Top Tier: Max Scherzer (-117)/Carlos Carrasco (-230)– Much like last night, we have three options that stick out at the top on Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco. Given his matchup with the Cubs, deGrom slots into the tournament range with Scherzer and Carrasco populating the cash game territory. This is the same exact situation as yesterday with Gerrit Cole sitting at a huge price tag and Masahiro Tanaka providing the savings. If you have enough money to get up to Max against the Phillies, I totally would, the thing is I’m not sure if we will have room in cash games on a 15 game slate. I don’t need to dive too deep into Scherzer’s stats. he is a top-three pitcher in baseball and has a matchup with the Phillies who strike out the third-most against righties. His price is extremely high, but he has CGSO ability every time he takes the mound.
As for Carrasco, he doesn’t appear to be as “safe” for cash games, but I’m not sure people realize how good he has been since the All-Star break. For example, if you look at his 2018 total numbers you see a 3.13 SIERA, 28.0% strikeouts, 45.0% ground balls and 14.2% swinging-strikes. By all accounts, those are pretty elite numbers, but they get even better over the last 30 days! Over the last month, the SIERA sits at 2.36 with 31.2% strikeouts, 54.9% ground balls and 15.1% swinging-strikes. Those are video game numbers and while the hard-contact is a bit concerning at 41.2%, he has the ability to get both grounders and create strikeouts giving him the greatest possible 1-2 punch in daily fantasy baseball. I love Max, but this appears to be a legitimate mis-pricing based off the way Carrasco has pitched and I’m going to have a hard time not playing him in cash today.
Mid Tier: Lance Lynn (-250)– It would appear that Masahiro Tanaka got destroyed last night, but that really wan’t the case. There were a few fluke infield hits and Tanaka all together had a very strong outing. Lance Lynn is not near the level of Tanaka, but the matchup with the strikeout-prone White Sox is the same tonight. Lynn has pitched to a 3.53 xFIP and 27.7% strikeouts against right-handed batters this season which puts him firmly in play against righty-heavy lineups…like the White Sox. He dominated this team for 7 innings the last time he saw them and he gets a slight boost missing Jose Abreu as he is still on the DL. I don’t think I will end up in this price range for my cash game SP2, but if there is enough value I’m comfortable with Lynn in all formats at this price if there are six righties in the White Sox lineup.
Low Tier: Felix Hernandez (-130)– I can’t believe it’s almost September of 2018 and I’m writing up Felix Hernandez, but that’s what a matchup with the San Diego Padres will do. Felix was demoted to to the bullpen and then thrust back into the rotation due to the James Paxton injury and now finds himself in a very favorable DFS spot. They strike out the most in baseball against right-handed pitching (almost 26%) and they couple that with just an 81 wRC+. The problem is, this is literally the corpse of Felix Hernandez. It’s one thing being sent to the bullpen, it’s another thing that his strikeouts are just 18% this season. He truly isn’t a good pitcher anymore, but we also aren’t being asked to pay for one and a matchup in pitcher-friendly Petco Park adds even more of a boost. If we end up getting six-seven right-handed batters this is a very favorable spot, but still not one I’m super confident in. The fact is, he’s dirt cheap in a fantastic matchup and even if we had some no-name pitcher going in this exact situation we would be interested. I’m hoping he doesn’t become chalk throughout the day as an SP2, because that would severely limit my interest level.
Top Tier: Joc Pederson- The Dodgers are probably going to be the focal point of this slate against Ariel Jurado, arguably the worst pitcher on the slate. Jurado owns a 5.35 SIERA this season (worst on the slate) with, get this, 8.5% strikeouts and 7.1% walks! Literally zero strikeout ability, which could spell disaster against thos Dodgers lineup with so many balls sets to be put in play. Joc Jamz boasts an elite 143 wRC+ and .299 ISO against righties this season and is my favorite overall Dodger on Tuesday night.
Mid Tier: Mitch Moreland- The Red Sox are another team with a monster implied team total tonight (6.3 runs) and it’s not a stretch to say we would want some exposure to them in cash games against Jose Urena. Urena struggles with lefties pitching to a 4.41 xFIP with 16.4% strikeouts and 42.5% hard-hits allowed, despite 50.0% ground balls. To beat Urena you need guys that can get the ball up in the air, which the Red Sox certainly can. Moreland owns a .231 ISO against right-handers and is cash game viable at first base.
Low Tier: Austin Dean- Dean has come up and hit very well for the Marlins owning a 134 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, albeit a very small sample size. Dean was a solid hitter in the minors so it’s not a stretch to think he can be an okay major leaguer, and he remains dirt chap despite batting in the heart of the Marlins order. Now, batting in the Marlins order is not typically what I want from my DFS players, but when he is cheap like this on a loaded slate he will provide some savings against the left-handed Brian Johnson to enable us to spend up elsewhere.
Stack of the Day
Milwaukee Brewers- As I noted above, the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox all own 6+ implied run totals and should end up being the clear cut stacks on this slate. With it being 15 games, good spots will go a bit overlooked and I’m hoping that happens with the Beermakers tonight. Anthony DeSclafani has actually pitched well for the Reds, but he has been absolutely victimized by left-handed batters. He has pitched to 4.53 xFIP in the split while allowing over 40.0% hard-hits and fly-balls and a near .300 ISO! That is not going to cut it against this Brewers team with a plethora of left-handed power. Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas and Eric Thames are the obvious names but I don’t hate Jesus Aguilar and Lorenzo Cain for the full-stack.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)