We’ve got a 13-game featured MLB slate this evening on DraftKings and, thankfully, it appears that I don’t have to double as a meteorologist for the first time all month. Clear skies, full hearts, can’t lose. Am I right or am I right?
Let’s break down everything you need to know position-by-position for tonight’s action on the diamond.
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Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers, $9,500 - Giolito was roughed up in his last outing on Patriots’ Day, though I’m willing to overlook a single bad start against one of the league’s best lineups — especially if that start happened to take place at 11:00 a.m. ET. Giolito should have a much easier time this evening with the Tigers, who have been struggling to do much of anything in terms of run production. In fact, across the past 14 days, Detroit owns the league’s highest strikeout rate (30.3%), highest swinging strike rate (14.4%) and second-worst wRC+ (69). Look for Giolito to bounce-back in a big way.
Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays, $7,300 - Montas is another name that’s coming off a shaky start last week, however you could say that about almost every pitcher on this slate below $8K. The reason I’m intrigued by the right-hander is his ceiling. Though assets like Adrian Houser ($8,000), Aaron Sanchez ($7,200) and Dan Castano ($6,400) have exploitable matchups, none of those men possess even half the strikeout upside of Montas, who comes into Tuesday with a 12.3% swinging strike rate and an average fastball velocity of 96.1 mph. Montas also racked up 29.7 DKFP in a start back on Apr. 16, so it’s not like we haven’t recently witnessed his fantasy potential.
Editor’s Note: Yankees C Gary Sanchez is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Orioles.
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $4,700 - The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Yet, here I am once again, suggesting a Yankees stack. New York has the highest implied team total on tonight’s slate, and that makes sense, as it draws the soft-tossing LHP Bruce Zimmerman ($6,000). Sanchez should be in a decent spot, as Zimmerman’s struck out just 13.6% of the RHBs he’s faced in his brief career. In fact, I’d even be interested in Kyle Higashioka ($3,200) if he ends up starting, as the backup backstop has a pair of home runs off of left-handed pitching already in 2021.
Sean Murphy, Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays, $3,800 - A lot of Murphy’s value at the plate comes in his OBP, which doesn’t necessarily translate to DFS, but I still like the catcher on Tuesday night. Murphy tends to hit sixth in Oakland’s lineup, which is pretty decent positionally, and on top of that, he’ll get to face Michael Wacha ($7,700). So far this season, 16.7% of the batted ball events that Wacha has induced have been barrels — the highest mark of any qualified American League pitcher.
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs, $5,900 - This is a pretty lofty price for Freeman, but I have confidence that he and the Braves will be able to do some damage against Trevor Williams ($8,100) this evening. First and foremost, Williams has just had his issues with LHBs in recent years, as the 458 he’s seen since the beginning of 2019 have combined to slash .307/.373/.498. Let’s also consider how much Freeman loves to hit right-handed pitching at Truist Park, as the reigning NL MVP managed a 255 wRC+ within the split in 2020.
Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers, $4,100 - If Shohei Ohtani ($4,300) is in the Angels’ lineup tonight, he’d also be incredible viable in this matchup against Mike Foltynewicz ($6,800). Still, if it’s just Walsh, that’s perfectly fine, too. Foltynewicz has been plagued by the long ball so far in 2021, particularly to those batting from the left-side. To wit, LHBs are slugging .775 versus the RHP, and they’ve managed 4.50 home runs per nine. Walsh, who sports a 1.002 OPS against righties, should be in a position to thrive.
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Jazz Chisholm, Miami Marlins at Milwaukee Brewers, $4,500 - It’s a little sad to see Chisholm’s salary graduate from “value” to “stud” as he’s continued to mash at the dish in his rookie campaign. Still, even with the price hike, the 23-year-old is viable in this matchup with Houser. In fact, you could say it’s Chisholm’s perfect archetype of opponent, as the young infielder’s only glaring flaw so far in 2021 is his 31.6% strikeout rate. Well, Houser possesses a 94.5% zone contact rate — a figure that would be the highest in baseball had the RHP enough innings to qualify. Historically, Houser’s also had his issues with LHBs.
Josh Harrison, Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays, $3,800 - I don’t think there will be many runs scored in this game by either team, yet Harrison’s enticing at this modest price point. The veteran has been batting leadoff in recent contests and, for the season, Harrison’s hitting .318 with a 128 wRC+ over 49 plate appearances. Whether it’s Trent Thornton ($6,100) or Tommy Milone ($6,900) or Anthony Kay ($6,500), there really won’t be a daunting matchup for Harrison this evening.
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners, $5,200 - Bregman’s looked really good at the plate since returning from the COVID-19 injured list and he’ll have the opportunity to continue his recent success against Marco Gonzales ($6,200) on Tuesday. Seattle’s “ace” has been struggling mightily so far this season, particularly in left-on-right matchups. In fact, RHBs have a massive .472 wOBA against Gonzales through four starts, due mostly to registering 3.77 home runs per nine within the split. Bregman’s always hit lefties well and he’s a high-upside asset on this slate.
Gio Urshela, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $3,100 - We’re dealing with small samples, as Zimmerman’s appeared in just six MLB games, yet Baltimore’s expected starter has allowed an eye-popping 2.12 home runs per nine to RHBs. Few teams have as much right-handed power as New York and Urshela is definitely part of that group. The third baseman is also one of few Yankees actually hitting well as of late, which is why Aaron Boone’s moved Urshela up to the five-spot in the team’s batting order.
Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, $5,400 - While it might be asking too much for Tatis to go deep again on Tuesday — he has five home runs in his past three games — the matchup is really, really nice. Merrill Kelly ($6,700) has been awful to begin 2021, surrendering a .648 expected slugging percentage and a .419 expected wOBA. Also, if you’re into this sort of thing, Tatis does have three home runs in 12 career at-bats against Kelly. Take it or leave it.
Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,500 - The great thing about Cronenworth on this slate is that he possesses eligibility at both second base and shortstop, so you’d be able to stack he and Tatis in a single build. The 27-year-old doesn’t have nearly the same type of ceiling as his teammate, yet Cronenworth rarely strikes out and he generally hits in the middle of the Padres’ lineup. In a matchup against Kelly, that’s more than enough to be viable.
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $4,700 - As I mentioned above, Zimmerman isn’t someone who misses a lot of bats, especially right-handed bats. That’s going to be an issue against Stanton. Maybe the raw numbers don’t look great for the veteran so far this season, but Stanton sits in the 100th percentile in average exit velocity (97.9 mph) and hard hit rate (67.3%). Basically, when he puts wood on the ball, it’s a missile. Stanton’s career 1.014 OPS against southpaws is pretty tantalizing, as well.
Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, $3,000 - This is honestly the cheapest Yankees stack I can remember seeing. Hicks might not be doing much at the plate so far in April, but, at the very least, he’s performed in his rare opportunities versus LHPs. In 22 plate appearances this season, Hicks owns a .350 ISO and a 185 wRC+ within the split. Obviously, you could do worse for $3K.
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