Tuesday's MLB slate consists of Astros-Yankees Game 4 at 5:08 PM and Dodgers-Cubs Game 3 at 9:00 PM (both Eastern Time). The players below provide the best value relative to price in this slate, making them Tuesday's top value plays…
Sonny Gray, NYY vs. HOU ($36): New York's 4-0 at home and 1-4 on the road this postseason, so the Yankees look primed to grab a victory here despite trailing 2-1 in the series. Gray's as rested as could be after not pitching since Game 1 of the ALDS, and had a respectable 3.72 ERA with the Yankees over 11 starts in the regular season after coming over from Oakland. This series hasn't featured much offense from the Astros (five runs in three games), so don't be surprised to see the affordable Gray keep Houston's high-octane offense down once again here.
Yu Darvish, LAD vs. CHC ($45): Darvish was mowing down D-backs with ease in his first postseason start with the Dodgers, notching seven of his 15 outs via strikeout while allowing just one run on two hits without a walk. If he can imitate that NLDS road success here at Wrigley Field, Darvish should easily outperform his $45 price. Cubs alternative Kyle Hendricks costs only $2 less despite posting a K/9 below 8.00 while Darvish's was over 10.00 this year. Considering Hendricks can hardly be considered more trustworthy after allowing four runs on nine hits over four innings to the Nationals in his last start, the massive difference in strikeout potential gives Darvish the clear edge.
Brian McCann, HOU at NYY ($13): McCann was much better outside the pitcher-friendly confines of Minute Maid Park (0.83 park factor) in the regular season, managing a meager .211 batting average at home and a .266 mark on the road. Yankee Stadium's 1.02 park factor and 1.28 home run park factor put it well into the hitter-friendly part of the spectrum, and the former Yankees catcher knows the venue well. Throw in McCann's platoon advantage as a left-handed batter against the right-handed Gray, and he becomes hard to turn down at just $13.
Greg Bird, NYY vs. HOU ($16): All of the pitchers in the mix to start Game 4 for Houston are right-handed, so Bird is assured to have the platoon advantage regardless of which option Astros manager A.J. Hinch picks. Finally healthy, Bird has shown the terrific power that the Yankees have been waiting for this postseason with three long balls in nine games. Yankee Stadium's 1.28 home run park factor was good for second in MLB this season, so Bird's as likely as any first baseman in this slate to go deep despite being tied for the cheapest at $16.
Starlin Castro, NYY vs. HOU ($13): Houston's Jose Altuve will likely outperform Castro given his incredible postseason to date, but Castro makes for the better value play at just over half Altuve's price given his home success this season. Castro posted a .372 wOBA at Yankee Stadium in the regular season and didn't sweat righty-on-righty matchups there with a .353 home wOBA in that split.
Justin Turner, LAD at CHC ($18): Turner ended Game 2 with a walk-off three-run homer and should be able to turn the momentum from that performance into a strong Game 3 showing. Batting in the top third of Los Angeles' order puts Turner in prime position to do damage once again, especially since Wrigley Field's fifth-ranked 1.13 park factor this season easily trumped Dodger Stadium's 0.97 mark.
Addison Russell, CHC vs. LAD ($10): Russell remains priced at just $10 even after going deep in Game 2. If you don't want to spend at least $18 on the traditionally light-hitting shortstop position, but also don't trust Corey Seager's (back) replacement Charlie Culberson, Russell's the man for you in this critical home bout.
Aaron Hicks, NYY vs. HOU ($14): The only Yankees since 1980 to hit safely in their first six career postseason games are Derek Jeter and...Hicks! Don't be surprised to see the affordable switch-hitter keep the good times rolling in this one, as he sports a wOBA over .350 from both sides of the plate overall and .382 mark against right-handed pitching at Yankee Stadium.
Marwin Gonzalez, HOU at NYY ($16): The switch-hitting Gonzalez is especially dangerous from the left side, as illustrated by his .397 wOBA against righties like Gray. Like McCann, Gonzalez also benefited from leaving the league's least hitter-friendly ball park, with a .396 road wOBA and measly .340 mark in Houston. With 18 of his 23 homers and 23 of 34 doubles coming when facing right-handed pitching, Gonzalez is well-positioned to take advantage of New York's hitter-friendly environment.
Aaron Judge, NYY vs. HOU ($24): Most elite sluggers launch home runs in bunches, so Judge's three-run blast in Game 3 could be a sign of more to come. Both of his long balls this postseason have come at home, which isn't surprising considering Yankee Stadium was the setting for 33 of the AL MVP candidate's 52 home runs in the regular season. Judge's ceiling is easily the highest of any slugger still alive this postseason, so he should be in fantasy lineups whenever possible for home games.