We could be in for a wild day in the majors with Wednesday bringing the trade deadline. There already have been a few trades completed, including a three-team deal Tuesday that resulted in Trevor Bauer joining the Reds. We also have another opportunity to play a seven-game Tiers contest, so it will be important to keep an eye out for any additional trades before finalizing your entry.
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OF George Springer, HOU at CLE
OF Yordan Alvarez, HOU at CLE
OF Nelson Cruz, MIN at MIA
C Mitch Garver, MIN at MIA
This is a pretty easy pass on Cruz. With there being no DH in the NL park, he didn’t play in Tuesday’s series opener. He likely will be limited to pinch-hitting duties throughout the series, leaving him with few opportunities to make an impact. It might also be wise to avoid Garver, who is 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts across his past 20 plate appearances. He’ll be facing right-handed pitcher Sandy Alcantara, which is also a negative considering he has a .354 wOBA against righties compared to a .491 wOBA against lefties.
Alvarez and Springer are two impact power bats who could be in line for a big night against Zach Plesac. His 3.10 ERA looks nice, but he has a 5.15 FIP and has allowed 1.5 HR/9. It’s hard to argue against selecting either of these players, but the slight edge might go to Alvarez since he has an outstanding 193 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.
3B Rafael Devers, BOS vs. TB
OF Mookie Betts, BOS vs. TB
SS Francisco Lindor, CLE vs. HOU
3B/SS Alex Bregman, HOU at CLE
2B Jose Altuve, HOU at CLE
Lindor might have the toughest matchup out of this group against Jose Urquidy, who looked sharp over his past two starts, when he allowed two runs and recorded 15 strikeouts across 13 innings against the Rangers and Cardinals. The strikeouts shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he had a 35.2% strikeout rate at Triple-A before being called up.
The Red Sox will look to bounce back from a loss Tuesday against a Rays team they are battling for a playoff spot. Andrew Kittredge is set to open for the Rays with Ryan Yarbrough expected to pitch the bulk of the innings. Yarbrough does two things very well. First, he’s held left-handed hitters to a .290 wOBA for his career. Second, he’s allowed only 0.9 HR/9 during his time in the majors. That makes Devers someone to possibly avoid. If you want to fade the Astros in tournament play, Betts might be the safer Boston player to deploy.
The two most popular choices in this tier likely will be Bregman and Lindor based on the matchup. Bregman carries the higher upside with his .259 ISO. However, rolling with Altuve could prove profitable since he is 29-for-64 (.453) with five home runs and six doubles across his past 15 games.
1B Pete Alonso, NYM at CWS
SS Javier Baez, CHC at STL
3B/OF Kris Bryant, CHC at STL
1B Carlos Santana, CLE vs. HOU
SS Jorge Polanco, MIN at MIA
OF Eddie Rosario, MIN at MIA
2B Eric Sogard, TB at BOS
OF Mike Yastrzemski, SF at PHI
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s quickly try to eliminate some of the less-appealing options. Alonso has to face Lucas Giolito, who has done a great job of keeping hitters inside the ball park this season and has allowed just a .324 wOBA to right-handed hitters during his career. Sogard could prove to be a key acquisition for the Rays with all of their injuries, but he doesn’t have nearly the power upside some of the other players in this tier do. Santana comes into his matchup against Urquidy on a cold streak, hitting 9-for-49 (.184) with only one home run across his past 13 games.
One player who likely won’t be highly rostered is Yastrzemski. The Giants have an inept lineup, which doesn’t always leave him with many opportunities to accumulate runs and RBI. However, he’ll be facing the inconsistent Vince Velasquez, who has allowed 16 runs (15 earned) across 27 innings in his past six starts. There is plenty of risk involved with going with Yastrzemski in this tier, but if Velasquez is having another off night, he could be a difference-maker in tournament play.
Now we’re down to the two players each on the Twins and Cubs. The Cubs’ matchup against Miles Mikolas is difficult to project. Mikolas is not an overwhelming force with his 17.5% strikeout rate. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from allowing three runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts. He retired the Cubs with ease during a previous matchup at Busch Stadium this season, allowing only one run across seven innings. Overall, he has a 3.36 FIP at home compared to a 5.46 FIP on the road, so this might not be the night to roll with Bryant or Baez.
The Twins having to play at hitter-friendly Marlins Park isn’t exactly ideal, but at least they don’t have a terrible matchup against Alcantara. He’s run into a bit of a rough patch, giving up 20 runs across 28 2/3 innings over his past five starts. Polanco has a .556 slugging percentage over his past 11 games, so he might be the better option over Rosario, who is just 11-for-42 (.262) with a .429 slugging percentage during that same stretch.
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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.