Wednesday features an eight-game main MLB slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:07 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs ($11,000) – There is no shortage of good pitchers on this slate, but the decision is still easy. deGrom was pitching out of his mind last season (2.46 xFIP and a 39% K rate), but this season has been ridiculous (1.54 xFIP and a 46% K rate). His 13.8 K/9 last season is the third best all time, but that was a shortened season. He’s sitting at 14.5 K/9 right now and it’s sustainable. deGrom isn’t painting corners, his 14% called strike rate is below the league average; his impressive numbers are because hitters can’t touch his stuff. deGrom leads the league in swinging strike rate by a wide margin (22%) and contact rate (62%).
Other Option: Clayton Kershaw ($10,000)
Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($7,000) – With the exception of 2020, which has been an exception for many players, DeSclafani has an xFIP under 4.00 over his career. His xFIP is back to where it should be, but his traditional numbers have not significantly improved at home in San Francisco. As a fly ball pitcher, he should have a lower ERA at home than on the road, but the opposite is true (4.66 home ERA and 2.12 away ERA). This is not the only anomaly in his career. In 2019, DeSclafani had a 3.50 ERA at home in Cincinnati and a 4.27 ERA on the road. This simply should not be the case. At the heart of DeSclafani’s strange splits is a 10 earned run debacle at home against the Dodgers. Throw out his performance against the Dodgers and his home ERA plummets to 1.71. In a pitcher’s park, he should not have any problems with a Diamondbacks team that struggles with right-handed pitching (84 wRC+, .294 wOBA, .136 ISO).
Other Option: Bailey Ober ($4,600)
Refer a friend and get $20 DK Dollars! Head to the DraftKings Playbook Promo page for more details!
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,700) – Paying up for catcher on this slate isn’t a great decision because the slate is stacked with great pitchers. Punting isn’t much better. Posey is the best catcher (vs. RHP - .384 wOBA, .216 ISO, 148 wRC+) in the best spot. Merrill Kelly ($7,200) is struggling against right-handed batters (.352 wOBA, .209 ISO, 1.9 HR/9).
Other Option: Gary Sanchez ($4,300)
Kyle Higashioka, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($2,700) – Gary Sanchez is hitting and is likely to draw the start, but it would be wise for the Yankees to insert Higashioka in the lineup for the Blue Jays series. Much to the chagrin of Sabermetricians, some players hit against specific teams and baseball fans know it. It’s not scientific, but the astrological cashes, too. Against Toronto in 2020, Higashioka had a .474 wOBA and a .588 ISO. This season he has a .519 wOBA and a .583 ISO. It’s a small sample size, but DFS players have relied on flimsier BvP numbers.
Other Option: Ryan Jeffers ($2,800)
Pete Alonso, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,200) – The Cubs had to choose between starting Trevor Williams fresh off of the IL, starting an emergency call-up or making this a bullpen game. They went with option No. 2 and pulled Robert Stock ($4,000) from Iowa, and that will likely lead to option No. 3. Either way, this is a preferable matchup on a slate where many hitters are facing elite pitching. Since Alonso’s return from the IL on May 31, he has a .406 wOBA and a .271 ISO.
Other Option: Yuli Gurriel ($4,900)
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners ($4,300) – This hasn’t been a great season for Sano, and his career has been a series of disappointments. At 28 years old, it might be time to question whether Sano is an All-Star, but his power will keep him relevant in the meantime. His nine-game hit streak came to an end Monday, but since that streak began, Sano has a .368 wOBA and a .341 ISO. His K rate over that span was 37%, but the power is still there. He has one of the softest matchups on the slate; Justus Sheffield ($7,100) is allowing a .359 wOBA and a 36% hard contact rate to right-handed batters.
Other Option: Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,600)
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($5,600) – The knock against Altuve is that he has only had one 30 home run season and last season his ISO was .125. He might not be a 30-homer guy this year, but he’ll be close. He’s homered three times this week and has 12 homers on the season. The Astros have a great opportunity to pad their stats on Wednesday night. Jordan Lyles ($5,400) is allowing a .381 wOBA, .230 ISO, 40% hard contact, and 2.0 HR/9 to right-handed batters. Astros stacks and Altuve should be popular on this slate.
Other Option: Jorge Polanco ($5,000)
Jean Segura, Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,300) – The only way to avoid the tough pitching matchups on this slate is by playing weak hitters as punts or as part of stacks. The alternative is to take a decent hitter facing a good but not great pitcher. Clayton Kershaw ($10,000) is an ace (2.83 xFIP vs. RHB), but he is not infallible (35% hard contact rate to RHB). Segura has a .369 wOBA and a 135 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
Other Option: Jose Peraza ($2,900)
Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners ($5,000) – The popular move will be to find the few bad pitchers and target them with the few great hitters. That’s MLB DFS 101. Justus Sheffield ($7,100) limits fly balls to right-handed batters (28%), but his xFIP is 4.81 because he doesn’t strike out right-handed batters (16%). He allows more contact than an average pitcher and this leads to more hard contact (36%). Against left-handed pitching, Donaldson has a .385 wOBA, .230 ISO, 146 wRC+, and a 42% hard contact rate.
Other Option: Austin Riley ($4,900)
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,400) – Spending down carries a lot of risk, Seager provides upside but a lower floor. If he were more consistent, then his price would be higher. If DFS players must save, then the matchup is working in Seager’s favor. In a limited sample size, Bailey Ober ($4,600) has struggled with left-handed batters (.610 wOBA, .409 ISO, 4.2 HR/9). It’s difficult to determine if this is a trend because Ober‘s career sample size is small (53 innings above single A). Seager is not a consistent hitter, but he has power against right-handed pitching (.242 ISO, 50% hard contact).
Other Option: Jonathan Villar ($4,300)
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($4,800) – Jordan Lyles ($5,400) has only been blown up twice this season, but he still has a 5.37 ERA and he is allowing a .323 ISO on his fastball. The Astros stack could fail, if Lyles wiggles out of jams and the Texas bullpen continues to be above average. That could be the fate of an average team in this matchup, but the Astros should be able to force their will on Lyles. Correa has a .364 wOBA, .226 ISO, and a 138 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Xander Bogaerts ($5,100)
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,100) – Once again, Crawford is underpriced and there is a scarcity of affordable shortstops with potential. Merrill Kelly ($7,200) is having a solid season against left-handed batters, but it’s safer to target Kelly than Gerrit Cole ($10,500). It’s rare that DFS players get a hitter with Crawford’s numbers (vs. RHP - 0.411 wOBA, .291 ISO, 166 wRC+, 37% hard contact) for $4,100, but in Crawford’s case, this is a daily occurrence.
Other Option: J.P. Crawford ($3,700), Freddy Galvis ($3,300)
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($5,500) – The BvP sample size is small, but Stanton has a homer and a double in five at-bats against Ross Stripling ($6,100). The splits are more concrete and favor Stanton enormously. Half of the contact that Stanton makes against right-handed pitchers is hard (.395 wOBA, .302 ISO, 154 WRC+), and Stripling allows a 43% fly ball rate to right-handed batters (.389 wOBA, .240 ISO, 2.1 HR/9). A Stanton homer run seems very likely.
Other Option: Nelson Cruz ($5,000), Ronald Acuna Jr. ($5,900)
Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays ($3,100) – The Yankees stack will be popular against Ross Stripling ($6,100) and Andujar is an important piece of that stack due to his price. Since May 20, Andujar has a .365 wOBA and a .225 ISO in 74 plate appearances. Over the last week, his numbers have been even better (.471 wOBA and a .333 ISO).
Other Option: Jake Fraley ($3,700), Trevor Larnach ($3,200)
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.