After a pair of games this afternoon, there are 13 Major League Baseball games under the lights this Friday night giving us a full and fun slate of fantasy baseball options. 10 of the 12 games tonight feature divisional rivals, so there should be some contentious matchups and entertaining games. Clayton Kershaw leads several top options available at the top of the salary structure, but in this post, we’ll focus on the players who come at a much cheaper price but still can contribute to your success. In each Bargain Bin post, I highlight two pitchers under $8K and three hitters under $3.5K who I think are in a good place to produce. Here are my picks for this Friday.
Kendall Graveman – SP – OAK vs. HOU – $6,400
If A’s fans were encouraged by Graveman’s strong second half last season, they have to be ecstatic with how he has carried that success over to a pair of excellent starts this season. He has picked up a win in each of his two starts allowing two runs on six hits in six innings to the Angels on Opening Day and then he allowed just one run on two hits in seven innings in Texas against the Rangers.
Tonight, he continues his tour of the AL West against the Astros tonight in Oakland. He comes into tonight’s start with a sparkling 2.08 ERA while holding opponents to just a .178 average.
Michael Wacha – SP – STL @ NYY – $6,500
After a big initial splash when he arrived in the Majors, Wacha had a rough season last year finishing the year 7-7 with a 5.09 ERA. However, he had a bounce-back Spring Training and looks to be healthy after battling a shoulder injury last season. He started the season strong allowing just one run on three hits against the Reds last Saturday. He struck out six and walked just one on his way to 25.1 DKFP.
Tonight, Wacha and the Cardinals open their series with the Yankees who have little familiarity with Wacha with the notable exception of Starlin Castro. If Wacha can deliver another outing like he did last week, he’ll be a great option at this very affordable price.
Danny Valencia – 1B – SEA vs. TEX – $3,400
Valencia got off to a sluggish start to his first season in Seattle and is still hitting just .143 (5-25) on the season. However, he has hit safely in three of his last five games. Tonight the 2-8 Mariners try to get their lineup in gear as they open a weekend set with the Rangers.
One of the reasons I like Valencia tonight is that he has crushed opposing starter Martin Perez in their previous meetings. Valencia is 6-15 against the Rangers’ lefty in his career with a double, a homer and five RBI. When he’s in the lineup, Valencia usually gets a solid slot, and he could move up against the lefty tonight. Last season, Valencia hit .318 against southpaws with a .924 OPS showing he’s always a value to target when facing a hittable lefty like Perez.
Yangervis Solarte – 2B – SD @ ATL – $3,200
While the San Diego lineup isn’t exactly the ’27 Yankees, Solarte does bring some nice upside hitting out of the third or fourth spot in the order. He has started the year 12-37 (.324) with two doubles, two homers and 10 RBI. The switch-hitter has crushed righties and comes into tonight’s game with a 1.087 OPS when he bats left-handed.
Tonight, he’ll bat lefty as the Padres head to Atlanta after taking two of three in Colorado. The reason Solarte is a little bit more affordable is that he will have to deal with Atlanta ace Julio Teheran. While that doesn’t look like a great matchup, Solarte has actually hit Teheran well in the past going 6-12 with a triple, homer and two RBI. Of all the players on the board tonight under $3,500, he’s the play I like the most.
Gerardo Parra – OF – COL @ SF – $2,900
Parra is surprisingly affordable tonight as he and the Rockies look to take their second game in a row from the Giants. While the fact that he’s away from Coors Field and facing Johnny Cueto hurt his outlook somewhat, I think he has dropped to a great price-point tonight where Parra makes sense.
Parra has started the season hitting well for the Rockies going 12-35 (.343) with a homer and six RBI. He sat last night against Madison Bumgarner but should be back in the lineup tonight especially given his success against Cueto in the past. Parra has gone 14-38 (.368) against Cueto in the past including four doubles, a pair of homers and three walks giving him a stout 1.046 OPS against the Giants’ starter who has gotten his season off to a good start but he hasn’t been unhittable (4.50 ERA). Parra is a great bargain at under $3,000 tonight.
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.