Overthinking can sometimes get you in loads of trouble, regardless of what the subject is. In terms of MLB DFS, overthinking can put you in a position where you realize you made a grave mistake. Entering Tuesday’s 14-game main slate on DraftKings, there are going to be people who overthink whether or not to use Jacob deGrom. Just insert him into your lineup. Don’t attempt to find any advanced stats or metrics that may cause you to pass on the lights-out pitcher. The game between the Cleveland Indians and the Tampa Bay Rays has already been postponed due to Tropical Storm Elsa. Given that, we have 14 games to pick apart on Tuesday, so get your preferred beverage for the beginning of your day and let’s get started.
Favorite pitcher: Jacob deGrom ($11,500) vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Jacob deGrom is not from this planet, but he did show that he’s somewhat mortal in his last start versus the Atlanta Braves. The four-time All-Star gave up three earned runs against the Braves, which is more than he allowed in his previous six starts combined. Even in a game where he allowed three earned runs, the favorite to be rewarded the Cy Young in the NL struck out 14 batters. On a slate where there are limited trustworthy arms, deGrom is the safest bet on Tuesday. With a week to go until the All-Star break, deGrom has an insane 1.63 xFIP and a mind-boggling 45.3% strikeout rate this season. The nearly untouchable right-hander takes the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers, who aren’t an imposing team versus RHP. Milwaukee owns the seventh-highest strikeout rate and the 10th worst wRC+ to RHP in 2021. All signs point toward deGrom having yet another stellar outing on Tuesday.
Second-favorite pitcher: Framber Valdez ($9,500) vs. Oakland Athletics
After deGrom, there are a few other high-priced pitchers you can consider. Carlos Rodon ($10,300) catches my eye, but he just got touched up a bit versus the Minnesota Twins. Though, Minnesota’s lineup is less imposing when Nelson Cruz isn’t swinging the bat. However, as much as Rodon is one of my favorite options on Tuesday, Framber Valdez may be able to return a little more value at $9,500 on DraftKings. Valdez has made it through 6+ IP in six of his seven starts this season and he’s recorded a win in all but two of his starts. While Valdez isn’t fanning guys at an impressive rate, he is inducing a TON of soft contact. The left-handed starter for the Houston Astros has a 25.6% hard-contact rate, to go along with a miniscule 3.2% barrel rate. What pops off of the page is his masterful 71% ground ball rate so far this season. Valdez squares off with the Oakland Athletics, who have cooled off to southpaws. The Athletics have the fourth-lowest ISO and the sixth-worst OBP to LHP in past month.
Favorite bargain pitcher: Jon Gray ($7,300) @ Arizona Diamondbacks
With it being a massive main slate, I wanted to give a bargain option at the pitcher position, especially with DraftKings requiring two pitchers. There are a few pitchers priced under $8,000 that have arguments to be made as viable choices. For me, Jon Gray pitching away from Coors is something I want to take advantage of. Gray is permitting 0.76 HR/9 on the road compared to a 1.25 HR/9 at home. He’s also permitting a 25% hard-contact rate on the road while recording a 34.1% hard-contact rate at Coors. In his last two starts versus the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Brewers, Gray has accumulated 15 strikeouts and only two earned runs. The veteran righty gets another favorable matchup on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that sports the fifth-highest strikeout rate, the lowest ISO, and the lowest wRC+ to RHP in the last 30 days.
Least-favorite pitcher: Patrick Corbin ($8,000) @ San Diego Padres
It has been quite the rollercoaster ride for Patrick Corbin this season. Corbin got off to a rough start, only to seemingly find his footing for a few starts. But in his recent appearances, Corbin is getting beat up on the mound for the Washington Nationals. Over the course of his last nine starts, Corbin has allowed 3+ earned runs in seven of them, including a total of 10 earned runs permitted in his last three outings. Sadly for Corbin, he will face a San Diego Padres team that has been crushing southpaws recently. In the last 30 days, the Padres have the second-best ISO and the eighth-highest wRC+ to LHP.
Favorite team to stack: Toronto Blue Jays @ RHP Dean Kremer
Everything is setting up for the Toronto Blue Jays to possibly be the highest-owned stack on Tuesday, even on a 14-game slate. Hitting right-handed pitchers hasn’t been a challenge for the Blue Jays this season and they get a bad one in Dean Kremer at Camden Yards. Toronto has slashes of .268/.330/.458 to RHP this season, along with tying for the league lead in HR/FB rate. Kremer has been much worse at home in the confines of Camden Yards, surrendering a dismal 3.42 HR/9 in 26.1 IP at home. Also, his 49.4% fly ball rate at home hasn’t done him any favors. Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and George Springer are the popular names to target. But to get exposure to everyone who gets an opportunity to hit against Kremer, use Cavan Biggio, Randal Grichuk, Reese McGuire, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in your lineups as well.
Second-favorite team to stack: New York Yankees @ LHP Justus Sheffield
Following a slow start to the season, the New York Yankees are showing signs of life versus southpaws in the last month of action. New York boasts the third-highest ISO and the third-best OBP in the past 30 days, to go along with their league-best HR/FB rate in the same timespan. The ball has been jumping off of the bat for the Yankees against LHP and they draw Justus Sheffield on Tuesday. Sheffield has been woeful this year with career-worst marks in HR/9 (1.63) and strikeout rate (17%). Besides his career-low numbers, Sheffield has a 1.71 WHIP and an alarming 11.6% barrel rate that is paired with a 44.6% hard-hit rate. Amid Sheffield’s struggles, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez are the Yankees that could see the most ownership. But don’t forget about Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres.
Favorite one-off: Gavin Sheets ($2,500) @ RHP Jose Berrios
On Monday, I uttered that I won’t waver from Gavin Sheets on DraftKings until he was priced up. He’s actually been priced down from Monday to Tuesday, making him a target of mine in MLB DFS once again. With deGrom and other high-priced pitchers available, we’re going to need some salary-saving pieces in our lineups. Even though Jose Berrios isn’t a pitcher I’d use a whole stack against, he’s been susceptible to left-handed hitters this season. Berrios is notching 1.73 HR/9 and a 1.56 WHIP to right-handed batters. Sheets has gotten more playing time amid the injuries on the Chicago White Sox, and the lefty batter boasts a 1.411 OPS and a .500 ISO in 19 plate appearances against righties. Even in a limited sample size, Sheets has shown that he can go yard at any moment versus RHP.