This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Tuesday's slate is fairly balanced with a couple aces in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, as well as non-aces like Shelby Miller and Andrew Cashner. Mix in some mid-range studs and you can find a reasonable lineup in cash games even if you don't spend up at pitching.
Max Scherzer ($11,800) and Justin Verlander ($11,500) are the most expensive pitchers with the former likely being more popular due to having better odds to win at home. Both could rack up 10 strikeouts and a win, but they'll also hamper the rest of your roster.
It may be a better idea to save money on someone like Jose Berrios ($9,700), Blake Snell ($9,500) or Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,300) as your top pitcher. Snell would be the stretch against the Rockies while Ryu and Berrios appear safer. Ryu went six and struck out eight in his first start and faces a weak San Francisco lineup. The Giants managed just a .285 wOBA against southpaws last season and haven't been much better to start this year with just five runs in their four games against the Padres.
Berrios will probably be a little more popular after he had 10 Ks in 7.2 innings against the Indians. While he's had some issues against the Royals in his career, the strikeouts are usually a good safety valve in case he gets popped for an early run or two.
If you want to save a few more, there are some viable arms for cheap in Kyle Freeland ($7,900), Brad Keller ($7,000) and Jason Vargas ($5,600). Vargas is more of a GPP option at that price and while he struggled in the spring, he also stuck out 15 in 18 innings. That's nothing to rely on after a 20.8 K% last season, but the Marlins don't have the best bats against lefties seen in last year's .291 wOBA. Freeland is a tad safer for cash games given the over/under (7) against Tampa, though that's why he's more expensive.
For those not enthused by Trout's start to the season, the Astros will likely be featured in every lineup even though their offense has struggled to get going. They have the highest expected run total on the slate and face Shelby Miller, who doesn't have a good stat to his name. He gave up 19 runs in four starts last year and five runs in 8.2 innings of spring ball. Alex Bregman ($5,000) is the best choice due to last year's .243 ISO with Jose Altuve ($5,200) and George Springer ($4,800) close behind. Michael Brantley ($4,500) is probably the way to go if you don't want to spend too much money, while Josh Reddick ($4,200) is considered cheap for the Astros even if he feels like a trap.
It might be easier to save some money on the Blue Jays against righty Andrew Cashner after he gave up six runs in his first start and had terrible numbers against both sides of the plate in 2018 (5.19 xFIP). That's where Justin Smoak ($4,200) comes in with his .257 ISO and .370 wOBA against righty arms. However, Randal Grichuk ($4,400) and Teoscar Hernandez ($4,200) feel a bit pricey for a team that isn't hitting well. Billy McKinney ($3,800) and Brandon Drury ($3,600) should be the best value plays as they've been at the top of Toronto's lineup.
Going back to Trout's Angels, Zack Cozart ($3,700) may not be on many rosters given his start to the season, but he's hit leadoff against southpaws so the opportunity will be there and Gonzales has struggled early with 16 hits and six runs allowed in his first two starts. The better and more popular play will likely be Andrelton Simmons ($3,800) mainly because he doesn't strikeout, seen in last season's 5.5 K% against lefty arms. The GPP route would be Albert Pujols ($3,500) and hope he has one of his two-hit games.
Jose Urena didn't have much success in his first start and ended up getting a line drive to the knee after giving up five runs and nine hits in 4.2 innings. The only righty starters the Mets have faced are Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and they won both of them. Of course, none of their bats are overly cheap. Jeff McNeil ($4,000) is the safe play after last year's .374 wOBA against righties, but Brandon Nimmo ($3,900) provides a little more power with a .246 ISO. First baseman Pete Alonso ($4,100) has been the early star and will probably draw the most eyeballs.
The most popular stack will probably be some variety of Houston bats against Shelby Miller, but lefties should be the main focus due to his career .336 wOBA allowed. With most of the top Houston hitters being righties, that means going near the bottom of the lineup with Reddick and Tony Kemp ($4,100), while throwing in a righty, which will be either Tyler White ($4,300) or Robinson Chirinos ($4,000).
My favorite GPP stack would be to go against Jason Vargas after he gave up a .359 wOBA and 1.92 HR/9 against righty bats last season. Sure, he could rack up some Ks, but the Marlins have at least been respectable early and all of their bats are fairly cheap. Finding power in the lineup is the main issue and surprisingly Lewis Brinson ($3,600) had one of the best ISOs (.155) for a Marlin against righties last year. Throw him with the best bats on the team in Brian Anderson ($3,900) and Starlin Castro ($3,700) and you don't have to break the bank.
The ultimate GPP flex would be to stack against Chris Sale after he gave up seven runs and three homers in his first start. You could find a relatively cheap stack that involves Stephen Piscotty ($3,700), Matt Chapman ($3,800) and Khris Davis ($4,300), but there's also a cheaper route. Marcus Semien ($3,500) is a steal at the top of the order and he'd be a nice combo with Ramon Laureano ($3,600) and Jurickson Profar ($3,400) at the bottom of the lineup.