The Wheelhouse: Banking on Big Maple

The Wheelhouse: Banking on Big Maple

This article is part of our The Wheelhouse series.

The Weather

Several games have light rain in the forecast for Tuesday night (a full weather report can be viewed here). From that batch, no postponements are expected as of 4p ET.

Wind should help the pitchers in Seattle (Hector Santiago v. James Paxton) and on the north side of Chicago (Jeff Locke v. Jake Arrieta), while it's expected to help hitters in Texas (Jacob deGrom v. Dillon Gee) and Detroit (Jesse Chavez v. Daniel Norris).

The Parks & Vegas Info

Another week, another series in Colorado. This time, Cleveland visits Coors Field, and Tuesday's pitching matchup features a pair of interesting righties (Mike Clevinger v. Antonio Senzatela). Per usual, the over/under at Coors checks in at 10.5. The Mariners are the biggest moneyline favorite on the board (-220), while the Cubs (-200) and D-backs are close behind.

With three 7.5 over/unders in play, Rays/White Sox (Jose Quintana v. Chris Archer), Marlins/Cubs (Jeff Locke v. Jake Arrieta), and Nats/Dodgers (Max Scherzer v. Brandon McCarthy) are the projected lowest-scoring contests Tuesday.

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.)

For those interested in saving cash and pivoting away from Max Scherzer, there are plenty of viable alternatives to consider. The downside of using Scherzer tonight is the limited (or possibly non-existent) exposure to Coors, but the quality of the matchups for Chris Archer, Robbie Ray, Jake Arrieta, and even Jose Quintana makes passing on Mad Max more desirable than usual.

As noted in this space last week, the White Sox crush left-handed pitching. They're well below average against righties, however, with a 23.2% K% (t-6th among Tuesday's matchups) and wRC+ of 81. Relatively speaking, Archer is a slightly better value on DraftKings, but he's in play on both sites ($10,600/$10,700 DK/FD).

Robbie Ray's home-road splits will generally steer players toward using him on the road. A home matchup against the Padres should not be ignored, however, as the Padres' have plenty of swing-and-miss in their lineup (22.7% K% against southpaws) and an MLB-worst wRC+ of 62 against lefties. On FanDuel, Ray is a flat $10,000, making him a better option than Archer, even though Archer is the better play of the two on DraftKings where Ray is $11,900.

My preferred play on both sites is James Paxton, whose skills over the past calendar year have been excellent (19.4% K-BB%, 3.03 ERA). There should be fewer concerns about his workload in his second start since returning from the DL, while the performance against the Rockies last week in his first outing back was encouraging.

There is an opportunity to use Jake Arrieta against the Marlins on DraftKings at $9,000, but I would avoid playing him at the $10,300 mark on FanDuel. As noted above, the Cubs' win probability is very high thanks to a matchup against Jeff Locke, and while Arrieta's stock has fallen overall, he's still capable of handling a Miami lineup that is likely to be without Justin Bour (ankle) on Tuesday night, particularly on a night with winds blowing in at Wrigley.

Marco Estrada may fly under the radar again tonight, but he's on the road in a more pitcher-friendly environment against an Oakland squad that is carrying a 24.4% K% against righties in 2017. Estrada has fanned batters at a slightly greater clip (24.8%) over the past calendar year.

Chase Anderson faces a Giants lineup that has struggled to plate runs throughout the 2017 season. Anderson is a better value on DraftKings at $7,900 than he is on FanDuel at $8,800, but keep in mind that the only team split wRC+ on the board worse than San Francisco's 77 against righties, is the Padres' dreadful 62 against lefties.

On the other side of the White Sox-Rays matchup, Jose Quintana is in play for tournaments on both sites. The Rays' 27.5% K% against lefties is the worst team split of all 30 teams in action tonight, while their subpar 86 wRC+ against southpaws, and the Trop's tendency to reduce right-handed homers by 15 percent, open the door to consider a pitcher that hasn't been anywhere near my DFS lineup over the first two months of the season. The only downside is the matchup against Archer, which has the Rays posted as -170 favorites. Ideally, Quintana is a second pitcher on DraftKings, or the standalone option used for the third or fourth iteration of a big-field tournament lineup on FanDuel.

Ivan Nova's $6,100 price tag on DraftKings puts him firmly in the mix as a second pitcher option even with a road start at Baltimore. Given his home-run issues during his time in the AL East with the Yankees, there is risk, but the Orioles' 22.4% K% against righties could lead to a higher whiff total than usual as long as Nova is hitting his spots Tuesday.

The Bats

Cheap Coors Exposure

The usual suspects on the Colorado side carry sub $4,000 prices on FanDuel: Mark Reynolds, DJ LeMahieu, Trevor Story, and Gerardo Parra.

On DraftKings, Carlos Gonzalez is a bargain $3,800….$200 less than his FanDuel price, and significantly cheaper than the other Colorado bats.

For Cleveland, Bradley Zimmer is only $3,300 in his first trip to Coors, while Jose Ramirez ($3,900), Yan Gomes ($3,400) and Lonnie Chisenhall ($3,500) are also sitting below $4K.

On DraftKings, Gomes is the only sub-$4,000 option I would consider (sorry Austin Jackson).

Against Jeff Locke

Even with the wind blowing in from left field at Wrigley, using at least one right-handed Cub against Locke can work. Willson Contreras is in the cleanup spot ($2,500 FD/$3,600 DK) and is arguably the best value at catcher on both sites. Javier Baez is a much better GPP option on FanDuel, while Addison Russell's spot at the bottom of the lineup takes away some of his appeal.

Against Matt Cain

Eric Thames is $3,200 on FanDuel tonight. He's the most chalky play on the board as a result. Cain's splits against lefties and righties have been poor going back to the start of the 2016 season. Loading up a Brewers stack, or pairing one other piece with Thames makes a great deal of sense in cash games.

Against Tim Adleman

If there is a song about the boy who can't stack against Tim Adleman properly, that song is about me. On paper, the Cards should demolish him, as they'll continue to enjoy the park boost (particularly, for homers) in Cincinnati in this series. Yet again, if I had to narrow it down to one play, cleanup hitter Jedd Gyorko ($3,500 FD/$4,000 DK) is the call, but the entire outfield is in play on FanDuel, with Stephen Piscotty offering the best value of the trio on DraftKings. It's an unfortunate day for Alemdys Diaz to sit one out. Yadier Molina is on the short list of quality catcher plays today, and he's hitting fifth for the Cards.

Against Dillon Gee

While it's a Revenge Game for Gee against the Mets, winds are forecasted to blow out during Tuesday's game in Arlington. With 25 homers allowed in his last 131.2 innings at the MLB level, Gee has been hammered by hitters on both sides of the plate. Paying for Michael Conforto and/or Jay Bruce makes sense for those interested. Alternatively, Lucas Duda at $2,900 is cheap option for those fading Thames against Cain on FanDuel. Curtis Granderson, Travis d'Arnaud and Asdrubal Cabrera are the cheapest regulars on DraftKings.

For the contrarians with entry fees to spare, Jonathan Lucroy is $2,700 on DraftKings and the struggling Rougned Odor is $3,000 if you're looking to open up cash for Cleveland and Colorado bats. The entire Texas lineup is easily stackable on FanDuel thanks to the matchup against Jacob deGrom.

Against Jaime Garcia

Garcia is far from the worst pitcher on the board tonight, but the Phillies have a few dangerous righties in the top-half of the lineup and the stackability on DraftKings is ridiculous. On a slate this large, it's probably best to max out at three, and there are so many options elsewhere to consider, it may just be a salary-relief one-off that fits your lineup the best.

I like the 4-5 combo of Tommy Joseph and Aaron Altherr ($3,200 and $3,400 on DK, respectively), and Maikel Franco (hitting sixth) is a GPP option at $3,400 as well. On FanDuel, each of those three hitters carries a flat $3,000 price tag.

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,.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
Derek VanRiper
Derek was a frequent writer and media host. During his tenure, he'd 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 had hosted RotoWire's shows on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210).
The Z Files: Pitchers I Rank Highest
The Z Files: Pitchers I Rank Highest
Why I Won't Be Drafting Shohei Ohtani This Season
Why I Won't Be Drafting Shohei Ohtani This Season
RW Tutorials: MLB DFS Lineup Optimizer
RW Tutorials: MLB DFS Lineup Optimizer
Winter Meetings Recap: Day 3
Winter Meetings Recap: Day 3
Three Up, Three Down: Angels, Mariners, Rangers
Three Up, Three Down: Angels, Mariners, Rangers
Winter Meetings Recap: Day 2
Winter Meetings Recap: Day 2