Saturday features a nine-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.
Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($10,500) — The Colorado Rockies are on pace to be the worst road offense in the history of baseball. This type of achievement should be celebrated like an 0-16 NFL team. The Rockies are being bullied at the plate by home pitchers and need to be targeted by DFS players mercilessly. Over Darvish’s last 10 starts, he’s been a mediocre DFS performer with three starts of 20 DKFP or more. He’s not consistently producing because over that span, he has a 45.1% fly ball rate, 1.9 HR/9 and 68.5% strand rate. The fly balls are spoiling his good metrics — 13.2% SwStr%, 26.8% K rate and a 25.9% hard contact rate. A matchup against the Rockies should allow Darvish to get away with some of the mistakes that have been ruining solid performances.
Other Option: Brandon Woodruff ($9,800)
Taylor Hearn, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($5,400) — Kyle Gibson was traded on Friday, so Taylor Hearn will move forward a day. Hearn is on a normal five days of rest, but he has not been completely stretched out as a starter. The former reliever has been decent since the start of last season and has earned a spot in the rotation. In his last start, he pitched three scoreless innings, struck out three and held Houston hitless. If he can last a little bit longer, he should be able to return value against a bad Seattle offense — 90 wRC+, .294 wOBA, .169 ISO and a 27.2 % K rate against left-handed pitching.
Other Option: Joe Ross ($8,100)
Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,900) — Against right-handed pitching, Smith has a .416 wOBA, .285 ISO, 166 wRC+ and a 39% hard contact rate. Merrill Kelly ($8,400) has pronounced reverse splits this season. He’s been decent against lefties, but struggles with right-handed batters (.351 wOBA, .214 ISO, 38% hard contact rate and 1.7 HR/9).
Other Option: J.T. Realmuto ($5,600)
Jonah Heim, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($2,000) — When DFS players roll with a cheap catcher, any positive stat is a major plus. Heim has a .273 wOBA, .146 ISO and a 47% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching. His wOBA and ISO are lacking, but half of his contact is hard. Tyler Anderson ($7,000) will take the place of Marco Gonzalez on Saturday night and he’s not much of an upgrade. He has a .341 wOBA and .223 ISO against right-handed batters, and those are numbers from the National League.
Other Option: Tyler Stephenson ($4,100)
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,800) — The season started off slowly, but Goldy is starting to look like himself. Even with the slow start, his numbers against right-handed pitching are solid — .354 wOBA, .213 ISO, 125 wRC+ and a 43% hard contact rate. Bailey Ober ($7,300) is a rookie and at times rookies can be impressive, but often even the best prospects get lit up. Overall, Ober has been fine against right-handed batters, but he does surrender big hits — .268 ISO, 36% hard contact rate, 2.0 HR/9 and a 43% fly ball rate.
Other Option: Rhys Hoskins ($4,800)
Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,500) — The midseason call-up has looked impressive versus right-handed pitching — .423 wOBA, .400 ISO, 174 wRC+ and a 47% hard contact rate. Cleveland is rebuilding and their rotation is filled with young arms that are still developing. Triston McKenzie ($7,200) might be a star someday, but right now he’s still working out the kinks. Against left-handed batters, he has a .335 wOBA and a 47% fly ball rate. Those aren’t the worst weaknesses to have, but the fly ball rate won’t go over well in the hitter’s park in Chicago.
Other Option: Ryan Zimmerman ($4,100)
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Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets ($5,300) — There is plenty of season left for India to prove that he is the Rookie of the Year. Against left-handed pitching, India has a .409 wOBA, .113 ISO and 155 wRC+. While his ISO will scare some DFS players away, it’s actually a positive in a spacious outfield in New York. India is modern Texas leaguer or a David Eckstein 2.0. He finds holes in the infield, gaps in the outfield and safe landing place for batted ball just in front of outfielders. India’s archetype is evidenced by his away splits outside of Cincinnati — .395 wOBA and a 148 wRC+.
Other Option: Chris Taylor ($5,400)
Ty France, Seattle Seahawks at Texas Rangers ($4,400) — Since the beginning of June, France has reached base in nearly every game. Over that span, he has a .359 wOBA, 133 wRC+ and a 13.6% K rate. Against lefties, he has a little bit of pop (.206 ISO).
Other Option: Matt Carpenter ($2,200)
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,100) — Merrill Kelly had two solid outings in his previous matchups against the Dodgers, but this time it’s different. The Dodgers lineup has underperformed all season, but it’s hard to imagine the new Dodgers’ lineup disappointing DFS players. Kelly struggles with right-handed batters and Turner does not have any problems hitting right-handed pitchers (.388 wOBA, .180 ISO and a 148 wRC+). In July, Turner has a .416 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 165 wRC+.
Other Option: Yoán Moncada ($4,800)
Charlie Culberson, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($2,300) — Most of the time, he’s an easy fade (.282 wOBA and a .134 ISO), but those numbers are weighed down by his struggles with right-handed pitchers. Against left-handed pitchers, Culberson has a .412 wOBA, .235 ISO and a 165 wRC+. Marco Gonzalez is allowing a .432 wOBA, .333 ISO and 2.6 HR/9 to right-handed batters.
Other Option: Patrick Wisdom ($4,300)
Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($6,400) — For whatever reason, Tatis prefers hitting against right-handed pitching (.441 wOBA, .379 ISO, 182 wRC+ and a 49% hard contact rate). That works out well because most at-bats come against right-handed pitching. Germán Márquez ($8,800) has proved he is a top-notch pitcher by putting up excellent stats at Coors Field, but matchups do not matter with Tatis. Even if Marquez wins this battle, Tatis will get several at-bats against the third-worst bullpen in baseball (4.75 xFIP and a 69% strand rate).
Other Option: Javier Báez ($5,800)
Kyle Farmer, Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets ($3,500) — The Reds may have found an every day shortstop. Farmer has come alive at the plate this month — .479 wOBA, .282 ISO and a 200 wRC+. Against left-handed pitching, Farmer has cultivated a .389 wOBA, .232 ISO, 142 wRC+ and a 51% hard contact rate.
Other Option: Sergio Alcántara ($2,800)
Juan Soto, Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,800) — In Kyle Hendricks’ ($8,500) last start, the spell wore off (4 2⁄3 innings, five earned runs, nine hits and two home runs). His .377 wOBA, .232 ISO, 1.9 HR/9, 19% K rate and 40% fly ball rate to left-handed batters finally caught up with him. Soto has a .416 wOBA, .194 ISO, 160 wRC+, 41% hard contact rate and a 14% K rate against right-handed pitchers.
Other Option: Mitch Haniger ($5,700)
Adam Engel, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians ($3,500) — There are several young White Sox fighting for playing time, and Engle is safe at the moment, but he must keep hitting. Engle has an extra base hit in three of the last four games. Since getting called up on June 6, he has a .377 wOBA, ,278 ISO and a 143 wRC+ (.368 wOBA and a .273 ISO vs. RHP). Against right-handed batters, Triston McKenzie has been boom or bust. He strikes out 33% of righties, but when he does not miss bats, he has problems — .226 ISO, 38% hard contact rate, 2.4 HR/9, 15% BB rate and a 55% fly ball rate.
Other Option: A.J. Pollock ($4,400)
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