Between opt outs, injuries and count monitoring, it’s been a rough year all around for the state of pitching in baseball. Still, it’s a little jarring when a slate like Tuesday’s pops up on your laptop screen. Do I really have to say anything more than Michael Wacha ($9,200) is the fourth-most expensive SP for tonight’s nine-game schedule? Yeah. I didn’t think so.
Let’s break it all down position-by-position.
Mike Clevinger, SD vs. COL, $9,700 - It’s been an underwhelming 2020 for Clevinger in so many ways, but I’m still willing to chalk up some of his ugly numbers this season to small sample size. For instance, while the right-hander’s strikeout rate has registered at a lowly 20.0% through five starts, his swinging strike rate remains elite at 12.1%. To give that some context, 21 qualified starters had a whiff rate above 12.0% in 2019 and 20 of those pitchers managed a strikeout rate of at least 24.0%. The strikeouts will come — especially against an opponent like the Rockies — who have struggled to make much contact or hit for much power on the road.
Other Options: Dylan Cease ($8,700), Andrew Heaney ($8,400)
Sixto Sanchez, MIA at ATL, $6,200 - Given the state of tonight’s pitching slate, I’d imagine that Sanchez is going to be a popular salary-saving strategy for a lot of owners on Tuesday. Still, I don’t think this is the night to fade a chalky pitcher. Sanchez’s stuff has had no problem translating to the MLB-level, as the top prospect has maintained a 26.8% strikeout rate and a 2.65 xFIP across his first 19.0 innings in the big leagues. That makes sense, as the 22-year-old has showcased a fastball with an average velocity sitting at an eye-popping 97.8 mph. Add in that Sanchez has also produced a 19-to-1 K/BB ratio, and it’s fair to suggest that he’s far too inexpensive, even when factoring in his inexperience.
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Austin Nola, SD vs. COL, $5,100 - It’s weird to see Nola this expensive, but a hot streak at the plate and a trade to powerful lineup can do wonders for a former fringe prospect. In fact, going back to Aug. 4, Nola has slashed an impressive .312/.375/.591 with a .280 ISO and a 159 wRC+. That should play well against Chi Chi Gonzalez ($5,800), who sports a career 5.48 FIP as a starting pitcher in MLB.
Other Option: Yasmani Grandal ($5,000)
Jose Trevino, TEX vs. LAA, $3,100 - I should certainly preface this with the note that Trevino’ placement in the Rangers’ order has more to do with the team’s lack of offensive talent than in does Trevino’s skill, but it’s always nice to find a catcher this cheap that isn’t going to hit ninth. Also, the 27-year-old has had most of his success in 2020 against left-handed pitching. In 33 plate appearances within the split, Trevino is hitting .290 with a .226 ISO and a .360 wOBA.
Other Option: Max Stassi ($2,800)
Cody Bellinger, LAD at ARI, $5,800 - This truncated season has exactly been one to remember for Bellinger, but the reigning National League MVP has still managed to hit 10 home runs in 153 at-bats so far in 2020. He’ll also have an undeniably fantastic matchup against Luke Weaver ($6,900) on Tuesday evening. Left-handed hitters have been the RHP’s worst enemy through eight starts, as Weaver’s surrendered over 3.3 home runs per nine within the split. Even in a small sample, that’s cringe-inducing.
Other Options: Anthony Rizzo ($5,100), Pete Alonso ($4,700)
Mitch Moreland, SD vs. COL, $4,100 - Moreland has slumped since being traded from the Red Sox to the Padres at the end of last month; but, even with his 2-for-15 start, the veteran is slashing .288/.381/.671 with a .430 wOBA in his opportunities against right-handed pitching in 2020. Considering the caliber of the RHP he’s due to face this evening, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that we see Moreland’s first home run in San Diego.
Other Option: Brandon Belt ($3,800)
Mike Moustakas, CIN at CHC, $4,900 - Much like the aforementioned Bellinger, Moustakas is a struggling left-handed bat with a great matchup and a lengthy track record of success. To wit, Alec Mills ($7,500) has had some serious issues with LHBs in 2020, surrendering 2.35 home runs per nine within the split. Mills has also struck out just 14.6% of the 96 lefties he’s seen this season, which should help negate Moustakas’ sudden contact woes.
Other Option: Jake Cronenworth ($4,300)
Jeff McNeil, NYM vs. BAL, $3,600 - Even in a left-on-left matchup, McNeil makes for an incredibly cost-effective DFS asset on Tuesday. The infielder is on fire the past couple of weeks, with a 1.107 OPS across his past 10 games — the same span where McNeil is averaging 10.5 DKFP. You knew it would have to turn around eventually for the former All-Star and now’s the time to invest with his salary still depressed.
Other Option: Gavin Lux ($3,800)
J.D. Davis, NYM vs. BAL, $4,300 - Davis isn’t really a platoon bat anymore, but that’s a product of the 27-year-old becoming a more well-rounded player. Believe me, he can still absolutely mash left-handed pitchers like John Means ($6,500). In his 55 plate appearances this season against LHPs, Davis has slashed .311/.436/.511 with a 161 wRC+. This, after managing a .913 OPS in his 155 PAs versus LHPs in 2019. With Means conceding an opponent barrel in 11.3% of his batted ball events, Davis is in a marvellous spot.
Other Options: Manny Machado ($5,800), Yoan Moncada ($5,000)
Willi Castro, DET vs. MIL, $3,700 - Castro has been primarily batting out of the five-slot for the Tigers as of late and it’s not hard to figure out why. Going back to Aug. 22, the switch-hitter has produced a 1.038 OPS and a 181 wRC+ in 44 plate appearances. It’s surely a small sample, but I’m not confident that Adrian Houser ($8,000) is going to be the person that slows Castro down. Houser’s allowed LHBs to compile a massive .434 wOBA in 2020 — the second-highest qualified mark in baseball.
Other Option: Todd Frazier ($3,500)
Corey Seager, LAD at ARI, $5,500 - Seager, who is averaging a stunning 12.9 DKFP across his past 10 contests, has simply destroyed all RHPs in his path in 2020. Coming into Tuesday’s slate, in his 105 plate appearances within the split, the shortstop has produced a .388 ISO and a 210 wRC+. Or, if you prefer something more direct, Seager has seven home runs and 29 hits in his last 19 games. That’s pretty good, right?
Other Option: Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,000)
Jon Berti, MIA at ATL, $3,200 - You’ll have to keep a close eye on Berti’s status for this game, as he exited Monday in the 10th inning due to a finger contusion; however, if the utility man is in Miami’s lineup, he’s viable. Berti doesn’t have a lot of pop, but he has spent a majority of the season batting either first or second in the Marlins’ order. He’s also racked up eight steals, which ties him for the fifth-most in all of baseball. On top of that, Miami draws the struggling Kyle Wright ($6,500) on Tuesday. Among the 387 pitchers who have faced at least 50 hitters in 2020, Wright’s .431 expected opponent wOBA is the 10th-highest.
Starling Marte, MIA at ATL, $5,500 - You can pretty much take everything I just said about Berti’s value and apply it to Marte. The former Diamondback hits atop the Marlins’ order, he’s possesses a lot of speed and his gets to face the awful Wright on Tuesday night. However, unlike Berti, Marte has the added benefit of being a really, really good hitter. That’s all I need against a pitcher that’s surrendered 1.77 home runs per nine for his entire career.
Other Options: Christian Yelich ($5,300), Eloy Jimenez ($4,900)
Victor Reyes, DET vs. MIL, $3,800 - There’s a couple of things really working in Reyes’ favor on this slate. First, he’s been batting leadoff for the Tigers for the past few weeks. Second, he’ll get to face the struggling Houser, who, as mentioned, can not seem to retire a left-handed bat. That’s extremely important when it comes to Reyes, as the 25-year-old possesses a lot more power when hitting from the left-hand side. In fact, Reyes owns a .220 ISO against RHPs in 2020 and, for his career, all eight of his home runs have come within the split.
Other Options: Jesse Winker ($4,300), Corey Dickerson ($3,200)
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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.