Tuesday baseball is back, and we have 15 games on tap for the main fantasy baseball slate. There are a wide array of pitching options, and there will be some tough decisions to make tonight. That is what I am here to help with!
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1. Zack Wheeler, $10,600, NYM vs. MIAWheeler was expected to be a Trade Deadline casualty, but the Mets ended up keeping him, and are likely glad that they did. He had a dominant outing in his last start, throwing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and 31.35 DKFP. Talent has certainly never been his issue, and his 4.45 ERA appears to be the result of some bad luck given his 3.77 xFIP.
Some may cite matchup as the reason Wheeler excelled in his last start, but that can’t be a reason to fade him here given tonight’s matchup is with the Marlins. Miami has a 75 wRC+ against righties, second-worst in baseball. They also strike out against them 25.3% of the time, one of the five highest numbers in the league. Wheeler is absolutely in a smash spot.
A potential upgrade to this matchup is the presence of rookie Isan Diaz ($2,900) for Miami. He is a highly-touted prospect for the team, but strikes out a lot. Steamer, Depth Charts, and THE BAT all project Diaz for a strikeout rate over 26%. This is a big change from regular 2B Starlin Castro’s 17.5% rate in 2019. This adds a little more upside to Wheeler’s outing.
2. Zack Greinke, $9,800, HOU vs. COLGreinke will be making his first start as an Astro after a huge deadline deal that shifted the balance of power in the American League. He has a 2.90 ERA, and his strikeout rate sits at 24%. There is likely to be some regression on these numbers since he won’t be facing a pitcher anymore in the opposing order, but Greinke is sure to still be one of the better pitchers around.
While he will be playing in his new home AL stadium, Greinke still gets a very soft NL opponent. The Rockies are 27th in wRC+ against righties, and strike out against them 23.1% of the time. Greinke has faced the club a whopping four times already this year, and has pitched effectively against them; he has an ERA of 3.12 with 21 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Colorado is also a disaster away from Coors Field. When they are on the road, their wRC+ drops to 71, and they strike out 27.6% of the time. Minute Maid Park is 19th in Park Factor for runs scored, a huge drop-off from Coors, which is first. Expect Greinke to impress bigly in his first appearance with his new team.
3. Andrew Kittredge, $4,000, TB vs. TORYes, an opener makes today’s list. Kittredge will be making only his third start this year as an opener, but he has pitched well in his two appearances thus far. On the season, he has a 2.52 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 25 innings. He was striking out 38.7% of batters in AAA before being called up.
The Blue Jays are a good matchup for righty pitchers, as they rank 21st in wRC+ and strike out 24.3% of the time against them. Kittredge opened against Toronto last week and scored 13.75 DKFP. That’s a great number for an opener, and any pitcher that is minimum price. He went three full innings and struck out seven batters. Had he not allowed two runs, his day could have been even better.
The basic philosophy behind playing an opener is that you want to relieve a bunch of salary in order to play some expensive stacks. With teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Indians on the slate in good spots, that will be easy to find. You will be giving up some raw points at pitcher in all likelihood, so you need those bats to go off and/or the opener to have a near-perfect outing and get you 20 DKFP. If either of those things happen, you will do well. If both happen, you could take down a GPP.
4. Dinelson Lamet, $8,500, SD at SEALamet has made just five starts this season after returning from Tommy John surgery, but the early results have been promising. He has yet to go deeper than five innings in any start, but is striking out over 29% of batters with a 4.18 xFIP. After throwing 88 pitches in his last start, hopefully he can go a little deeper into this game against the Mariners.
Seattle came out of the gate swinging this year, but have since regressed heavily and traded away some big bats in their lineup. Since the start of July, they rank 23rd in wRC+, and second in strikeout rate at 27%.
Lamet has been throwing mostly his fastball (45%) and slider (47%) since returning from the injured list. The Mariners rank 20th and 23rd against each pitch, respectively, based on Fangraphs pitch value.
5. Anibal Sanchez, $8,000, WAS at SFGSanchez is not the sexiest play in the world, but he can give you some great value at this low of a price. His strikeout rate is just 20% to go along with a 3.80 ERA. In eight of his last 14 starts, Sanchez has allowed one earned run or less.
The Giants are terrible against right-handed pitching. They rank 26th in wRC+, though they strike out at a modest 22.6%, lowest of any team in the bottom eight of wRC+. This seems like a spot tailor-made for a quality start from Sanchez, which is solid at his price.
As much as someone like Kittredge is a tournament play, Sanchez is likely reserved for cash. He has hit 30 DKFP once this season, but his overall range of outcomes does not likely contain a high ceiling. Still, if you want to pay for some bats on your cash team, he seems like a good player to pair with either Wheeler or Greinke.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is amicsta) 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.