Saturday is shaping up to be a really solid night of baseball without any weather issues and some strong pitching options to choose from. Let’s not write a fluff-filled intro and get into the info for tonight.
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Kenta Maeda, MIN vs. DET, $10,100 - I’m going to stay on board the Maeda train until the tracks run out and we fall off a cliff. Maeda has been such a great addition to the Twins’ rotation and now faces the Tigers for the second time this season. In his last start, he allowed three runs on six hits while striking out eight, good for 20 DKFP. The Tigers are always a team to pick on with high strikeout-upside pitchers, as Detroit has a 28% K%, the highest in the league. Maeda currently boasts the highest K% of his career at 30%, making this a great spot once again for him.
Other Option: Lucas Giolito ($10,500)
Justus Sheffield, SEA vs. TEX, $7,600 - The last time Sheffield tossed a game against the Rangers, it went quite well. Through six innings he allowed just one run on six hits while striking out five, good for 20.7 DKFP. The Rangers are simply not a strong ball club against lefties, sporting a team .270 wOBA, a .143 ISO and the second-highest K% at 26.6%. Sheffield is coming off a tough start against the Angels, so I’m hoping the recency bias comes into play here and thus people will be off him.
Other Option: Tony Gonsolin ($8,300)
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James McCann, CWS at KCR, $4,700 - McCann is probably one of the most expensive backup catchers you’ll ever see on DraftKings but he should be drawing the start tonight with the lefty Kris Bubic ($6,800) on the hill. McCann is a lefty slayer and enters this game with a .558 wOBA and a .250 ISO against them this season. Too small of a sample size for you? How about in a full 2019 season he had a .366 wOBA and a .197 ISO.
Other Option: Chance Sisco ($4,300)
Yan Gomes, WAS at ATL, $3,200 - There’s no guarantee that Gomes will be in the lineup tonight but here’s hoping he is, providing a great value at the catcher position. Gomes is always a much stronger player against lefties and that’s what the Nationals will see tonight against Max Fried ($9,700). It’s not a great matchup overall but Gomes does sport a .390 wOBA with a .188 ISO against lefties. On a slate that has a number of high-priced pitching options, taking a shot with a cheap Gomes makes plenty of sense.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yan Gomes is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Braves.
Other Option: Stephen Vogt ($3,600)
Freddie Freeman, ATL vs. WAS, $5,300 - Freeman is coming off a huge game last night, hitting his FIRST career grand slam (how is that possible?) Tonight, he’ll face off against Erick Fedde ($5,700). Since moving into the rotation, Fedde has been exceptionally bad, posting an overall .362 wOBA with a 6.79 FIP. Now is the time for your reminder that Freeman simply crushes at home against righties, posting a .565 wOBA with a .449 ISO this season.
Other Option: Cody Bellinger ($5,500)
Travis Shaw, TOR at BOS, $3,900 - You should always look at targeting against the Red Sox with the revolving door of “starters” taking the hill each night. Ryan Weber ($4,600) is the next household name to take the mound and brings a .340 wOBA with a 7.31 FIP and four of his seven home runs allowed with him. Seems like a great spot for Shaw, who you can also slot in the third base spot if you choose. He doesn’t have great overall numbers but a .186 ISO against righties on a team that should post some crooked numbers tonight is fine for me.
Other Option: Josh Bell ($3,500)
Cavan Biggio, TOR vs. BOS, $4,900 - May as well keep it rolling with another lefty in the Blue Jays’ lineup. Biggio has hit a bit of a rough patch as of late, scoring double-digit fantasy points in just two of his past 10 games. With that in mind, he still has really strong numbers against righties with a .328 wOBA and a .230 ISO. Did I mention Boston’s pitching staff is horrific?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cavan Biggio is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Red Sox.
Other Option: DJ LeMahieu ($5,200)
Danny Mendick, CWS at KCR, $3,400 - I’m usually not one to recommend guys at the bottom of the lineup but Mendick presents an interesting way to mix up your White Sox stack. He has some solid numbers against lefties, which can come into play against Bubic. Entering this game, Mendick has only a .287 wOBA but a .172 ISO, which is good enough for someone at $3,400. With his lower spot in the order, you can do a wrap around White Sox stack, using him and then the top of the order. If anything, it’ll make you unique, even though you are already.
Other Option: Jeff McNeil ($3,700)
Rafael Devers, BOS vs. TOR, $5,000 - Hey! Someone from the Red Sox to play! Devers is in a great spot against Chase Anderson ($7,100), who is having his struggles against lefties. Overall, his numbers are good, which is honestly shocking, but against lefties, he has a .397 wOBA with a 5.66 FIP and both of the home runs he’s allowed. Devers has hit much better at Fenway than he has on the road, posting a .383 wOBA with a .302 ISO against righties.
Other Option: Max Muncy ($5,100)
Evan Longoria, SF vs. ARI, $4,100 - I would say that paying down at third base isn’t a great option, so Longoria at $4,100 is in play for me. Madison Bumgarner ($7,300) is set to make his return off the IL, which the Giants should be excited about. He has been nothing short of a disaster since joining the D-Backs and has an overall 8.79 FIP with a 3.6 HR/9 through 17 1⁄3 innings. Against lefties, Longoria has a .393 wOBA with a .206 ISO.
Other Option: Josh Donaldson ($3,700)
Trea Turner, WAS at ATL $5,500 - I keep finding myself liking players from the Nationals, which is a bit concerning because it’s not as if Max Fried ($9,700) has been bad by any means. It’s the simple fact that the Nats have some good bats against lefties. Turner is a prime example of this with his .484 wOBA, .314 ISO and a 45.2% hard-hit rate. It’s hard to find issues with Fried, but I’m guessing that will lead to low ownership on the Nationals overall, which furthers the appeal for me. Also, I can never get Tim Anderson ($5,600) right, so that has a lot to do with it as well.
Other Option: Tim Anderson ($5,600)
Andrés Giménez, NYM vs. PHI, $2,800 - Like third base, I’m not crazy about the cheap options to choose from. Giménez is one of those guys that will randomly pop off with a big game at super-low ownership. He’s a base-stealing threat, which is always good, having done so six times in 31 games. Giménez will face Spencer Howard ($5,900), who in the early going has a .485 wOBA and a 10.01 FIP allowed against lefties through eight innings against them.
Other Option: Nick Ahmed ($3,700)
Nelson Cruz, MIN vs. DET, $5,800 - Sorry for the obvious play here but I can’t not write up Cruz against a lefty. His numbers at home against them are ridiculously good, with a .576 wOBA and a .333 ISO. I mean, what more analysis do you want?
Other Options: Christian Yelich ($5,200), Luis Robert ($4,700)
Gregory Polanco, PIT vs. CIN, $2,900 - If you really want a value play in the outfield, Polanco could be your guy. I can’t say I’ve written up many Pirates in 2020, or 2019 or 2018 (you get the idea) but this is a great spot for Polanco. He’s taking on Anthony DeSclafani ($8,000) who is REALLY getting hit hard thus far. He’s always had an issue with lefties and that has continued, posting a .416 wOBA with a 6.99 FIP and three of the four home runs. To his credit, Polanco has only a .293 wOBA but a .260 ISO against righties.
Wow this was a long paragraph for Polanco.
Other Options: Aaron Hicks ($3,400), Byron Buxton ($3,400)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.