The holiday weekend is over. After you come out of your hot dog and hamburger-laced food coma, read this article in order to get up to speed on the hitters you should be targeting for your BBQ-free Tuesday (maybe tacos?).
Matchups to Target
Alonso is batting a paltry .225 on the season, but I suppose in today’s game that doesn’t matter when you are 3rd in the MLB in HR (41) and 2nd in RBI (100). For our purposes though, he’s a bit boom or bust, so today of course we’re looking for boom. Yesterday he boomed twice (2 HR), and Tuesday he faces the Nats’ LHP Patrick Corbin. The veteran lefty has allowed 5 booms to the Polar Bear over the course of his career, and Alonso is 14-for-43 in all (2 doubles and 9 walks as well). Pete also has a little 4-game hit streak going, during which time he’s 6-for-16 (.375), so look for him to stay hot against Corbin. FYI, the Mets are favored in this one and the game has a relatively high O/U at 9 total runs. Should be a nice day for baseball in D.C. as well.
After hitting just .205 in July, Walker bounced back with an August where he hit .302 with 6 homers. Through 4 September games he’s 4-for-11 (.364) with 2 HR, 3 RBI, and 3 R. He’ll face Kyle Freeland of the Rockies on Tuesday night in the desert. The career numbers against the LHP are not eye-popping, but they do include 2 doubles and 2 home runs (7-for-28, .250). Over 6 starts in August, Freeland posted a 6.42 ERA and allowed a whopping 11 HR. He allows an opponent batting average around .300 whether he’s pitching at home or away, but his splits against hitters show he’s particularly vulnerable to righties: .313/.558/.915 to righties vs .252/.359/.647 to lefties.
Seager has been hot all year long, slashing .345/.658/1.065 on the year. He remained hot Monday, smacking 2 HR against Astros pitching. The Astros will send out Framber Valdez Tuesday night and we’ll see which Framber shows up — the one who pitched 16 innings of no-hit ball in August (0.00 ERA), or the one who pitched 25.2 innings the remainder of the month allowing 29 hits and 17 earned runs (6.07 ERA). Despite this being a lefty-lefty matchup, Seager has had success against Valdez in the past, going 6-for-20 with a triple, 2 BB, and 4 K. Looking closer at Framber’s splits, it shows he actually allows a slightly higher batting average, SLG, and OPS to lefties, so Seager’s success isn’t out of the ordinary; plus, Valdez is worse on the road (2.91 home ERA vs 3.92 road ERA).
With Braves you have plenty of options to choose from and you could easily slot Acuna in here or Olson in a righty-lefty matchup, but we’re going Ozuna here. Ozuna was scorching in August, slashing .358/.698/1.131 with 9 2B, 9 HR, 25 RBI, and 25 R. The calendar rolled to September and he’s continued to hit, going 4-for-10 with 2 doubles and a homer in 3 games. The Braves take on the Cardinals Tuesday night in Atlanta, and veteran RHP Miles Mikolas will be the Cards’ hurler. Mikolas has a 4.66 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, but there isn’t anything really revelatory in his splits, so we’re going with matchup history here. Ozuna is 3-for-8 (.375) in his career off of Mikolas, with 2 of those 3 hits being HR. Full disclosure, Ozuna has also struck out 4 times, but we’re riding the hot hand here.
DFS Value Plays
Jones is having a nice rookie season, slashing .282/.509/.872 with 14 HR and 43 RBI. I mentioned him a couple of articles ago and noted that if he had debuted earlier than May 26th, he’d likely have a 25+ HR season — not too shabby for a rookie. He’s going against righty Brandon Pfaadt (6.21 ERA and 1.42 WHIP) who has been especially ineffective at home (7.30 ERA at home vs 5.03 ERA) and allows more production to left-handed hitters (.294/.580/.931 vs .266/.496/.810). Pfaadt is coming off a start where he got tagged for 5 earned runs on 8 hits (2 HR) in 4 IP. Pfaadt hasn’t faced the Rockies yet in his career so there is no matchup history to go off of here, FYI.
This game’s not so hard right? Mauricio had 2 hits in his debut, then 2 the following game, and another in his third game (5-for-11, .455). He showed off his wheels too, stealing 2 bases so far as well. He’ll face Patrick Corbin Tuesday night and Corbin is particularly generous to right-handed hitters (a boon to Alonso above as well): .303/.495/.844 vs .252/.374/.699. Perhaps the veteran is overly careful to Alonso, Lindor, and company, but overlooks the hot-hitting youngster, so look for Mauricio to take advantage.
Rangers Moneyline : I think Hyde shows up instead of Framber Valdez and the Rangers avenge their mistake-filled loss from Monday.
Ronny Mauricio 2 Total Bases : he has yet to hit his first MLB home run – maybe today’s the day – but if not, a double will do.