WATCH: Why stacking might be a fantasy baseball home run
Tuesday night brings us the biggest MLB slate of the week, with nine games to comb through for our DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups. I’ll get you ready for tonight, and, as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Top PitcherJustin Verlander, HOU vs. BAL ($11,600) — The Astros again are heavy favorites, as they play the second of three games against the Orioles. Justin Verlander will take the mound and be in a fantastic spot to rack up some strikeouts. Charlie Morton and Houston’s bullpen accounted for nine strikeouts Monday against the Orioles, who own the fourth-highest Strikeout Percentage (K%) in the league at 27.1 percent through four games this year. Verlander had a 9.5 K/9 last season, so he should be in a great spot against an Orioles team with an implied run total of just 3.5 runs.
Highest TotalsBAL vs. HOU, 9 runs — This game also features one of the highest projected run totals of the night, thanks largely to the Astros’ 5.6 implied total. Mike Wright is entering the Orioles’ rotation to make a spot start as Baltimore gives Dylan Bundy an extra day of rest. Wright was used out of the bullpen last season, but he has pitched 105 innings as a starter between 2015 and 2016. In those starts, Wright owned a .374 wOBA with a 31.9 percent hard-hit rate and just a 6.3 K/9. While the ballpark favors him, the matchup certainly doesn’t.
CWS vs. TOR, 9 runs — The Blue Jays own a 5.1 implied run total as they face Miguel Gonzalez at Rogers Centre. He historically has struggled against lefties, posting a .360 wOBA against them last season. With Josh Donaldson potentially returning to third base for Toronto, we could see a lineup consisting of Justin Smoak, Curtis Granderson, Kendrys Morales and Yangervis Solarte (if he moves to shortstop). With Smoak and Morales both only first base eligible, Morales would be a great, likely low-owned tournament play to mix up your stack. Either way, the presence of an extra lefty bat in this lineup makes it a viable option on this slate.
Weather ConcernsPHI vs. NYM (Citi Field) — This game was canceled Monday because of rain, and there’s more of the same in the forecast Tuesday. While it doesn’t look overly concerning as of writing this morning, it will be best to check close to first pitch to be sure.
Chase Field: LAD vs. ARZ — While Chase Field has been one of the most favorable parks in all of baseball, the installation of the humidor to store baseballs could significantly affect hitting numbers this season. However, Chase Field has favored hitters in every offensive category the last few seasons.
Miller Park: STL vs. MIL — Miller Park has a favorable rating in almost every offensive category, with the exception of singles. It checks in as our second-most favored ballpark for offense on this slate.
Citi Field: PHI vs. NYM — Citi Field checks in as our worst ballpark for hitters. No offensive categories are favored here.
Angel Stadium: CLE vs. LAA — Angel Stadium is a tough ballpark for hitters, and the numbers back that up. No offensive categories get the nod here.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Matt Harvey||1.025||.331||Cole Hamels||.483||.161|
|A.J. Cole||.975||.320||Garrett Richards||.517||.188|
|Ben Lively||.872||.286||J.A. Happ||.553||.198|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Tyson Ross||.952||.313||Garrett Richards||.470||.173|
|Kendall Graveman||.854||.315||Clayton Kershaw||.570||.203|
|Chase Anderson||.848||.286||A.J. Cole||.601||.196|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Khris Davis||Cole Hamels||12||4.25|
|Bryce Harper||Julio Teheran||37||4.16|
|Zack Cozart||Josh Tomlin||17||2.41|
*Fantasy Points Per At Bat
Pitcher To Build AroundJustin Verlander, HOU vs. BAL ($11,600) — I’ll take the $600 in savings and roll with Verlander over Clayton Kershaw ($12,200). While Kershaw always is in play, I’m not keen on getting him at Chase Field for $12K+. Verlander has the stronger matchup, better ballpark and weaker offense to face. Verlander has posted a .223 wOBA with a 10.8 K/9 since joining the Astros in the middle of 2017.
Heavy Hitter To Pay ForCharlie Blackmon, COL vs. SDP ($5,100) — Listen, everyone is talking about Harper, and rightfully so. Instead, I’m looking at Blackmon in a favorable matchup against Padres starter Tyson Ross, who hardly has pitched in the majors lately and isn’t exactly striking fear into opposing hitters. Blackmon won’t be in the most favorable ballpark (Petco Park), but he still owned a .345 wOBA against righties on the road with a .192 ISO in 2017. If you’re curious, Blackmon has played 49 games at Petco and has 10 doubles, one triple and 10 home runs — his most at any opposing ballpark.
Save Big By Drafting …Justin Smoak, TOR vs. CWS ($3,700) — He’s simply too cheap to ignore. The switch-hitter owned a .356 wOBA against righties at home last season, with 14 of his 38 home runs. Hitting in the heart of the Blue Jays’ lineup against a pitcher who sported a .360 wOBA against lefties last season with 11 of his 22 home runs allowed certainly is a matchup to exploit. Smoak easily can exceed value in this matchup.
Stack ‘Em UpSTL vs. MIL (Chase Anderson) — With the high-priced Nationals and Astros in high consideration, the Cardinals are cheap and, in my opinion, just as viable. Deeper stats show Anderson wasn’t as good as advertised at home last season, and the favorable ballpark suits the Cardinals. Consider this a tournament stack that could pay dividends if it can get to Anderson.
PREP FOR GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR WITH EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS FROM DRAFTKINGS EXPERTS IN OUR DAILY FANTASY GUIDE — CLICK TO BUY THE PDF FOR $9.99
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.