Tuesday baseball is back, and we have 13 games on tap for the main fantasy baseball slate. There are a wide array of pitching options and 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. Collin McHugh, $8,200, HOU vs. KC
McHugh has not had a great start to the season, with a 4.97 ERA through seven starts. However, there is some reason to believe he has been a bit unlucky. His fly-balls allowed are down, and his grounders allowed are up. This is reflected in his ground-ball to fly-ball ratio of 1.03, his best since 2016. Unfortunately, McHugh has seen an inordinate amount of his fly-balls leave the yard (17.9%). His xFIP since the start of 2018 is still 3.58, and McHugh still is striking out 25% of batters this year. A bounce-back is coming.
The Royals have exceeded expectations this year and are 11th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching. This will not be a walk in the park. They strike out 22.1%, but McHugh is a high-strikeout pitcher who already has three performances with nine strikeouts this year despite never pitching more than six innings. When he has his good stuff, McHugh is front-line starter material.
Ultimately this play is about the pedigree of McHugh for the price. Efficient pricing likely would have him around $9,500 with average luck, but his poor fortune has dropped him into the low $8K range. This is a spot to take advantage of Tuesday night.
2. Jose Berrios, $10,400, MIN at TOR
Berrios is a rising star who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Through seven starts he has an ERA of 2.91 and has struck out about a batter per inning. He has gone at least six innings in every start and has only one start that was not a quality one. There are very few pitching options as safe as Berrios.
This particular matchup also provides a ton of upside. The Blue Jays are 25th in wRC+ against righties and strike out 26.9% of the time against them, second-most in baseball. Toronto has scored more than three runs just once in its past seven games.
Berrios likely would be the top play on this slate if not for the presence of McHugh, who makes roster construction much easier.
3. Stephen Strasburg, $10,600, WAS at MIL
Strasburg has been excellent this year. His ERA is 3.45 due to a couple of poor starts, but he has a WHIP of just 1.04 and has struck out an insane 57 batters in 44 1/3 innings. Strasburg has allowed a total of three runs in his past three starts.
The Brewers possess massive power potential but have been a below-average offense against right-handed pitching in 2019. Their wRC+ against righties is 95, just 17th in baseball. More importantly, they strike out 26.5% of the time, which makes this an ideal matchup for someone like Strasburg.
There is definite downside here, as Strasburg is no stranger to giving up homers, but the upside is way too tantalizing to pass up.
4. Noah Syndergaard, $10,100, NYM at SD
Syndergaard really has struggled so far to start 2019. He has a 5.02 ERA despite coming off of a complete-game shutout. That’s because he had allowed at least four earned runs in five of his previous six starts. His prior start could be a sign he is turning it around, but his peripherals have painted a picture of a pitcher struggling or in decline. His fly-ball rate and hard contact allowed are both up, and he always has struggled to hold runners on the basepaths.
That said, the matchup here is pristine. San Diego is 23rd in wRC+ at 83. It also strikes out 27.1% of the time against righties, the most in baseball. Strikeouts are a part of Syndergaard’s game that has not eroded this year. His 27.4% K rate is higher than it was in 2017.
This is absolutely a GPP-only play given the other options on this slate, but Thor offers tons of upside if he can find his hammer in this matchup.
5. Cal Quantrill, $5,700, SD vs. NYM
With three high-priced studs on the slate, it’s going to be difficult to play the best options while also adding an expensive stack. If that is something you’d like to do, you’ll need a risky low-dollar SP2. That’s where Quantrill comes in. The 2016 first-round pick pitched well in his first start, holding the Braves to two runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Now he will face a Mets team that does not possess much power. They are 29th in ISO against righties and are in the top 10 of strikeout rate. This is perfect for Quantrill, who is a heavy ground-ball pitcher. He likely can limit the Mets in terms of runs allowed and hopefully can rack up enough strikeouts to put together a great DK outing for his price.
Of course, the primary reason to use Quantrill is access to better bats. If the better offenses on the main slate hit, pairing Quantrill with one of the studs could be a GPP-winning approach.
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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.