MLB DFS: Shane Bieber, Framber Valdez Top Optimal Pitchers for Tuesday

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Gerrit Cole is the top pitcher on our optimal board for tonight’s slate, but due to uncertainty about the weather situation in New York City tonight (postponement possibility). If not, monitor the forecast situation closely. 

BIEBER IS LOOKING TO CARRY GUARDIANS

Shane Bieber finds himself near the top of the optimal board for tonight’s slate as he’ll square off with the Kansas City Royals. Bieber is having a solid season and has pitched exceptionally well of late, as his Guardians look to stay atop the AL Central. Since the start of August, Bieber has had an ERA of 2.01 while seeing a slight increase in his strikeout production. His seasonal numbers are not where we expect them to be given what we have seen in past seasons, but progress is progress. Bieber has limited power at a career-best rate that has compensated for the lack of elite strikeout production. 

The Royals offense, oddly enough, has been swinging the bats well over the past two weeks. During that stretch, we see them in the top six in ISO, wOBA, wRC+, and runs scored. Part of it contributed to a few crazy games where they racked up nine, 12, and 15 runs, but Bieber is composed enough that he shouldn’t be too concerned about that. Still, the Royals aren’t swinging the bats as their record suggests, so we should not just gloss over them. Bieber also finds himself seeing a little bit of desirable leverage. That could change depending on Gerrit Cole’s weather situation, but the leverage is worth taking a shot on a subpar offense that doesn’t have the horses to stay hot forever. 

VALDEZ OFFERING RELIABILITY

Framber Valdez also finds himself near the top of the optimal board for tonight’s slate ahead of his matchup against the Texas Rangers. Valdez is by no means the most electrifying pitcher out there, but he is as reliable and consistent as they come. Over his last 22 starts dating back to April 25, he has gone a minimum of six innings in every outing while not allowing more than three earned runs in any game. For a floor, not much gets better than that. He doesn’t have the best strikeout numbers with his 22.6% seasonal rate, so we heavily rely on that longevity to help us turn optimal. Given the 22 straight starts without allowing more than three runs, he has the second lowest allowed HR/9 rate among all qualified pitchers. 

Texas has been swinging the bats strongly as of late, as we see them in the top eleven in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ over the past two weeks. This lineup has a little added power upside, but we should not worry about that too much with Valdez. Tonight will be Valdez’s fifth time facing Texas, with two of the four previous appearances being scoreless outings. We have also seen an increase in strikeout production in these games, which ideally will translate to tonight. Valdez will be priced reasonably on DraftKings at $10,000 but is expected to be owned over 30%. Given the consistency and reliability we see with Valdez, you will always have a high floor play with him, making the high ownership easier to swallow.