Another huge slate of games on tap for this Tuesday night. There’s a game being played at Coors Field and a ton of other juicy match-ups. Let’s take a look at some options to help us bring home some cash.
Justin Verlander ($12,000 on DK and $12,300 on FD)
Verlander is always an option and most of the time a great one. He has the ability to run through any lineup and rack up close to 45 points every time he toes the rubber. The 36-year old right-hander is putting together another excellent campaign to add to his future hall of fame career resume. Verlander has some weird stats, some of which are head-scratching. He’s second in the majors in most home runs allowed with 33 but has only allowed 55 ERs and a 2.77 ERA. The Tampa Bay Rays are a middling team versus right-handed pitching. They rank tied for 13th in batting average versus righties (.251) and 14th in wOBA (.321). They might hit a solo home run or two, but Verlander could be a slate breaker, even at his price.
Luis Castillo ($10,000 on DK and $11,000 on FD)
We get the same match-up as we did last night with Sonny Gray. A decent outing for Gray, but not as many points as we expected. The Miami Marlins will have seven hitters with strikeout rates above 22% in their lineup. Castillo strikes out 28.5% of batters and limits hard contact extremely well, with a 32.5% hard-hit rate against. This might be where I wind up hitting the lock button for cash games.
Other Targets: Yu Darvish and Walker Buehler.
Michael Pineda ($7,800 on DK and $9,200 on FD)
I love Pineda as an SP2 target in tournaments, and if you can afford it, in cash games as well. His price on Fanduel seems a little out of reach at $9,200 for his upside. The wind is also expected to be blowing out 10-15 MPH in Chicago. The wind factor might be enough to suppress ownership. He has good career numbers versus the Sox and good numbers against them this season. In three starts against the Southsiders, he’s racked up 20 IP, 17 Ks, and posted a 3.15 ERA. He’s also getting a boost in Ks because Joe West will be behind the plate, calling balls and strikes. According to swishanalytics.com, Joe West has a 1.11x K boost which means when he umpires, there are 11% more strikeouts than average.
Other Targets: Masahiro Tanaka
Adam Plutko ($6,500 on DK and $7,600 on FD)
Plutko hasn’t been terrific fantasy-wise, but he’s been a serviceable real-life pitcher. That changes tonight. The last time Plutko faced the Detroit Tigers, he got lit up. While I don’t read tarot cards, my gut is telling me tonight will bring a different outcome. My brain is also telling me that. The Tigers remain among the league’s worst in many offensive categories. Versus right-handed pitchers, the Tigers rank last in K rate (26.7%), OBP (.290), and wRC+ (75). Plutko isn’t an extreme strikeout pitcher, only (14.8% K), but he doesn’t walk many batters either (3.8% BB). The ownership might get a little crazy on him because of the match-up, but he still should be in your player pool. Stack against him with at least one tournament lineup to be safe.
Adrian Houser ($5,000 on DK and $7,500 on FD)
Houser’s last outing came against the team he’ll be facing tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals. Houser provided 5.1 quality innings of work. Notice I said the word quality, but it was just shy of a quality start. With his 24.7% strikeout rate, I really like the match-up again for him at this cheap price tag.
1B Ryan O’Hearn ($2,900 on DK and $2,200 on FD)
O’Hearn hasn’t taken the leap forward that some thought he would going into the season. Instead, he’s been optioned to Triple-A Omaha and recalled only to continue struggling. The fact of the matter is, O’Hearn’s running out of time to make a positive impression at the big league level. The power aspect part of O’Hearn’s game hasn’t gone anywhere, he just hasn’t been able to hit with any regularity. A lot of people were on him last night after he hit two homers the day prior. The ownership level could be down on a player with two home run upside. I don’t feel particularly great about it because Mike Fiers can avoid huge damage at times, but it’s definitely a tournament option.
OF Josh Rojas ($2,000 on DK and FD)
Rojas is the bare minimum salary on the two main sites. He’ll be going up against Jeff Samardzija at Oracle Park in San Francisco. While Samardzija hasn’t been terrible this season, he’s found a way to wiggle out of some serious damage. According to Fangraphs, he’s giving up the most hard contact (40.6%) this season out of any in his career. Baseballsavant.mlb.com has it listed at 37.4%, still the highest of his career. Rojas is a promising young player that was involved in the Zack Greinke trade. He has good speed and had been tearing it up in the minors. He has the potential to steal a bag, and if he hits one in the gap, he’ll be standing on third base.
1B/3B Jake Lamb ($2,800 on DK and FD)
Lamb has great numbers against Samardzija and would also fall under the “value” category. Lamb is 7-20 (.350) with 5 XBHs, 2 HRs, and 7 RBIs versus the right-hander.
Home Run Call
Juan Soto ($5,400 on DK and $4,200 on FD)
Aaron Brooks gives up a lot of hard contact (40.3%) to left-handed batters and only 12.7% soft contact. He’s allowing an outrageous 2.29 HR/9 rate to lefties. Soto has a near .300 ISO and .414 wOBA against right-handed pitching. I’m thinking this is a good time for him to hit home run number 30 on the season.
Other Pick: Mookie Betts
Number one, it’s Coors Field. Number two, neither one of the starting pitchers scare anyone. Rico Garcia will be making his debut. At Triple-A, he had a 7.16 ERA and 2.11 HR/9 rate. Why is he getting called up after posting those kinds of numbers? Good question. On the other side, Rick Porcello has a 5.49 big league ERA. Both of these teams will be highly owned. There is merit to fading them in tournaments.
Washington Nationals vs Aaron Brooks
Between two different ball clubs, Brooks has been getting eaten alive by opposing hitters. In 82.2 IP, Brooks has a 6.21 ERA and 2.18 HR/9 rate. 63.2 of those innings pitched have come as a starter. He’s gotten shelled as a starter, a 6.93 ERA compared to a 3.79 ERA as a reliever. I think the Nationals will have a field day at the dish.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Adrian Houser
He’s been a solid pitcher and one I’ll have some exposure to on both sides. I want to use him, but I also want to stack against him. Reason being, I don’t believe many people will be running stacks against him after the outing he just had against the Cardinals. The Cards are also a pretty warm offense right now. He’s fresh in their mind’s with the next match-up coming this soon. This may not bode well for Houser.
Atlanta Braves vs Wilmer Font and Zack Godley
Godley is the probable long reliever. He has a brutal 5.31 SIERA and 5.48 xFIP. He gets himself into trouble by walking a ton of batters, with a 4.19 BB/9 rate. His 6.8% K-BB rate is among the league’s worst. So, he’s not striking out many and he’s walking a ton. Not a good combo when you’re set to take on the powerful Atlanta Braves.
New York Yankees vs Yusei Kikuchi
Sneaky – CLE@DET
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