Tuesday baseball is back, and we have 14 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. Walker Buehler, $12,300, LAD at BALThis pitching slate is a stone-cold disaster, and it is likely that you will have to take a real risk on your SP2 if you want to fit any of the top bats. Your SP1 spot, however, should be reserved for Buehler, who is by far the best overall pitcher on the slate. He has a 3.28 ERA and 190 strikeouts in 159.1 innings this season. In the second half of the year, he has a 3.13 xFIP, and has seen a 6% increase in strikeout rate.
Not only is Buehler the best pitcher on the slate, he is also in a good matchup. The Orioles are 26th in wRC+ against righties, and strike out against them 22.9% of the time. Buehler is a mostly fastball pitcher, using that pitch over 50% of the time. Baltimore is 21st against fastballs, according to Fangraphs’ pitch value.
As of this writing, the Orioles have the lowest implied run total of the slate at 3.6 runs, and the Dodgers are by far the biggest moneyline favorites at -335. Buehler is safe, has a high ceiling, and is far and away the best pitcher for you to use on DraftKings today.
2. Chase Anderson, $6,000, MIL at MIAIt has not been a great year for Anderson, but this is the kind of slate we have been dealt on this fine Tuesday. He has a 4.58 ERA, but he is striking out over 21% of batters. That is the silver lining worth clinging to. Anderson has also pitched fairly well if we remove his 10-run shellacking against the Nationals. He has otherwise allowed two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his past 13 starts.
The primary reason to go to Anderson is the matchup. Miami has been a team we have beaten up on all year, as they are 29th in wRC+ against righties, and strike out 25.3% of the time against them. The Marlins are mostly right-handed, which means Anderson will be using his fastball primarily (52% of the time to righties). This is good news, as Miami is 27th against fastballs, according to Fangraphs’ pitch value.
The secondary reason we want to look at Anderson is his price. He’s obviously not the second best pure pitcher on the slate, but a $6,000 price tag is too low considering the matchup, acceptable recent performances and other pitchers on the slate. Anderson is key to getting access to the bats in Coors, which has a 13.5 run total, as well as a couple of other games with 10-plus run totals.
3. Zack Wheeler, $10,000, NYM vs. ARIReturning to good pitchers, we have Wheeler, who has displayed the potential to be a great fantasy arm for DFS purposes. He was lights out in July before having a rough August, but the overall numbers are still very encouraging. He has a 4.11 xFIP and a 23% strikeout rate.
Arizona has been below-average against righties, ranking 20th in wRC+ against them with a 21.7% strikeout rate. Those aren’t numbers to write home about, but they are good enough to make Wheeler a play given his talent. He has a good pitch mix that is sure to keep the Diamondbacks on their heels.
Since returning from injury on July 26, Wheeler has really only struggled against the Braves. In his other six starts, he has pitched to a 1.98 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.
4.Trevor Bauer, $9,100, CIN at SEABauer is probably the second-most talented pitcher on this slate, but he has been in a terrible rut since joining the Reds. He has an 8.23 ERA, which is strange since going to the National League should have helped his performance. The good news is that he is still striking out batters, eliminating 43 in 35 innings with the Reds. After being one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past year and a half, there is room for optimism that he will eventually bounce back.
Seattle has been a team to target since the All-Star break, as they have struck out 26.8% of the time, and have a below-average wRC+. T-Mobile Park is also 20th in Park Factor for runs scored. This seems like a great environment for Bauer to get his mojo back.
Bauer provides some savings versus Wheeler, but definitely comes with more risk. He is a great tournament play, as we have seen him post 30-plus DKFP many times in the past, which would be amazing value at the current price tag.
5.Nathan Eovaldi, $7,300, BOS at TOREovaldi had a bad start to the season as a starter, spending the majority of the year in AAA, injured or in the bullpen. We have seen some success from him in the past, and he just had a great outing against a fantastic Twins offense. That has me feeling somewhat optimistic given the matchup and price.
Toronto is 22nd in wRC+ against righties, and strikes out 25.1% of the time against them. Eovaldi uses mostly his fastball (42%). The Blue Jays rank 28th against that pitch, according to Fangraphs pitch value.
Outside of Anderson, just about every useful pitcher has been priced up due to the context of the slate. Eovaldi has slipped through the cracks a little bit given the circuitous route has taken to be in this position. I like him as a GPP pivot off of Anderson, who is likely to be more popular.
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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.