Saturday features a nine-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. There are very few “aces” on today’s slate, which means there are a bunch of teams you can consider stacking. At the time of writing, only four teams are implied for less than 4.3 runs, so this could be a relatively high-scoring day.
Let’s break down some of the top stacking options for today’s slate.
It’s important to note that you should always keep an eye on the news and lineup notes from @DKLive in order to best prepare for each slate. In addition, feel free to get at me on Twitter with any questions — @MattLaMarca.
1. Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are in an excellent spot today vs. the Texas Rangers. The Angels’ implied team total of 4.9 runs is the third-highest mark on the slate.
The Angels will be taking on left-hander Kolby Allard ($7,300), who pitched to a pedestrian 4.96 ERA over 45 1/3 innings in 2019. He doesn’t generate many swings-and-misses – he racked up a K/9 of just 6.55 in 2019 – and the Angels posted the third-lowest strikeout rate vs. southpaws last season. Los Angeles should be able to put a bunch of balls in play at a bare minimum in this matchup, which is a good thing for fantasy purposes.
The Angels’ offense is centered around Mike Trout ($6,000), who has been on fire following the birth of his child. He’s hit four home runs over his past four games and has averaged 18 DKFP per game over that time frame. Trout also raked vs. southpaws in 2019, posting a .428 expected wOBA and a .300 ISO.
He should get plenty of help in this contest from his new superstar teammate Anthony Rendon ($5,600), who was one of the best hitters in baseball vs. southpaws last season, posting a .423 wOBA and .301 ISO. His underlying Statcast data is also very impressive, particularly his hard-hit rate of 42.5%.
Players to Consider
Mike Trout ($6,000)
Anthony Rendon ($5,600)
David Fletcher ($4,700)
Shohei Ohtani ($4,600)
Justin Upton ($4,100)
Jo Adell ($3,800)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Upton is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Rangers.
2. Minnesota Twins
The Twins currently lead the slate with an implied team total of 5.3 runs, and Minnesota has an appealing matchup vs. Royals left-hander Danny Duffy ($6,700). The Twins mashed vs. southpaws in 2019, ranking first in ISO and second in wRC+.
Duffy also isn’t a particularly imposing left-hander. He has been OK through his first two starts in 2020 but seems like a prime regression candidate moving forward. He has benefitted from a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .206 and a HR/FB rate of just 6.3%, both of which are significantly lower than his marks from last season. If those normalize, he’s going to struggle moving forward.
Unsurprisingly, the Twins have a bunch of individual batters who rake vs. left-handers. Mitch Garver ($4,600) should occupy the leadoff spot in the order – which is extremely rare for a catcher – and he led the team with a 198 wRC+ vs. southpaws in 2019. Overall, Garver has averaged 12.39 DKFP per game when facing a left-hander in 2020.
As impressive as those numbers are, Nelson Cruz ($5,100) might be the Twins’ most dangerous bat vs. left-handers. He posted a ridiculous 56.8% hard-hit rate in those matchups last season, resulting in an average exit velocity of 98.9 miles per hour. His expected wOBA of .459 was actually higher than Garver’s.
Players to Consider
Nelson Cruz ($5,100)
Miguel Sanó ($5,000)
Mitch Garver ($4,600)
Eddie Rosario ($4,300)
Jorge Polanco ($4,200)
Marwin Gonzalez ($3,200)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Polanco is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Royals.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are one of the more expensive teams on the slate, but the team can do some serious damage today vs. right-hander Johnny Cueto ($5,100). The Dodgers were arguably the best offensive team in baseball vs. right-handers last season, ranking first in ISO and second in wRC+. Los Angeles is currently implied for 5.2 runs, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.
The matchup vs. a right-handed pitcher means the Dodgers can load up their big left-handed bats. That means Joc Pederson ($4,200) in the leadoff spot, who hit all 36 of his HRs vs. right-handers in 2019. He posted a hard-hit rate of 45.9% in those matchups as well, resulting in an expected wOBA of .357. He’s off to another good start vs. right-handers this year, totaling 3 home runs over just 32 at bats.
What’s even scarier is that Pederson ranks just fifth in the projected starting lineup in expected wOBA vs. right-handers last season.
Cody Bellinger ($4,900) unsurprisingly crushes right-handed pitchers – he posted a .434 expected wOBA last season – and Mookie Betts ($6,200), Max Muncy ($5,400) and Justin Turner ($4,500) also posted expected wOBAs of at least .371 vs. traditional pitchers in 2019.
Cueto was able to neutralize this offense in the teams’ first meeting this year, limiting the Dodgers to just one earned run over four innings, but I don’t like his chances of doing it again. He’s been pretty mediocre in general this season, pitching to a 5.21 FIP.
Players to Consider
Mookie Betts ($6,200)
Max Muncy ($5,400)
Cody Bellinger ($4,900)
Justin Turner ($4,500)
Joc Pederson ($4,200)
AJ Pollock ($3,300)
4. New York Mets
The first three teams mentioned are all expensive and should be popular targets on today’s slate. The Mets are neither.
New York has struggled to start the season, but the team’s lineup is still loaded top-to-bottom with talented hitters. The Mets are taking on the Miami Marlins, who have been easily the biggest surprise in baseball this season. The Marlins currently own a 7-1 record, which puts them atop on the NL standings by a comfortable margin.
That said, the Marlins still aren’t getting much respect. You still can grab Miami at +1000 to win the NL East on the DK Sportsbook, which gives the Marlins the longest odds in the entire division. There is still plenty of time for Miami to regress moving forward.
The Marlins still aren’t sure who they are going to start in this contest, which is another factor working against Miami today. That strategy worked for the Marlins yesterday with Humberto Mejia – who was making his first start above Class-A ball – but that doesn’t seem very sustainable. Mejia also lasted just 2 1/3 innings, which means the Miami bullpen had to eat a bunch of innings.
It’s hard to identify exactly which batters stand out for the Mets without knowing who they’ll be facing, but it would be preferred if they were facing a right-hander. Guys like Jeff McNeil ($4,300), Michael Conforto ($4,000), Dom Smith ($3,800) and Brandon Nimmo ($3,400) all seem underpriced if they’re on the positive side of their splits.
Regardless, this is a nice buy-low spot for tournaments.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Marlins will start Daniel Castano vs. the Mets.
Players to Consider
Pete Alonso ($4,800)
Jeff McNeil ($4,300)
Michael Conforto ($4,000)
Dom Smith ($3,800)
J.D. Davis ($3,800)
Brandon Nimmo ($3,400)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nimmo is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Marlins.
5. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds stand out as one of the better pure values on the slate. Cincinnati is currently implied for 4.5 runs, but only three of the Reds’ projected starters are priced above $3,300. That’s a lot of potential offense for such minimal salaries.
The Reds are taking on Brewers left-hander Brett Anderson ($7,100), who was hit very hard by right-handed batters last season. He allowed them to post a hard-hit rate of 43.8%, resulting in an expected wOBA of .367. That could spell trouble against a Reds lineup that should be loaded with right-handed hitters.
Nick Castellanos ($4,500) in particular destroyed left-handers in 2019, posting a .466 wOBA and 190 wRC+. His underlying Statcast metrics were also strong – a 41.9% hard-hit rate and 95.3 mile per hour average exit velocity – and he’s off to another strong start vs. southpaws in 2020. He’s compiled a 194 wRC+, albeit over just 15 plate appearances.
Eugenio Suarez ($4,200) also teed off on left-handers last year, posting a 52.6% hard-hit rate. These guys are simply too cheap in this matchup, so building a stack around them is definitely a viable option.
Players to Consider
Nick Castellanos ($4,500)
Joey Votto ($4,500)
Eugenio Suárez ($4,200)
Nick Senzel ($3,300)
Curt Casali ($2,800)
Matt Davidson ($2,500)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Senzel is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Brewers.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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 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.