I’m just going to come right out and say it. This is, without question, the worst pitching I’ve ever seen assembled on a 13-game slate. Luis Garcia ($10,400) as the most expensive starter? Trevor Williams ($9,200) above $9K? Bailey Ober ($8,800) more than double the minimum salary? This is all the stuff of nightmares.
Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple decent options. They’re just harder to find than usual. Let’s go position-by-position and break it all down.
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German Marquez, Colorado Rockies vs. Seattle Mariners, $8,100 - It says a lot about the quality of tonight’s slate that a pitcher starting at Coors Field is by far the No. 1 option, but that’s exactly the situation we find ourselves in. Marquez has been nearly untouchable the past two months, registering a 1.88 ERA and a 2.59 FIP across his past 10 outings. It’s also a span of time where the right-hander has limited opponents to a modest .207 wOBA. Still, if that wasn’t enough to ease you mind, consider that Marquez has conceded a mere four earned runs in his past 41.0 innings in Colorado. He’s been absolutely incredible and I doubt that a Seattle lineup that’s mustered just an ugly .222 average in July is going to change that.
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers, $7,700 - Skubal has been pitching well enough where he’s viable on his own merits, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t mostly about the Rangers. In the four games back from the All-Star break, Texas is slashing .144/.195/.234 with an 18 wRC+. The team has been outscored 39-2 in that stretch, with the Rangers’ last run coming in the ninth inning of their loss to the Blue Jays on Friday. To somehow make matters worse, Texas hasn’t been able to hit left-handed pitching all season long, with its .138 ISO representing the lowest mark in the American League. Skubal owns a 3.56 ERA and a 31.4% strikeout rate going back to May 19. He’s good enough to really take advantage of this matchup.
J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees, $5,000 - Realmuto has been tearing the cover off the baseball during his past 10 games, as the backstop has registered a massive 1.009 OPS in the span. That technically doesn’t include his home run in the All-Star Game, either. Anyway, I’d look for Realmuto to stay hot on Tuesday in a matchup with Domingo German ($7,000). The RHP has struggled over his most recent seven appearances, possessing a 9.28 ERA and allowing opponents to rack up a .401 wOBA. For the season, German has also surrendered 1.85 home runs per nine to RHBs.
Mitch Garver, Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox, $3,600 - When healthy, Garver has been basically been the 2019 version of himself so far this season. Aside from hitting a pair of home runs in Monday’s loss to Chicago, Garver has a .319 ISO and a 141 wRC+ in his 138 plate appearances in 2021. He’s also registered a career .869 OPS when getting the opportunity to face a left-handed pitcher. So, at this modest price point, Garver carries tons of upside his in matchup against Dallas Keuchel ($7,300).
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Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox, $6,000 - The last time that Garrett Richards ($7,500) faced the Blue Jays, the veteran surrendered an average exit velocity of 95.7 mph on 23 batted ball events. Really, if not for the Green Monster, Richards might have given up four or five home runs that night. As it stands, he still owns a 6.26 expected ERA and RHBs have managed a .387 wOBA in 245 plate appearances in 2021. Guerrero, who leads baseball in virtually every single offensive category, should be able to do some damage in this tantalizing matchup.
Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins, $3,100 - On a dollar-for-dollar basis, Sheets might be my favorite play on this entire slate. All the 25-year-old has done since getting called up from Triple-A is mash right-handed pitching. To wit, in 48 plate appearances within the split, the rookie has posted an insane .475 ISO and 206 wRC+. Obviously there’s a lot of small sample noise in those stats, but I like his chances of staying hot against the aforementioned Ober. Minnesota’s RHP has allowed 2.93 home runs per nine to opposing LHBs so far this season. That’s just awful.
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies vs. Seattle Mariners, $4,600 - This is a perfect time to use Rodgers, as the former first-round pick has been at his best against left-handed pitching in 2021. In fact, Rodgers is slashing .268/.348/.537 with a .268 ISO and a .378 wOBA in his 46 plate appearances within the split. Also helping the infielder’s viability is the presence of Marco Gonzales ($6,000), who has pitched to a putrid 8.36 xERA across his first 11 starts of the season. Good luck in the altitude, Marco.
Adam Frazier, Pittsburgh Pirates at Arizona Diamondbacks, $3,700 - Frazier might not possess the most raw upside in the world — he’s blessed with neither blazing speed or jaw-dropping power — but the second baseman is hitting .325 with a 132 wRC+ for the season. He’s also the cheapest he’s been since late May, which is the real reason to give Frazier some serious consideration on Tuesday. The Pirates might be able to do some damage against Taylor Widener ($7,900), too, as the RHP owns a 5.84 xERA over his first six outings of 2021.
Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins, $4,900 - Moncada’s OBP over ISO style in 2021 hasn’t always been great for DFS purposes, but the switch-hitter does possess far more power as a lefty than as a righty. Also, with Ober on the hill for the Twins, anyone with the ability to swing left-handed suddenly turns into Babe Ruth. LHBs have combined to hit .343 with a .449 wOBA off of the rookie RHP so far this season. So, as you can see, this might be a good night to use Chicago’s third baseman.
Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox, $3,400 - Biggio isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when dreaming up a Blue Jays stack, but the 26-year-old has been much better at the plate since coming off the IL back on June 11. In that span of time, Biggio is slashing .290/.386/.551 with a .261 ISO in his 83 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. Considering Toronto owns the highest non-Coors implied team total on tonight’s slate, you could do worse than Craig’s son at 3B.
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies vs. Seattle Mariners, $5,900 - This is a hefty price tag for Story, who really hasn’t lived up to expectations so far in 2021, but if there were ever a matchup to get the shortstop back on track, it would be Gonzales. The LHP has faced 177 right-handed batters in 2021 and those men have combined to slash an absurd .321/.401/.686. That’s gross. Story has also posted a career .383 ISO when hitting against southpaws in Colorado, so he should do something special this evening.
Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees, $3,700 - It’s been a struggle for Gregorius all season long, but it does seem like things are starting to get better in the batter’s box for the veteran infielder. In July, Gregorius has registered a .311 ISO and a 114 wRC+ in 51 plate appearances, with all four of his home runs in that span coming off of right-handed opponents. With German stuck in a massive slump, I could see Gregorius getting a little revenge against his former team on Tuesday night.
Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox, $5,200 - While I’m not usually one to go down the BvP rabbit hole, the length of Cruz’s career does sometimes make for a couple interesting stats. Tonight, he’ll once again face Keuchel, who Cruz has destroyed in prior matchups to the tune of six home runs and a .673 slugging percentage in 55 at-bats. Would this mean anything to me if Cruz didn’t also have ridiculous numbers against every LHP in the history of the league? Probably not. But it’s a fun way to fill up a few sentences, right?
Tommy Pham, San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves, $3,900 - The Padres are one of a handful of teams with an implied team total of over five runs on Tuesday, which makes an asset like Pham a very intriguing value play. The veteran has been scorching hot at the plate going back to the beginning of June, a stretch of time that’s seen Pham slash .326/.418/.553 with a 165 wRC+ and seven stolen bases. The outfielder can truly hurt you in a number of different ways, so with Kyle Muller ($8,300) making just his fourth-career start, I’m looking for Pham to have a big performance.
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