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Max Scherzer at Miami may be the best pitching matchup imaginable. It’s awfully tough to fade the Washington ace in such a perfect setting, but he’ll absorb nearly one-quarter of a DraftKings gamer’s budget. Fortifying the case to look elsewhere, a pair of former AL Cy Young award-winning southpaws are in the bargain bin because of recent blow-up outings. Perhaps Tuesday’s lineups will reveal some position-player punts that enable contestants to use one of them with Scherzer or Gerrit Cole, but let’s take a frugal alternate route.
Top SP: Blake Snell, TB ($9,000) at MIN
Snell didn’t make it out of the first inning last Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. The Twins rank second in wRC+ against lefties. Oh well. This is the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner who still poses a 3.38 FIP and baseball’s fifth-best strikeout rate (32.6%). And he’s cheaper than Chris Bassitt. In spite of difficult circumstances, there’s too much upside not to play Snell—especially in GPPs—at such a stark discount.
Value SP: David Price, BOS ($8,600) vs. CWS
Price cost $9,700 before getting shellacked by the Rangers on June 13. He’s now also on clearance after recording just two strikeouts in each of his last two turns. At least he gets a more manageable matchup. The White Sox aren’t a cupcake opponent for southpaws, sporting a 98 wRC+ before hammering Eduardo Rodriguez for five runs to start the series. It’s a neutral matchup for an ace who still brandishes a 3.39 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 21.9 K-BB% despite a recent rough patch. This is another opportunity to save money on a top-tier hurler rather than overpaying for recent returns. Going with the same theme, Madison Bumgarner is a slightly cheaper pivot against the Rockies (sans Trevor Story) at home.
Gary Sanchez ($5,600), Gleyber Torres ($5,200), and Edwin Encarnacion ($5,200) all break the $5,000 barrier against Richard, who has surrendered a career .355 wOBA to righties. Less than a week since getting activated, Aaron Judge ($4,700) and Stanton are cheaper. It’s a tantalizing matchup at Yankee Stadium for both bashers. Stanton has especially demolished southpaws (.295/.391/.631) over his career, so he gets top priority as the cheaper of the boisterous duo. He has registered six hits in five games, including his first home run of the season Monday night.
Altuve looks just fine. Since returning from the IL last week, the star second baseman has gone 7-for-23 with two doubles and a home run. Williams, on the other hand, surrendered seven runs against the Tigers in his return from a side injury. While Altuve hasn’t played up to his lofty standards, Tuesday night presents a rare opportunity to save money with an MVP who has still delivered a 118 wRC+ in 2019.
Suarez’s stock has come crashing down by batting .160 with five walks and 26 strikeouts in June. Despite this brutal slump, he’s still hitting .274/.390/.500 against lefties, which is a drop-off from last year’s .320/.427/.593 dominance. If it takes three terrible weeks to make him available for $3,700 against a southpaw, so be it. Heaney has shown tantalizing strikeout upside since returning from an elbow injury, but success hasn’t followed. He’s on the hook for a 5.68 ERA and 5.55 FIP with seven homers surrendered in five starts. The 28-year-old has also followed a pair of 10-strikeout outings with a couple of two-strikeout games. This is yet another buy-low gambit worth pursuing.
Lineup Stack: Phillies vs. Mets (RHP Walker Lockett)
After surrendering six runs in Thursday’s season debut with the Mets, Lockett has ceded 38 baserunners and 22 runs in 17.1 career MLB innings. The Phillies will likely chase him out early, but that’s another positive for their hitters. Only the Orioles and Nationals have a worse bullpen ERA than the Mets, whose relievers got tattered in last night’s 13-7 loss. Mickey Callaway seems to think he’ll spark the apocalypse by using Edwin Diaz before the ninth inning, so Tuesday could turn into another bloodbath.
Any and all Phillies are in play. J.T. Realmuto hasn’t lived up to the billing, but he’s priced according to his disappointing returns ($3,900). Rhys Hoskins ($4,600) brandishes a .388 wOBA after going yard Monday night. Cesar Hernandez ($3,800) is hitting .299/.360/.481 with seven home runs against righties. Bryce Harper ($4,500) extended his five-game hitting streak with two doubles last night. Although far from his best this year, the former MVP is a career .284/.399/.533 hitter against righties and gets a terrible one. Jay Bruce ($4,400) has the power to make his former team pay for the second straight night, and it’s tempting to pay up for the red-hot Scott Kingery ($4,800) in the leadoff role.
Honorable Mentions: Yankees vs. Blue Jays (Richard); Astros vs. Pirates (Williams)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is akgould4) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).