Tournament Plays are written to help find high-risk, high-reward players and team stacks that can help you catapult up the leaderboard each day. Plays will range from sleepers who might be able to steal a few bases at a low price point to against-the-grain stars who might not be the popular play of the day on DraftKings.
Jake Arrieta vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($9,500) – A lot of users may be scared off by the fact that Arrieta is the day’s most expensive pitching option; and that’s just fine by me. The move to the National League has done wonders for Arrieta’s fantasy value as he posted an impressive 10-5 record with a 2.53 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 25 starts last season. His 27.2 K% placed him among the elite pitchers in the baseball and Arrieta has been on point in both prior starts this season.
A.J. Burnett vs Chicago Cubs ($8,200) – Opposing Arrieta is another terrific GPP option. Burnett has yet to pick up a win this season, but he sports an impressive 2.25 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through his first two starts. Burnett pitched very well at PNC Park last season, posting a 3.68 ERA in 16 home starts. After wearing out down the stretch last year, Burnett looks fresh and his 15 strikeouts in his first two starts is definitely a good sign.
Trevor Bauer vs. Chicago White Sox ($7,100) – The highly-touted former first-round pick will likely be a popular selection tonight after posting back-to-back gems to start the season. Bauer cruised through six innings against this White Sox team on Tuesday and has already racked up 19 strikeouts in 12 innings of work this season. His control problems can get him into trouble at times, but if he’s locating his mid-90’s fastball then he’s certainly capable of posting the highest score of the day.
Odrisamer Despaigne vs Colorado Rockies ($5,600) – He won’t sniff my roster in cash games, but Despaigne is an appealing GPP target. Yes, the games at Coors Field. And yes, the Rockies smashed the ball to the tune of a ridiculous .390 wOBA at home last season. But Despaigne is extremely cheap and has been fantastic in both starts thus far this season. He posted a 3.36 ERA in 16 starts last season and forces a ton of ground balls. He mowed down this Colorado lineup in their only meeting last season, tossing seven shutout innings while striking out eight.
Justin Upton vs. Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies ($5,200) – You’ll obviously need to make sure he’s in the lineup, but if he’s able to return to the lineup then he’s one of the top hitting options on the board (despite the Coors Field price bump). Upton posted a ridiculous .423 wOBA against left-handed pitching last season and is 7 for 19 (with 5 walks) off of De La Rosa in their past meetings.
Joey Votto vs. Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers ($5,200) – Wily Peralta had a nice season in 2014, but he really struggles against left-handed hitters. With lefties posting a .361 wOBA against him, Votto jumps up my rankings at 1B. The veteran left-hander is an on-base machine and comes into tonight’s game sporting a .350 batting average on the young season.
Kole Calhoun vs. Kendall Graveman, Oakland Athletics ($4,700) – It’s only been two starts, but left-handed hitters are batting .500 off of Graveman thus far (8 for 16 with 2 HR’s). Calhoun is the place setter for this Anaheim lineup and owned an impressive .348 wOBA against southpaws last season. With Trout and Pujols looming directly behind him, the young Graveman will have to attack Calhoun.
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Odrisamer Despaigne, San Diego Padres ($4,600) – It’s been a down year thus far for Cargo, but tonight’s game marks just the third home game for the Colorado Rockies this season, so his explosion (and subsequent injury) seems imminent. Lefties proved to have much more success off of Despaigne last season (.322 wOBA) and Cargo posted a .336 batting average and .945 OPS at Coors Field.
Jedd Gyorko vs. Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies ($3,900) – The Coors Field pricing effect seems to have missed Gyorko tonight, and you’ll want to take advantage. He’s always swung the bat better against left-handed pitching and even the BvsP adverse have to take notice in his destruction of De La Rosa in the past (10 for 15 with 4 walks). Gyorko flashed legit big-league power in his rookie season (23 homeruns) and owns a career 1.001 OPS at 71 career at-bats in Coors Field.
Ryan Raburn vs. John Danks, Chicago White Sox ($3,100) – It’s the perfect storm for Raburn tonight; Raburn has made millions of dollars solely due to his ability to hit left-handed pitching and he’s set to square off against one of MLB’s most hittable southpaws, John Danks. Righties posted a .355 wOBA against Danks in 2014 and Danks posted the 2nd highest xFIP in baseball last season (4.62) among qualified pitchers. In 44 career meetings, Raburn has taken Danks deep on three occasions and owns a 1.094 OPS.
Stack Em Up
Stacks below are based on most likely lineups. Be sure to check the MLB Lineups feed from any DraftKings draft screen throughout the afternoon to make sure players are in the lineup.
Colorado Rockies vs. Odrisamer Despaigne, San Diego Padres – Yea, Despaigne is a recommended GPP flier as a pitcher and now a recommended pitcher to stack against. Welcome to GPP life. A bunch of these Rockies put up video-game like numbers at Coors Field last season and they’re always a threat to put up crooked numbers at home. Grab Tulo, Arenado and all the lefties!
Seattle Mariners vs. Asher Wojciechowski, Houston Astros – Wojciechowski will make his second career MLB start tonight (the first one wasn’t great) in Seattle and I want some exposure here. The soft-tossing right-hander posted an uninspiring 4.74 ERA with the AAA Oklahoma City Red Hawks last season. Left-handers hit .338 off of Wojciechowski at AAA last season and, unfortunately for him, this Seattle lineup is loaded with dangerous lefties.
Cleveland Indians vs. John Danks, Chicago White Sox – With Danks throwing for the White Sox, I love an Indians stack tonight. While they usually roll with a fairly left-handed heavy lineup, they’ll likely get as many of their right-handed bats into the order tonight. Ryan Raburn ($3,100) and Jerry Sands ($3,400) are both dirt cheap with a long history of success against left-handers and Mike Aviles ($3,500) will likely also take a spot near the top of the batting order. Pair those three with Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley and you have a rather cheap stack with tons of upside.