The MLB has eight games on tap for Wednesday’s fantasy baseball slate, giving us just over half the teams in the Majors scheduled to take the diamond under the lights. There are multiple aces scheduled to be on the mound led by five-figure starters Justin Verlander ($11,000) and Patrick Corbin ($10,000).
With plenty of premium pitching and some nice matchups for hitters as well, you might find yourself running a little bit short of salary as you get to the final roster spot or two. If you end up shopping for a bargain, check out these five players, who have affordable salaries but still can bring you some solid potential upside based on their form, matchup and opportunity.
SP EDUARDO RODRÍGUEZ, BOS vs. COL, $8,200
Rodríguez is higher than I’d normally go for a bargain pitcher, but he seems under-priced and affordable compared to the rest of the options on this slate. He has a 4.53 ERA on the season but has been much better than that lately, allowing one run or fewer in three of his past four starts and earning more than 22 DKFP in each of those three outings.
All three of those strong starts have come at Fenway, where he has a 2.59 ERA on the season with a 3-0 record and 27 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. It’s also a good thing he gets to face the Rockies away from Coors, since Colorado is hitting just .217 as a team away from altitude and has scored just 40 runs in 18 road games. E-Rod should be able to keep his strong run going in a matchup that is actually pretty favorable for him.
PLR JALEN BEEKS, TB at MIA, $7,600
Beeks is expected to work the majority of the innings in the Rays’ game against the Marlins on Wednesday after an opener. The arrangement has worked well for Beeks this season and enables him to have a better shot at getting the win since he doesn’t have to reach the five-inning minimum he would if he started the game. Beeks has allowed just one run over his past three outings combined, spanning 14 2/3 innings. He has two wins during that run and produced more than 25 DKFP in two of those outings.
His most recent outing was a bit shorter than ideal against Arizona, but he should have a much easier matchup this time out against the Marlins. Miami has scored fewer runs than any other team in the Majors and is hitting only .219 as a team on the season. Beeks has the potential to go off with another big game at a nice price.
2B/SS GREG GARCIA, SD at LAD, $3,300
With Fernado Tatis Jr. (hamstring) still a ways away from returning, Garcia should continue to get plenty of playing time and has been hitting leadoff against righties recently for the Padres. The former Cardinals utility man has made the most of his opportunities and has hit safely in five straight starts, going 8-for-21 (.381) in his past seven games overall with four walks, four RBI and a pair of doubles.
Garcia and the Padres face Kenta Maeda ($9,200) at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. If Garcia bats leadoff as expected, he’ll be a great bargain since Maeda has struggled more with left-handed hitters this season, allowing them to hit .278 with an .832 OPS as opposed to righties, who he holds to a .190 average with a .631 OPS. The Padres’ left-handed bats should be solid values in this matchup, starting with Garcia at the top.
2B KESTON HIURA, MIL at PHI, $3,200
The Brewers called up their 22-year-old prospect before Tuesday’s game, and the rookie went 2-for-3 with a walk in his MLB debut. There is no question Hiura’s bat is ready for the bigs after he hit .333 in 37 games with the San Antonio Missions at Triple-A. He had 11 homers, 26 RBI and a 1.106 OPS in his 129 at-bats.
Milwaukee didn’t call up its top overall prospect to have him sit on the bench, so look for him to continue to get all the playing time he can handle, especially with the struggling Travis Shaw (wrist) placed on IL. Kiura is a good way to get a piece of a top-tier lineup as he and the Brewers take on Jake Arrieta ($8,000) in Philadelphia.
1B MIGUEL CABRERA, DET vs. HOU, $2,800
Cabrera has been in the Majors for 16 years but has never faced his long-time teammate Justin Verlander ($11,000). Cabrera is surprisingly affordable even in what could be a tough matchup given his recent run of results. Cabrera is nowhere near the producer he was in his prime, but he is hitting .282 on the season with one home run, 15 RBI and a .691 OPS.
So far this season, Cabrera has been red-hot at home, where he is hitting .357 (25-for-70) with a .817 OPS. He has started the series with the Astros 0-for-6 with a walk and a run scored, but he should be up for the challenge of facing Verlander in his return to Comerica Park. It’s a bit of a “narrative street” pick, but the drama of watching Cabrera take on Verlander will be fun, and he doesn’t have to do much to be worth his sub-$3K salary.
Editor’s Note: Cabrera is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Astros.
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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.