This week’s Tuesday slate is slightly top-heavy with second and third-tier pitching, but there is enough depth to put together several useful combos for cash games and tournaments a like.
As bats go, there should be plenty of full stacks and mini stacks to build around, as there are several games with an over/under sitting at 9.0 or higher tonight, and a few extra nudges in conditions -- including an open roof in Miami -- that should help prop up run scoring in a few more places than usual.
As noted over the last couple weeks, I’m making a concerted effort to indicate the type of contest I prefer to use players in -- cash (50/50) or tournaments (GPPs) -- which is generally an exercise in estimating ownership rates (or “finding the chalk”) and making sure to have enough variation around the highly-coveted top value plays to have a dangerous lineup.
A strong cash-game play isn’t necessarily a “bad” tournament play, but too many “chalky” players can create a limiting factor in big-field tournaments.
Your constructive feedback is appreciated, and always welcomed.
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Aaron Nola, PHI vs. COL ($12,000) -- Nola has a sub-3.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP this season, and he’s never generated more swinging strikes in a season before. The skills support this price, and the matchup being at home against a surprisingly bad Colorado offense (81 wRC+ against RHP, 23.3% K%) is a favorable one. My recurring thought on DraftKings is that the high-priced aces can often be slightly underowned in tournaments, but on a night like tonight, that might not be the case. If the cheap bats break the right way, I’m content to use Nola in cash games and tournaments.
Mike Foltynewicz, ATL vs NYM ($11,800) -- He’s been great throughout 2018, and the only lingering issue skills-wise is the high walk rate (4.0 BB/9). At the high end, Folty is now what Robbie Ray was a year ago. The Mets’ are comically bad against lefties, but a tick above average against righties, so this matchup isn’t necessarily the layup it might seem to be at a glance. I prefer Folty as a tournament-only option at this price.
Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS at BAL ($11,100) -- Without a quality start bonus to worry about, Rodriguez gets a slight bump up. The Red Sox are the biggest favorite on the board, and Rodriguez is averaging 23.5 DraftKings points per start over his last four outings. He’s in play for cash and tournaments for me.
Miles Mikolas, STL vs. SD ($10,900) -- The Padres strike out a lot, which helps to mask Mikolas’ biggest weakness. My expectation is that he will be more highly owned than Folty and E-Rod in GPPs, but I think he’s good enough in this matchup for SP1 consideration in a cash lineup.
Lance McCullers, HOU at OAK ($9,600) -- If this article were called ‘Finding the Chalk’ it would have a picture of McCullers on hit for the homepage. The high strikeout potential in his skill set paired with the sub-$10K price tag makes McCullers an easy option to plug in for cash games, but using him in tournaments will require some creativity with the bats to get low ownership elsewhere.
Jake Odorizzi, MIN at DET ($7,200) -- The Tigers don’t strike out a lot (21.0% K% vs. RHP), but they’ve been a below average offense against righties this season (88 wRC+) and the Twins are a slight favorite (-110) on the road, putting Odorizzi on the very short list of sub-$8K pitchers I’m considering for tournament purposes.
Chase Anderson, MIL vs. CHC ($4,700) -- Anderson has not looked like the same pitcher he was in 2017, in part, because his velocity has been down. The home-run issues that have plagued him in the past are back, and this is simply a high-risk options for the SP2 in tournaments if you’re convinced that Tyler Chatwood will continue to be a gas can on the other side of this matchup.
Wilson Ramos, TAM vs. TOR ($3,500) -- As base lineups go, I don’t get cute with the catcher spot. Ramos’ lineup placement, paired with a favorable righty-lefty matchup against Jaime Garcia on Tuesday night makes him an easy option to build around. While Ramos’ .292/.326/.450 line against southpaws since the start of last season isn’t off the charts, I like him as a tournament pivot for an otherwise chalk-heavy lineup since there are a few similarly priced backstops to consider. If I have the extra $300 to spend, I’m not running Chase Anderson in the same lineup, I’m probably thinking a lot about rolling with Willson Contreras instead.
Alternatives: Willson Contreras, CHC at MIL ($3,800), Yadier Molina, STL vs. SD ($3,500), Robinson Chirinos, TEX at LAD ($3,200)
Justin Bour, MIA vs. SF ($3,200) -- The roof is supposed to be open at Marlins Park on Tuesday, which increases the temperature on the field, and gives a bump up to hitters. Moreover, Bour has a great matchup anyway against Giants right-hander Chris Stratton, who has allowed a .344 wOBA to left-handed hitters during his time in the big leagues. Over the past two calendar years, Bour is hitting .288/.386/.530 with 33 homers (139 wRC+) over 612 plate appearances.
Others to consider: Joey Votto, CIN at KC ($4,300), Jose Abreu, CHW vs. CLE ($4,000), Yonder Alonso, CLE at CHW ($3,600)
Jedd Gyorko, STL vs. SD ($3,500) -- The Padres are beginning Tuesday’s game with lefty Matt Strahm, and considering that he pitched 2.1 innings his last time out (June 6), it’s difficult to see a scenario in which he goes more than four innings in this outing. Nevertheless, Gyorko’s extremely low price, paired with his continued ability to crush left-handed pitching, with a 173 wRC+ that ranks among the league’s elite since the start of last season. Even if he’s only matched up against Strahm for two of his plate appearances Tuesday, the price is low enough to make him an easy cash-game option, while those in tournaments may need to consider a fade.
Alternatives: Brian Dozier, MIN at DET ($4,300)
Anthony Rendon, WAS at NYY ($3,900) -- Rendon draws another left-hander in CC Sabathia, will also getting a big park boost with the road trip to Yankee Stadium. No third baseman on the board Tuesday has better splits in their matchup against the opposing team’s starter than Rendon’s .329/.432/.626 line since the start of last season. Sabathia continues to pitch at a level well above expectations, but it’s increasingly likely that the collective expectations for late-career Sabathia are unfairly low. Even with that acknowledgement, Rendon is an elite hitter against lefties, and is once again a very strong consideration for cash-game and tournament lineups.
Alternatives: Travis Shaw, MIL vs. CHC ($4,500), Mike Moustakas, KC vs. CIN ($4,300), Adrian Beltre, TEX at LAD ($3,600)
Jurickson Profar, TEX at LAD ($3,500) -- The Rangers continue to use Profar in and around the heart of their order, as he’s hit between second and fifth in the order while starting 16 consecutive games entering Tuesday’s matchup against Dodgers rookie left-hander Caleb Ferguson. Profar vs. Willy Adames as the preferred cheap play that might come down to the batting order for those teams, but there are two high-end options to think about (health permitting for one of them) if there is enough room in the budget to avoid going cheap at shortstop Tuesday.
Alternatives: Carlos Correa, HOU at OAK ($4,700), Francisco Lindor, CLE at CHW ($5,000), Willy Adames, TAM vs. TOR ($3,300)
Justin Upton, LAA at SEA ($4,200) -- With plenty of games that are carrying over/under totals of 9.0 or above, the Angels-Mariners matchup might get completely overlooked. Jaime Barria vs. Mike Leake is not a matchup to ignore. Upton’s power-first skill set against righties should play just fine in this spot, and that he’s $1,000-$1,700 less than the elite outfielders on the board Tuesday night makes him a somewhat sneaky way to save up with the OF1 spot without giving up a ton of project points. For BvP honks, Upton has a .409/.458/.682 (1.140 OPS) against Leake (going back to 2011), but the low ownership rate paired with a matchup against a contact-heavy SP is the root of the appeal.
Ian Happ, CHC at MIL ($3,600) -- *Tournaments Only (safer cash-game options below)* Be absolutely certain that he’s starting Tuesday after getting a day off against righty Junior Guerra in Monday’s series opener. Happ continues to show plenty of pop, albeit at the expense of heavy swing-and-miss tendencies. The strikeouts are the main reason I don’t like him as a cash-game option, but with a 6.0 K/9 (15.9% K%), Brewers starter Chase Anderson has never had a lower strikeout rate, which should help to offset some of the typical concerns that the switch-hitter has brought to the table to this point in his big-league career.
Lonnie Chisenhall, CLE at CHW ($2,900) -- Chisenhall’s splits against righties are frequently overlooked -- since the start of last season, he’s posted an .840 OPS (.280/.343/.498) -- a mark just five points behind that of George Springer (.845 OPS, .276/.349/.496) during that span. As cheap exposure to the Tribe’s matchup against James Shields, it’s hard to do better than this. Chisenhall hit fourth and sixth in the final two games of the team’s weekend series against Detroit, which gives him an extra nudge in value for cash games as well if a similar placement occurs Tuesday.
Alternatives to consider: Rhys Hoskins, PHI vs. COL ($4,200), Marcell Ozuna, STL vs. SD ($3,800), Jesse Winker, CIN at KC ($3,600)