There is only one day game in the majors Tuesday, leaving a packed evening slate with 14 games for DFS. There are plenty of top-end pitchers scheduled to take the mound, including Aaron Nola, Gerrit Cole and James Paxton. Hitters might have a hard time doing damage in those contests, but there are still some great stacking opportunities to exploit. Consider using the picks below and plugging them into our MLB Lineup Optimizer to help complete the rest of your lineup.
James Paxton, vs. Giants (FD: $9,300, DK: $10,200)
Paxton didn’t make it out of the first inning in his last start due to lower-back stiffness. He had a positive bullpen session Saturday and will be activated from the DL to start Tuesday. He will have only missed 12 days, so he’s unlikely to be on any sort of a pitch count. Although his ERA isn’t as good as it was last year last year, he’s certainly pitched well with a 3.70 ERA that is supported by a 3.16 FIP. His 1.09 WHIP and 11.7 K/9 would also be the best marks of his career. The Giants are in the bottom-third of baseball in runs scored and only have a .690 OPS against left-handed pitching, making Paxton a fantastic option in his return.
Jordan Zimmermann, at Royals (FD: $8,100, DK: $8,800)
The move to the American League from the National League had been a rough transition for Zimmermann heading into this season. After finishing with an ERA of 3.66 or lower in each of his last five years with the Nationals, he posted a 4.87 ERA with the Tigers in 2016, and was even worse with a 6.08 ERA last year. His WHIP sits at 1.22 for his career, but it was a bloated 1.55 in 2017. He’s righted the ship this season with a 1.13 WHIP, leading him to a 3.71 ERA and a 3.40 FIP. He’s also striking batters out again with an 8.7 K/9. The Royals have hit the fewest home runs (81) and scored the fewest runs (356) in baseball, leaving Zimmermann with a great opportunity to continue his recent run of success.
Carlos Rodon, at Angels (FD: $7,900, DK: $7,300)
Rodon has a 3.56 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP through seven starts, which is impressive considering four of those starts came against the Red Sox, Astros and Indians. There is some cause for hesitation, though, as he has a 5.04 FIP and opponents have just a .225 BABIP against him. He has upside with a 9.0 K/9 for his career, but you still only want to play him in the right matchups. That might be the case Tuesday considering the Angels have the league’s fourth-lowest OPS against lefties (.661).
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
Stadium – Great American Ball Park
Bailey has been on the DL since the end of May, but he is expected to take the mound Tuesday. He was terrible before suffering a knee injury, posting a 6.68 ERA and a 6.29 FIP across 12 starts. He has an unsightly 1.69 WHIP and doesn’t miss many bats with a 5.5 K/9. He hasn’t finished with an ERA below 5.56 or a WHIP below 1.69 since 2014, as his career has been derailed by injuries. His racked up a 4.78 ERA and 1.35 WHIP during his rehab stint. This is a good matchup for the Cardinals.
Oakland Athletics vs. Mike Minor, Texas Rangers
Stadium – Globe Life Park in Arlington
Minor was hammered by the lowly Orioles in his last start, allowing six runs, five earned, over 2 2/3 innings. He’s been able to stay healthy in his first year as a regular starting pitcher since 2014, but he hasn’t pitched well with a 4.89 ERA that is backed by a 4.57 FIP. He doesn’t walk many batters, but he doesn’t strike out many, either, with a 7.2 K/9. The Athletics are one of the hottest teams in the league and have the second-highest OPS on the road (.800), which is not good news for Minor.
Chicago Cubs vs. Clay Buchholz, Arizona Diamondbacks
Stadium – Wrigley Field
Buchholz has been on the DL for almost a month with an oblique injury, but the Diamondbacks are expected to welcome him back for this game. He put up a sparkling 2.56 ERA in his first seven starts, but his 3.52 FIP and .236 opponents’ BABIP indicates luck has been on his side. His 90.9 mph average fastball velocity is the lowest of his career, and his 7.2 K/9 doesn’t exactly instill a lot of confidence for his value moving forward. The Cubs haven’t hit a ton of home runs this season, but they are still in the top-five in runs scored. Don’t be surprised if they hang another crooked number on Buchholz.
Texas Rangers vs. Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics
Stadium – Globe Life Park in Arlington
Montas has not started for the Athletics since July 9, but is expected to be recalled from Triple-A to face the Rangers on Tuesday. Montas has a 3.35 ERA and a 3.52 FIP across eight starts in the majors, but that’s largely because he has only allowed two home runs in 48 1/3 innings. He allows a lot of baserunners with a 1.39 WHIP and he doesn’t record many strikeouts with a 7.8% swinging-strike rate and a 5.6 K/9. The Rangers have been awful on the road, but they have the sixth-highest OPS at home (.769) in baseball.