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Michael Pineda gave us a great example of what happens when the high-upside pitcher hits. He was phenomenal (thanks to a grand slam that fell a few feet short) so why not try it again with Chris Archer tonight?
In all honesty, I consider Archer a better pitcher and a better play on Tuesday. His matchup (the Dodgers) isn't as high-upside but they also aren't as good as the Astros. Pineda was less than five percent owned in GPPs last night on FanDuel. I would expect Archer's ownership to be a little higher, but he'll still be contrarian. Here are three other contrarian hitters I'll have a chunk of.
Chris Davis has been abhorrent since the All Star break, but it's just a cold streak. His price has fallen below $4,000 and he gets a good matchup against Chad Bettis. I would expect a lot of people to play David Ortiz and Paul Goldschmidt. I'll be on Davis instead.
Maikel Franco returned with a double and three walks on Monday and he's just $3,100. Still, I wouldn't expect him to be highly owned as Adrian Beltre stole the headlines last night and Travis Shaw gets to face Mike Pelfrey.
Finally, it would be easy to overlook Miguel Sano against Lucas Harrell. Sano is always a good tournament play with his enormous power potential, even if he does strike out too often.
Kyle Hendricks ($9,200, $10,900)
It's as much an indictment of everyone else as it is praise of Hendricks, but I do think he's the top cash option on FanDuel today. Hendricks price is a little too high on DraftKings, especially relative to Danny Salazar. Hendricks can be frustrating because he doesn't work late into games but he's still been really good, especially lately. In the month of July Hendricks has thrown 19.2 innings and he's yet to give up an earned run. His strikeouts have also been way down. Hendricks has a very nice floor even if his upside is limited.
Chris Archer ($8,400, $8,700)
Archer feels a lot like the Pineda play from Monday night. He has huge upside thanks to the third highest K rate in the American League. He could also be terrible. Archer's last four starts are a perfect illustration of the variety of possible outcomes. His last time out he scored 57 FanDuel points at Coors Field. Three starts ago he scored 12 at Fenway.
Danny Salazar ($10,100, $9,500)
On DraftKings Salazar would be my top pitcher, but I really don't love this matchup. The Nationals are a top ten offense that has been pretty average against RHP. They walk more and strikeout less than you would expect from an average offense. Salazar relies heavily on the strikeout and struggles with walks, so that could be a problem. Still, his upside is as high as Archer's and his floor isn't near as low.
Red Sox vs. Tigers
In our season-long chronicle of Mike Pelfrey's season, today's episode is titled "Big Pelf heads to Fenway". Hopefully it's more profitable than his visit to the Rogers Centre. Pelfrey has pitched well ( or at least gotten good results) in three of his last four starts. Still, in those three starts he's walked seven hitters and struck out six. He has a 4.78 ERA and he's been fortunate it's that low. The Sox should roll here, with Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Bogaerts being my two favorite values.
Diamondbacks @ Brewers
The Diamondbacks were a bit of a disappointment on Monday but with Matt Garza on the mound it's right back to the well. Garza has been atrocious this season with an ERA (5.94) that is higher than his K/9 (5.45). Considering how bad he was last year, it may be time to accept Garza as one of the worst pitchers in baseball. I love Paul Goldschmidt once again, but I'll be interested to see the rest of the lineup. The Diamondbacks are a little banged up, so this may be a good place to find value.
Orioles vs. Rockies
Over his career, Chad Bettis has been almost an average pitcher on the road with a .328 wOBA allowed and a 4.37 ERA. Then again this park and offense are not your typical road matchup. I really like the value of both Chris Davis and Manny Machado against Bettis and could also be talked into Hyun-Soo Kim if he returns.
I'm going to offer my early take on a cash game lineup, but of course you should always check out our Sportsline projections for lineup changes right up to lock. Also, check out our podcast on iTunes for extended thoughts on each slate from Chris Towers, Mike McClure and myself.
P Kyle Hendricks $9,200
C Stephen Vogt $3,200
1B Chris Davis $3,900
2B Jurickson Profar $2,300
3B Pedro Alvarez $2,700
SS Xander Bogaerts $3,400
OF Mookie Betts $4,200
OF Jackie Bradley, Jr. $3,000
OF Josh Reddick $2,900
P Danny Salazar $9,500
P Chris Archer $8,700
C Caleb Joseph $2,400
1B Chris Davis $3,600
2B Jed Lowrie $3,200
3B Maikel Fraco $3,500
SS Xander Bogaerts $5,000
OF Jose Bautista $4,100
OF Mookie Betts $5,600
OF Carlos Gonzalez $4,300