DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Tuesday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

We've reached the division series matchups after a wild-card weekend that produced a few upsets. With each series expanding to five games, the favorites are more likely to emerge as victorious over a larger sample. That's particularly true because the wild card teams have used their top two or three pitchers to get through the first round, leaving the four teams with an automatic berth into the divisional round with a clear advantage. We'll see that as we break down Tuesday's slate.

Philadelphia at Atlanta

Pitcher Matchup: Ranger Suarez ($5,600) vs. Max Fried ($8,500)

This is one of the mismatches discussed. The Phillies used Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola during the wild card series, which in turn leaves Suarez to start Tuesday. Suarez is one of three pitchers with a strikeout rate below 20 percent and a SIERA above 4.00 slated to take the mound. As we've noted throughout the season, Atlanta is a tough matchup to diagnose given that they strike out a ton but also have a potent lineup nearly from top to bottom. Suarez is the cheapest pitcher on the slate but I have no interest in rostering him.

Fried is the more skilled of the pitchers in this matchup, but he doesn't particularly stand out as measured against the other elite arms available. He maintained a 3.31 SIERA during the regular season, but his strikeout rate was only 23.2 percent – not really what we're looking for fantasy purposes. This is also reflected in the Vegas lines, as Atlanta has the worst moneyline odds among the favorites and Fried has a strikeout total of only 4.5 on the DK Sportsbook. Overall, there's nothing wrong with playing Fried, but he could be chalky and isn't the lock that he may appear to be at first glance.

Hitters:

I don't mind stacking either lineup. Atlanta can be a primary stack given Suarez's relative lack of strikeouts and 8.8 percent walk rate. He gave up only 0.9 HR/9 on the season, so there is some risk if Atlanta can't string together hits.

I wouldn't go all in on the Phillies, but they aren't likely to be highly rostered on the slate, so if they hit, it will go a long way in larger field contests. What makes the Phillies even more interesting is that some of their cheaper hitters are strong against lefties. Examples include Alec Bohm ($3,600), Jean Segura ($3,200), Bryson Stott ($2,800) and even Matt Vierling ($2,000). That makes them a natural secondary stack to the higher-priced options. 

Seattle at Houston  

Pitching Matchup: Logan Gilbert ($6,800) vs. Justin Verlander ($10,000)

This is the only game to not have the over/under reach seven runs. That's primarily due to Verlander, who is the highest-priced pitcher on the slate. His 27.8 percent strikeout rate for the season doesn't stand out relative to his price but that mark rose to 36.9 percent across his final starts to close the regular season. Among the playoff teams, Seattle is arguably the softest matchup from a lineup perspective as they have the third-lowest wOBA. Of those three teams (Cleveland and San Diego are the other two), Seattle strikes out at the highest clip. Verlander is a strong option, and the field is likely to see that.

Gilbert occupies an interesting space in the player pool Tuesday. He doesn't belong among the elites like Verlander and even Fried, but he is also superior to the likes of Suarez. The Mariners have the worst odds to win Tuesday per Vegas, which gives me some pause to recommend Gilbert. However, for those willing to take on some risk, he's the best potential value option and he's also likely to provide significant leverage. I don't particularly believe in player vs. team analysis, but Gilbert did maintain a 2.52 ERA and 22:6 K:BB across 25 innings against the Astros this season.

Hitters:

It's difficult to make a case for Seattle's lineup. The Astros are likely to be a pretty popular stack, but they are a team I'd be willing to fade based on the discussion of Gilbert above. That's not a cash game strategy, but on a small slate, finding the leverage becomes one of the most important factors in putting together a strong lineup.

Cleveland at New York Yankees  

Pitching Matchup: Cal Quantrill ($6,400) vs. Gerrit Cole ($9,700)

This is another spot where the wild-card round has a profound impact on the pitching matchup. Rather than Shane Bieber vs. Cole, we get Quantrill. I have no interest in playing Quantrill – he doesn't get strikeouts, he's tied for the highest SIERA on the slate, and he will head into a hitter-friendly and hostile environment.

The narrative going into the game may be that Cole isn't clutch or that he doesn't succeed in the playoffs based on his struggles against the Red Sox in the 2021 postseason. However, the numbers don't back that. Across 86 postseason innings in his career, he has a 2.93 ERA and 111 strikeouts. Cleveland doesn't strike out much but they also struggle to score runs , as we witnessed against the Rays over the weekend. Cole is a strong play, and I have no problem playing him over Verlander.

Hitters:

It's pretty easy to diagnose this game on paper. The Yankees are likely to be popular, but they're in a strong position to deliver offense.

There's no statistical reason to stack the Guardians. They could be the highest-leverage team, so from a gameplay/theory perspective, they're an okay target in massive fields as long as you understand the lineup's chance of a big performance is very small.

San Diego at Los Angeles  

Pitching Matchup: Mike Clevinger ($5,300) vs. Julio Urias ($8,700)

On paper, there's no reason to play Clevinger. He rivals Quantrill as the worst pitcher on the slate from a skills perspective and draws the best lineup in the league as his opponent. Bad combination.

Urias is intriguing simply because of the skill gap between he and Clevinger and the potential for a win, as this is another game affected by the wild-card series. However, comparing him to Gilbert shows little gap in skills, but a huge gap in price. Given the likely disparity in roster rate, Gilbert is a better play in large-field tournaments while Urias is a safe cash game bet. 

Hitters:

I'd be willing to stack either team in this game. The Dodgers are clearly the better-projected play. To reiterate, Clevinger has the second-highest walk rate, second-lowest strikeout rate and the highest HR/9 among pitchers taking the mound Tuesday. The Dodgers led the league in wOBA by a significant margin during the regular season.

The Padres didn't take off offensively in the second half of the season as perhaps would have been expected after acquiring Juan Soto ($5,000), Josh Bell ($3,000) and Brandon Drury ($4,200) at the trade deadline. However, they still ranked inside the top 10 in the league in wOBA during the second half of the season. Urias allows 1.2 HR/9 and isn't a dominant strikeout pitcher so the Padres shouldn't be an automatic cross out, though they might be for the majority of the field.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91 DraftKings: dmarcus87.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
Rookie Pitcher Tiers 1.0
Rookie Pitcher Tiers 1.0
Todd's Takes: Putting a Bow on the Moves
Todd's Takes: Putting a Bow on the Moves
Collette Calls: 2023 NL East Bold Predictions
Collette Calls: 2023 NL East Bold Predictions
Boston Red Sox Odds To Win The American League In 2023
Boston Red Sox Odds To Win The American League In 2023
Rookie Hitter Tiers 1.0
Rookie Hitter Tiers 1.0
Todd's Takes: Wrapping Up Last Year's Moves
Todd's Takes: Wrapping Up Last Year's Moves