getting a no-decision and 13.5 DKFP.
Before being called up, he struck out 46 in 32 innings for the Iowa Cubs and had a solid 3.09 ERA. His strikeout potential and a good matchup on the road in Pittsburgh give him a ton of upside for a pitcher under $7K. Alzolay’s future in the rotation is undecided with the All-Star break on the horizon, but even if he is sent down and brought back after the break, he has shown he can be a solid bargain for fantasy baseball based on his strikeout rate.
OF DELINO DESHIELDS, TEX vs. LAA, $3,800There aren’t many ultra-cheap OF expected to start on this slate, but DeShields is a very attractive play under $4K if he gets the start for the Rangers and hits leadoff, as he often does against left-handed starters like José Suarez ($8,100). DeShields was sent to the minors earlier this season but has returned to hit .329 (24-for-73) over his past 24 games with three doubles, six RBI and four stolen bases.
He started and hit second in each of the past two games for the Rangers and is worth a look at this price as long as he’s in the top two of the lineup. He is 12-for-50 (.240) this season against lefties with three doubles, a home run and .669 OPS. His speed gives him a high ceiling especially if the Rangers get to Suarez, who has allowed four home runs and eight runs in his past two starts.
2B/3B HANSER ALBERTO, BAL at TB, $3,500Alberto has been a regular in my bargain plays this season especially when facing a left-handed pitcher like he is expected to do one Yarbrough enters the game for Tampa Bay. Alberto has gone 45-for-108 (.417) against southpaws this season with six doubles, three triples, two homers and a .973 OPS.
He finished June with a nice push and hit .354 in the month with an .813 OPS. He also has done most of his damage on the road, where he has a .353 average, compared to just .284 at home. He typically leads off against lefties but could stay further down in the lineup to avoid Stanek. Wherever he bats in the order, he’ll be worth a look at this salary if you need to go cheap at 2B or 3B.
2B/SS DONOVAN SOLANO, SF at SD, $2,800If you’re going for an ultra-cheap play, my favorite of the night is Solano, who could slide into the leadoff spot himself against lefty Logan Allan ($9,200) and the Padres. Solano has hit safely in each of his past 10 starts and has gone 16-for-45 (.356) over the 18 games in that span including two doubles, three runs scored and four RBI.
Solano hasn’t homered yet this season in 26 games in the majors and only had two home runs in 24 games in Triple-A. While he doesn’t bring much power potential, he hits for a nice average and gets on base at a high enough rate to be worth a look under $3K if he’s in the top part of the Giants lineup.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.