This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Tuesday's featured MLB slate begins at 7:05 PM Eastern time and includes nine games. There were originally 10 games on the schedule, but the Orioles-Marlins contest has been postponed due to an outbreak among Miami's players. Given the extra layer of uncertainty in these times, it's even more important than usual to check back before lineups lock and ensure every player in your lineup is active. In a slate with a limited amount of high-end pitching talent, expect most of the focus to be on top sluggers, though a number of affordable bats stand out as go-to options as well.
Three games for the Rangers and four for the Diamondbacks hardly represent a significant sample, but it's worth noting that these have been the league's two lowest-scoring offenses thus far, with Texas plating 1.67 runs per game and Arizona at 2.25. Both starters are on the expensive side, but home starter Kyle Gibson ($9,700) is the higher-upside pick in his Rangers debut. Gibson posted a career-best 22.7 percent strikeout rate to go with a 3.80 xFIP last season, while D-Backs righty Merrill Kelly ($10,000) had a 4.58 xFIP and 20.3 percent strikeout rate in 2019.
While he won't carry your lineup, Jeff Samardzija ($6,500) should be a nice value arm in his season debut at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. The Giants' venue had a league-low park factor of .80 in 2019, and the visiting Padres are striking out fifth-most (10.50 K per game) in the early going after whiffing second-most (9.76 K per game) in 2019.
Justus Sheffield ($8,200) delivered a robust 9.25 K/9 in eight appearances (seven starts) for the Mariners last season. The former Yankees prospect will be brimming with confidence heading into this road tilt against the Angels, as Sheffield whiffed eight in four perfect innings during an intrasquad game in his most recent trip to the mound.
Pete Alonso ($5,500) posted a .381 wOBA against lefties during a rookie season in which he mashed 53 home runs, and he finally went deep Monday in Boston to break an early-season slump. The Mets first baseman will be a major threat against underwhelming southpaw Matt Hall, who gave up 20 earned runs in 23.1 major-league innings last season.
With Mookie Betts slumping to start his Dodgers tenure, Justin Turner ($4,900) is the key balancing force from the right side in Los Angeles' lefty-laden lineup. The third baseman is slashing .467/.556/.733 through four games in 2020, and Turner has racked up a wOBA of .385 or better against left-handed pitching in every season since 2017. His hot start should continue against Astros lefty Framber Valdez.
Lorenzo Cain ($3,600) has always been significantly more effective against lefties, with a .360 career wOBA in his preferred platoon split compared to a .321 mark versus right-handed pitching. He started the season batting in the lower third of the lineup but led off in Milwaukee's last game against Pirates lefty Steven Brault. With another subpar southpaw set to take the mound for the Pirates in Derek Holland, Cain should provide strong bang for the buck, especially if he's at the top of the lineup again.
Jorge Soler ($3,700) mashed 48 home runs in 2019, and the Royals slugger has already gone deep twice in 2020. Unfortunately, those are his only two hits in 13 at-bats, which is why Soler's price has dipped to $3,700. You'll be hard-pressed to find greater power upside at such an affordable valuation, so Soler's worth locking in against rookie Tigers righty Rony Garcia.
Stacks to Consider
Given the extra importance of every game with the shortened schedule, desperation will be setting in early for the 1-3 Red Sox, especially with the Mets set to flip over to the top of the rotation after this game. The Mets were forced to burn Corey Oswalt on Sunday after starter Rick Porcello lasted only two innings, so they'll call upon Peterson, who had a 4.19 ERA at Double-A Binghamton last season and hasn't pitched at a level above that. Jumping from the Rumble Ponies to facing the Red Sox is a tall order, and all three Boston batters listed here will have the platoon advantage against the lefty.
Martinez is as good as it gets against left-handed pitching. He posted an incredible .539 wOBA in that split last season, topping .530 for the second time in three years.
Bogaerts got banged up on a defensive play Monday but homered later in the game and plans to play in this one. The shortstop loves to hit at Fenway Park, having posted a home wOBA over .400 in each of the past two seasons.
Pillar's part of an outfield platoon and gets the nod against lefties. The right-handed slugger has batted fifth when in the lineup thus far, providing protection for Bagaerts in the cleanup spot. He's a nice value option to complement some of Boston's pricier bats.
The Royals' plan is to open with Sparkman then use fellow right-harder Jorge Lopez in long relief. Sparkman had a 6.02 ERA and 5.93 FIP while working primarily as a starter last season, and he has already made two appearances out of the bullpen in 2020. Lopez's 2020 has gotten off to a forgettable start, as he allowed two runs while getting only two outs in his lone appearance. Detroit's not a traditional stacking option, but the team's batters should offer strong bang for the buck against Kansas City's vulnerable pitching.
Goodrum is Detroit's most expensive hitter, but he's still quite affordable at $4,200. The switch-hitting leadoff man offers a nice mix of pop and speed, as he's coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 12 home runs and steals apiece.
Schoop's in search of a fifth consecutive season with more than 20 home runs, making him one of the top sources of power among second basemen. He also occupies a premium spot in Detroit's lineup as the two-hole hitter. Despite those factors in his favor, Schoop can be had for just $3,400.
Cabrera won't be competing for the triple crown at age 37, but he still possesses an excellent batting eye and enough power to make pitchers pay for mistakes. With a 22.2 percent walk rate on the young season, Cabrera's on pace to finish above 15.0 percent for the third time in his career. What Detroit's three-hole hitter lacks in upside, he makes up for with a high floor at an extremely affordable price.