For this Friday night, Major League Baseball has 13 games on the schedule as we head into the last weekend before next week’s four-day All-Star break. To help you find the most impactful cheap plays, check out my picks in today’s edition of the MLB Bargain Bin featuring two pitchers under $8K and three hitters who cost less than $3.5K.
Cole Hamels – TEX vs. LAA – $7,800
After spending most of May and June on the DL, Hamels was understandably rusty against the Indians when he was knocked around for seven runs in 4.1 innings in his return on June 26th. He bounced back with one of his best starts of the season, though, allowing only two hits and two runs to the White Sox last Saturday striking out six in 6.2 innings. He finished that start with a season-high 25.2 DKFP.
Hamels will look to continue his return to form as he faces the Angels tonight in Arlington. At home this year, Hamels is 2-0 with a 3.05 ERA in three starts, and he is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA against the Angels in his career. With Mike Trout still out, the Angels’ lineup lacks power potential, so Hamels should be able to deliver another strong outing heading into the All-Star break.
Charlie Morton – HOU @ TOR – $7,100
There’s some risk rolling with Morton tonight as he comes off the DL, but there is a lot of upside at his very affordable $7,100. Morton hasn’t started in the Majors since May 24th, but he did throw 74 pitches in a rehab start for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks last Sunday allowing one hit and two unearned runs over 4.1 innings while striking out five. He should be able to go for about 100 pitches tonight in Toronto, but the risk of a bust is there if he’s not quite ready for MLB competition yet.
Before his injury, Morton was off to a good start going 5-3 in his first 10 starts posting a 4.06 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He struck out 65 batters in his 57.2 innings, and his high strikeout rate helped him to post 19+ DKFP in five of his last six starts before hitting the DL. Morton did struggle on the road (1-2, 6.89 ERA), but he has a high ceiling as he faces the Blue Jays with the backing of the Astros’ hot lineup behind him.
Brian Goodwin – OF – WAS vs. ATL – $3,400
Goodwin has hit leadoff in his last three starts for the Nationals and has hit safely in each of those three outings going 5-12 with a double, a home run and a pair of runs scored. While Trea Turner is out, it appears manager Dusty Baker will give Goodwin plenty of time at the top of the order which gives him a huge potential for run production with so many quality bats behind him. He was successful in his only stolen base attempt this year and had 15 steals in each of his last two minor league seasons.
Washington lost last night to Atlanta 5-2 despite Goodwin connecting on his seventh homer of the season. He comes into tonight with a very solid .875 OPS on the season and makes for a great play against R.A. Dickey and the Braves if he’s at the top of the Washington order again.
Ryon Healy – 1B/3B – OAK @ SEA – $3,400
After missing some time with back spasms earlier this week, Healy returned to the Oakland lineup last night going 0-3 with a walk in the A’s 7-4 win. He’ll be set up for more success tonight since he’ll be taking on lefty James Paxton in the second game of the series at Safeco Field.
Healy is known for crushing lefties which is exactly what he has done all season hitting .373 (22-59) with five homers, 15 RBI and a 1.105 OPS. 10 of his 19 home runs this year have come since June 1st, and he’ll look to deliver on his power-packed potential tonight in Seattle where he has two career homers in 32 at-bats. Healy is 4-6 in his career against Paxton with a double and a pair of RBI in their previous meetings.
Tzu-Wei Lin – 3B/SS – BOS @ TB – $2,500
After finishing second in the final vote for the All-Star game, Xander Bogaerts’ day went from bad to worse when he was forced to leave the game last night after being hit on the hand. Fortunately for X-man and Red Sox fans, he seems to have escaped serious injury, but he may miss the next few days giving Lin even more chances to continue to emerge as a solid fantasy flier.
Since he was called up from Double-A, Lin has gone 9-29 (.310) in his 12 games with six walks, two triples, six runs scored and a pair of RBI. He comes into tonight’s game with a solid .877 OPS. He and the Red Sox will face Jake Odorizzi who has given up at least three runs in each of his last six starts as his ERA has climbed to 4.08 on the season. The Red Sox’s lineup should bounce back after a quiet night last night, and Lin makes for a nice cheap flier with good positional flexibility.
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.