Saturday features an 11-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. Arizona Diamondbacks ($10,100) — Five days ago, Darvish was in the perfect spot against the weak-hitting Rockies (one of the worst road offenses in baseball history). He struck out eight, but he allowed five runs because of his old bugaboo — the home run. That issue will always haunt DFS players that select Darvish, but in a matchup against Arizona, it’s less frightening. Against right-handed pitching, Arizona has an 80 wrc+, .293 wOBA, .134 ISO and a 24% K rate. Their 33% hard contact rate is a little worrisome, but it rarely results in home runs — their 8.1% HR/FB rate ranks dead last while their line drive rate is eighth (21.5%). Line drives aren’t great, but they’re better than hard hit fly balls, especially against a pitcher that has allowed 19 home runs and nine over the last six games. DFS players might still be on the fence because Darvish’s home run numbers are hard to swallow, but there is a stat that puts this play over the top. On the road, Arizona’s offense is miserable — 65 wRC+, .268 wOBA, .111 ISO, 29.8% hard contact rate and a 7.8% HR/FB rate. Darvish looks good on the hill (12.7% SwStr%, 29% K rate, 73.5% contact rate and a 29.7% hard contact rate), but every time he makes a mistake pitch, batters take advantage (13.1% HR/FB rate). When the cloud of bad luck above Darvish’s head lifts, he’ll score 30 to 40 fantasy points, and a matchup against Arizona could be that sunny day.
Other Option: Julio Urías ($10,500)
Austin Gomber, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins ($6,600) — On Friday night the Rockies scored 14 runs and the Marlins scored two runs. The Rockies are great at home, and the Marlins are the Marlins. Against left-handed pitching, Miami has a .284 wOBA, .134 ISO, 29% hard contact rate and a 28% K rate. This team doesn’t hit the ball hard if they hit the ball at all (74.6% contact rate — 24th) , so the park change does not help much. Gomber, the main player in the Nolan Arenado trade, has quietly put together a decent season — eight wins, 3.74 xFIP, 48% ground ball rate, 76% contact rate, 66% F-Strike rate, 24% K rate and a 20% called strike rate. All of those statistics are good, especially for a pitcher in his third season, but that stats that really stand out are his home splits. At Coors Filed, Gomber has a 1.98 ERA and has held opposing batters to a .240 wOBA and a .139 ISO. His xFIP is 4.13, so how is he getting it done? It doesn’t appear to be anything that he’s doing, rather it’s what his teammates are doing. Gomber’s .174 BABIP at home is likely due to the fact that he is supported by a great defense. Colorado’s 6.2 UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating) is the best in baseball. They rank third in double plays turned and their outfielders are running down fly balls in the often overlooked wide alleys at Coors Field. Gomber is doing his part by keeping the ball in the park at Coors (0.99 HR/9), and he’s letting his defense do the rest. That formula should work against Miami’s soft-hitting lineup.
Other Option: Shane McClanahan ($8,500)
Editor’s Note: Reds C Tyler Stephenson is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Pirates.
Tyler Stephenson, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,700) — It was a Cincinnati stack night on Friday with most of the team underpriced. Typically, Saturday pricing comes out before Friday’s results are known, so again, the Reds are affordable. The Reds are tied with the Rockies for the highest implied team total on this slate (six runs) because Mitch Keller ($7,100) is going to take the mound for Pittsburgh at Great American Ball Park. Keller has a 5.11 xFIP, and while none of his stats are abysmal, all of them are bad. At home, Stephenson has a .386 wOBA and a .164 ISO. NOTE: Stephenson exited Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury, but the team said that he will not go on the IL. If he sits in this matchup, then consider firing up the much cheaper Tucker Barnhart.
Other Option: Eric Haase ($4,900)
Pedro Severino, Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($3,700) —The only time to play Severino is against a lefty (.376 wOBA, .213 ISO and a 142 wRC+), and he faces one on Saturday night in a hitter’s park. Shane McClanahan ($8,500) has impressive stuff, but sometimes his fastball is just fast and hitters feast on it (.403 wOBA and a .257 ISO). This season, Severino has .391 wOBA against left-handed fastballs.
Other Option: Tucker Barnhart ($3,100)
Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals ($5,500) — Josiah Gray ($7,500) might be a great pitcher someday — he was the No. 2 prospect for the Dodgers — but for now, he’s experiencing the typical major league growing pains. In six innings against left-handed batters, he’s allowed a .368 wOBA and a .392 ISO. This is a very small sample size, but it’s very common for young prospects to breeze through the minors and hit a roadblock when facing hitters from the opposite side of the plate in the big leagues. Freeman has a .407 wOBA, .229 ISO and a 154 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and Atlanta’s ballpark plays very small in the summer months.
Other Option: Joey Votto ($6,100)
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins ($4,100) — The Reds are affordable, but the Rockies are way too cheap. Both teams went off on Friday night, and both teams are projected to go off on Saturday night. The Rockies are facing the newly acquired Jesús Luzardo ($6,500) that has allowed a home run in each of his last six appearances — not starts, appearances! Three of those starts were in pitcher’s parks and one was in Coors (two earned runs and four hits over two innings). Against right-handed batters, the lefty has a .402 wOBA, .284 ISO, 34% hard contact rate, 2.9 HR/9 and a 47% fly ball rate. Cron is an absolute steal based on his impressive numbers at home against lefties — .461 wOBA, .413 ISO and a 176 wRC+. Not to mention, he hit two home runs on Friday.
Other Option: Jesús Aguilar ($3,900)
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Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,000) — He’s no longer an NL Rookie of the Year dark horse candidate. His +110 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook places him one spot back from the favorite, Trevor Rogers (-150). His campaign started off slow (.303 wOBA in April/May), but since June 1, India has a .421 wOBA, .216 ISO and a 161 wRC+. He’ll look to increase those numbers in the hitter’s park against Mitch Keller (.373 wOBA, .215 ISO, 37% hard contact rate and 1.7 HR/9 against right-handed batters).
Other Option: Brandon Lowe ($6,100)
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins ($3,800) — There is a not-so-good lefty pitching at Coors Field and the Rockies are cheap. It worked last night (14 runs), why not go back to the well? in 55 at-bats against left-handed pitching, Rodgers has a .441 wOBA, .382 ISO, 163 wRC+, 39% hard contact rate and a 15% K rate. Oddly enough, at Coors, the Rockies former No. 1 prospect has yet to start hitting (.333 wOBA and a .136 ISO), but that has started to change during the latest homestand — eight hits and three doubles in four games. In earnest, his improvements began on July 21, that is when his 13-game hit streak began (.449 wOBA, .309 ISO and a 168 wRC+),
Other Option: Marcus Semien ($4,300)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,600) — DFS players do not need to stray from Colorado or Cincinnati, but if they choose to do so, Machado is in a good spot. He’s been crushing right-handed pitching (.370 wOBA, .233 ISO, 134 wRC+, 43% hard contact rate and a 17% K rate) and Taylor Widener ($7,900) has been less than impressive when facing right-handed batters, particularly in the hard-hit fly ball department (.334 wOBA, .166 ISO, 43% hard contact rate, 1.7 HR/9, 12% BB rate and a 44% fly ball rate in 21 innings). For good measure, Machado will also enjoy facing the second-worst bullpen in baseball (4.81 xFIP).
Other Option: José Ramírez ($6,100)
Editor’s Note: Reds 3B Eugenio Suárez is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Pirates.
Eugenio Suárez, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,200) — DFS players will need to monitor the Reds lineup. Nick Castellanos ($4,200) and Mike Moustakas ($6,200) returned to an already stacked lineup Friday, and Suárez might end up the odd man out based on his play this season. However, he is hot right now and it will be hard for Cincinnati to sit him (seven game hit streak with three home runs over that span). Nonetheless, he sat on Friday night, so it’s likely that Moustakas gets the day off on Saturday and Suárez returns to the lineup.
Other Option: Ryan McMahon ($4,300)
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins ($5,600) — This is no time to be cute. Even the sharp DFS players that are worried about Rockies/Reds ownership will need to consider Story in this matchup. He has always crushed left-handed pitching over his career (.411 wOBA and a .307 ISO) and especially at home (.450 wOBA and a .382 ISO). Furthermore, he’s hot right now — hits in 13 of the last 15 games (.411 wOBA and a .328 ISO).
Other Option: Miguel Rojas ($4,500)
Kyle Farmer, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,200) — The price of Farmer has been wrong for awhile, but DraftKings has finally discovered who this guy is, and this will likely be the last slate with Farmer as a value option. His 2021 stats are average, but he came alive in July — .458 wOBA, .257 ISO and a 186 wRC+ since July 1. It’s going to be hot in Cincinnati with a slight breeze blowing out to left field on Saturday night. The Reds could easily put up a double digit on the scoreboard again this evening.
Other Option: Taylor Walls ($3,700)
Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,000) — Friday was a day off for Reyes, so now he is rested and ready to continue crushing. Reyes has been better against right-handed pitching (.392 wOBA and a .344 ISO) than left-handed pitching (.361 wOBA and a .250 ISO), but his lefty splits are strong. Starter Tyler Alexander ($5,000) won’t last longer than four innings, so Reyes should enjoy the benefits of facing a lefty starter that has allowed a .380 wOBA, .237 ISO, 43% hard contact rate, 2.0 HR/9, 18% K rate and a 48% fly ball rate to right-handed batters, and right-handed relievers from the fourth-worst bullpen against right-handed batters (4.61 xFIP).
Other Option: Jesse Winker ($6,300), Austin Meadows ($5,400)
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,700) — He is always cheap despite his great numbers against right-handed pitching — .388 wOBA, .270 ISO, 154 wRC+ and a 39% hard contact rate. Since July 1, Tucker has a .411 wOBA and a .340 ISO. Not only is he hot, but he is a much better hitter at home (.405 home wOBA vs. .318 away wOBA). To top it all off, he draws a favorable matchup against Michael Pineda ($6,100) — .338 wOBA, .238 ISO, 1.8 HR/9 and a 47% fly ball rate).
Other Option: Nick Castellanos ($4,200), Tyler Naquin ($3,000)
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