Undervalued Fantasy Baseball Hitter Matchups for the Week of July 17, 2017

Mallex Smith

With another full week of baseball coming up, it’s always smart to check the waiver wire or scout for the occasional ‘diamond in the rough’ fantasy star found at a very cheap cost. Winning the waiver wire could be the difference between grabbing a few extra points to land in the money or falling just short. Here’s a few hitters that might be available on your league waiver wire or could be found at a relatively low cost against favorable pitching matchups.

(Note: Stats and numbers are as of July 15th)

Monday, July 17: Jesus Aguilar (MIL 1B)  vs. PIT Chad Kuhl (3-6 4.96 ERA)

Aguilar had a huge game against the Yankees last week, when he hit two home runs with seven RBI. Filling for Eric Thames, Aguilar has 13 RBI in his last seven games. Kuhl has faced the Brewers twice this season, allowing two runs over eight innings. He’s posted a 1-4 record with a 6.46 ERA in nine starts at PNC Park this season. Aguilar is only owned in 18% of Fantrax leagues, so he’s likely available on waivers to fill the first base spot.

Tuesday, July 18:  Mallex Smith (TB OF)  vs. OAK Jharel Cotton (5-8 5.17 ERA)

In just 36 games, Smith has scored 22 runs and tacked on 11 stolen bases. He’s become an everyday player because of injury to Kevin Kiermaier and Colby Rasmus stepping away from baseball. Smith isn’t a power threat (only one home run this season), but his consistent hitting has allowed for his season batting average to rise to .325.  Cotton was tagged for four runs in five innings during his last start on July 3rd. He hasn’t faced Tampa Bay this year, but he’s posted a 1-6 record with a 7.68 ERA in seven night game starts this season. Smith is only owned in 50% of Fantrax leagues and may be available to plug up the outfield.

Wednesday, July 19: Jon Jay (CHC OF) vs. ATL R.A. Dickey (6-5 4.08 ERA)

Jay might lose a bit of playing time with Kyle Schwarber being called back up to the majors, but when Jay has performed when he’s played. He’s posted a .291/.375/.389 line at the plate this season. Dickey has been throwing well in his recent starts, only allowing four total runs over his past four starts. Jay is 3-for-9 in his career with a double against Dickey. If Jay is in the lineup on Wednesday, he could make for a cheap daily fantasy outfielder.

Thursday, July 20:  Luke Voit (STL 1B/C) vs. NYM Seth Lugo (3-2 4.59 ERA)

Voit has slowly become an everyday player for the Cardinals, being able to start behind the plate and at first base. In 16 games, Voit is batting .302 with three home runs and eight RBI. Lugo faced the Cardinals in his last start on July 9th, only going three innings and allowing one earned run. That one run was a home run off the bat of Voit. Voit is only owned in 38% of Fantrax leagues and makes a solid addition to any fantasy team.

Friday, July 21: Carlos Asuaje (SD 2B/SS) vs. SF Jeff Samardzija (4-10 4.58 ERA)

Asuaje has been an everyday player in the San Diego lineup since Yangervis Solarte went on the disabled list. He doesn’t bring a ton of power to the lineup, but his .293 batting average through 19 games has been pretty solid. Samardzija has made this list every week as a pitcher to hit against. Despite terrific peripherals, Samardzjia’s ERA is well above 4.00, part of a horrid Giants rotation this year. He was tagged for four runs in seven innings against the Marlins in his last start. Asuaje is only owned in 8% of Fantrax leagues, so it’s almost guaranteed he’ll be available on the waiver wire.

Saturday, July 22: Tucker Barnhart (CIN C) vs. MIA Tom Koehler (1-4 8.00 ERA)

Barnhart has done a majority of the catching duties for the Reds this season, starting in 64 of the team’s games so far. He’s hitting a solid .273 on the season, and 16 of his 53 total hits have been doubles. Koehler has not picked up a win since April 23rd, throwing six starts since then. He has not made it past the sixth inning in a single start this season. Left-handed hitters are batting .357 against Koehler this season. Barnhart is only owned in 16% of Fantrax leagues and can be used as a cheap catcher in daily fantasy.

Sunday, July 23: Bruce Maxwell (OAK C) vs. NYM Rafael Montero (1-5 5.77 ERA)

Maxwell stepped up into the starting catching spot for the Athletics after they designated Stephen Vogt for assignment. Over the past month, Maxwell has batted .333 with six RBI. Montero has mostly been used out of the bullpen for the Mets with the occasional spot start. As a starter, he’s posted a 1-2 record with a 6.27 ERA in four starts. Montero will be facing Oakland for the first time in his career but he’s 0-4 with a 7.11 ERA at Citi Field this year. Maxwell is only owned in 17% of Fantrax leagues and is another solid catcher option on the waiver wire.

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