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.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Colorado Rockies ($10,700) – His early season struggles and the matchup in Coors Field will likely keep his ownership rate down, and that’s what makes him an ideal GPP play today. His 2.13 xFIP is right in line with last year’s numbers and Kershaw looked like a Cy Young winner in his last start as he shutout the Braves for seven innings while racking up 10 strikeouts. He absolutely dominated this Rockies team last season, posting a 3-0 record with a 0.41 ERA and 0.27 WHIP over 22.0 innings and Colorado happens to own MLB’s highest strikeout rate against left-handed pitching this season (25.6%).
Andrew Cashner vs New York Mets ($8,000) – With Cashner taking the mound at Petco Park, he flies up my pitcher rankings tonight. His opponent (DeGrom) may draw more attention these days, but Cashner posted a ridiculous 4-3 record with a 1.43 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 11 starts at Petco Park last season, and while he’s yet to record a “W” at home this season, his 2.42 ERA and 10.73 K/9 at home this season is awfully impressive. Tonight, he’ll face a feeble hitting Mets team that owns just a .295 team wOBA this season.
Alex Wood vs Arizona Diamondbacks ($8,200) – The matchup in the hitter friendly Chase Field and against an Arizona team that owns a .333 team wOBA is not ideal, but Wood has been terrific lately and his high ceiling makes him a fine GPP target. Wood has allowed just one run over seven innings of work in each of his last two starts and has lowered his ERA to 3.50 on the season. He’s 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA away from Turner Field this season and, while he hasn’t been striking out a ton of batters this season, he did own an impressive 8.91 K/9 in 2014.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves ($5,300) – He won’t come cheap, but Goldy at home against a left-handed pitcher is a matchup not wise to ignore. Goldschmidt has picked up three hits in each of the last three games (with three homeruns in that span) and enters tonight’s game sporting a .354 average and 1.143 OPS on the season. Goldschmidt owns a CAREER .326 average and 1.025 OPS against southpaws and his ceiling is as high as any hitter on the board tonight.
Joc Pederson vs. Kyle Kendrick, Colorado Rockies ($4,900) – Pederson smacked his 13th homerun of the season in yesterday’s game, and finds himself with one of the best matchups on the board tonight. The rookie slugger will head to Coors Field to battle the gas-can known as Kyle Kendrick who left-handed batters own a .379 wOBA against this season. With Pederson crushing right-handed pitching to the tune of a .409 wOBA and .328 ISO, the $4,900 asking price still seems like a bargain.
Lucas Duda vs. Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($4,300) – The tough matchup in Petco Park and against Cashner will likely scare many users away, but Duda is still an excellent GPP option tonight. The Mets slugger owns a .379 wOBA and .225 ISO against right-handed pitching this season and left-handed batters have posted a .372 wOBA off of Cashner on the young season. Duda has blasted six homeruns over the last week and offers multi-homerun potential at a discounted price.
Gregory Polanco vs. Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants ($4,000) – With Ryan Vogelsong toeing the rubber, Polanco jumps up my rankings in the OF tonight. While he’s actually pitched decently of late, Vogelsong has still allowed left-handed batters to post a .299 average and 1.042 OPS against him this season. Lefties have already taken Vogelsong deep eight times this season (in just 77 AB’s) and Polanco enters the game riding a five game hitting streak and went just finished up a series in Petco Park that saw him go 7 for 19 with a pair of homeruns.
Steve Pearce vs. Brett Oberholtzer, Houston Astros ($3,800) – With Adam Jones banged up, the Orioles are really going to need Pearce to break out of his funk. He enters the game hitting just .189 on the season, but he mashed left-handed pitching to the tune of a .327 average and 1.109 OPS in 2014. He’ll undoubtedly have a very low ownership rate, and could be a huge difference maker when his bat finally wakes up.
Colby Rasmus vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles ($3,800) – With some quality pitching choices on the mound tonight, finding some value hitters is going to be important. After a couple days off for rest, Rasmus should find his way back into the Astros lineup tonight as Houston tries to take advantage of Ubaldo’s history of struggles against left-handed batters. Rasmus has pounded Ubaldo in their previous meetings; going 13 for 31 with six doubles, a triple and a homerun.
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.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Kyle Kendrick, Colorado Rockies – They aren’t cheap, but with Kyle Kendrick on the mound at Coors Field, 6+ runs almost seems like a lock here. The Dodgers scored 20 runs during their three game sweep of the Rockies at Coors Field earlier this season and opposing hitters own a .866 OPS off of Kendrick this season. Kendrick sports an ugly 7.85 ERA at Coors Field this season and I don’t expect that number to improve after tonight’s matchup.
St. Louis Cardinals vs Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers – Mike Fiers has shown the ability to rack up strikeouts in his career, but he’s struggled a bit this season and his 41.5% hard-hit average is the highest in MLB (by a wide margin). Both left-handers and right-handers own a .297 average off of him in 2015 and this well balanced Cardinals lineup is capable of putting up some very crooked numbers. The Cardinals own an impressive .334 wOBA at home and hope to have the services of Matt Holliday back in their lineup tonight.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals – Opposing Fiers tonight is Jaime Garcia who is still trying to shake off the rust after missing the first six weeks of the season with an injury. While he’s pitched admirably in his first two starts of the season, this Milwaukee team has a track-record off success against left-handed pitching. At just an average cost of $4,100, you can stack five guys in the top half of this order who all handle the bat very well versus southpaws (Gomez, Braun, Ramirez, Segura, Davis).