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!
Here are five different pitchers fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings:
1. Stephen Strasburg, $11,500, WAS at CHW
Strasburg continued his impressive run against Atlanta last week, striking out 11 batters in seven innings and allowing just two earned runs. His success in a fairly tough fantasy matchup speaks volumes to how effective Strasburg has been this season. He has struck out 98 batters in 79 innings with a 3.19 ERA. Strasburg’s 31.3% strikeout rate is the highest since his rookie year, and his 48.9% ground ball rate is his best since 2013.
The White Sox are middle-of-the-pack in terms of wRC+ against righties but strike out 26.4% of the time against them, second-most in baseball. They also struggle mightily with curveballs, which has been a tremendous out pitch for Strasburg. He has a 41% whiff rate on his curve since the start of 2018. No batter in the White Sox’ lineup has an ISO higher than .165 against curves.
Strasburg is the best overall pitching option today and is priced accordingly. On a 15-game slate, find the value elsewhere to fit him into your lineups.
2. Madison Bumgarner, $9,000, SF at NYM
The Mets are favored in this matchup, but I prefer the pitcher on the other side of the game in Bumgarner. His ERA is just 4.01 right now, but he has struck out a batter an inning and has recorded five quality starts in his past six outings. His 3.59 FIP and 3.72 xFIP suggest he has gotten a little unlucky to far this year.
New York is actually sixth in wRC+ against lefties this year, but it still strikes out 26.2% of the time against them. This is good for Bumgarner, who has struggled to strike out righties. Of the six righties in the Mets’ projected lineup, five of them have struck out at least 24% of the time against lefties since the start of 2018.
Bumgarner’s cutter/sinker combination is a tough one to beat, especially for a couple of their less-experienced hitters. Nobody in the Mets’ lineup has even 20 batted ball events against cutters.
3. Blake Snell, $11,000, TB at DET
Snell has been exceptional this season, as evident by his 3.06 ERA despite two different outings giving up five or more runs. In his other nine starts, Snell has given up two runs or less, and he has struck out 83 batters in 61 2/3 innings overall. He is following up his Cy Young campaign with another tremendous year.
The Tigers are absolutely a matchup to target. They strike out 26.4% of the time against lefty pitching and have a below-average wRC+ of 89. Snell has struck out 32.4% of all batters since the start of last season. He has generated a whiff rate of at least 25% for all of his pitches.
Both Strasburg and Snell have been dominant for stretches this season, particularly in terms of strikeouts. However, due to cost, it will be difficult to fit both pitchers into your lineups. I would prioritize Strasburg, but if there is a ton of value on the slate, playing both is viable and encouraged.
4. Chase Anderson, $7,200, MIL vs. MIA
Anderson opened up the year in the bullpen but has since made the transition back to being a starter. He has failed to go longer than five innings in any start but dealt with a blister issue that forced him onto the IL, and needed to be stretched out after being in the bullpen. His numbers overall have been excellent, with a 3.31 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.
Keep. Attacking. The. Marlins. Miami is (still) bottom of the league in wRC+ against righties and has a top-10 strikeout rate of 24.9%. The Marlins have the lowest wOBA in MLB and the lowest ISO by 43 points.
Anderson has some longevity risk in the game but is a huge salary-saver in a tremendous matchup. He is cash-game viable depending on your risk tolerance and certainly a tournament play.
5. Drew Smyly, $6,100, TEX vs. BAL
This is a deeeeeep tournament play that is not for the faint of heart. Smyly has an ERA of 6.98 and gave up seven earned runs in his most recent start. The Orioles have a 5.3 run total and likely will be a team some users target as a stacking option.
That said, there is some reason to have optimism. Baltimore is very righty-heavy, with six expected right-handers in the lineup. Smyly has struck out 6.6% more righties than lefties. The Orioles also are 21st in wRC+ against lefties and have a 26.7% strikeout rate. Baltimore also struggles against curveballs, Smyly’s top secondary pitch. He has generated a 38% whiff rate on it.
Smyly doesn’t have to do a ton at this price to pay off his salary and could be some nice leverage against the field in tournaments. There are four teams with a run total of at least 5.8 and six others over five. Smyly is a way to get some high-upside hitters into your lineup without sacrificing a Strasburg or Snell.
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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.