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F5 MLB Tuesday Plays


Three games for the Rangers and four for the Diamondbacks hardly represent a significant sample, but it's worth noting that these have been the league's two lowest-scoring offenses thus far, with Texas plating 1.67 runs per game and Arizona at 2.25. Both starters are on the expensive side, but home starter Kyle Gibson ($9,700) is the higher-upside pick in his Rangers debut. Gibson posted a career-best 22.7 percent strikeout rate to go with a 3.80 xFIP last season, while D-Backs righty Merrill Kelly ($10,000) had a 4.58 xFIP and 20.3 percent strikeout rate in 2019.

While he won't carry your lineup, Jeff Samardzija ($6,500) should be a nice value arm in his season debut at pitcher-friendly Oracle Park. The Giants' venue had a league-low park factor of .80 in 2019, and the visiting Padres are striking out fifth-most (10.50 K per game) in the early going after whiffing second-most (9.76 K per game) in 2019.

Justus Sheffield ($8,200) delivered a robust 9.25 K/9 in eight appearances (seven starts) for the Mariners last season. The former Yankees prospect will be brimming with confidence heading into this road tilt against the Angels, as Sheffield whiffed eight in four perfect innings during an intrasquad game in his most recent trip to the mound.

Top Targets Pete Alonso ($5,500) posted a .381 wOBA against lefties during a rookie season in which he mashed 53 home runs, and he finally went deep Monday in Boston to break an early-season slump. The Mets first baseman will be a major threat against underwhelming southpaw Matt Hall, who gave up 20 earned runs in 23.1 major-league innings last season. With Mookie Betts slumping to start his Dodgers tenure, Justin Turner ($4,900) is the key balancing force from the right side in Los Angeles' lefty-laden lineup. The third baseman is slashing .467/.556/.733 through four games in 2020, and Turner has racked up a wOBA of .385 or better against left-handed pitching in every season since 2017. His hot start should continue against Astros lefty Framber Valdez. Best Values Lorenzo Cain ($3,600) has always been significantly more effective against lefties, with a .360 career wOBA in his preferred platoon split compared to a .321 mark versus right-handed pitching. He started the season batting in the lower third of the lineup but led off in Milwaukee's last game against Pirates lefty Steven Brault. With another subpar southpaw set to take the mound for the Pirates in Derek Holland, Cain should provide strong bang for the buck, especially if he's at the top of the lineup again. Jorge Soler ($3,700) mashed 48 home runs in 2019, and the Royals slugger has already gone deep twice in 2020. Unfortunately, those are his only two hits in 13 at-bats, which is why Soler's price has dipped to $3,700. You'll be hard-pressed to find greater power upside at such an affordable valuation, so Soler's worth locking in against rookie Tigers righty Rony Garcia.

Stacks to Consider Red Sox vs. Mets LHP David Peterson: J.D. Martinez (OF, $5,300), Xander Bogaerts (SS, $4,000), Kevin Pillar (OF, $3,300) Given the extra importance of every game with the shortened schedule, desperation will be setting in early for the 1-3 Red Sox, especially with the Mets set to flip over to the top of the rotation after this game. The Mets were forced to burn Corey Oswalt on Sunday after starter Rick Porcello lasted only two innings, so they'll call upon Peterson, who had a 4.19 ERA at Double-A Binghamton last season and hasn't pitched at a level above that. Jumping from the Rumble Ponies to facing the Red Sox is a tall order, and all three Boston batters listed here will have the platoon advantage against the lefty. Martinez is as good as it gets against left-handed pitching. He posted an incredible .539 wOBA in that split last season, topping .530 for the second time in three years. Bogaerts got banged up on a defensive play Monday but homered later in the game and plans to play in this one. The shortstop loves to hit at Fenway Park, having posted a home wOBA over .400 in each of the past two seasons. Pillar's part of an outfield platoon and gets the nod against lefties. The right-handed slugger has batted fifth when in the lineup thus far, providing protection for Bagaerts in the cleanup spot. He's a nice value option to complement some of Boston's pricier bats.

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