After a long four-day absence due to the All Star break, fantasy baseball is back in a big way this Friday night on DraftKings as all 30 Major League Baseball teams are playing. To help you save some salary and still get good production, check out today’s MLB Bargain Bin where you’ll find my two pitchers under $8K and three hitters who under $3.5K.
Jon Gray – COL @ NYM – $7,900
Gray spent most of the first half on the DL with a foot injury, but the 25-year-old righty has looked good in his two starts since returning showing the potential for a strong second half. He has only made five starts this year and is 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA. He has picked up 24 strikeouts in 24 innings and hasn’t had a really bad start since Opening Day against the Brewers.
In his two starts since coming off the DL, Gray has 15 strikeouts in 11.2 innings posting 28.7 DKFP against the Diamondbacks in Arizona and 17.4 DKFP in his last start which came at home against the Reds. Tonight, he’ll face the Mets at pitcher-friendly Citi Field. Last year, Gray made one start against the Mets and allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings while striking out eight.
Dan Straily – MIA vs. LAD – $7,100
In his first year with Miami, Straily put together a strong first half, and he’s a very nice play tonight even though he’s facing a tough Dodgers lineup. Straily went 7-4 in his 18 first-half starts posting a 3.31 ERA and 1.05 WHIP which would both be career-bests if maintained those numbers the rest of the season. He has 97 strikeouts in his 103.1 innings and has at least 15 DKFP in eight of his last 10 starts coming into the break.
At home, Straily has been even better, holding opponents to a .189 batting average at Marlins Park and posting a 3-1 record in nine starts with a 2.31 ERA. He did face the Dodgers earlier this season totaling 22.6 DKFP in a win back on May 20th. In that outing, he allowed three runs on four hits in 5.2 innings while striking out eight.
Paul DeJong – 2B/SS – STL @ PIT – $2,600
DeJong headed into the break with an amazing series against the Mets. In the three-game set in St. Louis, he posted 22, 33 and 17 DKFP while going 9-12 with four doubles, three home runs and four RBI. He was 11-16 in the last week before the break raising his average to .313 on the season with a .932 OPS.
Even with Aledmys Díaz and Kolten Wong healthy, look for the Cardinals to find plenty of playing time for their 23-year-old prospect after he filled in so well throughout the first half of the season. At such a cheap price, DeJong is a great solution at either 2B or SS as the Cardinals open up the second half against Gerrit Cole and the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
Wilmer Difo – 2B/SS – WSH @ CIN – $3,400
Another hot-hitting middle infielder to consider under $3.5K tonight is Wilmer Difo who has helped the Nationals in the absence of Trea Turner. Difo is 9-16 (.563) this month, and he has also added seven walks to give him a .640 OBP and a 1.265 OPS. Difo even did his best Turner impersonation and swiped a bag in his eight games in July.
Difo is definitely a nice play if he’s near the top of the Nationals’ power-packed lineup, and he can offer some solid production and speed as long as he stays hot. Tonight, he and the Nats open the second half taking on righty Tim Adleman and the Reds at Great American Ballpark.
Christian Yelich – OF – MIA @ LAD – $3,400
If you’re spending under $3.5K on one of your OF spots, Yelich is my top option to target tonight. On the season, the Marlins’ lefty is hitting .280 with eight homers and 43 RBI, and he came into the break with nice momentum averaging 10.6 FPPG over his last 10 games going 14-43 (.326) with five doubles, six walks, six RBI and a home run. He normally gets a nice spot in the order between Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna putting him right in the middle of plenty of run production.
His overall numbers are a bit down this year, but he has fared well against righties with an .801 OPS and has also had good success at home in Miami. He offers a little bit of speed and is still just 25 years old and part of the Marlins’ young core. Yelich is one of many Fish whose names will fly around leading up to the trade deadline, but his price and a good matchup against Brandon McCarthy make him worth considering for your fantasy team this Friday.
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