It’s a full 14-game Tuesday (one early start in CLE that isn’t included in the main slate) with several big tournaments across the DFS industry, so it should be a very exciting night with several of the game’s best pitchers taking the bump. Clayton Kershaw gets the Angels at home, while Noah Syndergaard and Max Scherzer will do battle in New York. Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels, Chris Archer and Zack Greinke are also dealing this evening.
Clayton Kershaw ($13,000) – Don’t get cute in cash games. Even with several strong options in the pricing tier below him on FanDuel, Kershaw is far and away the safest bet of the bunch with a ceiling that no one else in baseball owns (a tough statement to write a few days after Scherzer’s 20 K performance). The lefty has an ERA, xFIP, FIP and SIERA below 2.0, a truly amazing feat considering his unbelievable K/BB ratio (77/4). He is completely locked in and looks set to dominate the Angels at home.
Jaime Garcia ($8,900) – Garcia and Juan Nicasio are the two guys I’ll be rostering when I’m not paying up for the high-end aces. The Rockies aren’t a pushover on the road any longer, but they strike out a ton against LHP (25.8%, third highest in the MLB) which meshes well with Garcia’s 26.8 K% and 11.4 SwStr%. Colorado has been one of the top offenses against LHP in general, but a handful of their top bats hit from the left side which will pose issues for them (Garcia owns a 37.1 K% against LH bats to go along with a 0.64 WHIP). Vegas clearly likes the lefty as the Cardinals are fairly big favorite (-185) in a game with a total of seven runs on the MLB odds board.
Victor Martinez ($3,400) – The Phil Hughes vs. Mike Pelfrey matchup will be one to exploit from a DFS perspective. Martinez has been raking against RHP this year (.416 wOBA, .210 ISO, 45.2 hard%) and remains entrenched in the clean-up spot of a very potent Tigers lineup, making him a top target at home against Hughes. The Twins right-hander has been awful so far in 2016, allowing 26 ERs in 36 IP, including a .393 wOBA allowed to LH bats. He does have a fairly good GB% against LHs (48.7%), but that number sat at just 36.2% last season, so we should expect that to even out over time.
Welington Castillo ($2,900) – The D’Backs hung a big run total on the Yankees last night, and they remain a nice GPP stack this evening against the volatile Michael Pineda. The right-hander has not started the season off on the right foot, allowing seven HRs to RH bats through 22.1 IP, albeit with a completely unsustainable 26.9% HR-FB rate. While Pineda has been keeping the ball on the ground more over his past few starts, he’s allowing the second highest exit velocity (91.5 MPH) among pitchers on this slate and the Diamondbacks have continued producing despite David Peralta’s absence. Castillo posted a .212 ISO against RHP last season and it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see him leave the yard tonight.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,800) – The Cubs offense is absolutely on fire right now. A matchup with Chase Anderson in Miller Park makes them the top team target on this slate, although you’ll need to go cheap at pitcher to afford the bats in the middle of this lineup. Rizzo is (rightfully so) the most expensive of the group, but he’s worth every penny tonight. He’s the proud owner of a .467 wOBA, .380 ISO, 192 wRC+ and 36.7 hard% against RHP, and his numbers against RHs improve on the road (wOBA and ISO over .600, which is insane). It’s going to be a very painful night for Chase Anderson.
Miguel Cabrera ($4,000) – Tonight is not a night to go cheap at first base. Cabrera is clearly one of the most talented hitters in the game and he’s seen Hughes quite a bit in the past – he’s 18-for-41 against him with five 2Bs, six HRs and 14 RBIs, good for a .603 wOBA. The Tigers have one of the highest team totals of the evening and Cabrera should be a big part of any damage done against Hughes.
Jose Altuve ($4,700) – Robinson Cano is a great target against RHP on the road, but I’ll pay slightly more for Altuve’s immense upside on the road against a LH. Altuve hasn’t faced many southpaws yet this year (30 PA), although he’s making good on his chances, posting a .579 wOBA, .375 ISO and 286 wRC+ in 2016. His 2015 numbers against LHP were also very strong (.413 wOBA, .170 ISO, 166 wRC+) and considering the recent power outburst he’s been experiencing, we should expect a nice bump on those 2015 numbers. He’s not easy to roster on a night with high-end pitching, but he’s well worth a roster spot.
Chase Utley ($3,000) – If you aren’t paying a premium here, give Utley a long look against Jered Weaver. The Dodgers leadoff man owns a .385 wOBA, .162 ISO and 41.7 hard% against RHP so far in 2016, while Weaver has struggled mightily on the road over the past few seasons. Weaver has had his problems with LH bats this year (.399 wOBA allowed) and he’s already managed to allow eight HRs in fewer than 40 IP, giving Utley a nice ceiling at this price tag.
Maikel Franco ($2,800) – This is a position where you can comfortably go cheap. Franco matches up with LH Wei-Yin Chen, who has been demonized by the long ball over the past two seasons, especially when facing RH bats. While the contact rate isn’t ideal (25.6 K% vs. LHs), Franco owns a .333 ISO against LHs including a 38.5 hard%, so it’s a little surprising to see his BABIP sitting at .217. It’s not like Franco has a really high GB%, so we should see his numbers continue to improve against southpaws going forward.
Trevor Plouffe ($2,600) – When we can get exposure to a player hitting in the heart of the order against Mike Pelfrey at this price, we have to pounce. Plouffe’s numbers against RHP aren’t anything special, but we’ll need to save cap somewhere and it’s not like he’s void of any upside thanks to his power potential. Pelfrey owns a 5.52 FIP against RH bats so far this year – expect Plouffe to see at least an at bat or two with runners in scoring position.
Corey Seager ($4,100) – Deciding between Seager and Machado was one of the toughest calls of the day for me. I’ll lean towards Seager thanks to his career .377 wOBA, .193 ISO and 43.0 hard% against RHP, numbers that should play perfectly against Jered Weaver. Weaver owns just a 33.9% GB rate against LH bats, and if he’s not able to keep the ball out of the air against Seager, we could very well see the SS continue his power surge. Machado is an elite target in his own right, but he’s been a bit better against RHP over his career and Wade Miley isn’t quite the pushover that Weaver is.
Javier Baez ($2,200) – It’s tough to gauge what the Cubs are going to do with the back half of their lineup on a given night, but if Baez is in the lineup against Chase Anderson, he’s worth a long look at $2,200. Baez is a better GPP target since he’s more of an all-or-nothing player (high strikeout rate, high power potential), although the matchup with Anderson makes it more likely that he explodes. Anderson has allowed a .456 wOBA to RH bats this year including six HRs in just 20 IP.
Andrew McCutchen ($4,300), Gregory Polanco ($3,500) and Matt Joyce ($2,500) – All three are very strong targets against Aaron Blair, who has not adjusted to the major league level yet. Blair has more walks (11) than strikeouts (7) through 20 IP, and there is absolutely no reason not to pick on him with Pittsburgh bats. McCutchen frustrated a lot of people last night which will hopefully lead to a lower ownership percentage, but both Polanco and Joyce had very strong outings against the very beatable Williams Perez. The sledding doesn’t get any tougher for them tonight.
J.D. Martinez ($3,600) – Martinez is in a great spot against Phil Hughes, who tends to struggle more with RH hitters while Martinez also happens to produce more against RHP. Last season, Martinez owned a robust .369 wOBA, .248 ISO and 41.5 hard% against RHs, while Hughes allowed a .369 wOBA to RH hitters last season including 15 HRs allowed in 72 IP. Hughes allows plenty of hard contact and doesn’t do a great job of keeping the ball on the ground, a great recipe for a big night from Martinez.
Jason Heyward ($3,400) – While he’s not the top target in this lineup, Heyward provides solid value in the sense that he gives you exposure to the heart of a very potent Cubs lineup that should absolutely light up Chase Anderson. Heyward owned respectable numbers against RHP last season (.358 wOBA, .169 ISO, 31.4 hard%) and while he’s struggled so far this year (injuries have played a role), we should expect to see him improve on his 2015 totals while he’s hitting around Fowler, Zobrist, Rizzo and Bryant.