We won’t have as many games to pick from for the main evening slate of DFS due to a fairly hefty set of day games. However, several key hitters still will be in action, leaving us with some enticing options for tonight’s seven-game Tiers contest. Let’s dive into the matchups to see which ones stand out.
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OF Charlie Blackmon, COL at WAS
OF Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL vs. KC
1B Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. KC
C Mitch Garver, MIN vs. NYY
One player I’m eliminating pretty quickly here is Blackmon against Patrick Corbin. Corbin has held left-handed hitters to a .238 wOBA this season while Blackmon has just a .278 wOBA on the road. There will be plenty of nights where Blackmon would be the top choice in this tier, but this isn’t one of them.
The Braves will look to rebound from a loss Tuesday when they take on Brad Keller and the Royals. Keller isn’t exactly an overwhelming force with his 16.8% strikeout rate and he’s allowed too many baserunners with his 1.40 WHIP. Both Acuña and Freeman are viable options here, but Acuña could end up having the better stat line. He’s provided plenty of production lately, hitting 31-for-101 (.307) with seven home runs and 13 steals across his past 25 games.
As appealing as Acuña and Freeman are, Garver is my pick here. It’s rare for a catcher to be in this tier, although Garver is having a special offensive season. He’ll take on the struggling J.A. Happ, who has allowed a 5.11 WHIP and an abnormally high 1.9 HR/9. With his 238 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, Garver has tremendous upside.
SS Trevor Story, COL at WAS
3B Anthony Rendon, WAS vs. COL
OF Max Kepler, MIN vs. NYY
OF Eddie Rosario, MIN vs. NYY
3B Josh Donaldson, ATL vs. KC
While not as extreme as Blackmon’s, Story also has some glaring home/road splits with a .415 wOBA at Coors Field and a .337 wOBA on the road. Despite there being a lefty on the mound, this might not be the night to add him to your entry. Corbin is on top of his game right now, allowing eight runs and recording 50 strikeouts across 39 innings in his past six starts.
As bad as Happ has been this season, rolling with Kepler or Rosario against a left-hander might not be the best strategy. Kepler has a .330 wOBA against them while Rosario has been even worse with a .319 wOBA. A Twins stack might be appealing if you roll with Garver in the first tier, but there are better options here.
Donaldson has some strange splits this season. For his career, he has a robust 160 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. However, he has just a 115 wRC+ against them this season. The good news is he has a 137 wRC+ against righties and has regained his power stroke to the tune of a .265 ISO for the season, overall. If you settle on Acuña or Freeman in the first tier, adding Donaldson for a Braves stack could be a sound strategy.
The player who might end up being the most popular amongst this group is Rendon. He’ll have the benefit of facing Kyle Freeland, who has been just awful with a 7.62 ERA and a 6.12 FIP. A stint in the minors hasn’t proven to be helpful since he’s allowed 10 runs across eight innings since being recalled. The Nationals could be in store for a huge night.
OF Aaron Judge, NYY at MIN
OF Starling Marte, PIT vs. STL
1B Edwin Encarnacion, NYY at MIN
3B Yoan Moncada, CWS vs. MIA
OF David Dahl, COL at WAS
1B/OF Garrett Cooper, MIA at CWS
1B/2B Howie Kendrick, WAS vs. COL
We have a lot of options here, so let’s try and narrow things down. Dahl has an 81 wRC+ on the road and will be facing a tough lefty, so I want no part of him. Encarnacion brings plenty of power to the table, but facing right-hander Jake Odorizzi is no easy task. Odorizzi has an impressive 1.13 WHIP and has allowed only 1.1 HR/9. Despite Cooper having a good matchup against Reynaldo Lopez, it might also be best to avoid him based on some of the other options available. With such limited talent around him, he has fewer opportunities to provide counting stats.
Judge is an interesting option here. He certainly was productive in Tuesday’s slugfest, finishing the game 3-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. He normally hits second in one of the deepest lineups in baseball, so his upside is off the charts. This isn’t the safest of matchups against Odorizzi, but Judge still warrants consideration.
Marte has shown off his power skills of late, hitting six home runs and five doubles to give him a .589 slugging percentage across his past 22 games. Maybe just as impressive is he only has an 8.2% strikeout rate during that stretch. Tasked with trying to slow him down will be Adam Wainwright, who enters with a pedestrian 4.50 ERA and 4.36 FIP. Rolling with Marte here is a viable strategy.
With Ryan Zimmerman (foot) back in the IL, Kendrick returns to a platoon role with Matt Adams at first base. He should be in the lineup with the lefty Freeland on the mound. Considering he has a .424 wOBA against southpaws this season, deploying both him here and Rendon in Tier 2 could prove to be profitable.
Of all of the options within this tier, Moncada has a chance to be amongst the most productive. Zac Gallen has had control issues since being called up to the majors, resulting in a 1.48 WHIP. Moncada has a .396 wOBA against right-handed pitchers and already has hit more home runs (18) across 90 games this season than he did in 149 games last year. If the White Sox are going to take advantage of this matchup, expect Moncada to be right in the thick of the scoring.
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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.