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The Wheelhouse: Back to Cincy

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Director of Media for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).

The Weather

No games appear to have weather concerns Tuesday night (a full weather report can be viewed here).

Parks & Rec



The Arms



(Note: The Overall Skills Table compiles stats from the past calendar year.)

Split Skills



(Note: All Stats in the Split Skills Table are compiled since the start of the 2016 season.)

On most “full” slates, we’re spoiled for choice with at least three high-end options near the top of the board.

Let’s eliminate a few starters from the mix and look at what’s left.

Carlos Martinez ($11,300 DK, $9,700 FD) is too risky for my liking in Arizona. Chase Field is a difficult place to pitch, and while the Arizona offense is prone to high whiff totals (24.5% K% against righties), the team’s 105 wRC+ against righties is enough for me to look elsewhere, especially since the price is firm on both sites. If you expect others to view Martinez’s matchup similarly, and you have aspirations of building around an ace with a lower ownership rate than usual, consider Martinez as a high-risk, high-reward option for big-field tournaments.

On FanDuel, Jake Arrieta is still carrying a big price tag ($9,400) and the aforementioned high-risk, high-reward angle with Martinez doesn’t apply. On DraftKings, however, Arrieta is only $7,500, so the more aggressive tournament-centric player can justify taking the chance on the road against a Nationals squad with the third-highest team wRC+ split on the board Tuesday (111 v. RHP).

Keep in mind that Arrieta has a 4.40 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over the past calendar year, ratios that have been bested by J.A. Happ (3.23, 1.14), Brandon McCarthy (3.86, 1.21), Ian Kennedy (3.92, 1.21), and Jeremy Hellickson (3.72, 1.16) during that span.

Sean Manaea ($8,200 on FanDuel) is pushing his way toward top-25 starting pitcher status, but he’s not quite there, or if he is, I still don’t want to use him on the road against a Houston club that minimizes strikeouts (17.4% K% v. LHP) and pounds southpaws (113 wRC+). The contrarians who expect Manaea to fare well against the Astros should turn their attention to DraftKings, where Manaea is a cool $6,200.

With three fewer options to choose from, let’s weigh the potential of the remaining quality arms.

Max Scherzer at home against the Cubs ($13,000 DK, $12,000 FD) -- For the season, the Cubs have a 89 wRC+ v. RHP and a 21.3% K%. Scherzer is arguably the best pitcher in the game right now, capable of shutting down any offense regardless of form, but there is still a part of me that doubts the Cubs are below average against righties the rest of the way.

Luis Severino on the road against the White Sox ($10,100 DK, $9,200 FD) -- The White Sox couldn’t solve Jordan Montgomery, despite having the best wRC+ in the league this season against left-handed pitching. The White Sox are firmly a bottom-10 offense against righties, and Severino is one of the best strikeout targets on the board, with a 26.6% K% over the past calendar year.

Justin Verlander at home against the Royals ($8,400 DK, $9,300 FD) -- Things unraveled for Verlander in his last start against the Mariners after Jarrod Dyson dropped a bunt to break up a perfect game bid in the sixth inning. He still finished with 11 strikeouts, setting a new season-high, and marking the first time he’s fanned more than seven batters in a start since April. The usual half-season split sample size caveats apply, but Verlander’s 2.19 ERA and home is more than four runs below his road mark thus far (6.22), and while the Royals don’t strike out much, they’ve posted a very light 82 wRC+ against righties this season.

James Paxton at home against the Phillies ($8,700 DK, $8,500 FD) -- The Phillies are bad, posting bottom-five numbers against lefties (82 wRC+) and striking out at a reasonable 20.4% clip, but Paxton hasn’t looked like himself since returning from the disabled list at the end of May. After pitching 5.1 scoreless frames in his first start back on May 31, Paxton has allowed 17 earned runs over his last four starts, serving up four homers and walking 11 batters during that span. As get-well opportunities go, there’s a short list of better home matchups he could take advantage of.

Sean Newcomb on the road against the Padres ($6,700 DK, $7,700 FD) -- Newcomb is still searching for his first big league win, but he’s kept the Braves in the game in each of his first three MLB starts, going at least six innings each time out. Yet again, the Padres offer up the softest matchup on the board, and as long as he avoids hurting himself with walks, Newcomb has a great chance to go six-plus again and to match the career-high strikeout total (7) from his debut against the Mets earlier this month.

Jeff Hoffman on the road against the Giants ($8,100 DK, $7,400 FD) -- Hoffman’s three-start stretch on the road from May 22-June 10 lowered his ERA from 5.40 to 2.33 as he carved up the Cubs, Padres, and Phillies with a combined 24 strikeouts in those starts. The D-backs got to him at Coors last time out (nine earned in 3.2 IP), adding two runs to his season ERA in the process. Hoffman kept the Giants quiet in Colorado with one run in five innings two starts back, and while San Francisco’s offense has been limiting strikeouts, Hoffman is back on the radar for GPPs, especially with his lower price on FanDuel.

The Bats

Mini and full stacks are viable in most of these matchups Tuesday, while particularly interesting plays are noted individually.

All Red Sox against Hector Santiago (strong reverse split...LHH even better than RHH)

It’s surprising to see a left-handed pitcher with a .401 wOBA allowed to left-handed bats, but Hector Santiago checks that box. While he’s more effective against righties, he allows plenty of homers to them (1.51 HR/9 since the start of 2016), and right-handed hitters are better suited to take advantage of the matchup against him at Fenway Park in particular. It’s almost important to remember that the Twins’ bullpen is 28th in ERA (4.97), offering plenty of good matchups if the Red Sox force an early exit from Santiago. As cheap exposure goes, Chris Young ($3,500 DK, $2,300 FD) is the best way to go.

All Dodgers against Jesse Chavez

Like Santiago, Chavez is hittable for bats on both sides of the plate, but he’s carrying a strong reverse split (2.24 HR/9, .350 wOBA against righties) despite yielding more contact overall to lefties. Chavez Ravine favors left-handed bats, but it’s not terrible for righties. Somehow, Cody Bellinger is only $4,200 on FanDuel ($5,600 on DraftKings), while Yasmani Grandal offers value at a thinner position ($3,900 DK, $2,900 FD) on both sites. Justin Turner ($4,700 DK, $3,900 FD) is also in a great spot Tuesday.

All Brewers against Tim Adleman

Adleman is one of two starters pitching Tuesday with a HR/9 against lefties and righties of 1.5 or worse (Hector Santiago is the other). Eric Thames is only $3,100 on FanDuel ($4,200 on DK), and he’ll draw huge ownership rates in cash games and tournaments as a result. Fade at your own peril. Stacking Brewers makes a lot of sense, as the return of Jonathan Villar ($4,300 DK, $2,700 FD) and Ryan Braun ($4,500 DK, $4,000 FD) will bring the Milwaukee lineup back to full strength for the first time in weeks. Keep an eye on the Brewers’ use of Stephen Vogt, whose price has been dropped after a rough three-month stretch to begin the season. The Brewers will spend the better part of the next two weeks in hitter-friendly environments including the current series in Cincinnati, a return home this weekend, and a road trip to Yankee Stadium next week.

All Indians against Tyson Ross

Given the high-scoring slugfest between these clubs Monday, there will be plenty of interest in bats on both sides (Mike Clevinger is on the mound for Cleveland). Ross was fine in his first start back from surgery to treat Thoracic Outlet Syndrome on June 16, but was roughed up by Toronto last time out. Even at his best, Ross has been prone to allowing a lot of baserunners thanks to his high walk rate in the past, and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to keep the ball in the yard effectively pitching half of his games in a more hitter-friendly environment. As Tuesday goes, the lefty-power boost at Progressive Field puts Lonnie Chisenhall and Bradley Zimmer in the mix as a two value plays in the outfield. Pricing across the board on the Cleveland bats is light on FanDuel, while Carlos Santana is discounted more heavily on DraftKings at $3,200.

All Rays against Trevor Williams

PNC Park is better for left-handed power, if you’re looking for one-off pieces. Corey Dickerson ($4,800 DK, $4,200 FD) and Logan Morrison ($4,900 DK, $3,500 FD) are the best options, though the former will cost a fair amount more than the latter on FanDuel. As a team, the Rays’ 117 wRC+ against righties is the best team split on the schedule Tuesday. Mallex Smith ($3,900 DK, $3,200) makes a stack slightly easier to fit into the budget on both sites, but he needs to make his mark on the basepaths in order to return value.

All Rockies against Matt Cain

Cain has a sub-3.00 ERA at home this season...which is right in line with the extreme home splits of Jhoulys Chacin at Petco to this point. If you want to take a shot with a Colorado bat, do it with a righty since no park is worse for left-handed home runs than AT&T Park. For tournaments, Trevor Story ($3,100 DK, $2,700 FD) offers up a high-upside option at a low price on both sites, but there’s a good chance he’ll be tucked away in the bottom-third of the Colorado batting order.

Right-handed Jays v. Kevin Gausman

Unfortunately for the Orioles, Gausman continues to get hit hard on a regular basis. Righties are hitting .371 with nine of the 14 homers he’s surrendered on the season, and there’s no compelling reason to avoid him with Toronto lefties if you’re building up a stack. Josh Donaldson has six homers since returning from the DL in late May, and while left knee soreness knocked him out for a game last week, he’s very intriguing as a building block at a lower than usual price ($4,100 DK, $3,800 FD).

Podcast

We post a DFS podcast every weekday during MLB season. Check out Joe Pisapia and Todd Zola’s take on Tuesday’s slate using the player below.


Schedule Note: The Wheelhouse will not appear on Tuesday, July 4th.

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. Derek VanRiper plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: RotoWireDVR, DraftKings: BentleysChair, Yahoo: d.vanriper,.