There should be no shortage of scoring across the majors Wednesday. Among the juicy matchups are the Astros and Rockies at Coors Field and the Red Sox taking on the lackluster Blue Jays’ pitching staff. That leaves us with plenty of viable options to sift through for the Tiers contest.
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OF Christian Yelich, MIL at CIN
OF Charlie Blackmon, COL vs. HOU
OF George Springer, HOU at COL
OF Mike Trout, LAA at TEX
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yelich is not in the starting lineup tonight
This is going to be a hard one to narrow down. Not only is Coors Field a friendly hitting environment, so is Globe Life Park, which is where Trout will be playing. He’ll step into the batter’s box against Ariel Jurado, who isn’t exactly an overwhelming force based on his 16.5% strikeout rate. Trout carries plenty of upside into this matchup.
While it’s hard to imagine, Yelich has actually been better this season than in 2018 when he won the NL MVP. His ISO is up over a hundred points at .385 and he’s also stolen 18 bases. If there is a negative stat with him, it’s that he “only” has a 135 wRC+ on the road compared to a 230 wRC+ at home. He’ll be facing Sonny Gray at Great American Ball Park, so fading him might not be a crazy idea.
The big appeal for this slate is the game at Coors Field. The Astros and Rockies were involved in a slugfest Tuesday that saw the two teams combine for 17 runs. Blackmon and Springer are both excellent hitters who can carry a DFS lineup on any given night. Trying to decide between the two comes down to the matchups. Blackmon will face Wade Miley, who has held left-handed hitters to a .230 wOBA this season. Springer gets to face Peter Lambert, who has allowed 14 runs over 12 2/3 innings in three starts at home. He could end up being the most productive hitter out of this group.
OF Yordan Alvarez, HOU at COL
OF Joey Gallo, TEX vs. LAA
3B Nolan Arenado, COL vs. HOU
3B/SS Alex Bregman, HOU at COL
OF Shohei Ohtani, LAA at TEX
Gallo has picked up right where he left off, hitting 7-for-22 (.318) with three home runs and two doubles across seven games since being activated from the IL. Tasked with trying to slow him down will be right-hander Griffin Canning, who has allowed 1.8 HR/9 during his first season in the majors. That could be a recipe for disaster against Gallo. With many people likely stacking the Coors Field game, rolling with Gallo might be a good way to differentiate yourself in tournament play.
Sticking with that same game brings us to Ohtani, who is having another excellent season with a .378 wOBA. He’s certainly hot right now, hitting 12-for-24 (.500) with three home runs and two doubles over his last eight games. If you roll with Trout in Tier 1, adding Ohtani in this tier could be the best route to take.
Now onto the marque game on the slate again. We have three players from the Astros and Rockies game to pick from, so it will be a tough choice. We might not have to make a decision with Alvarez, who did not play Tuesday due to the lack of the DH in the NL park. There is a chance that he plays the field Wednesday, but it’s not likely considering his recent knee discomfort.
That leaves us to choose between Arenado and Bregman. Bregman has actually been pretty quiet of late, hitting 11-for-41 (.268) with only one home run over his last 10 games. Arenado has two major factors working in his advantage for this game. First, he has a career .412 wOBA at home. Second, he has a career .421 wOBA against left-handed pitchers. Based on that, he’s the most appealing player in this tier in my eyes.
SS Xander Bogaerts, BOS at TOR
2B/OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., TOR vs. BOS
3B/OF Kris Bryant, CHC at PIT
2B/SS Gleyber Torres, NYY at NYM
1B/3B Yandy Diaz, TB vs. BAL
C James McCann, CWS vs. DET
2B/3B Tommy La Stella, LAA at TEX
OF Jason Heyward, CHC at PIT
We have a lot of options here, so let’s quickly narrow the field. As good as Gurriel has been, he has a tough matchup against Chris Sale, so he’s out. La Stella seems unlikely to play after leaving Tuesday’s game with a shin injury. The Orioles have a putrid pitching staff, but Diaz and the Rays will have to face their best starter in John Means, who has a 2.50 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. That makes it tough to roll with Diaz given the other options.
With Chris Archer on the mound for the Pirates, it’s hard to predict what type of night the Cubs are in store for. Archer has mostly struggled this year, resulting in a 5.80 FIP and a 1.47 WHIP. He’s still shown the ability to provide the occasional strong start and has actually allowed two runs or fewer in three of his last five outings. That makes Bryant and Heyward risky propositions.
The White Sox and Tigers will be playing a doubleheader, so there’s a possibility we don’t see McCann play in the nightcap if he starts the first game. If he does play, he could be a sneaky dangerous option that isn’t likely to be included in a lot of lineups. The Tigers will start rookie Tyler Alexander, who has struggled at Triple-A with a 6.23 ERA and a 5.27 FIP.
Gleyber Torres isn’t a bad choice with left-hander Jason Vargas on the mound for the Mets, but the player that jumps off the page to me here is Bogaerts. He has an ideal matchup against Jacob Waguespack, who is expected to be activated off the IL. Waguespack has been terrible at Triple-A with a 5.41 FIP across 52 2/3 innings, so the Red Sox have the potential to score plenty in this game. Boegarts is also swinging a hot bat, going 19-for-56 (.339) with two home runs and nine doubles over his last 14 games.
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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.