After a few nights of limited slates, it’s good to have a big night of Major League Baseball to look forward to. Only the Cubs and Cardinals are absent from tonight’s 28-team pool of players to choose from as you put together your DraftKings roster. As you put together the stars you think deserve a spot on your team, you may need to go with a cheap option or two to manage your salary cap. Here are my favorite inexpensive plays from the Bargain Bin featuring two pitchers who cost less than $8K and three hitters who cost under $3.5K.
Mike Fiers – HOU @ BAL – $7,500
Fiers began the second half with his best start of the season striking out a season-high 11 against Minnesota while allowing just four hits and two runs in seven solid innings. He picked up the win to improve to 6-4 on the season while lowering his ERA to 3.75. Over his last 10 starts, his ERA is an impressive 2.76 and he has averaged 19.4 FPPG while going 5-2 with 62 strikeouts in 58.2 innings.
He will look to build on his 35.4-DKFP outing tonight as he and the Astros start a series in Baltimore against the Orioles. Fiers has been better at home than on the road, but he did beat the Orioles the only time he has faced them in the last three years allowing one run on five hits in seven innings. Even though he’s in Camden Yards against a powerful lineup, Fiers has tremendous upside and will be a steal at this price if he has another start like his last one.
Alex Cobb – TB vs. TEX – $7,900
Cobb has been more consistent this year than Fiers but he doesn’t have the strikeout-rate, so his ceiling is lower. Cobb has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts, though, and has gone 4-1 over that span lowering his ERA to 3.59. He went 7.2 innings in each of his last two outings allowing a total of one run on eight hits. The only thing holding him back from being an upper-tier fantasy play is that he has under five strikeouts in each of his last four starts and only 80 Ks in 123 innings on the season.
Tonight, he’s on the mound at the Trop where he is 4-3 with a 2.64 ERA. He should be able to put together a strong start against the Rangers and is relatively low-risk. However, he doesn’t have the ceiling offered by Fiers or other pitchers who can pile up strikeouts when they’re on top of their game.
Maikel Franco – 3B – PHI vs. MIL – $3,400
After showing a ton of promise in 2015, Franco regressed in 2016, and he had a miserable first few months of this season. He hit under .225 in April, May and June without an OPS over .700 in any of those months. However, Franco’s bat has come alive in July and he has looked especially locked-in at the plate since the All Star break. So far this month, Franco is hitting .300 (18-60) with five doubles, four homers, 14 RBI and a .931 OPS.
He has gone 11-25 (.440) since the break with a 1.203 OPS becoming a mainstay in the middle of the Phillies lineup. He and the Phils are at home tonight as they welcome in Matt Garza and the Brewers. He comes into tonight’s matchup with at least seven DKFP in four straight and seven of his last 10 games. He is only averaging 6.8 FPPG on the season, but he has produced 9.8 FPPG over his last 10 contests.
Matt Kemp – OF – ATL @ LAD – $3,300
Last night, Kemp went 1-4 as he returned to LA to face the Dodgers, a team he played for during the first nine seasons of his career. Kemp has hit safely in six of seven games since the All Star break and is 7-26 (.269) during that span with a homer, three runs scored and five RBI. He started the season red hot but has cooled off a bit in June and July. He is still hitting .291 on the year with 13 homers and a .816 OPS. He also still fills an important role in the middle of a surprisingly potent Braves lineup.
Tonight, Atlanta will try to make it two wins in a row over the Dodgers as they face former-Brave Alex Wood who is having a sensational season. Kemp has a good history against Wood having gone 5-11 in their past meetings with a double, home run and a pair of RBI. Kemp hasn’t hit lefties particularly well this season, but he has lots of upside to like at this price in a matchup where he has found success in the past.
Manny Piña – C – MIL @ PHI – $3,000
After the Brewers acquired Stephen Vogt, Piña looked relegated to a backup role despite a promising season at the plate, but Piña has been back in the regular lineup with Vogt’s trip to the DL. In his four starts since the All Star break, Piña is 7-15 with three multi-hit games, a double, a RBI and a walk. He has raised his average on the season to .299 with a .333 (13-39) start to the month.
Piña doesn’t offer a ton of power, but he does have six homers, 15 doubles and a .799 OPS on the year. He has also hit better on the road where he has a .317 average and .836 OPS. Since he and the Brewers are in Philadelphia to face Aaron Nola and the Phillies tonight, Piña is a solid option behind the plate who is very affordable at only $3K.
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.