All thirty teams are in action tonight for the final Tuesday of the regular season. There are several aces on the mound, but we need to be careful of how teams will be handling their pitchers if they have already clinched playoff berths (Washington, Boston and the Chicago Cubs in particular) because there may be little reason for them to continue a heavy workload with meaningful games looming right around the corner.
Justin Verlander – DET vs CLE – $11,600 – Last night the Cleveland victory over Detroit allowed them to clinch the AL Central title and it makes the Tigers that much more desperate for a win to keep their AL Wild Card hopes alive. There is a good chance that the Cleveland players were celebrating into the wee hours of the morning, which has become a tradition in recent years. This means there is a VERY good chance we see a completely watered down lineup of reserves and September call-ups which would position Verlander as a top pitching option on the slate in my opinion.
Chris Sale – CHW vs TBR – $14,000 – This is a very high price to pay for Sale; however, with the Rays projected to plate just 3.5 runs and his propensity to go deep into games, he could still return high value. The Rays traded away some of their best situation hitters and they are not nearly as fearsome against southpaws as they were at the All-Star Break.
Julio Teheran – ATL vs PHI – $9,500 – While this price point does not seem like a value, it is when compared to the frontline starters going tonight and also when factoring in the many discounted hitters we should see among the rookies and September call-ups. Teheran has again continued his dominance against right-handed hitters, and the Philles project to have just three lefties in their lineup including the solid Odubel Herrera, a washed up Ryan Howard and speedster Roman Quinn. I like the Teheran as one of the best price/production options for Tuesday.
A.J. Griffin – TEX vs MIL – $5,700 – I’m recommending this play for tournaments only. Over his last five games, Griffin has two (against the Angels and in Seattle) where he totaled -4.1 DraftKings points. However, in the other three (against Cleveland and a home/away series with Houston) he has averaged nearly 22 DraftKings points. At this price tag, we can take a shot that he flirts with 20 fantasy points in the cooler Texas weather against a team in the Brewers that strikes out a lot against right-handed pitchers.
David Ortiz (1B) – BOS at NYY – $5,600 – In theory, this will be the last series that Big Papi plays in Yankee Stadium, and being one with a flair for the dramatic, a farewell home run is most definitely in play. In his swan song season he has posted an other-worldly .447 wOBA and a .360 ISO against right-handed pitching, and in his last 98 lefty/righty matchups RHP Luis Cessa is allowing a 2.59 HR/9 rate. If you have the extra cap space, Ortiz is the top luxury item on the board.
Trea Turner (2B/OF) – WAS vs ARZ – $5,500 – The rookie just continues to produce and in his last ten games he has tallied four home runs, two doubles and a triple along with nine runs scored and three stolen bases. With the playoffs locked up, there is a chance that the Nationals play it safe with their prized rookie with Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy dealing with injuries and Wilson Ramos hurting his knee last night. However, if he is in the lineup, he is arguably the best play at both second base and in the outfield against fellow rookie RHP Matt Koch who will be making his first start tonight.
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD at SDP – $5,300 – Continuing the theme of rookie phenoms, we have Corey Seager who has been outstanding this season against right-handed pitching with a .404 wOBA and a 0.960 which demonstrates his patience and power upside. Enjoy!
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR vs BAL – $4,700 – Donaldson has been outstanding this season against same-handed pitching, and he is one of the elite hitters in the game with a .401 wOBA and a .270 ISO in 521 plate appearances this season against right-handed hurlers. Over his last 45 starts, RHP Kevin Gausman has allowed 1.83 HR/9 to right-handed pitching, making Donaldson a fine play on Tuesday night. We can also look to teammate Edwin Encarnacion (1B) – $4,100 as he has blasted 33 home runs and 27 doubles this season against right-handed pitchers.
Yasmani Grandal (CATCH) – LAD at SDP – $4,100 – Grandal is a relatively inexpensive option when considering his upside against RHP Paul Clemens, particularly with the lefty heavy Dodgers lineup having a 4.6 implied run total, even with this game in spacious Petco Park.
Charlie Blackmon (OF) – COL at SF – $4,100 – While this seems a little crazy on the surface with AT&T Park being one of the least home run friendly venues in baseball, I like this spot for Blackmon. LHP Matt Moore has been less than dominant in lefty/lefty matchups over his last 43 starts with a 5.85 ERA and a 4.79 xFIP against the 256 lefties he has faced. On the flipside, while he does not have a ton of power in same-handed matchups, Blackmon does produce with a .365 wOBA and a .840 OPS this season. I think going this route will be much more effective if we include teammates Carlos Gonzalez (OF) – $4,100 – who can hold his own against same-handed pitching and Nolan Arenado (3B) – $4,600 – who is a fantastic hitter against southpaws with a .348 wOBA and his power plays in any venue with a .220 ISO.
Andrew Benintendi (OF) – BOS at NYY – $3,000 – If he is in the lineup, Benintendi is a solid discount option, despite the likelihood he will be batting ninth. The Red Sox offense is one of the best in the land this season, and the youngster has held his own against right-handed pitching with a .429 wOBA and a .260 ISO in 73 plate appearances this season.
T.J. Rivera (2B/3B) – NYM at MIA – $2,900 – Rivera continues to see favorable positioning in the middle of the Mets order when he plays, and he has been on a heater with fourteen hits in his last 34 at bats for a .412 average and a 1.054 OPS. Enjoy the discount and multi-position eligibility.
Stephen Drew (2B/SS) – WAS vs ARZ – $3,500 – With all of the injuries to the Nationals prominent players, Drew will likely be batting second or fifth in the lineup tonight against his former team. He has been productive this season as a reserve with a .280/.351/.538 combined slash line, and he is a safe play in this matchup with RHP Matt Koch in my opinion.
Roman Quinn (OF) – PHI at ATL – $2,500 – Though he has been up-and-down with his production since being promoted to the big club, Quinn deserves consideration at this price point if he is at the top of the order for the Phillies on Tuesday.
Christian Yelich (OF) – MIA vs NYM – $3,700 – Not many gamers are going to want to play any of the Marlins against RHP Noah Syndergaard; however, if I were going to choose one it would definitely be Yelich who is a phenomenal young hitter with both the power and patience to be productive against the pitcher known as Thor.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.