With the amount of pitcher injuries we’ve seen already in this truncated season, it’s been rare to have a night where it’s actually difficult to narrow down which starters you might want to use. In a welcomed twist, that will not be the case this evening. Shane Bieber ($10,800) and Gerrit Cole ($10,600) headline what is likely the strongest crop of pitchers I can remember seeing in 2020, meaning offense might be at a premium on this 10-game featured slate on DraftKings.
Which arms should you be building your DraftKings lineups around? Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Lucas Giolito, CWS vs. PIT, $9,700 - If Giolito has had an issue through six starts in 2020, it’s been walks. The former top prospect has given a free pass to 11.3% of the 142 batters he’s faced so far this season, mostly the result of Giolito enticing fewer swings on pitches outside the strike zone than in 2019. However, this shouldn’t be a problem against the Pirates, who come into Tuesday’s slate in possession of the National League’s lowest walk rate (6.9%). They also own the NL’s lowest ISO (.132) and its second-highest swinging strike rate (12.9%). This should all be music to the ears of Giolito, especially considering his high strikeout upside regardless of opponent.
Other Options: Shane Bieber ($10,800), Luis Castillo ($9,600)
Sean Manaea, OAK at TEX, $7,500 - Obviously it’s still pretty concerning that Manaea has yet to exceed 80 pitches in an outing in 2020, but the left-hander is coming off his best showing of the season and his price point has never been this low. He’s also not pitched nearly as poorly as his 6.40 ERA would suggest. Through 25.1 innings, Manaea’s maintained a 3.62 xFIP, thanks primarily to his ability to suppress opponent launch angle and his sterling 4.40 K/BB ratio. I’d be a little surprised if we didn’t see the LHP throw at least six frames against a struggling Rangers offense than currently ranks last in the league in wRC+ (66).
Other Option: Chris Paddack ($7,800)
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James McCann, CWS vs. PIT, $4,200 - Throughout the entirety of McCann’s professional baseball life, he’s simply been a different player when getting the opportunity to hit off of a left-handed pitcher. The backstop has a .505 wOBA in his 20 plate appearances within the split so far in 2020, while McCann’s career 121 wRC+ versus LHPs is considerably higher than his mark against RHPs. Steven Brault ($5,900) has been decent this season, but he’s nothing more than your average southpaw with an underwhelming contact rate.
Other Option: Gary Sanchez ($4,800)
Joey Bart, SF vs. LAD, $3,700 - While the Giants do have one of the slate’s lowest implied team totals, I don’t have an issue using Bart on an island. It’s a small sample we’re dealing with, but the former second-overall pick can clearly hit at this level. To wit, Bart managed to collect an extra-base hit in the first three games of his career, and of his eight batted ball events, two have been barrels. Give the rookie a look in this right-on-left matchup.
Other Option: Yadier Molina ($3,600)
Luke Voit, NYY at ATL, $4,400 - We all know that Ian Anderson ($8,100) has the skill and the pedigree to pitch at the MLB level. Even in his major league debut, I wouldn’t necessarily be itching to stack against the RHP. However, when it comes specifically to Voit, his viability is more a matter of respect. The hulking first baseman comes into this matchup with the Braves leading all qualified players in ISO (.416), sitting second in wRC+ (196) and ranking third in OPS (1.115). He should definitely be priced above $5K.
Other Options: Matt Olson ($5,300), Jose Abreu ($5,000)
Hunter Dozier, KC at STL, $3,900 - Much like Voit, Dozier just seems a little inexpensive on this evening’s slate. The 29-year-old has looked great since returning from the IL, slashing .256/.396/.512 with a 148 wRC+ in his 53 plate appearances. Yes, I’d generally prefer to attack Adam Wainwright ($8,400) with LHBs, but I’m more than willing to settle for a red-hot right-hander than hits in the top-third of the Royals’ lineup.
Other Option: Edwin Encarnacion ($3,800)
Mike Moustakas, CIN at MIL, $5,100 - To be completely honest, I’ll probably be looking to save some salary at second base on Tuesday, but if you have the means, Moustakas does possess a lot of upside. Miller Park has long been considered one of the best hitter’s parks in MLB and Moustakas is flush with power. Plus, if you’re going to try and pick on Brandon Woodruff ($8,200), it’s best to do so with a lefty. Woodruff tends to shelve his slider when facing an LHB, which, throughout his career, has led to a lower strikeout rate and a higher wOBA within the split.
Jake Cronenworth, SD vs. SEA, $3,500 - Even in a left-on-left matchup, it’s hard to ignore Cronenworth. The rookie is currently riding an eight-game hitting streak, while he’s also one of only two players with at least 80 plate appearances with an ISO above .275 and a strikeout rate below 15.0%. In short, he’s just been really, really good for the Padres in 2020. I wouldn’t expect that to change against the contact-oriented Marco Gonzales ($6,600) or Seattle’s shaky bullpen.
Nolan Arenado, COL at ARI, $4,900 - So, you know that whole thing where players on the Rockies generally can’t hit away from Coors? Well, Arenado is really trying to keep that stereotype alive in 2020. The All-Star has somehow managed a -6 wRC+ in his 52 plate appearances on the road, which is so bad I almost feel like I might need to disinfect my laptop after looking it up. Anyway, it ends on Tuesday. Alex Young ($6,300) is a left-hander — Arenado’s preferred split — that has been rocked in his prior appearances; surrendering a barrel to 9.2% of the batters he’s faced. Of the 121 pitchers with at least 50 batted ball events this season, that’s the second-worst rate.
Other Option: Matt Chapman ($5,300)
Evan Longoria, SF vs. LAD, $3,800 - While most aspects of Longoria’s play have fallen off a cliff in recent years, the 34-year-old has still been able to consistently hit left-handed pitching. To wit, Longoria posted a 125 wRC+ in his 161 plate appearances within the split in 2019, and so far in 2020, he’s 8-for-25 (.320) with a pair of home runs in his opportunities against southpaws. He’ll provide a decent amount of upside at his price point below $4K.
Tim Anderson, CWS vs. PIT, $5,400 - I’m not even sure you can call this a variance play, but I’d guess that Anderson comes in with a much lower ownership that Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,600) on this slate. Both have been absolutely punishing left-handed pitching so far in 2020, but Anderson’s numbers, in particular, are almost unbelievable. The 27-year-old is 14-for-24 (.583) within the split, with 11 of those 14 hits going for extra bases. That works out to an eye-popping .917 ISO. I know, it’s a small sample size, but at the end of the day, Anderson’s also just a leadoff hitter with a .442 wOBA.
Other Option: Trevor Story ($5,200)
Brendan Rodgers, COL at ARI, $3,100 - Rodgers has struggled to do anything while at the major league level the past two seasons, but we’re still talking about a guy with a lot of upside. Rodgers came into 2020 ranked as the Rockies’ top prospect and the No. 29 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline. If he’s in Colorado’s lineup tonight, I’m going to take a shot on him in a great matchup against the aforementioned Young. With his multi-position eligibility, you can also get him into the same build as Story, which obviously helps for stacking purposes.
Eloy Jimenez, CWS vs. PIT, $4,900 - I’ve written up a lot of White Sox players in this article. There’s a reason for that. Let’s just say, if you’re someone who believes in karma and reincarnation, a bad person might come back to this world as a soft-tossing left-handed pitcher going up against this Chicago batting order. The White Sox have demolished LHPs to the tune of a league-leading 168 wRC+ so far in 2020 and Jimenez has been a vital part of that success. In fact, the sophomore has posted a massive .333 ISO within the split. Brault doesn’t stand a chance.
Other Option: Cody Bellinger ($5,700)
Wil Myers, SD vs. SEA, $3,400 - Overshadowed by the greatness of Tatis, Myers has quietly put together a really nice season for the Padres. He comes into tonight’s matchup with the Mariners slashing .271/.352/.573 with a 147 wRC+, with most of that damage coming against left-handed pitching. Myers is 11-for-27 (.407) with four home runs within the split and you’d have to think he’s licking his chops at the prospect of facing Gonzales on Tuesday.
Other Options: Mike Tauchman ($3,600), David Peralta ($3,500)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.