- A dearth of aces on Tuesday night pushes on pitcher above the rest.
After a slate of mostly day games Monday, baseball has a full schedule of evening games Tuesday. It could be a high-scoring night with a lack of upper-crust starting pitchers taking the mound. Consider using the picks below and plugging them into our MLB Lineup Optimizer to help complete the rest of your lineup.
Charlie Morton, at Yankees (FD: $9,900, DK: $12,100)
Starting a pitcher on the road against the powerful Yankees lineup isn’t normally advisable, but Morton is no ordinary pitcher. He continues to be a key part of the deepest rotation in baseball, recording a 2.04 ERA and 0.97 WHIP across 10 starts. He could be in line for some regression with his 3.32 FIP and .235 BABIP allowed, but he’s an excellent source for strikeouts with a 10.9 K/9, and it’s not as though those FIP or BABIP numbers are prohibitive. He has already faced the Yankees once this season, allowing one run while striking out 10 in 7 2/3 innings. On a night devoid of aces, Morton may have the highest upside of anyone available in DFS.
Tyson Ross, vs. Marlins (FD: $8,400, DK: $9,200)
The Padres’ starting rotation isn’t exactly loaded with talent, but Ross has been the anchor of their staff so far. He’s already made 10 starts, posting a 3.13 ERA and a 3.36 FIP. He’s done a great job keeping runners off base with a 1.16 WHIP, which is a throwback to his success during his first stint with the Padres before having thoracic outlet surgery. He’s been getting ahead on counts by throwing a first-pitch strike to 59.1% of the hitters that he has faced, helping result in a 9.5 K/9 that would be the second-highest mark of his career. He’s thrown 54 1/3 innings in the last two seasons combined, but has already logged 60 1/3 innings this year. It might be tough for him to make it through a full season, but that’s of no concern for Tuesday. The Marlins have scored the fewest runs (182) in baseball, leaving Ross with significant upside.
Luis Castillo, at Diamondbacks (FD: $7,800, DK: $8,000)
Castillo couldn’t have started out much worse, allowing 25 runs in 28 2/3 innings across his first six starts. He’s righted the ship since, though, allowing 10 runs—nine earned—in 28 2/3 innings over his last five starts. The key is after posting a 1.67 WHIP in those first six outings, he’s had a 1.22 WHIP in the last five. Add that with his excellent strikeout upside and he’s reverting to the pitcher who showed so much promise last year. The Diamondbacks offense is really struggling, recording the fewest hits (370) in baseball by a wide margin while also scoring the second-fewest runs (200).
Boston Red Sox vs. Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays
Stadium – Fenway Park
This has been a disastrous season for Estrada, who has a 5.40 ERA, 5.38 FIP and 1.44 WHIP across 10 starts. He has been plagued by the long ball, giving up 12 homers in just 55 innings. His walks are slightly down from last year, but he’s not fooling many hitters in general with a 6.7 K/9. The Red Sox have already faced him twice this year, scoring nine runs in 11 innings combined. The Red Sox also have the highest home OPS (.852) in baseball, so this could be another ugly outing for Estrada.
Atlanta Braves vs. Steven Matz, New York Mets
Stadium – SunTrust Park
The Braves suffered a big blow over the weekend with Ronald Acuña Jr. (knee/back) suffering what looked like a scary injury at first base. He’s been placed on the DL and received a favorable initial diagnosis, so he may not be out for a terribly long time. The Braves still have an excellent lineup without him and have scored the fourth-most runs (265) in baseball. They also have the league’s highest OPS against left-handed pitching (.852). Matz’s 3.80 ERA looks fine, but his 5.64 FIP indicates he has not pitched nearly that well. With a 4.0 BB/9 and a 1.9 HR/9, as well, Matz presents an excellent stacking opportunity.
Texas Rangers vs. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Stadium – Safeco Field
Once one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, Hernandez has really fallen off in the last couple of years. He’s hit a new low through 11 starts this season with a 5.58 ERA, 5.08 FIP and a 1.39 WHIP. His average fastball velocity is down to 90.5 mph this season, significantly below his career average of 93.8 mph. His 7.4% swinging-strike rate is also the lowest of his career, leading to just a 7.5 K/9. The Rangers are missing two key bats in Elvis Andrus (elbow) and Adrian Beltre (hamstring), but they still have plenty of hitters who could give Hernandez trouble.
Seattle Mariners vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Texas Rangers
Stadium – Safeco Field
This could be a high-scoring game on both sides with Bibens-Dirkx taking the hill for the Rangers. He made six starts in the majors last year and didn’t pitch well with a 4.67 ERA, 5.68 FIP and a 1.36 WHIP. He had a 4.9 K/9 and allowed 1.8 HR/9, which is certainly not a recipe for success. He hasn’t been dominant in Triple-A this year, either, with a 3.72 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 7.4 K/9. He was called up to start last Thursday against the Royals and allowed six runs—four earned—in 6 1/3 innings. The Mariners are missing some very important parts of their lineup, too, but still make for a great stacking opportunity.