This Saturday, Major League Baseball has games scheduled all through the day, with five games under the lights on the DraftKings featured evening slate of fantasy baseball. Entries will lock at 7:15 p.m. ET when the Cubs take on the Yankees in New York and the Dodgers face the Giants by the Bay. The other three games in play are also hosted out West, as the Mets, Red Sox and Rockies visit the Angels, Mariners and Padres, respectively.
To keep up with the latest availability news and player updates throughout the day, install the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). You can also find me on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where I’m happy to answer questions or break down my picks listed below a little further.
MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($10,000) – Of the 10 SP scheduled to start, Clayton Kershaw ($10,000) and Gore are the most expensive, but I’ll go with Gore since Kershaw is just coming off the injured list and could be limited or out of form. Gore comes into this outing with exceptional form, having allowed one run on just 11 hits over 22 innings in his past four games without any team getting more than three hits in any of those games. He has only allowed multiple runs in one of his eight games since his MLB debut, posting a 1.27 ERA and striking out 54 in 42 2/3 innings over that span. Gore was one of the most highly touted pitching prospects in all of baseball coming into the season, and he has lived up to the hype and been dominant lately for the Padres. Facing the Rockies away from Coors Field is a pretty solid matchup for the 23-year-old lefty, so pay up for Gore with confidence on Saturday.
Other Options – Clayton Kershaw ($10,000), Michael Wacha ($8,500)
Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs ($7,600) – Montgomery isn’t striking many batters out with a career-low 6.94 K/9, but he has still been very effective at limiting damage on his way to a 3.02 ERA and 3.61 FIP. He has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his 11 starts this season and has averaged 13.8 DKFP per outing even though he only has one win. His lower strikeout totals lower his ceiling, but he’s still the best play under $8K since he is at home and in a decent matchup against the Cubs.
Other Option – George Kirby ($7,100), Kyle Freeland ($5,500)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($5,400) – Machado hit his 10th homer of the season on Friday and is hitting an impressive .332 with a .224 ISO and .410 wOBA. Six of his 10 homers have come against lefties, who he has a .464 wOBA against on the season. Machado is 7-for-24 (.292) specifically against Kyle Freeland ($5,500) and is also on the favorable side of his home/road splits since he sports a .465 home wOBA.
Christopher Morel, Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees ($4,100) – Morel has taken over as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter, and the 22-year-old rookie can fit on your roster at 2B or in the OF. He has hit safely in 18 of his past 19 starts, with multiple hits in four of his past five. His .305 batting average over that span includes seven doubles, two triples and two home runs for a .207 ISO and .387 wOBA. His spot in the lineup gives him plenty of opportunities, and he makes sense in the opposite-hand matchup against Montgomery due to his hot streak and still affordable salary.
Other Options – Trea Turner ($5,800), DJ LeMahieu ($4,800)
Jose Trevino, New York Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs ($3,400) – Catcher can sometimes be a tricky spot to fill, but Trevino has been heating up and is in a good matchup, as highlighted below in stacks. He didn’t start Friday but went 1-for-1 after coming off the bench. Over his past eight games, Trevino is 10-for-21 (.476) with a triple and two home runs, helping him to a .582 wOBA. He continues to share time with Kyle Higashioka ($3,000) but should return to the lineup Saturday since he has been the more productive option offensively of late.
Eduardo Escobar, New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels ($3,200) – At the start of the season, Escobar struggled badly with his new team in the Big Apple, but he has warmed up as the temperature has started to rise. The 33-year-old has hit safely in six of his past seven games, including four multi-hit performances. He is 12-for-28 (.429) with two doubles, a triple and a home run for a .501 wOBA during that span. He usually hits better against lefties but will be on the more favorable side of the split as a switch-hitter, as detailed in stacks below.
Other Options – Ha-Seong Kim ($3,000), Elehuris Montero ($2,000)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs ($6,300) – Judge is always an expensive option to consider, but he has been putting on such a show that he’s often been worth his hefty salary lately. He has eight home runs over his past 19 games, going 23-for-74 (.311) with a .365 ISO and .433 wOBA. Judge is up to 22 homers on the year and is hitting .308 with an impressive .437 wOBA. He has been elite in just about every situation but especially at Yankee Stadium and when facing righties, who he has a .488 wOBA against on the year.
Jeff McNeil, New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels ($3,700) – McNeil has battled a few nagging injuries this season, but when he has been healthy, he has been productive for the Mets. Over his past 23 games, he is hitting .329 with a .367 wOBA. He doesn’t typically hit for a ton of power but does have six doubles and two home runs over that span. In the good matchup for lefties highlighted below, he can be a solid play on this slate and provide good value under $4K to allow you to spend up for Judge or other more expensive bats.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,000), Julio Rodríguez ($5,700)
Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies ($3,600) – Profar has helped keep San Diego’s offense afloat while it awaits the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. (wrist). He has moved into the leadoff spot for the past 14 games for the Padres and gone on a tear, posting a .433 wOBA by going 21-for-58 (.362) with four doubles, a triple and two home runs. The switch-hitter also has four stolen bases, giving him multiple ways to return value from the top of the lineup.
Austin Slater, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,800) – After coming of the injured list a week ago, Slater has gone 3-for-10 (.300) with a triple. He has hit leadoff in each of his two most recent starts and will likely be in that spot again as the Giants face Kershaw. Slater usually fares well against southpaws in general and is 6-for-15 with three home runs in his career against Kershaw. Getting any leadoff hitter under $3K is always worth considering, and with Slater’s history against Kershaw and favorable splits, he’s one of the top plays of the day.
Other Options – Brandon Nimmo ($3,800), Randal Grichuk ($3,300), Taylor Trammell ($2,200)
TEAMS TO STACK
New York Yankees vs. Chicago Cubs – The Yankees are at or near the top of just about every offensive category, especially the power categories since they lead the Majors with 88 home runs in 55 games this season. They only needed two runs to beat the Cubs on Friday, but they have a good chance at bouncing back against Matt Swarmer ($6,800) Saturday. Swarmer has posted at least 19.9 DKFP in each of his two starts in the Majors but has allowed five runs in 12 innings, including three home runs. He gave up 20 home runs in 19 games at Triple-A last year. as well, so it isn’t just a sample-size issue. A homer-prone pitcher in a homer-friendly park should result in bit nights for Yankees power hitters. Judge (discussed above), Giancarlo Stanton ($5,500), Anthony Rizzo ($5,600) and DJ LeMahieu ($4,800) are big-salary plays with huge upside at the top of the lineup while Joey Gallo ($3,800), Trevino (discussed above), Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($3,900) and Aaron Hicks ($3,100) offer a little bit of salary relief and more exposure to the matchup.
New York Mets at Los Angeles Angels – A New York-New York stack makes sense since the Mets are also in a solid matchup against Michael Lorenzen ($8,200), who has given up eight runs in his last 12 1/3 innings. All season, Lorenzen has dominated against righties, but he has been hit hard by lefties, allowing them to hit .275 and a .389 wOBA. All five home runs he has allowed have also come against left-handed hitters, so look to lean into the split by considering lefties Brandon Nimmo ($3,800), McNeil (discussed above), and even Luis Guillorme ($3,300), along with switch-hitting Francisco Lindor ($5,100) and Escobar (discussed above).
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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