Daily fantasy baseball: Chris Davis, Max Scherzer atop Tuesday picks
If you like good pitching, your cup is set to runneth over on Tuesday. Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Dallas Keuchel, Carlos Martinez, and Gerrit Cole all take the mound for their respective teams. That says nothing of quality second-tier options like Edinson Volquez, Vince Velasquez, Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Hendricks. Get ready for a fun pitching day across the majors, which could force you to look for savings at multiple spots in the offensive portion of your DFS lineups.
Starting pitcher: Max Scherzer ($12,900) vs. Philadelphia and Kyle Hendricks ($8,600) vs. Milwaukee
As we’ve already alluded to, there’s no shortage of aces available on Tuesday. Scherzer is the selection here for a few reasons. First, he’s a bit cheaper than Kershaw with the same ceiling, though his floor isn’t quite as high. He has a better matchup with the Phillies in Washington, and the Nationals may need more out of him than the Dodgers will out of Kershaw. If Vince Velasquez pitches well, Scherzer will likely have to go deep into the game. The Dodgers are more likely to get after Tom Koehler. That puts Scherzer over the top.
Hendricks has been mostly good in his first three starts, pitching to an ERA of 4.00, but a FIP of 2.63 and WHIP of 1.17. He has 15 strikeouts against three non-intentional walks in 18 innings, and has surrendered just one homer. The Brewers are in the middle of the pack in wOBA, but are second in strikeout rate at 26%. Couple that with the fact that Hendricks has a strong chance for a win, and he becomes a nice selection at $8,600.
Catcher: Yasmani Grandal ($3,100) vs. Miami, Tom Koehler
After spending more than $21,000 on our pitchers, we’re going to need to find savings all across the lineup. It starts behind the dish with Grandal. The Dodgers are a good investment opportunity on Tuesday, thanks both to the matchup with Koehler, as well as their largely affordable price tags. Grandal is one of the cheaper attractive catchers on the market, and that alone makes him an intriguing play. If the Dodgers hit as expected, Grandal should turn a profit.
First base: Chris Davis ($4,000) @ Tampa Bay, Jake Odorizzi
Tropicana Field may not be the best place to hit, and Odorizzi certainly is a tough opponent, but Davis is an easy choice at $4,000. He has cooled off over the last week or so with his slash line dipping to .215/.363/.492, but his day-to-day ceiling is always sky high because of his power. Odorizzi is going to miss some bats, but he’s also going to give up his fair share of homers, averaging 21 per 162 games during his career.
Second base: Ben Zobrist ($3,600) vs. Milwaukee, Jimmy Nelson
We have a new rule in the SI.com DFS world: Always have at least one Cub hitter on days the team plays. The Cubs are at or near the top of every meaningful offensive statistic, including the most important one—runs—where they’re first. Zobrist gives us a cheap avenue of investment in the team, something we need after spending so much on pitching. He has five hits, including a homer and a double, and four walks in his last three games.
Third base: Mike Moustakas ($4,100) @ Los Angeles Angels, Jered Weaver
Last year, it was Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer. This season, Moustakas looks like the breakout player in Kansas City. The third baseman had a good year with the stick in 2015, but he’s really turning it on in the power department this season, belting six homers in his first 79 plate appearances. Weaver isn’t an intimidating matchup by any stretch of the imagination, making the entire Royals team worthwhile on Tuesday. If you have to reach into the second tier of pricing at third, Moustakas is your man.
Shortstop: Addison Russell ($3,200) vs. Milwaukee, Jimmy Nelson
Russell has done all the right things this season. His strikeout rate is down to 18.1% from 28.5%, and his walk rate has surged to 13.1% from last year’s 8%. His line-drive rate is a blistering 25.2%, and he has cut nearly four percentage points off his soft-hit rate. The results haven’t shown up, however, which you would likely guess once you see that he has a ridiculous .239 BABIP. That is unsustainable in a good way. If Russell keeps doing what he has done all year, he’s going to start finding holes sooner rather than later.
Outfield: Denard Span ($3,600) vs. San Diego, James Shields; Nomar Mazara ($3,500) vs. New York Yankees, Luis Severino; David Peralta ($3,400) vs. St. Louis, Carlos Martinez
Span’s bat started talking over the last week, with the San Francisco centerfielder going 8-for-25 with eight walks and a steal in his last seven starts. Shields’s ERA is already north of 4.00, and his FIP is perilously close to creeping past the ugly 5.00 mark. San Francisco should be able to take advantage. Familiar friends Mazara and Peralta are back in our lineup on Tuesday. Mazara went 1-for-3 with a walk on Monday and is now slashing .354/.411/.521 in his rookie season. Peralta, meanwhile, has started to find his power stroke, hitting a pair of homers in his last four games. He’s 16-for-19 in that timeframe with the homers, two doubles, a triple and four RBI.