Below, we take a look at Tuesday’s main DraftKings MLB slate, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The idea of this fantasy baseball rankings page is to rank the top DraftKings options in each salary range, helping you make quick decisions when debating which players to roster for the upcoming main DraftKings MLB slate. Players are sorted from top to bottom in order of preference.
The players listed in the tables below are players that I’m considering rostering based on their price and matchup. If a player is not listed in these rankings but is in the lineup, that just means I am not focused on paying for this player today due to the combination of their matchup and price. They might still be a viable option, but I’m looking to spend my DraftKings capital elsewhere today.
One of the best ways to find hitter value in DraftKings MLB contests is through lineup slot upgrades after pricing has been set. These lineup slot upgrades often do not happen until teams release lineups a few hours before the game locks. Check back before lock to see potential updates to the rankings.
Notable Lineup Absences
- Phillies 1B Rhys Hoskins and OF Andrew McCutchen are not in the starting lineup tonight vs. the Mets. OF Matt Joyce ($2,100) will bat leadoff and is a potential punt play due to the lineup slot upgrade and cheap salary.
- Brewers 1B/2B Keston Hiura is not in the starting lineup tonight vs. the Cubs. 1B Daniel Vogelbach ($2,800) will replace Hiura in the lineup and bat second, making him a value play.
Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays ($9,100)
Glasnow unveiled a new “slutter” in his first start of the season. The pitch is called a “slutter” because it is a combination of a slider and a cutter—slider shape, but cutter speed. Glasnow threw this new “slutter” on 34% of his total pitches, a high rate, especially for a brand new pitch. Glasnow cut down his curveball usage to 12% and his fastball usage to 54% to make room for the new pitch, which is officially classified as a slider by MLB’s pitch tracking system.
Here’s a look at Glasnow’s filthy “slutter”:
Tyler Glasnow, Filthy 89mph Slutter. pic.twitter.com/WK9o7GjOkD— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 1, 2021
Glasnow has an all-world arm, but the Rays’ strategy of aggressively yanking starting pitchers early in games hurts his fantasy value because it limits his volume. Glasnow threw just 77 pitches in his first start, and if the Rays continue to limit Glasnow, it makes it more difficult for him to reach his full fantasy scoring potential.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers ($9,500)
Kershaw had a bad first start, but the matchup took place at Coors Field, the toughest park to pitch in. Kershaw’s average fastball velocity was down about one mph from where it was last season, but that isn’t too unusual for early April. The good news is that the spin rate on Kershaw’s fastball ticked up to 2,540 RPM, a boost from 2,480 RPM last season. This is good evidence that Kershaw is healthy. Kershaw draws a much softer park on Tuesday at pitcher-friendly Oakland.
Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres ($10,000)
Darvish is in a highly appealing spot against a weak offense at pitcher-friendly Petco Park. The Giants have some hitters who can hit left-handed pitching, but they project to be one of MLB’s worst offenses against right-handed pitching. The combination of the weak offense and strong park makes Darvish the top pitcher to pay up for on Tuesday. Darvish is also a candidate for run support against Aaron Sanchez, who has been a worse-than-average pitcher in recent seasons.
Marcus Stroman, New York Mets ($8,600)
Like Tyler Glasnow, Stroman unveiled a new pitch this spring, and it looks pretty nasty. The pitch is a split-change, and it gives Stroman an offspeed pitch that moves down and to the right, which complements his slider, which moves down and to the left. The pitch also has more depth than his sinking fastball, which gives him another way to pitch below the barrel.
Marcus Stroman, Fastball & Split Change, Overlay pic.twitter.com/fVYP89DJoW— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 2, 2021
Stroman did not pitch at all in 2020 due to the pandemic, so it’s possible his volume will be limited early in the season.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||1B/3B||TEX||$4,400|
Salary Relief ($3,900 and under)
|Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||OF||TEX||$3,800|
New York Mets stack
The Mets get a large park upgrade at hitter-friendly Philadelphia and face below average pitching opposition. Chase Anderson was awful in 2020, and he’s backed by a shaky Phillies bullpen. The park and opponent puts Mets batters in a good run-scoring environment. Pete Alonso ($5,000) and Francisco Lindor ($5,000) are the stud options who jump out, but Michael Conforto ($3,700), Jeff McNeil ($3,800) and Brandon Nimmo ($3,800) are highly affordable at sub-$4K price tags. Conforto, McNeil and Nimmo have potential to be some of the best value plays on the entire slate given the soft pricing and soft matchup.
Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies stacks
The Rockies continue their homestand at Coors Field, which is good news for fantasy owners. The Diamondbacks project to be a weak offense this season, but Coors Field is the greatest hitting environment on earth. Ketel Marte ($4,600), Christian Walker ($4,500) and Asdrubal Cabrera ($4,200) are affordable midrange plays for Arizona, and David Peralta ($3,700) and Eduardo Escobar ($3,800) are options under $4K.
On the Colorado side, Trevor Story ($5,400) and Charlie Blackmon ($5,200) are the studs worth considering, and C.J. Cron ($3,700), Ryan McMahon ($3,700) and Raimel Tapia ($3,400) are quality salary relief plays.
My general strategy is to pay for pitching and find value with hitters, and this is an excellent slate to execute that strategy with so many productive bats priced under $4K. I am looking to pay up for Darvish and Giolito at pitcher and slam a bunch of value options into my hitting slots, particularly in the Coors Field and Citizens Bank Park games.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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 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.
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