Major League Baseball starts the week with a dozen games on the slate to help get us through this Monday. While there are still several East vs. West matchups on the board there are also some regional rivalries including the battle for Ohio and a pair of divisional games as the Rays host the Orioles and the Tigers take on the Royals. As you sift through the 24 teams who have players available, don’t miss these top plays from today’s Bargain Bin where you can find my top two pitchers under $8K and my top three hitters under $3.5K.
Eduardo Rodríguez – BOS @ SEA – $7,800
After missing six weeks with a knee injury, Rodríguez returned to the Boston rotation last Monday and struck out eight Blue Jays in 5.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits. His 16 DKFP were just below his season average, but they were still a solid return given his lengthy absence. He is 4-2 on the season with a 3.66 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. A lot of his fantasy value comes from his strikeout production since he has struck out 73 batters in his 66.1 innings.
Tonight, Rodríguez will go head to head with James Paxton in a battle of young promising lefties in Seattle. Rodríguez hasn’t been as sharp on the road as he has been at home, but he should fare well at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, and he already beat Seattle once this year when he threw six shutout innings against them striking out four and allowing five hits and three walks to finish with 20.7 DKFP which would be a solid return at this price tonight.
Chris Smith – OAK @ TOR – $6,100
If you’re trying to go ultra-cheap with one of your starters, consider Chris Smith who will be making his third start of the season for the A’s. The 36-year-old Minor League veteran was drafted all the way back in 2002 but he had not made a Major League start until July 8th of this season. He hasn’t picked up a decision in either start he has made for Oakland but he has only allowed four earned runs on nine hits in 13 innings while striking out eight.
Smith posted 11.3 DKFP against the Mariners and 18.8 DKFP against the Rays in his two starts this year, but he’ll face a tough test on the road in Toronto tonight. Even in hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, Smith is the most reliable of the group of starters under $7K.
Ryon Healy – 1B/3B – OAK @ TOR – $2,900
While the A’s were in New York facing the Mets, Healy played in the field but took a grounder to the head on Friday. He passed all his concussion tests but didn’t start Saturday or Sunday although he did get a hit as a pinch-hitter. He’s expected to be back in the lineup for Oakland tonight as they travel to Toronto and get back the DH since they’re no longer in a National League stadium.
Healy went 2-3 on Friday before the injury and he is now hitting .264 on the season. He offers good power potential, though, and comes into play tonight with 19 doubles, 19 home runs, 55 RBI and a .781 OPS. While those numbers are solid for anyone under $3K, Healy is an especially good play tonight as the A’s face Francisco Liriano. Against lefties like Liriano, Healy is hitting .368 (25-68) this year with five homers and a 1.048 OPS. He will be making his first appearance at Rogers Centre, but he has gone 6-21 (.286) in his career against Toronto with three homers and a 1.048 OPS.
José Reyes – 3B/SS – NYM @ SD – $3,400
Reyes got off to a brutal start to the season hitting .174 in April, .216 in May, and .213 in June. However, he has heated up lately and suddenly become a solid offensive option again. So far in July, he is hitting an impressive .338 (22-65) with six doubles, two triples, three home runs and 10 RBI. He is averaging 9.3 FPPG over his last 10 games which include five games with 10+ DKFP.
Tonight, Reyes and the Mets are on the left coast as they visit the Padres in San Diego. Clayton Richard is expected to start for the Padres who Reyes has homered against in his career while going 3-14. Reyes usually provides a little more power when facing left-handed pitching and has a solid .836 OPS against southpaws this season. Give the veteran a try if you need to go with a bargain on the left side of your infield tonight.
Alex Presley – OF – DET vs. KC – $2,900
While he doesn’t bring a ton of power, Presley has thrived in an everyday role since the Tigers traded J.D. Martinez. He is definitely worth a look based on his recent performance as Detroit hosts Jason Hammel and the Royals tonight.
Presley has hit safely in each of his last 10 games with an at-bat. He is hitting .463 (19-41) so far in July as a result with four doubles, six RBI, three walks and a stolen base. He went 3-5 for the second day in a row yesterday in Minnesota driving in a run and scoring a pair. Only one of his six hits in those two games was for extra-bases, but for under $3K you can use him as a solid source of batting average who should give you some production in a good matchup at home tonight. His ceiling isn’t crazy-high, but he has at least five DKFP in seven of his last nine games with an at-bat.
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.