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.
Sonny Gray vs Baltimore Orioles ($11,900) – While I’m not really considering Gray in my cash game lineups, his high asking price, intimidating matchup and lingering injury concerns should all work together to keep his ownership rate quite low, making him a text book GPP target. The 25 year-old has posted a ridiculous 8-1 record to go along with a 1.64 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 12 road starts this season and owns a 2.13 ERA since the All-Star break. With the Orioles owning the league’s third highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season (22.3%), Gray’s ceiling is immense.
Andrew Heaney vs Chicago White Sox ($9,000) – If you haven’t been starting left-handed pitchers against the White Sox in fantasy baseball this season, then you’re just not trying hard enough. The White Sox own an abysmal 72 wRC+ against left-handed pitching as a team this season and their 21.5% strikeout rate also lands in the bottom third of the league. Heaney pitched quite well in a losing effort against Chicago last week and will enter tonight’s start with an impressive 5-1 record and 2.53 ERA through nine starts this season. At this price, the former first round pick offers the most upside.
Others: Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels, Danny Salazar, Michael Wacha, Scott Kazmir, Carlos Rodon
Nelson Cruz vs Cole Hamels ($5,500) – Cole Hamels is not a pitcher you generally want to pick on, but Cruz’s destruction of left-handed pitching just can’t be ignored. Cruz launched his 36th homerun of the season in yesterday’s game and now sports a video-game like .498 wOBA and 232 wR+ against southpaws. It’s a tiny sample size, but it’s also worth noting that Cruz has already taken Hamels deep once in their previous three meetings.
Miguel Sano vs Bryan Mitchell ($4,400) – Sano has cooled off a bit at the plate lately, but he still offers immense upside at this price-point. He’s posted a .439 wOBA and .311 ISO against right-handed pitching thus far during his rookie campaign and has a nice matchup on tap tonight against the inexperienced Bryan Mitchell. He’s done a nice job holding down cleanup duties in the Twins lineup and should benefit from a favorable park shift with this game at the hitter friendly Yankee Stadium.
Gregory Polanco vs Jeremy Hellickson ($4,300) – Polanco picked up two more hits in yesterday’s game and is quietly one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He’ll enter tonight’s game riding a ten game hitting streak that has seen him post a .444 batting average while blasting three homeruns and also picking up a pair of stolen bases. Left-handed batters have posted a .347 wOBA off of Jeremy Hellickson this season and Polanco should set the plate nicely for the Pirates at the top of their batting order.
Jason Heyward vs Chris Heston ($4,100) – Heyward exploded for a pair of homeruns in yesterday’s game and now owns a .337 average and .904 OPS since the All-Star break. He’s thrived at Busch Stadium all season (.327 home batting average) and owns a .338 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season. With 18 stolen bases, he’s also a major threat on the base paths, once onboard.
Derek Dietrich vs Matt Garza ($2,700) – Kyle Lohse has had a very forgettable season, and his 33.6% hard hit average is the 5th highest in MLB this season. With that in mind, Dietrich looks like a terrific GPP value this evening. The young left-hander had a big afternoon yesterday and now owns a .376 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season. His solid .236 ISO against right-handed pitching highlights his power and he should once again find himself right in the heart of this Marlins batting order.
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.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs Jeremy Hellickson, Arizona Diamondbacks – Fresh off of a sweep of the NL East leading New York Mets, the Pirates will look to keep things rolling tonight in Pittsburgh. Jeremy Hellickson enters tonight’s game sporting a subpar 4.73 ERA and 1.35 WHIP on the season and has already allowed five or more earned runs in five different starts this season. He’s been abysmal on the road (6.09 ERA) and, considering his struggles with left-handed hitting, you can target Neil Walker, Gregory Polanco and Pedro Alvarez along with Jung Ho Kang, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte.
Milwaukee Brewers vs Justin Nicolino, Miami Marlins – After an impressive MLB debut, Nicolino has been roughed up a bit in both subsequent starts and owns a 4.86 ERA and 1.38 WHIP after three big league starts. Nicolino is an extreme pitch-to-contact pitcher (just 63 K’s in 115 innings at AAA this season) and Miller Park trails only Coors Field as the most hitter friendly ballpark in the National League. Braun, Lucroy, Segura and Khris Davis all swing the bat very well against left-handed pitching.