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.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres at Arizona Diamondbacks ($9,100) — Arizona is a routine target, and when an elite pitcher faces them, it’s a no-brainer. Oddly enough, despite playing in the same division, the Diamondbacks have not faced Musgrove since his first start of the season (three hits and eight strikeouts across six scoreless innings). Musgrove and the Diamondbacks have gone in opposite directions since that game. Arizona is terrible at home (93 wRC+) and against right-handed pitching — 84 wRC+, .300 wOBA, .142 ISO, 6% barrel rate and a 24% K rate. Musgrove has a 3.45 xFIP, 35% O-Swing%, 72% contact rate, 32% CSW (called strikes and swinging strikes), 28% K rate and a 29% hard hit rate. With those numbers, a double digit strikeout tally across seven scoreless innings is a reasonable expectation in this matchup.
Other Option: Walker Buehler ($10,600)
Aaron Ashby, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,900) — It’s always fun to explore the dirt cheap pitching options. This is likely a slate to pay up for both pitchers, but Ashby is a contrarian play that will open up a lot of the different bats on this slate. Ashby is Milwaukee’s No. 7 prospect and he progressed through the minors perfectly. This season, the lefty had a 2.70 FIP and a 36% K rate in 62 1⁄3 innings at Triple-A (11 starts and 20 appearances). In his last start — three days ago — he tossed two scoreless innings against the Cubs. The main concern is that it’s doubtful that Ashby will be allowed to pitch more than three innings. This limits his upside despite a great matchup against the Pirates — 79 wRC+, .288 wOBA, .122 ISO and a 29% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching.
Other Option: Brad Keller ($5,200)
Omar Narváez, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,200) — Technically, this should be considered a value player, but the affordable catchers are in better spots than the expensive catchers. Bryse Wilson ($5,900) has struggled in 21 innings against left-handed batters — .374 wOBA, .219 ISO, 2.1 HR/9, 10% K rate and a 45% fly ball rate. Narváez has a .374 wOBA, .182 ISO, 133 wRC+ and a 16% K rate against right-handed pitching.
Sean Murphy, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($4,000) — Jordan Lyles ($7,400) has been one of the most popular targets to stack against this season. Against right-handed batters, Lyles is allowing a .376 wOBA, .241 ISO, 38% hard contact rate, 2.3 HR/9 and a 39% fly ball rate. Murphy (RHB) has been a much better hitter against right-handed pitching — .342 wOBA, .203 ISO, 123 wRC+ and a 40% hard contact rate.
Other Option: Mike Zunino ($3,400)
Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($5,700) — Batters from either side of the plate have no problem hitting Jordan Lyles — .346 wOBA, .191 ISO, 40% hard contact rate, 1.5 HR/9, 16% K rate, 11% BB rate and a 50% fly ball rate. Olson — as well as his Oakland teammates — doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but his price tag says everything. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .376 wOBA, .241 ISO, 146 wRC+, 40% hard contact rate and a 13% K rate.
Other Option: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,000)
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants ($3,900) — Sammy Long ($8,000) isn’t terrible, but the lefty’s splits against right-handed batters aren’t great — .370 wOBA, .182 ISO, 36% hard contact rate, 1.2 HR/9, 18% K rate and a 42% fly ball rate. Cron has been otherworldly at Coors Field, but based on the matchup and his splits versus left-handed pitching — .398 wOBA, .260 ISO and a 135 wRC+ — he’s too cheap.
Other Option: Ji-Man Choi ($3,700)
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Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins ($4,600) — Kenta Maeda ($6,700) isn’t a gas can, but he’s a combustible liquid rather than a flammable one. In 19 starts, he’s allowed four or more runs four times, but he routinely surrenders three runs per outing (4.69 ERA). Against left-handed batters, Maeda has a .342 wOBA, .202 ISO and 1.5 HR/9. Lowe has a .390 wOBA, .291 ISO, 155 wRC+ and a 42% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Max Muncy ($5,600)
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants ($3,900) — An interesting fact about the prospect, is that he has been a better hitter on the road than at Coors Field (home — .338 wOBA and .142 ISO; away — .378 wOBA and a .248 ISO). Against left-handed pitching, Rodgers has a .439 wOBA and a .367 ISO.
Other Option: Tony Kemp ($3,000)
Kris Bryant, San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,100) — Against left-handed pitching, Bryant is on another level this season — .438 wOBA, .330 ISO, 174 WRC+ and a 47% hard contact rate. It's almost unfair when he gets to face a bad lefty. Kyle Freeland ($6,200) has a .364 wOBA, .214 ISO, 36% hard contact rate, 1.6 HR/9 and a 19% K rate against right-handed batters. Also, the Rockies bullpen is the third-worst bullpen in baseball (4.71 xFIP), so consider a Giants stack on Saturday night.
Other Option: Eduardo Escobar ($5,500)
Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins ($3,900) — The Rays stack is cheap. Kenta Maeda — Soybean oil, not ethanol — gets beat around, but a higher temperature is required to make him explode. The Rays left-handed heavy lineup can turn up the heat. Wendle has a .355 wOBA, .179 ISO and a 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Luis Urías ($3,700)
Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners ($4,900) — Against left-handed pitchers, Semien has a lot of power (.362 wOBA, .248 ISO, 129 wRC+ and a 39% hard contact rate). Yusei Kikuchi ($8,800) has been susceptible to right-handed power — .338 wOBA, .203 ISO and 1.7 HR/9. Seattle is not a home run friendly ballpark, but don’t tell Kikuchi that — 1.6 HR/9 at home.
Other Option: Willy Adames ($5,100)
Editor’s Note: Cardinals SS Paul DeJong (undisclosed) has been scratched from tonight’s game vs. the Royals. Edmundo Sosa will start and bat ninth.
Edmundo Sosa, St. Louis Cardinals at Kansas City Royals ($2,000) — This is a straight punt versus Brad Keller ($5,200), but not entirely. Sosa is the stone-cold minimum, but in 18 plate appearances this month, he has a .367 wOBA and a .294 ISO. Brad Keller has allowed a .374 wOBA, .175 ISO, 36% hard contact rate, 1.3 HR/9 and most important of all a 15% K rate and 12% BB rate to right-handed batters. The price tag is a steal based on the likelihood that Sosa reaches base in this matchup.
Other Option: Brandon Crawford ($4,100)
Starling Marte, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($6,000) — From obscurity to obscurity, did anyone notice that Marte was traded from the Miami to Oakland? It’s time to take notice. In 13 games with the Athletics, Marte has collected 23 hits, 10 runs, 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases (.426 wOBA and a 180 wRC+). His .155 ISO is disappointing, but the nine stolen bases more than make up for it.
Other Option: George Springer ($5,300), Austin Meadows ($4,500)
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels ($4,300) — His price dropped because of a cool July (.319 wOBA, .253 ISO and a 107 wRC+ — the ISO was fine), but he’s hitting again in August (.417 wOBA, .333 ISO and a 173 wRC+). Against right-handed pitching, he has a .375 wOBA, .268 ISO and a 145 wRC+ and Jamie Barria ($5,500) has surrendered a .216 ISO, 2.1 HR/9 and a 9% K rate to left-handed batters.
Other Option: Jace Peterson ($3,500)
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