This Wednesday, the MLB has nine games on the featured night slate, including some fun divisional matchups as well as an interesting pitching matchup between Walker Buehler ($9,600) and Noah Syndergaard ($9,300). As you prep your fantasy team for what should be an entertaining night of hardball, make sure to check out each matchup and spend your salary wisely.
One important factor to consider as you build your team is where to find the best bargains. Getting a good return on a minimal investment is a great way to set your team up for success. I’ve listed my five favorite bargains for the slate below, and I think they are set up to step up and outperform their salaries in favorable matchups on this slate.
SP WADE MILEY, HOU vs. CHC, $7,800
Miley has won four of his past five starts and produced at least 12 DKFP in six of his past seven while averaging 19.5 DKFP per start over that span. He is coming off a strong start last Friday against the Red Sox, in which he allowed just one run on four hits over six innings while striking out a season-high eight. The win helped him to improve to 5-2 in 11 starts in his first season in Houston and pushed his total to 27.9 DKFP.
So far this season, Miley has been especially effective at home, where he is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings. The only major risk factor for Miley is a tough matchup against the Cubs. However, Chicago has struggled a bit this season with left-handed pitchers like Miley, hitting just .240 against southpaws as a team. Even though the matchup is less than ideal, Miley is the best play under $8K given his form, home splits and win probability with a strong lineup backing him.
SP GLENN SPARKMAN, KC at CWS, $5,700
Sparkman has started only one game this season for the Royals but has been effectively working out of the bullpen lately. His one start was an impressive one against the Rays on May 1, when he held them to three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out six and posting 29.4 DKFP.
He came into that outing with a 8.10 ERA but has built on that success and allowed just two earned runs since. In his past six games, he has a 2.00 ERA and has 14 strikeouts in 18 innings. He has thrown 60-plus pitches in two of this past three appearances, but there are still real concerns about how deep he’ll be able to go after working as a reliever most of the season. If you get five solid innings and a win, though, he’ll be a great bargain from under $6K and give you lots of salary flexibility in the rest of your lineup.
1B/OF GARRETT COOPER, MIA vs. SF, $3,300
He’s playing for the Marlins, so Cooper has been largely overlooked as he returns from injury again after missing 25 games with a calf strain earlier this season. In his first game back, he was forced back on IL with a hand contusion suffered in his second at-bat after returning. Since coming back from that injury, he has settled in nicely as the Marlins’ second hitter in the lineup.
After starting the season 0-for-14 in the midst of all those injuries, Cooper has gone 14-for-46 (.304) over his past 12 games with a double, three homers and hits in seven straight games. Two of his three home runs have come against lefties, so he is in a favorable split situation against Madison Bumgarner ($9,900). He has multiple hits in three of his past four starts and is a good way to get a hot bat at the top of a lineup without breaking the bank.
1B/3B YULI GURRIEL, HOU vs. CHC, $3,400
Gurriel usually hits cleanup in one of the best lineups in the majors but is somehow still under $3,500. He has had a productive May after a slow start, going 28-for-95 (.295) this month with three homers, 11 RBI and a .779 OPS.
While he doesn’t have huge power numbers, Gurriel is a consistent contributor and is usually a good run-producer. His defensive versatility is also a huge asset for the Astros since he can play a variety of positions while they deal with multiple injuries. On Wednesday, he’ll face Kyle Hendricks ($9,200) for the first time in his career, but he has been hitting the ball well enough lately, especially at home, and makes a relatively safe play at a corner spot if you need to save some salary. He doesn’t have as high a ceiling as Cooper or even Yonathan Daza ($3,300), but he also is less likely to totally bust.
OF YONATHAN DAZA, COL vs. ARI, $3,300
Daza got the start Monday after being called up from Triple-A when Charlie Blackmon (calf) went on IL. Although he didn’t play Tuesday, Daza likely will get the start Wednesday night against lefty Robbie Ray ($8,200). Daza went 1-for-3 with a run scored Monday for five fantasy points.
Before being called up, Daza was crushing the ball at Triple-A. He hit .366 in his 38 games with 15 doubles, three triples, five homers, eight stolen bases and a .979 OPS. He was leading the hitter-friendly PCL in average at the time of his call-up from the Albuquerque Isotopes. Daza is a cheap way to get a piece of Coors Field and excelled against lefties in the minors, giving him very nice upside if he’s back in the lineup Wednesday.
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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.