All 30 Major League Baseball teams are scheduled to be on the diamond this Friday night setting up a fun night of fantasy baseball to get your weekend rolling. If you are searching for some value plays from the Bargain Bin, check out these two bargain pitchers (under $8K) and three bargain hitters (under $3.5K) who should offer good returns on minimal investment tonight.
Antonio Senzatela – COL vs. SF – $7,200
Pitching at Coors Field has ruined many starting pitchers’ ERA, but it hasn’t been a problem for Rockies’ rookie Antonio Senzatela. Senzatela is 6-1 in seven starts at home in Denver with a 3.18 ERA. He has actually made more starts in the day (seven) than at night (six), but he has looked especially strong in his games under the lights going 5-1 with a 2.75 ERA.
Senzatela will take the mound tonight against the Giants for the third time this season. In his first two starts, he went 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA allowing just four runs in 14 innings while striking out six. Senzatela doesn’t usually provide elite strikeout numbers, but he gets enough ground balls to be a very solid bargain play even when he’s pitching at elevation.
Sean Manaea – OAK vs. NYY – $7,300
Manaea is in a much more pitcher-friendly location tonight in Oakland. His risk factor isn’t the ballpark; it’s the opposition. The A’s lefty will take on the red-hot Yankees tonight as Oakland looks to make it two in a row over the AL East leaders.
Four starts ago, Manaea faced the Yankees in the Bronx and threw seven shutout innings allowing just four hits and striking out eight. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last four starts going back to that outing and has improved to 6-3 on the year with a 3.67 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .186 against Manaea this year, and he has at least five strikeouts in eight of his last 10 starts.
Derek Fisher – OF – HOU vs. BOS – $3,300
Fisher made his MLB debut on Wednesday and went 2-3 with a home run, two RBI, two walks and two runs scored for a total of 25 DKFP. He tore up Triple-A before being called up hitting .335 with a .943 OPS for the Fresno Grizzlies. Fisher had 16 home runs and 13 stolen bases making him a solid dual-threat if he is ready to translate that production to the Majors.
Tonight, the Astros host Drew Pomeranz and the Red Sox. Fisher hit .339 against lefties in Triple-A, so even though it’s a lefty-lefty matchup Fisher should still get a chance to start. Pomeranz actually has been hit harder by lefties allowing them to go 18-45 (.400) with a 1.060 OPS against him this season while holding righties to a .239 average.
Austin Slater – OF – SF @ COL – $3,400
Another rookie outfielder who is worth a look as a bargain play tonight is the Giants’ Austin Slater. Slater is a little further along in his MLB career than Fisher and also gets the extra boost of playing at Coors Field. He has played ten games since his call-up and is 15-37 (.405) after going 4-5 yesterday. Slater has one double, one triple, one home run, a pair of walks and seven RBI in his ten games giving him a 1.031 OPS.
Last night, Buster Posey and Eduardo Núñez both left the game early due to injuries which could force Slater into a more prominent role in the San Francisco attack. He seems to be the Giants’ solution to the problem they’ve had all year getting production from LF, and he can also help your fantasy team if you need an OF under $3.5K.
Alcides Escobar – SS –KC @ LAA – $2,800
Like much of the Kansas City lineup, Escobar has struggled badly this season hitting .171 in April and .197 in May. Recently, though, he’s started showing signs of life at the plate and now he makes an interesting cheap flier since his price has bottomed out below $3K.
Escobar has four multi-hit games in his last five and has gone 9-28 (.321) over the last week with three doubles, a home run and three RBI. He has doubled in each of his last three games and will look to continue his production tonight on the road against Jesse Chávez. He’s still hitting just .197 on the season, but it looks like his sluggish bat may be starting to come around.
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