Pittsburgh Pirates  v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

With there being a heavy dose of day games Wednesday, the evening Tiers contest doesn’t exactly have a lot of games to select from. Still, with teams like the Dodgers, Cubs and Braves in action, there are big names to consider. This contest is a bit different in that each tier consists of players from one of the six games. Let’s dive into a few of the matchups and discuss how things might play out.

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Tier 1

OF Ronald Acuña Jr, ATL vs. NYM
1B Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. NYM
1B Pete Alonso, NYM at ATL
2B Ozzie Albies, ATL vs. NYM
2B/OF Jeff McNeil, NYM at ATL
OF Michael Conforto, NYM at ATL
3B Josh Donaldson, ATL vs. NYM
3B/OF J.D. Davis, NYM at ATL

We have a couple of left-handed pitchers facing off in this game with Steven Matz taking the mound for the Mets and Dallas Keuchel starting for the Braves. Matz has a sparkling 2.98 FIP and a 1.12 WHIP at Citi Field, but he’s posted a 6.43 FIP and a 1.67 WHIP on the road, so playing in Atlanta could be troublesome for him.

Keuchel is coming off of his worst start since joining the Braves, giving up eight runs over 3 2/3 innings versus the lowly Marlins. He allowed three home runs in that contest, bringing his total for the season up to 11 allowed in 59 2/3 innings. That could end up being his downfall against some of the Mets’ power bats.

While there are a lot of interesting players on both sides, this comes down to Acuña and Alonso in my eyes. With how many home runs Keuchel has allowed, Alonso could prove to be a tough out. He also has a 154 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile, Acuña is 36-for-109 (.3330) across his past 25 games and has shown a stellar combination of speed and power with a .670 slugging percentage and 12 steals during that stretch. When factoring in his ability to contribute on the base paths, Acuña has arguably the highest upside in this group.

Tier 2

OF Domingo Santana, SEA at DET
OF Travis Demeritte, DET vs. SEA
1B Daniel Vogelbach, SEA at DET
OF Mallex Smith, SEA at DET
OF/SS Niko Goodrum, DET vs. SEA
C Omar Narvaez, SEA at DET
1B Brandon Dixon, DET vs. SEA
1B Miguel Cabrera, DET vs. SEA

As far as pitching matchups go, this one is pretty lopsided. Edwin Jackson will start for the Tigers, and even though he pitched well in his most recent start, he’s been a disaster this season with his 8.24 FIP and 1.96 WHIP. Meanwhile, Marco Gonzales will take the hill for the Mariners. The most recent time he faced the lowly Tigers lineup, he dominated it by allowing one run and recording eight strikeouts over seven innings.

With how poorly Jackson has pitched, it’s hard not go with someone on the Mariners here. Smith and Narvaez don’t have the same power upside as Santana and Vogelbach, so they really aren’t much more than contrarian options in tournament play. The problem with Santana and Vogelbach is they are both slumping. Vogelbach is 4-for-33 (.121) over his past 10 games while Santana is 3-for-30 (.100) during that same stretch. However, with his 143 wRC+ against righties, Vogelbach could have the most productive evening amongst this group.

Tier 6

OF Mike Trout, LAA vs. PIT
1B Josh Bell, PIT at LAA
OF Starling Marte, PIT at LAA
OF Shohei Ohtani, LAA vs. PIT
OF Bryan Reynolds, PIT at LAA
OF Kole Calhoun, LAA vs. PIT
OF Brian Goodwin, LAA vs. PIT
1B/3B Jose Osuna, PIT at LAA

This has the potential to be a high-scoring game with Chris Archer taking on Dillon Peters. Don’t be fooled by Peters’ 3.45 ERA. He has a 5.26 FIP and has allowed seven home runs over just 31 1/3 innings. Archer has had plenty of problems in the homer department, as well, giving up 25 long balls over 113 2/3 innings. He also has had control issues, which is part of the reason for his bloated 1.41 WHIP.

Trout figures to be the most popular option in this tier, and rightfully so. He has the highest upside of the group. However, with Archer’s control issues, Trout might find himself on base via the walk a time or two in this game, limiting his opportunities to do damage. If you want to attack the Archer matchup while fading Trout, Ohtani might be the next best option. He also has plenty of power and has recorded a .371 wOBA against righties.

Among the options on the Pirates, Bell brings the highest upside. He’s starting to come out of his recent slump, hitting four home runs over his past three contests. Considering his .313 ISO, he could give the homer-prone Peters plenty of problems. If you’re looking for a player on the Pirates who likely will be included in fewer entries, Reynolds makes for a great option. He’s been spectacular since being recalled from the minors, recording a 150 wRC+ and a .401 wOBA.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) 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.