Never in a million years would I have fathomed that my final DraftKings article of the year would start off touching on the death of one of the best pitchers that this generation has ever seen. I can easily say that–even though Fernandez was 24 years old–because his talent was off the charts and he had the numbers to back it up. This season alone, he posted a 2.89 ERA with a whopping 253 strikeouts in 182.1 innings pitched. That gave him a league leading 12.5 K/9. It was a somber scene in Miami on Monday night, but in true baseball fashion, an unbelievable moment was created when Dee Gordon–who came into the game with eight career home runs in over 2,200 plate appearances–hit a lead off home run and was balling his eyes out as he crossed home plate. As fans, we didn’t know Jose Fernandez personally. The Jose Fernandez was knew was the elite pitcher that was on the mound every fifth day. His smile lit up the stadium and clearly his teammates thought the world of him. Baseball is unlike any other sport in the sense that these guys are with each other every single days for over seven months out of the year. Unlike other professional sports, there are games practically everyday. The tribute was touching and well deserved, but this is a tough one for every baseball fan on the planet. Time will pass and the wound of losing Fernandez will start to heal, but he will forever be etched in our memories. Rest in peace. Thanks, Jose.

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Tuesday doesn’t mark the 2016 Presidential Election, but there is no doubt a clear choice at starting pitcher tonight. The Cubs, who recently clinched the NL Central Division, are sailing into the playoffs and their horse – Jon Lester – continues to lead the way. Lester has been worth every single penny that the Cubs have paid him to date. He is coming off an eight inning, eight strikeout performance against the Cardinals and has given up just one run in his last four starts. On top of that, Lester is averaging 23.5 points per start at home this season with two complete games. The Reds pose no threat to Lester on Tuesday night and he will likely be the highest owned starter in cash games. Don’t let that make you shy away. Pivoting away from Lester could prove to be disastrous.

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The Diamondbacks host the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in what is expected to be a pier six brawl. Both teams are starting below average left-handed pitchers and that means runs should come in bunches. The Rockies should do their fair share of damage, but the D’Backs are the holy grail tonight. Jorge de la Rosa is like a lamb being led to slaughter every single time he takes the mound. He occasionally racks up strikeouts, but mostly it is walks and meatballs. Arizona has two lefty killers in their outfield and I expect both of them to do damage. Rickie Weeks Jr. has one purpose in life and that is smashing lefties. He does it quite well. So well actually, that he still has a spot on a 25-man roster years after being removed as the Brewers’ second baseman. He’s never taken JDLR deep, but has five hits in 11 at-bats against the 12 year veteran. Yasmany Tomas is 6-for-12 with a home run against de la Rosa and lives rent free in his mind everyday. With Tomas just $4,400 and Weeks Jr. priced at $4,000, I am using both of them.

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When things are ugly, they tend to be really freakin’ ugly. The pitching on Tuesday night is deplorable. Corey Kluber clocks in as the top option due to his strikeout ability, but after that, things get quite ugly. With that said, Kluber makes a solid cash game option. After that, the following players are solid GPP plays: Brandon Finnegan vs. New York Mets, Tyler Anderson vs. San Francisco, and, oh my god, Wily Peralta at home against the Cubs. Starting with Peralta, this is the kind of play that could win a big stakes GPP. He could easily get hammered like Lenny Dykstra at a retirement home, but his ownership will be so low that if you do hit, you’ll look like a genius. The Giants continue to struggle and Anderson has actually been a decent option at Coors Field. He is averaging 17 DK points compared to 12.5 on the road. Finally, Finnegan has been killing it like O.J. Simpson. I mean, home, road, it hasn’t mattered. He is slicing and dicing the competition and has 29 strikeouts over his last 20 innings pitched. If I were to pair and pitcher with Kluber or Gio Gonzalez in cash games, it would be Finnegan.

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This has been yet another extraordinary season for the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. He’s 14-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 227 strikeouts. On Tuesday night he faces the Phillies for the fourth time this season. In three starts against Philadelphia, Scherzer has 25 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched and has picked up two wins. It’s easy to overthink things in DFS, especially when an exceptionally high salary comes into play. Priced at $13,600, using Mad Max won’t allow for much wiggle room with the rest of your lineup. With that said, it doesn’t really matter because there is no other option on Tuesday that is nearly as safe. Slot Scherzer in as your top arm and get creative. He will be heavily owned in cash games–and rightfully so–but consider him in GPPs as well.

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On Sunday, Nolan Arenado broke out of a mini-slump and hit his first home run since August 8. He couldn’t have asked for a better matchup this week than the one that he gets on Tuesday night against Chase Anderson and the Brewers. This game is on the road, so it doesn’t have quite the positive effect on hitters, but Miller Park is one of the more hitter friendly parks in the league–it just isn’t Coors on a hot summer night. Arenado has owned Anderson throughout his career, hitting three home runs in 20 career at-bats against the righty. Priced at just $4,500, Arenado is actually reasonable. If he goes on an extended hot streak, his price will surely jump, so use him at a mild bargain. You’ll see below who I recommend building your lineup around. Arenado comes in right behind the burly right-hander from the North Side of Chicago.

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It wasn’t very long ago that Dusty Baker’s preference at shortstop was Danny Espinosa. You know Dusty–he loves his veteran guys. Fast forward a couple of months and Espinosa is still at shortstop. Where things changed is now Trea Turner is an everyday player and the leadoff man for Washington. Turner is currently playing second base on most nights and is batting .310 with three homers and 10 steals. Multi-hit games have been Turner’s speciality with plenty of extra-base hits sprinkled in. This is DraftKings gold and Turner is a horse to ride until regression sets in. Luckily, that’s unlikely to happen at Coors Field. Batting leadoff will give Turner at least four–likely five–at-bats and he get a mediocre right-hander in Chad Bettis. His price tag of $5,400 is quite high, but it’s Trea Day, so pay up so you can get paid. The young speedster is my favorite hitter on Tuesday night.

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Normally when I begin to construct my cash game lineup, I start with my top pitcher and work from there. Today is different. Knowing that Drew Smyly would be on the mound for Tampa Bay, I immediately went to see how much Josh Donaldson would cost. I assumed that he’d clock in at $5,400, which is worth it, but still expensive. Much to my shock and surprise, he was $900 cheaper. Donaldson owns Smyly. I mean, you can say that Donaldson is actually Smyly’s daddy. That’s how lopsided these numbers are. In his career, Donaldson is 8-for-17 against Smyly. That equates to a .476 batting average–pretty solid. But wait, there’s more! Six of those eight hits off of Smyly have gone for extra bases, including three double and three home runs. This matchup is completely unfair and underpriced. Donaldson will be a staple in all of my lineups. Yes, I’m putting all of my eggs in the Donaldson basket and strutting like a cock, ahem, rooster when he blows up the box score.

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Pinpointing hitters is much harder than giving a strong recommendation for a pitcher. With pitcher’s you only have 30 choices, 18 of which are usually not realistic options. Hitters on the other hand are part of a much larger pool. On Tuesday night, there is one bat I like more than the others and that same bat is one that I will pay in both cash games and GPPs. The Rockies welcome the Dodgers and Brandon McCarthy to Coors Field on Tuesday night in what will likely be a high scoring affair. My favorite play? You guessed it–Carlos Gonzalez. Cargo has made a career of massacring right-handed pitching in the thin air and Tuesday night will be no exception. He is batting .359 with 15 homers at home and should see several run producing opportunities. Find a way to get him in your lineup–you’ll be glad you did.

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If I were to have asked you prior to the start of the season, who would lead the majors in home runs on July 26, you probably would have said, “Harper, Stanton, or Bautista.” Hey, all of those are fair names. In fact, Encarnacion, Frazier, or Arenado would have made great choices as well. But, would any of you picked Mark Trumbo? Highly unlikely. It appears as though Trumbo is the new Nelson Cruz. After struggling in back-to-back season, Trumbo is well on his way to 40-plus homers, which would be a career high. Baltimore is a perfect spot for Trumbo and he’s making the most of his tenure in Charm City. On Tuesday night, the Orioles welcome Chad “Don’t Call Me Jerome” Bettis and the Rockies to Camden Yards in what will likely be an all-out slugfest. The funny thing is that the Orioles are drastically underpriced. Only $4,100 for Trumbo? Um, what? This guy is leading the majors in home runs for God’s sake! Though his ownership will likely be high, it’ll be tough to fade Trumbo is cash games. Play him and love him when he goes deep twice or play him and get moderately annoyed when he goes 0-for-4 with three Ks and a flyout with the bases loaded–hopefully he’s 50 percent owned!

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