Tuesday’s Showdown fantasy baseball contests feature a choice between three MLB games: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals (1:05 p.m. ET), Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers (8:05 p.m. ET) and Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (10:10 p.m. ET). This article will focus on Phillies-Nationals, which is the first game of a doubleheader and is the only game being played before 6:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (elbow) is not expected to play in Game 1 but is expected to return to the lineup in Game 2. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto missed Monday’s game with a sore knee and his status is uncertain for both games. Fantasy owners can get up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups by downloading the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter at @DKLive.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The ‘Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Phillies’ past five Tuesday gmaes.
— The Phillies have trailed after 3 innings in each of their past five road games against NL East opponents.
— Each of the Nationals’ past three games on the first leg of a doubleheader have gone UNDER the total runs line.
— The Nationals have won the first inning in four of their past five Tuesday home games against National League opponents.
— The Phillies have lost each of their past seven games on the first leg of a doubleheader.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
This matchup appears set to feature heavy bullpen usage, as neither starting pitcher is expected to pitch deep into the game. The Nationals are going with right-handed pitcher Joe Ross ($6,200), who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 2 due to a forearm injury. Because Ross hasn’t pitched in three weeks, he is not built up to pitch a full game, and the Nationals have said he will be on a pitch count, although the exact number was not specified. Erick Fedde ($8,800) and Jeremy Hellickson ($7,600) are expected to be available out of the ‘pen in relief of Ross, but there’s no guarantee either will pitch. On the Phillies’ side, Blake Parker ($3,000) is listed as the starting pitcher in an opener role. All 57 of Parker’s appearances this season have come out of the bullpen, and he has pitched no more than two innings in an appearance. Parker is unlikely to pitch more than an inning or two despite starting the game.
Ross has flashed ability at times with a nasty slider and a two-seam fastball that has plus velocity and good movement, which traditionally has made him hard on right-handed batters. However, Ross has lacked a good out pitch against left-handed batters and has been ineffective against lefties in his career. Ross has continued to struggle against lefties in 2019 but also has struggled against righties, as his slider hasn’t been quite the same chase pitch it has been in the past. Because Ross has struggled badly against left-handed batters, Phillies LHBs are the preferred target in this matchup, which includes Bryce Harper ($9,600), Jay Bruce ($7,800), Cesar Hernandez ($7,600) and Brad Miller ($5,800). Harper, who has been Philadelphia’s best hitter in 2019, is the best option, and he is in a revenge narrative setting in Washington against his former club. Hernandez has been the Phillies’ primary leadoff batter lately against right-handed pitchers, giving him a premium lineup slot for fantasy production. From the right side, Rhys Hoskins ($8,800) is second on the team behind Harper in home runs and is an option given Ross’ declining numbers against righties.
Parker has been a mediocre to below average relief pitcher this season and has been home run prone, allowing a higher home run rate than average. The right-handed Parker has been much better at striking out right-handed batters than left-handed batters, but the fact he has three pitches, including a splitter, has contributed to him not having significant platoon splits in terms of production allowed between righties and lefties. Parker does not throw hard, sitting around 91 mph on his fastball, below the league average relief pitcher fastball velocity of 94 mph. Parker is backed by a Phillies bullpen that has been mediocre by ERA and poor by FIP, although the Phillies’ bullpen numbers have been better in September after rosters expanded. The matchup is a good one for Nationals batters, and Anthony Rendon ($10,600), Trea Turner ($10,200) and Juan Soto ($10,000) are the top options. Rendon and Soto have excellent numbers against pitches in the velocity range Parker sits, as does Howie Kendrick ($10,400), who has been Washington’s best hitter against pitches less than 92 mph. Adam Eaton ($8,600) is also an option given his strong lineup slot of second in the batting order.
Because the pitching does not look too appealing in this game, especially given the expected lack of volume, batters are probably the way to go for the Captain’s Pick. Rendon ($15,900) is having an MVP-level season and has been Washington’s best hitter, making him a highly appealing Captain’s Pick option. Soto’s ($15,000 CP) numbers aren’t far behind Rendon’s, and both possess power-hitting upside. On the Phillies’ side, Harper ($14,400 CP) is the top Captain’s Pick option against a right-handed pitcher who struggles against lefties.
The Nationals have the better offense, and with game-time temperatures near 80 degrees, conditions should be good for hitting in a matchup that does not feature plus pitching on either side.
Final score: Nationals 6, Phillies 5
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