Saturday features a 10-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway 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.
Kevin Gausman, San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($9,700) — This is the real life Nuke LaLoosh. Guasman’s plan is simple: throw the ball hard and see what happens. It’s working out for Gausman — 31% K rate and a .175 BABIP. Batters are either swinging and missing or they are flying out (career high 40% fly ball rate), but they’re not making solid contact (career low 15.7% line drive rate). He’s fortunate to pitch in San Francisco with his new style, but it’s working on the road (1.55 away ERA), but that’s a moot point because on Saturday night he’s pitching in San Francisco’s pitcher-friendly park. Against right-handed pitching, the Pirates have an 87 wRC+, .300 wOBA, .133 ISO and a 29% hard contact rate, but that leaves out the worst stat of all. The Pirates rank dead last against the fastball and Gausman has the seventh-highest rated fastball (1.75 wFA/C, .245 xwOBA and a 24% CS%) and the best split-finger fastball in baseball (2.81 wSF/C, .162 xwOBA, 49.6% WHIFF% and a 26.5% SwStr%). Hitters watch the four seamer for a strike and they swing through the splitter. If they’re lucky enough to make contact, then it’s a fly ball out.
Other Option: Chris Bassitt ($9,900)
Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals ($6,600) — The matchup is great and Mize is developing as hoped, but management is a problem. The Royals have a weak offense vs. right-handed pitching (88 wRC+, .301 wOBA and a .141 ISO) and their cavernous ballpark works to their disadvantage. Mize had a 2.16 FIP in his last start, but it was a short one. The concern and the reason for the discount is the Tigers’ innings limit policy. In July, Mize has not been allowed to face more than 15 batters in a start. In those 11 innings of work, Mize has posted a 3.27 ERA, and he allowed one hit in his last start. The Tigers are planning to stretch Mize out, but his workload might not increase until August or September.
Other Option: Luis Castillo ($7,500)
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,100) — In between IL stints, the 34-year-old is having one of the best seasons of his career (.140 wOBA, .219 ISO and a 161 wRC+). On Saturday night, he’ll face one of the worst pitchers on the slate. Will Crowe ($5,000) has allowed a .425 wOBA, .285 ISO and 3.1 HR/9 to right-handed batters — and he pitches in a pitcher's park (6.82 FIP at home). It’s unlikely that Crowe will find any relief in the spacious Oracle Park, especially against Posey (.419 wOBA at home).
Other Option: Salvador Perez ($5,500)
Eric Haase, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals ($4,300) — Since the dawn of DFS baseball, chasing cheap home runs from the catcher position has been a guiding principle. Haase is no longer as cheap as DFS players would prefer, but the reason for the price increase is obvious: the guiding principle worked — Haase has 15 home runs in 194 plate appearances (.293 ISO).
Other Option: Tucker Barnhart ($2,800)
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins ($6,300) — Let’s get the obvious stats out of the way. Ohtani has a .429 wOBA, .402 ISO, 177 wRC+ and a 45% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. José Berríos ($8,800) is a good pitcher, but he struggles with left-handed batters — .364 wOBA, .236 ISO, 38% hard contact rate and 1.7 HR/9. How about some often the beaten path stats? Berríos relies on two pitches (fastball and curveball), and against those pitches Ohtani ranks no. 1 in hitting fastballs and no. 15 in hitting curveballs.
Other Option: Jared Walsh ($4,900)
LaMonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,800) — This play is better than it appears. Wade’s cheap, bats at the top of the order, is facing a bad pitcher, he’s a decent hitter and it’s a lefty vs. righty spot (.402 wOBA, .294 ISO and a 156 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers).
Other Option: Ji-Man Choi ($4,100)
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Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,700) — He’s crushing lefties (.431 wOBA, .296 ISO and a 176 wRC+) and Kyle Freeland ($5,400) is getting crushed by righties (.375 wOBA, .220 ISO and 1.8 HR/9). If somehow Freeland survives the Dodgers lineup, then Taylor gets a shot at the third-worst bullpen in baseball (4.74 xFIP).
Other Option: Brandon Lowe ($4,800)
Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians ($4,300) — From Opening Day to the end of May, Wendle had a .376 wOBA, .222 ISO and a 144 wRC+. Since June 1, Wendle has been cold — .267 wOBA, .100 ISO and a 71 wRC+. The discount makes sense, but overall he’s hitting right-handed pitching (.364 wOBA, .206 ISO and a 136 wRC+), and a matchup against vs. J.C. Mejia ($5,700) is worth taking a risk on the cold hitter (.409 wOBA and a .266 ISO vs. LHB).
Other Option: Donovan Solano ($2,700)
Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds ($5,800) — Both the pitcher and hitter are playing better than their season-long stats indicate. Luis Castillo ($7,500) got off to a terrible start, but since the beginning of June, he has a 1.76 ERA. Arenado has not looked like and All-Star outside of Coors Field (.338 wOBA and a .233 ISO), but he has homered in two of the last four games, and Great American Ball Park is as close as you can get to Coors. He’s earned a hit in each of those four games and has a 46% hard contact rate over that span.
Other Option: José Ramírez ($5,700)
Thairo Estrada, San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,300) — With Brandon Crawford on IL, Estrada has become a solid everyday shortstop, recording a hit in each of his last five starts (.410 wOBA and a .222 ISO over that span). Will Crowe (4.75 xFIP vs. RHB) and the seventh-worst bullpen (4.51 xFIP) should not present any problems for Estrada on Saturday night.
Other Option: Eugenio Suárez ($4,000)
Carlos Correa, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers ($4,800) — It’s not a secret that Kyle Gibson ($8,100) is struggling at the moment — he was the most popular pitcher on Wednesday night's slate and he burned a lot of DFS players. He’s allowed 18 hits and 13 runs in his last two starts — those games were against the Tigers. Correa has a .363 wOBA, .240 ISO, 136 wRC+ and a 41% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Trevor Story ($5,500)
José Iglesias, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins ($3,700) — José Berríos is limiting right-handed batters to a .214 wOBA and a .078 ISO, but his BABIP is .217. The odds are not good that Iglesias will hit a home run in this matchup, but he has doubled four times in the last week and Berríos is due for some regression.
Other Option: Willy Adames ($4,400)
Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($4,500) — He hasn’t busted out of his slump (.043 ISO in July), but this is a great spot for Winker to break out. Jake Woodford ($5,900) has allowed a .428 wOBA, .281 ISO, 39% hard contact rate and 2.6 HR/9 to left-handed batters in 13 innings. He’ll likely only last two innings in this hitter’s park if things go well. When he’s done, Winker will get to face the worst bullpen in baseball (5.04 xFIP).
Other Option: Yordan Alvarez ($5,400)
Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians ($4,200) — J.C. Mejia struck out eight Astros in his last start, but he also allowed four earned runs in 4 1⁄3 innings. He’s pretty good against right-handed batters (3.32 xFIP), but he’s terrible against lefties (.409 wOBA, .266 ISO, 36% hard contact rate and 2.4 HR/9), and Tampa has a handful of good left-handed batters. Meadows has a .377 wOBA, .292 ISO and a 145 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Aristides Aquino ($2,400)
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