On Saturday, Major League Baseball provides a nicely balanced schedule between the afternoon and the evening. There are seven games on the main slate on DraftKings, which gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Four of the seven games are in stadiums that can be covered with the only real weather concern potentially in Baltimore. The Astros are in Atlanta taking on the Braves in a matchup of two top teams with playoff aspirations, and Joe Musgrove ($9,200) is slated to make his first start of the season for the Padres in Arizona.
As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($9,800) – Castillo has been dominant so far in his first full season in Seattle. In his four starts, he is only 2-0 but has allowed only two runs on 11 hits in 24 2⁄3 innings. He has only walked four batters while striking out 26. His 0.73 ERA and 1.72 FIP are outstanding and backed up by a 9.49 K/9 rate and an average exit velocity of just 88.9 mph in his 58 batted-ball events.
In his most recent start, Castillo went seven shutout innings against the Rockies, allowing just two hits with nine strikeouts for 36.6 DKFP. It was his best start of the season and came in a close 1-0 victory. He has earned over 24 DKFP in each of his three home starts this season and should continue to thrive at T-Mobile Park, which is a huge upgrade from his time in Cincinnati at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.
Other Options – Andrew Heaney ($8,800), Kyle Gibson ($8,600)
Garrett Whitlock, Boston Red Sox at Milwaukee Brewers ($7,200) – It’s definitely safer to pair Castillo with either Andrew Heaney ($8,800) or Kyle Gibson ($8,600), who have soft Saturday night matchups. If you need to go cheaper, though, the best option under $8K is Whitlock, even though his matchup in Milwaukee is less than ideal. The converted reliever struggled in his first start of the season on the road against the Rays, but he bounced back nicely at home against the Angels his last time out.
Last Sunday, Whitlock held the Angels to one run on three hits in seven innings, striking out five on his way to his first win of the season and 24.8 DKFP. As a reliever, he had an excellent strikeout rate, but he only has 7.5 K/9 in his two starts this season. If he can get closer to his career 9.51 K/9 rate, he has elite value potential. He threw 99 pitches in that outing against the Angels, so he seems fully stretched out and ready to successfully continue his journey to becoming an MLB starting pitcher. The other options under $8K all come with big risk factors, so if you need a cheap starter, go with Garrett.
Other Options – Wade Miley ($7,800), Kyle Wright ($6,800)
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros ($5,800) – Riley has started off the season swinging a hot stick, and he’s always worth considering when the Braves face a left-handed starting pitcher, even one as good as Framber Valdez ($10,400). Riley has started the season hitting .293 with four home runs and a .381 wOBA. Against lefties, though, he’s hitting .381 with two of those homers and an impressive .495 wOBA. He has a 47.1% hard-hit rage over his past seven games, despite going just 6-for-28 (.214). He does have a double and two home runs to keep his wOBA at .305 during that span, but he should be due for some positive regression on the right side of the splits against Valdez on Saturday night.
Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels ($5,000) – While the Royals have been tough to watch during their 4-16 start, Witt has been delivering on the potential that made him the MLB’s most hyped prospect coming into last season. The 22-year-old is hitting .260 with three home runs and five stolen bases, showing he brings both power and speed potential. Four of those stolen bases and one of those home runs have come over his past 10 games, and he has gone 15-for-42 (.357) during that span with five extra-base hits and a .412 wOBA. Like Riley, he also has strong splits against lefties with two of his three homers this season off of southpaws and a .440 wOBA over 17 plate appearances. Lefty Tyler Anderson ($7,400) has struggled in his past few starts for the Angels, and Witt should be in a good spot to attack that matchup Saturday night.
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($5,800), Ty France ($4,700)
Geraldo Perdomo, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres ($3,800) – Perdomo can fill either middle infield spot in your roster construction and has been solid in his first 15 games of the season. He is hitting .400 (16-for-40) with five doubles, a triple, a home run and a stolen base. He has multiple hits in three straight games and six of his previous nine games with an at-bat. Over those nine games, he has produced 9.7 DKFP per contest.
Mauricio Dubón, Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves ($3,300) – Dubón has a 15-game hitting streak going since going 0-for-3 on Opening Day. He has moved from the bottom of the lineup into an everyday role as the Astros’ leadoff hitter while José Altuve (thumb) recovers from his injury suffered in the World Baseball Classic. Dubón has three hits on Friday to improve his average to .343 (23-for-67) with a .336 wOBA on the season. He also stole his first base of the season on Friday, and he would definitely have a higher ceiling if he starts running more often. As long as he keeps hitting at the top of the power-packed Astros’ order, he’s worth a play at this affordable salary, and he can increase his upside if he runs more.
Other Options – Christian Walker ($3,100), Ezequiel Duran ($2,100)
Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($5,800) – Rodríguez stole his fifth base of the season on Friday night as part of a 12-DKFP performance. He has double-digit DKFP in five of his past seven games and has started to produce more in both power and speed categories over his past several contests. He looks to be turning things around after a slow start out of the gate, and he has good splits at home so far this year, with three of his four home runs coming at T-Mobile Park, where he has a .373 wOBA. He’s in a great matchup highlighted in stacks below and is a top OF to pay up for Saturday night as a result.
Fernando Tatis, San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,200) – Tatis has been quiet since returning from his suspension (1-for-9), so he may be under-owned at over $5K. However, he should be in a great spot to break out on Saturday night. There’s nothing wrong with Tatis, as he showed by tearing up Triple-A during his time with the El Paso Chihuahuas. In eight games he hit .515 with seven home runs and a .702 wOBA. If he’s going to break through, this should be the spot against Merrill Kelly ($8,100). In his career, Tatis is 7-for-18 against Kelly with three home runs.
Other Options – Hunter Renfroe ($5,100), Teoscar Hernández ($4,800), Kiké Hernández ($4,000)
Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,800) – Kelenic has continued to turn his career around after being a huge disappointment in his first few chances in the Majors. He’s still just 23 years old, and his remade swing has resulted in his average jumping from .141 last season to .311 in his first 18 games this season. The lefty has gone 19-for-61 (.311) with five doubles, four homers, three stolen bases and a .412 wOBA. Over his past dozen games, he has been even hotter, hitting .357 with a .477 wOBA, a 53.1% hard-hit rate and an average of 11.4 DKFP per contest. Check out his great matchup highlighted in stacks below.
Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($2,900) – Like Witt with the Royals, Ruiz has been a bright spot in a dismal start to the season for the A’s, who are only 4-16, just like the Royals. Ruiz isn’t nearly as hyped as Witt and doesn’t have nearly as much power, but he has established himself as the A’s best leadoff option. In his 20 games, Ruiz is hitting .299 with five stolen bases to help him average 7.2 DFKP per game. He has gone 14-for-38 (.368) with four of those stolen bases over his past 11 games, producing 8.4 DKFP per game. He also has been excellent against lefties like Andrew Heaney ($8,800), going 8-for-16 (.500) with a .522 wOBA. With a salary under $3K, Ruiz is a great way to save salary and still get upside due to his speed.
Other Options – Brent Rooker ($3,200), Corey Julks ($2,500)
Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals – It’s been a rough start to the season for Miles Mikolas. He’s only taken one loss in four starts but has surrendered 36 hits including four homers and given up 19 runs in 20 innings. He has let lefties smash a .444 wOBA against him and righties post a .438 wOBA, so he’s been equal opportunity awful. Rodriguez and Kelenic both make sense in the outfield against him, and you can combine them with Ty France ($4,700), Teoscar Hernández ($4,800) and Eugenio Suárez ($4,000) to fill out the stack. As value plays, Tommy La Stella ($2,300) and J.P. Crawford ($2,900) make sense under $3 as well.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals – The Angels take on veteran Zack Greinke ($6,500), who is 0-3 with a 4.03 ERA and 4.10 FIP. He has allowed 24 hits and three home runs in his 22 1⁄3 innings, and he has been hit especially hard by lefties, who have a .406 wOBA and all three of those home runs against him. Hunter Renfroe ($5,100) has gone 7-for-23 with three home runs in his career against Greinke, while Mike Trout ($5,700) is 7-for-21 with one home run. If you want to attack the left-handed side of the split, Jake Lamb ($2,000) and Matt Thaiss ($2,100) are cheap ways to do that, and you can mix in Taylor Ward ($4,900) and Anthony Randon ($4,300) as midrange plays to round out the stack.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $200K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.