All 30 MLB teams play this Wednesday with a handful of afternoon contests and a 20-team fantasy baseball slate lined up Wednesday night. While Max Scherzer ($12,000) may or may not take the mound depending on the status of his broken nose from yesterday’s batting practice, there are plenty of big-name options to take a look at including emerging ace Lucas Giolito ($11,300) and veterans like Rich Hill ($10,300) and Zack Greinke ($9,000). There are also plenty of high-priced bats with 21 hitters with salaries of $5K or more.
After you lock in the big name stars you believe in, you might need to go cheap at a few of your other roster spots. Don’t throw away your bargain plays, though, because there are some nice options on the board who come with affordable salaries. Here are my top five value plays for Wednesday’s main fantasy baseball slate.
SP TREVOR RICHARDS, MIA at STL, $7,100
Before his most recent outing, Richards had allowed zero or one earned run in four straight outings. He ran into some trouble against the Pirates, who got 11 hits and five runs in five innings against Richards and hung him with -3.4 DKFP. Before that setback, he had strong outings against the Braves, Padres, Giants and Tigers, compiling a 1.09 ERA while striking out 24 in 24 2/3 innings.
Richards is only 3-7 on the year but has a solid 3.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He hasn’t faced St. Louis, but he catches the Cardinals at the right time. The Cardinals were shut out last night and have hit just .205 as a team over the past week with 30 runs in seven games. Richards should be in a good spot to bounce back against St. Louis and be a solid value at just over $7K.
SP STEVEN MATZ, NYM at ATL, $6,900
Whenever he takes the mound, Matz is a bit of a boom-or-bust option. He has a high enough strikeout rate to have a high ceiling but is also prone to ugly starts, giving up 13 homers in 13 starts this season and allowing at least three runs in each of his three most recent starts. Despite the recent struggles, he has produced fantasy points due to good strikeout numbers. He has 16 strikeouts in 12 innings in his two most recent starts, averaging 22 DKFP.
Even though the Braves are a solid offense and lead the NL East, Matz is 5-0 in his eight career starts against the Braves with a 2.78 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. He beat them for his first win of the season on April 11 and had 26.5 DKFP. He has extremely high upside for an SP under $7K despite the matchup and some shaky form.
OF RANDAL GRICHUK, TOR vs. LAA, $3,400
Grichuk has been in my bargains multiple times this season and is always an intriguing play under $3.5K due to his power potential. He has 13 homers this season with 28 RBI but is hitting just .221. He struggled badly early in June, going 7-for-50 (.140) through June 15, but he has seemed to find a big of rhythm lately. He has gone 4-for-11 (.364) in his past three games with a home run and a double.
While Grichuk always has potential, he’s worth a look when facing a left-handed starting pitcher like Andrew Heaney ($8,500). Grichuk has hit .263 against southpaws as opposed to just .204 against righties. He has a solid .758 OPS against lefties and also has favorable splits at home, where he has hit 10 of his 13 home runs and has a .824 OPS. When facing a lefty at home, Grichuk offers enough upside to be a solid play under $3.5K.
3B/OF BRIAN ANDERSON, MIA at STL, $3,300
Last season, Anderson was one of the few bright spots in the Marlins’ offense. He finished the year hitting .273 with 11 homers, 65 RBI and a solid .757 OPS. He struggled a little bit out of the gate this season, but he seems to be finding his rhythm in June. So far this month, he’s hitting .295 with four doubles, three home runs and a .902 OPS.
Anderson has done most of his damage on the road with six of his eight home runs on the road with a .758 road OPS. He homered Tuesday against Jack Flaherty in the first game of the series and will look to keep rolling as the Cardinals give the ball to Daniel Ponce de Leon ($7,800). Anderson is an affordable way to get a bat right in the middle of the lineup, and the Marlins’ lineup as a whole has been much better lately than it was at the beginning of the season.
2B/OF KIKÉ HERNÁNDEZ, LAD vs. SF, $3,200
Hernández came off the bench Tuesday, pinch-hitting for Joc Pederson ($4,200) and connecting on a grand slam that blew the game open against the Giants. It was Hernández’s 11th homer of the year and boosted his average to .213.
While he hasn’t thrived as the Dodgers were hoping when they made him their everyday 2B, he has continued to hit well against lefties. On the season, he’s hitting .258 against southpaws with five homers and a .799 OPS. He usually leads off against lefties and likely will be at the top of the lineup against Drew Pomeranz ($6,200), who he is 3-for-11 (.273) with a double against in his career. Hernández has hit safely in six of his past nine games and offers decent power potential in this plus matchup.
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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.