Wednesday features a 12-game main DraftKings MLB slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees at Minnesota Twins ($11,200) - Don’t roster Gerrit Cole in your DFS press conference leagues. Behind the microphone, he is an easy out. On the mound, his pitches earn more swings and misses than sticky questions about sticky substances. This isn’t the greatest matchup for Cole. Minnesota has a 105 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, but that’s nothing to worry about from a matchup proof pitcher with a 36.5% K rate. Besides, Cole wants to put yesterday’s press conference behind him, and the best way to do that is by disrespecting the Twins. That’s right, the press conference narrative is now a thing.
Other Option: Taijuan Walker ($8,600)
Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers vs. Seattle Mariners ($6,800) - Seattle has a bad offense (88 wRC+ and a 26% K rate against right-handed pitching), Comerica Park is the most pitcher-friendly park in terms of home runs according to Statcast and Casey Mize is steadily improving. Mize was Detroit’s No. 3 prospect heading into the season. He got beat around a little bit in April, giving up 5 home runs across two starts, and in his last start, the home run haunted him again (3 home runs). However, a testament to his growth is that despite allowing those home runs in his last start, he allowed 3 runs in 7 innings. Young pitchers allow home runs, it’s a rite of passage, but the Mariners are not a power hitting team (.158 ISO vs. right-handed pitching). The 2018 No. 1 pick overall doesn’t have electric stuff, but like most college stars, he’s seasoned. His swinging strike rate (10.2%) isn’t special and neither is his 28.6% o-swing% (swings outside of the zone), but he gets ahead of batters (63.1% F-strike) and simply gets the job done. Against the Mariners, he doesn’t need magic, diligence will due.
Other Option: Vladimir Gutierrez ($6,100)
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Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels ($5,500) - The Royals and the Angels have rolled out weak pitching in the first two games of this series, but only the Angels have been able to capitalize. The Royals will get another chance tonight against Griffin Canning (vs. RHB - .388 wOBA, .333 ISO, 3.0 HR/9). Perez is doing his normal damage against right-handed pitching this season (.340 wOBA, .210 ISO, 117 wRC+).
Other Option: James McCann ($5,300)
Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals ($3,700) - There is a lot of value at catcher tonight, but it’s best to stick with the old standby. Zunino is having too good of a season to be this cheap (.344 wOBA, .328 ISO). It’s unthinkable that he is routinely priced below $4,000 against left-handed pitching (.474 wOBA, .467 ISO, 214 wRC+), and this isn’t a normal lefty. It’s an awful left-handed pitcher in Patrick Corbin (vs. RHB - 0.404 wOBA, .252 ISO, 2.4 HR/9).
Other Option: Eric Haase ($3,800), Max Stassi ($3,000)
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Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($5,500) - Two Alek Manoahs have pitched in the majors so far. The flashy prospect looked like a future ace in his first start but against the Marlins, he got the customary “Welcome to the big leagues, kid” treatment (3 home runs in 3 1⁄3 innings). Manoah is allowing a 53% fly ball rate and that won’t likely go over well in the home run friendly park on the south side of Chicago. Abreu has not been great with right-handed pitchers and Manoah has been tough on right-handed batters in his first two starts. However, there is home run upside with Abreu and there are not many pay up options at first base in better positions.
Other Option: Freddie Freeman ($5,100)
Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals ($4,100) - The Angels have crushed the Royals in the first two games of this series and are averaging 7 runs per game over the last three games. More runs should come tonight in a matchup against Brad Keller (vs. LHB - .372 wOBA, .185 ISO, 41% hard contact, and 1.4 HR/9). Walsh is continuing his breakout season with a .440 wOBA, .286 ISO, 187 wRC+, and a 39% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: DJ LeMahieu ($4,200)
Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,600) - There are more expensive options at second base, but each has a tougher matchup. Taylor’s lefty on lefty matchup doesn’t seem like the natural pivot, but the numbers support Taylor. Against left-handed pitching, Taylor has a .442 wOBA, .362 ISO, and a 186 wRC+. He’ll square off against Tyler Anderson, a pitcher with a 4.67 ERA despite pitching half of his games in a pitcher’s park and also struggles with left-handed bats (.338 wOBA, .225 ISO, 1.7 HR/9). Taylor is greater than Tyler.
Other Option: Whit Merrifield ($5,800)
Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies ($4,100) - This price is inexplicable. Albies is on a six-game hit streak. He has hit in 11 of his last 13 games, and has amassed 19 hits over that span (.487 wOBA, .353 ISO). It doesn’t get much hotter than Albies. Zach Eflin is having a good season (3.28 xFIP), but he’s been susceptible to right-handed batters (.330 wOBA, .205 ISO, and 1.5 HR/9).
Other Option: Matt Carpenter ($3,600)
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros ($5,900) - Throughout Jake Odorizzi’s career, he has been a rare reverse splits pitcher (RHP struggles with RHB). In his first five starts this season, he looks like a normal pitcher that struggles with the opposite side of the plate (vs. LHB - .439 wOBA, .286 ISO, 41% hard contact, 2.8 HR/9). The sample size is small, but those numbers are awful. Throughout Rafael Devers’ five-year career, he has been good but this season he looks great (vs. RHP - .399 wOBA, .358 ISO, 155 wRC+, 54% hard contact).
Other Option: Jose Ramirez ($5,200)
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers ($3,900) - This is always the way to chase a cheap home run. Statcast ranks Comerica Park in Detroit as the worst park for home runs, so that’s not good, but Seager has hit 14 home runs and he plays half of his games in a pitcher-friendly park in Seattle. Casey Mize has pitched well this season, but he has home run problems (5 home runs in his last three starts) and struggles with left-handed batters (.340 wOBA, .236 ISO, 41% hard contact, 2.2 HR/9).
Other Option: Eugenio Suarez ($4,300)
Trea Turner, Washington Nationals at Tampa Bay Rays ($5,700) - Against left-handed pitching, Turner has a .443 wOBA, .236 ISO, and a 181 wRC+. He has the second-most steals in the league (13). If that’s not enough, he has a hit in 7 of his last 8 games for 12 total hits over that span. Shane McClanahan has pitched well for the Rays this season, but he’s a rookie and he has not been going deep into games.
Other Option: Xander Bogaerts ($5,800)
J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers ($3,200) - Is Crawford taking a big developmental step or is he on a hot streak? It doesn’t matter as long he hits for one more night. Over the last nine games, Crawford has a .433 wOBA and a .324 ISO. The former first round pick will get a great opportunity to continue his hot streak against Casey Mize.
Other Option: Gleyber Torres ($4,300)
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,900) - Rename Statcast to Shoheicast. Steve Buchanan might have to retire from tweeting Tatis animated gifs and move on to Ohtani-mated gifs. The multidimensional slugger leads baseball in barrels (30) and barrel% (22.4%). His near perfect swing combines explosive power with an uppercut hack. Good pitchers should fear Ohtani, bad pitchers like Brad Keller (vs. LHB - .372 wOBA, 41% hard contact rate) should just give up.
Other Option: Jesse Winker ($4,700), Juan Soto ($5,400)
Andrew Benintendi, Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels ($4,100) - Griffin Canning is a gas can (5.82 ERA). Benintendi should set him ablaze (vs. RHP - .376 wOBA, 141 wRC+). The Royals’ outfielder has not hit for power this season, but he has seen an uptick in power over the last week (.369 wOBA, .316 ISO, 44% hard contact).
Other Option: Justin Upton ($4,000)
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