This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
For the second consecutive day, we have an 11-game main slate. There are some differences from Monday in the player pool, specifically that several teams have flipped from the back end of their rotation back to its aces. That means that we have pitchers at a variety of skill levels and price points to choose from, so there should be a more diverse set of builds to work with.
The top tier of pitchers consists of Max Scherzer ($10,800), Shane Bieber ($10,500), Julio Urias ($10,200) and Framber Valdez ($9,900). Each is a reasonable choice to roster and for those playing multiple entries, getting exposure to each of the quartet makes sense. For those playing lower volume, Bieber and Valdez stand out thanks to their matchup against the poor offenses of the Athletics and Tigers, respectively. Scherzer clearly possesses the highest strikeout upside of the group but also has the toughest matchup in a road start against the Brewers.
Moving more toward the mid-tier options, Nick Pivetta ($8,500) and Steven Matz ($7,500) have some appeal for differing reasons. Pivetta has a volatile profile based on both a high walk (9.4 BB%) and home run (1.4 HR/9) rate, but he draws a matchup against the relatively punchless Pirates' lineup. Matz has a tougher draw against Atlanta but offers a better strikeout profile as compared to Pivetta while also checking in significantly cheaper.
There's no particularly obvious cheap play in Tuesday's pitching pool, but the best case to be made is for Yusei Kikuchi ($6,700). Setting aside yet another year of spring training hype, Kikuchi maintained a reasonable 24.5 percent strikeout rate in 2022 as a starter and draws the Royals at the pitcher-friendly Kaufmann Stadium on Tuesday.
Paul Goldschmidt ($5,600) and the Cardinals' offense have gotten off to a hot start this season and will take on lefty Dylan Dodd on Tuesday in his MLB debut. While he's a reasonably well-regarded prospect, Goldschmidt smashed southpaws to the tune of a .402 ISO and .549 wOBA across 137 plate appearances in 2022.
Speaking of hot offenses to begin 2023, the Rangers absolutely ripped through the Phillies' pitching staff in the opening series of the season. Adolis Garcia ($4,400) hits cleanup regularly, and Tyler Wells is an unimposing matchup thanks to a profile that features both a lot of contact and flyballs.
Josh Lowe ($3,100) has been in the Rays' lineup in two of three games against right-handed pitching early in the season. He's delivered five hits across 10 at-bats and has struck out a relatively reasonable three times in 11 plate appearances. Tampa Bay draws a matchup against Chad Kuhl, who has allowed 1.5 HR/9 or higher in each of his last four seasons. If Lowe is out of the lineup, Jose Siri ($3,000) offers similar upside at the same price point.
Lane Thomas ($3,100) has led off against lefties this season for the Nationals and for good reason as he owns a .359 wOBA and .196 ISO with the handedness advantage throughout his career. Meanwhile, Josh Fleming had the lowest strikeout rate of all pitchers in the player pool Tuesday, making Thomas a strong value target. The Rays-Nationals game may be an underrated offensive environment as a whole.
Stacks to Consider
We've already spent some time discussing Kuhl's struggles to keep the ball in the yard, but he also posted just an 8.4 K-BB% in 2022 and his career 10 percent mark isn't much better. As a result, we should expect the Rays to be busy on the basepaths in addition to having the potential to hit multiple home runs. That checks all the boxes of what we should be looking for in a stack, plus there should be a lot of strong value options to build around, highlighted by B. Lowe who projects to be leading off.
Dodd is a prospect of note and performed well this spring, but he's been pushed into what will be his major-league debut prematurely due to injuries to both Max Fried (hamstring) and Kyle Wright (shoulder). Meanwhile, the Cardinals have proven early on that they have one of the deepest and most talented lineups in the league that is capable of hitting even proven starters hard. Keep an eye on the lineup, as St. Louis has yet to face a lefty this season, so we could see value options such as Dylan Carlson ($3,100) in the lineup. For those looking for additional savings, Jordan Walker ($2,400) remains underpriced as well.