It's a full slate with plenty of quality pitching options available on Tuesday's MLB schedule. Check out the Daily Notes for a look at the arms -- and bats -- to target in your lineups.
The Pirates have removed Jameson Taillon from his Tuesday start and placed him on the disabled list, the team announced.
Madison Bumgarner is quietly having a truly excellent season. Perhaps because he's been so good since arriving in the majors, we barely notice that he's in the midst of perhaps his best season with a 2.20 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and career-best 9.9 K/9. The Rockies are once again dreadful on the road, especially against lefties. They actually finished April with the second-best road OPS against southpaws, but since May 1, they are dead last with a .525 (Atlanta's .619 is 29th). Bumgarner hadn't allowed more than three earned runs since April 15, spanning 13 starts, before the A's got him for 4 ER in 6 1/3 innings. Look for him to start a new streak of sub-3 ER outings versus Colorado.
Carlos Carrasco might be on his way to an All-Star Game start for the American League if he hadn't lost a month-plus to a groin strain in late April. He has picked up where he left off, with a 2.61 ERA and 1.11 WHIP supported by 43 strikeouts and a 4.3 K:BB ratio in 41 1/3 IP. He's been particularly elite in his last four. After allowing four earned runs in Seattle on June 8th, he has allowed just five earned runs in his last four starts combined with 35 of those 42 strikeouts, including 14 in Toronto against the white-hot Blue Jays (5.9 runs/game in June).
After three straight 4 ER games in mid-May, there were whispers that perhaps the league was figuring out Kenta Maeda a bit. Since then, he has seven starts of 2.21 ERA with 41 Ks in 40 2/3 IP. He has allowed more than two earned runs just once in that stretch and notched five-plus strikeouts in 5 of 7. If there's a downside, it's that he doesn't consistently go deep into games. He has finished seven innings just once all season, averaging 5 2/3 IP/start. The Orioles can be tough on anyone, but Maeda has acquitted himself well in some fierce matchups, including trips to Colorado (6 1/3 IP/0 ER) and Toronto (6 IP/2 ER).
Masahiro Tanaka hasn't gotten much run this year despite another strong season. His strikeout rate is down to a career-worst 7.1 K/9, but his 11 percent swinging strike rate is identical to what he did last year when he fanned 8.1 batters per game. He's up at 13 percent in his last three starts, yielding an 8.6 K/8 in that span. The once-hot White Sox offense has tumbled toward the bottom of the league with just a .709 OPS against righties. Their home run-friendly ballpark is a little bit concerning for Tanaka, but he has chopped his home run rate from 1.5 to 0.8 HR/9 this year while still holding a league average 11 percent HR/FB rate.
Didn't Texas get the memo that David Price is back? They trounced him for 6 ER in just 2 1/3 IP two starts ago, interrupting a run of 2.47 ERA in 58 1/3 IP, and now they come to visit him in Boston. He got back on track against his former mates in Tampa Bay with a 6 1/3 IP/4 ER outing. Sure, four earned runs is hardly special, but it was one bad inning and still included 10 Ks. Even with the recent shellacking at the hands of his Tuesday opponent, I'm not completely running away from Price here. Although, if I'm being honest, I'm not straying from Bumgarner or Carrasco if I invest in the ace tier.
If there's a worrisome aspect to John Lackey's otherwise great season so far, it's that he has allowed six-plus earned runs in three starts, his only legitimately bad starts of the season. In season-long roto, these are just blips, but that kind of volatility in DFS can be a night-ender. Despite that, the 51 feels low here against one of the league's worst offensive teams (though they have one of the six-plus earned run games against Lackey). The Reds are just 28th in wRC+ with a paltry 79.
Jake Odorizzi has been a homebody so far. His work at the Trop is markedly better than on the road with a 3.10 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 3.7 K:BB ratio in 52.3 IP compared to 4.93, 1.43, and 2.2 on the road in 42 IP. The 10 1/3 IP difference comes despite just one extra start at home, further accentuating how much better he's been at home. Most players are better at home, so it's not that surprising, but this has become something of a pattern for Odorizzi. He's nearly two runs better at home for his career with a 2.98/4.78 home/road ERA split. The Angels bring in a better-than-you-think offense (12th in wRC+ v. RHP), but it's a nickel-and-dime offense as they also have the 25th-best ISO at .141.
Sean Manaea's 5.40 ERA isn't good by any stretch, but the makeup of how he achieved is encouraging. After Boston obliterated him for eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 IP, he was up at 11.37 through four starts, but the A's stuck with him and he chiseled it down to 6.02 over his next six before a DL stint cost him half of June. He returned with 5.7 scoreless innings against the Giants, giving him a 3.61 ERA in 42 1/3 IP since the Boston outing.
He has two five-earned-run outings in that stretch, but both were a case of one bad inning as he pitched 6 2/3 and 7 IP in them. His one legitimately bad start during the stretch came at the hands of Texas (the Rangers have a tendency of doing that to pitchers, huh?) and it still only included two earned runs in 4 1/3 IP, but the A's had a big lead (10-2 going into the fifth) and didn't see any reason to push Manaea when he was at 86 pitches. I'm more confident than the Game Score here.
Taijuan Walker assuaged concerns over the health of his foot when he returned with a 6 1/3 IP/1 ER effort against Baltimore after 10 days off. The 23-year old righty has flashed brilliance throughout the first half, but the bulk of his struggles have come on the road thanks to an ugly 2.7 HR/9 in the six starts away from Safeco. He loses a whopping three strikeouts per nine on the road, too, with 18 in the 26 1/3 IP compared to 57 in 55 2/3 home innings. Meanwhile, the Astros are scoring 5.1 runs per game since June 1st and 5.8 at home since the start of the season.
Carlos Rodon settled in around mid-May last year with a 3.59 ERA and 122 strikeouts over his last 123 innings after a 4.96 ERA in his first five starts. He had a 4.99 through seven starts this year, but has since put together a 3.61 in eight starts with 48 Ks in 47 1/3 innings of work. The strikeouts keep him DFS-viable and he's certainly a better play at sites that don't punish for base runners, like FanDuel, as his 1.46 WHIP can wipe away a lot of good at an outlet like DraftKings.
Spot starters and streamers
Steven Brault is being summoned from Triple-A Indianapolis where he was boasting an impressive 2.57 ERA but also a more telling 1.43 WHIP. The high number of base runners was a result of walking 15 in 35 frames. The 24-year old southpaw draws the St. Louis Cardinals for his major league debut, one of the top offenses in the league. Perhaps against a lesser lineup it would be worth banking on the unfamiliarity factor but the Redbirds are too explosive to chance using Brault.
Even with a rough 4 1/3 IP/6 ER outing against the Dodgers to close his month, Zach Davies still ended June with a 2.89 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in six starts, including 39 strikeouts. In fact, he's been pitching well for two months now. He exited April with an 8.78 ERA in three starts (most of the damage in one start at Pittsburgh), but is down to a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts over 65 2/3 IP. His 1.4 HR/9 in that span is a concern, but the gopheritis has been sporadic as opposed to a consistent problem. He has three multi-homer outings (including three versus the Dodgers), but also has five homer-free outings in the 11-start run.
I'm not sure how much the projected Game Score machine knows about the league's adjustments to Dallas Keuchel. With his excellent 2014 and 2015 seasons no doubt in the equation, he still projects well, but consider just how similar his 2016 is to his horrible 2013: 5.13 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.7 K:BB, 1.2 HR/9, and 9.9 H/9 this year; 5.15, 7.2, 2.4, 1.2, and 10.8 in '13. Keuchel has pitched better of late (4.03 ERA in his past seven), but only compared to how horrid he was through his first 10 starts (5.92 ERA).
I want to acknowledge Tyler Chatwood's gaudy 1.25 ERA and 0.97 WHIP on the road in 43 1/3 IP, but I can't confidently recommend him in DFS because of the meager 6.2 K/9 and 2.1 K:BB ratio that go with the impressive results. And while he is on the road, he gets the always dangerous San Francisco Giants, who feast off of contact (second-lowest strikeout rate v. RHP), Chatwood's specialty. His 84 percent contact rate is 12th-highest among qualified starters this year.
What a difference a month makes. Coming into June, Steven Matz was looking every bit as dangerous as his more heralded rotation mates, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. Five starts, a 5.74 ERA, and an elbow bone spur later and the outlook isn't quite so rosy for the 25-year old lefty despite a 56 projected Game Score. A fully healthy Matz is more than capable of beating that 56 let alone just reaching it, but it's hard to know just how healthy he is from start-to-start. On a full slate Tuesday, I can't justify taking the risk.
I haven't seen nearly enough out of Wei-Yin Chen to feel confident about a 53 projected Game Score. The leaguewide surge in home runs is the worst thing that could have happened Chen, who already gave up too many homers in the depressed offensive environment of the past few years. I had high hopes for him in Miami and the NL at large, but the shift in offensive output has obliterated him and completely changed my tune on what he can be with the Marlins. A mid-to-upper 4.00s ERA by season's end is still doable, but I originally thought he could put up mid-3.00s similar to his 2014-15 marks while improving his supporting skills in the process.
We are on a record pace for home runs this year, yet noted home run-allower A.J. Griffin is toting by far the best rate of his career at 0.8, nearly cut half from his 1.5 HR/9 entering 2016. I feel like Boston is about to push him back toward his previous levels.
Only 25 pitchers have allowed 15-plus home runs all year; Chris Young has allowed 15 just to lefties. That's sure to make Michael Saunders a near-automatic for most, while also bringing Justin Smoak into consideration if you're looking to save money at first base. Righties only have a .657 OPS against Young, but that comes with a .201 ISO and the red-hot Blue Jays are unlikely to be slowed by the 37-year old veteran. I wouldn't completely avoid Toronto righties just because of that 2 rating.
Arizona Diamondbacks righties will be popular up against Christian Friedrich. He's actually held his own this season with a career-best .735 OPS against righties, but it comes with a .363 OBP thanks to far too many walks. Free passes open the door for trouble and Paul Goldschmidt, Welington Castillo, Yasmany Tomas, and Jean Segura will be looking to take advantage of Friedrich's poor control.
The Red Sox only draw a 4 rating against Griffin, but I'm skeptical as I mentioned earlier. They lead baseball with a 119 wRC+ against righties and I'm just not sure that Griffin will continue to keep the ball in the yard at such a strong clip given his career levels. Griffin doesn't have much of a platoon split, either this year or for his career, so you can kinda take your pick among the big Red Sox bats. I'd focus on David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, and Dustin Pedroia.
The Rays draw one of the best ratings of the day as Tim Lincecum has looked nothing like the two-time Cy Young winner he once was, but who are you really looking to use outside of Evan Longoria? Logan Forsythe leads the team with a 132 OPS+, but that's built off the destruction of lefties. Perhaps Lincecum is just pitching poorly enough to consider a Rays stack because it will be relatively inexpensive even with both Longoria and Forsythe.
Mike Foltynewicz gives the Phillies lefties a rare 10 rating, but Odubel Herrera is the only real consideration as their only other players set to hit from the left side are an awful Ryan Howard and two slappy switch-hitters in Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis.
Most likely to go yard: Michael Saunders
Again, Chris Young has allowed 15 homers to lefties this year. Fifteen.
Most likely to swipe a bag: Odubel Herrera
Tyler Flowers has stopped just two of the 34 baserunners who have run on him this season. Herrera should be able to get on a couple times against Foltynewicz (1.062 OPS v. lefties) and then notch his 13th stolen base of the year.