It’s a big week in the world of fantasy football. We all know this. Heck, there’s a decent chance that you’ve got drafts lined up from now till kickoff on Thursday night. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for MLB DFS prep, does it? That’s where I come in. Allow me to do the research for you.
It’s a 10-game featured slate this evening on the diamond. Let’s dive in.
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers, $12,000 - This is a tough spot. Cole is clearly on a tier all his own tonight when it comes to upside at pitcher, yet his price point is bordering on absurd at $12K. The RHP has been quite good since the All-Star break, posting a 30.0% strikeout rate while holding opponents to a .190 batting average and a .244 wOBA. On the other side, the Tigers have been unable to do much offensively the past couple of weeks, producing a lowly .136 ISO and a 28.0% strikeout rate that sits second-highest in baseball across that span of time. If Cole can rack up double-digit strikeouts, he’ll be able to bring back some value.
Brandon Pfaadt, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies, $6,900 - In a cash game, I might lean more towards the stable floor of Jose Quintana ($7,300), but Pfaadt is your man in a GPP. Though the rookie was beat-up by the Dodgers in his last outing, Pfaadt was quite good in August, posting a 3.77 FIP and striking out over a batter per inning in the month. He’s surely been underwhelming at the MLB level in 2023, yet no one is questioning the raw ability of the former top prospect. Pfaadt also couldn’t ask for a better matchup on Tuesday. Not only do the Rockies own the league’s highest strikeout rate over the last 14 days (28.4%), they pair that with baseball’s lowest wRC+ when playing on the road (76). Woof.
Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres, $5,900 - There isn’t a hotter hitter on planet Earth than Turner. The veteran has really found his power stroke the past week, but Turner’s actually been tearing the cover off the baseball since the beginning of August, slashing .328/.365/.695 with a 179 wRC+ in that span. The magic of a standing ovation in the city of Philadelphia, am I right? This evening, Turner will face off with Pedro Avila ($6,300), who is currently starting games for the Padres out of sheer desperation. Opponents have scored 11 runs in Avila’s past 7.1 innings. Need I say more?
Pete Alonso, New York Mets at Washington Nationals, $5,000 - I’ve never been the biggest BvP guy, but sometimes it just makes sense. Patrick Corbin ($6,000) has basically been the worst full-time starter in baseball the past three seasons. In that same stretch, Alonso has been one of the best right-handed power bats in the league. Both players inhabit the same division, so they’ve squared off quite a bit, with Alonso having a decided advantage. To wit, in 43 at-bats versus Corbin, Alonso has five home runs and a 1.163 OPS. The All-Star has a 145 wRC+ against all LHPs in 2023, yet there’s just something about Corbin.
Nolan Schanuel, Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles, $3,400 - There isn’t much to be excited about if you’re an Angels fan, but Schanuel looking this good this early has to at least make your smile. Drafted just a few months ago, Schanuel hasn’t seemed out of place at the MLB level, posting a .360 expected wOBA and a 120 wRC+ in his first 60 plate appearances. He’ll likely hit leadoff tonight against Dean Kremer ($8,600), who has surrendered 2.03 home runs per nine to opposing LHBs in 2023. Maybe Schanuel hits his first long ball this evening?
Ernie Clement, Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland Athletics, $2,400 - It’s a small sample size, but since being recalled to fill-in for an injured Bo Bichette (quad), Clement is hitting .423 (11-for-23) with a 188 wRC+ for the Blue Jays. Going up against Ken Waldichuk ($5,800) and his 5.92 ERA on Tuesday, Clement should be in a nice position to keep rolling at the dish. Especially seeing as he was hitting .365 with a .996 OPS versus LHPs at Triple-A in 2023.
Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres, $5,700 - It’s been a little lost in the shuffle with Turner and Bryce Harper ($6,200) making headlines, but Schwarber has been an absolute monster since the All-Star break. In his last 221 plate appearances, Schwarber is sporting a jaw-dropping .355 ISO to go along with a 154 wRC+. Yes, he’s still hitting below the Mendoza line for the season as a whole, but when most of your hits leave the park, who cares?
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals, $4,500 - Harris has been incredible since the start of June, shaking off a rough beginning to his sophomore campaign. In that span, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year is hitting .333 with a 138 wRC+. Harris is also left-handed, which is important for Tuesday’s proceedings, as Miles Mikolas ($6,500) has struggled with opposite-hand matchups throughout his career. Really Mikolas has just struggled in general in 2023, pitching to a 5.57 ERA since the All-Star break.
Jordan Walker, St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, $3,500 - I think this game will be high-scoring on both sides, as Mike Soroka ($7,100) has yet to truly look like his pre-injury self with the Braves in 2023. In fact, in six appearances with the big club, Soroka has given up 2.15 opponent home runs per nine and pitched to a robust 6.33 FIP. That plays right into the hands of the red-hot Walker. Dating back to August 14, Walker is slashing .351/.433/.667 with a 194 wRC+. The potential we all saw in March is finally coming to the surface.
Jasson Dominguez, New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers, $3,000 - Is this a little narrative street? Maybe. It would definitely be fitting for Dominguez to have a big performance in his first career game at Yankee Stadium. However, Dominguez certainly hasn’t looked out of place in his first taste of the majors, hitting a pair of long balls in three games. He’s already seemingly locked into the third spot in New York’s batting order, and he’ll draw a great matchup in the underwhelming Alex Faedo ($7,900). At this price, there’s no downside.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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 non-public information.