Tuesday’s fantasy baseball Showdown slate has three games: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers (1:10 p.m. ET), Colorado Rockies at Houston Astros (8:10 p.m. ET) and St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10 p.m. ET). The featured Showdown contest of the day is the $50K Early Bird Special [$10K to 1st] (CWS vs DET), so this article will focus on the early game. 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.
FIVE BETTING TRENDS
— The White Sox have lost 14 of their past 15 Tuesday day games.
— The ‘Inning 1 OVER 0.5 runs’ market has hit in each of the Tigers’ past seven home games against AL opponents.
— The Tigers have trailed after three innings in each of their past eight Tuesday home games.
— Each of the White Sox’s past five road games on the first leg of a doubleheader have gone UNDER the total runs line.
— The Tigers have lost the first inning in each of their past four home games against AL opponents.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease ($9,800; $14,700 CP) is on the mound for the White Sox, making his sixth MLB start. Cease entered 2019 as the 26th best overall prospect according to Baseball Prospectus, and while his numbers in Triple-A weren’t great prior to his call-up, he has explosive stuff that makes him projectable. Cease has sat just under 97 mph with his fastball in five big league starts, 11th best among starting pitchers to throw at least 20 IP in 2019. He throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup off his hard fastball, with his slider being his best breaking pitch. Cease has been about average at generating strikeouts through his five major league starts, striking out 22% of batters faced. His control has been poor, walking 11% of batters, and his run prevention also has been ugly on the back of an elevated home run rate and low baserunner strand rate. Cease has been about average by contact quality metrics, holding batters to an expected wOBA of .321 based on the exit velocities and angles of their batted balls, in line with the league average of .320.
Despite Cease’s stats not jumping off the page, his prospect status and strong pure stuff eventually could turn him into a strong fantasy asset, and Tuesday’s matchup against an impotent and strikeout-prone Tigers offense is a great fit. Detroit traded its best hitter, Nicholas Castellanos, to the Cubs prior to the trade deadline, and ranks as the second worst 2019 offense by wOBA while striking out in the highest percentage of plate appearances. Detroit chases the most pitches outside of the strike zone among all teams, which could help Cease’s control problems and help him pitch deeper into the game against an aggressive offense that also leads all teams in swing rate and swing-and-miss rate.
Since Detroit’s offense is so impotent, fantasy choices from its lineup are not particularly fruitful. First baseman Brandon Dixon ($9,400) is Detroit’s only hitter who has better than league average overall numbers, but he has struck out in a heavy 31% of his plate appearances. Jacoby Jones ($7,200) and Niko Goodrum ($9,000) have below-average numbers, but they have been slotted leadoff and second in the batting order, respectively, which gives them a boost in fantasy value due to the potential for more plate appearances. Three-hole hitter and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera ($7,000) has a strong .285 batting average, but his power has completely evaporated as his body is breaking down, especially after suffering a severe biceps injury last season. Cabrera’s .103 isolated power in 2019 is significantly below his career mark of .229 and down from .149 last season.
The Tigers will start left-handed pitcher Daniel Norris ($9,200; $13,800). Norris has mediocre to below average numbers. His 4.44 FIP is slightly better than average, but his 4.67 ERA and contact quality derived expected wOBA allowed of .337 are both worse than average. Norris does not have significant platoon splits by either outcomes or contact quality in 2019, and his career contact quality splits are about even between left-handed batters and right-handed batters, with LHBs having better success with outcomes. Norris draws a favorable matchup against a White Sox offense that is without Yoan Moncada (hamstring) and has been both strikeout-prone and less productive than average against LHPs.
Chicago’s top hitter outside of the injured Moncada has been SS Tim Anderson ($10,200). Anderson also leads the team in stolen bases with 15, and he has the platoon advantage, batting from the right side against the LHP. Anderson has been getting a lineup slot upgrade against lefties, batting second in the order vs. LHPs, an improvement from seventh the most recent time the White Sox faced a RHP. Leadoff hitter Leury Garcia ($9,600) is an option given his strong lineup slot, as is Jose Abreu ($8,400), who bats third. Abreu is having a poor overall season but has plus power numbers, socking 23 dingers while posting an isolated power of .208, better than the league average of .182. C James McCann ($7,800) also has good career numbers against left-handed pitchers and has been a better-than-average overall hitter in 2019.
Due to the strong matchup against a strikeout-prone, aggressive and impotent offense, Cease ($14,700 CP) is a good choice as the Captain’s Pick. Norris ($13,800 CP) is also an option given Chicago’s elevated strikeout rate and below-average production. On the hitting side, Anderson ($15,300 CP) getting a lineup slot upgrade vs. LHP is notable, while Abreu ($12,600 CP) also makes for a Captain’s Pick option with his plus power hitting.
While Cease has not produced good numbers to this point in his career, he has raw ability and he is facing an offense so impotent that only the Miami Marlins rank worse. The White Sox should be in good position to prevent runs against a poor offensive club.
Final score: White Sox 5, Tigers 3
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