This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
The players featured in this piece will be building blocks that can work in several lineup configurations (cash and GPP). Sunday brings the last opportunity to bring home some cash on DraftKings before the All-Star break.
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Justin Verlander, HOU vs. DET ($13,500): Verlander will be facing his former team for the first since he was dealt to the Astros toward the end of last season.The change of scenery has certainly been beneficial to Verlander, who has a 2.05 ERA, 2.60 FIP and 0.83 WHIP this year. He's done an excellent job limiting walks with just a 1.6 BB/9, and his 10.9 K/9 would be the highest mark of his 14-year career. The Tigers are in the bottom third of baseball in runs scored and struggle against right-handed pitchers, making Verlander a great option even at this hefty price.
GPP Fade: Masahiro Tanaka, NYY at CLE ($8,700): Tanaka finished with an ERA of 3.51 or lower and a WHIP of 1.08 or lower in each of his first three seasons with the Yankees, but he took a step backward in 2017 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He had an excellent 9.8 K/9, but he allowed 35 home runs in 178.1 innings. He's continued to have troubles keeping hitters inside the park this year, allowing 17 homers in 77 innings. The Indians entered Saturday in the top four in both runs scored and home runs, and they hit much better at Progressive Field. Tanaka can rack up strikeouts in a hurry when he's on his game, but this matchup is just too risky.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Mike Minor, TEX at BAL ($5,900): Minor hadn't started a game in the majors since 2014, but the Rangers put him into their starting rotation at the beginning of the season. He's made 17 starts, and while his numbers aren't great, he hasn't been terrible, with a 4.56 ERA, 4.41 FIP and 1.20 WHIP. A lot of the damage done to his ERA came early in the season as he has a 2.65 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP across his last six starts. The Orioles entered Saturday with the second-fewest runs scored in baseball, leaving Minor as a viable option in tournament play.
Salvador Perez, KC at CWS ($3,600): Perez went 2-for-4 with a home run Saturday and is now 10-for-32 (.313) with two home runs in his last eight games. His .221 average leaves a lot to be desired, but he's been unlucky with a .235 BABIP. The ChiSox will start Lucas Giolito, who's had plenty of trouble keeping runners off base with a 1.56 WHIP. Perez is priced low enough to take a chance on him extending his recent run of success.
Matt Carpenter, STL vs. CIN ($4,400): After slugging 23 home runs in 622 plate appearances last year, Carpenter already has 18 homers in 374 plate appearances entering Sunday. His batting average is up as well at .263 despite his 23.5 percent strikeout rate being the highest of his career. He had a .380 wOBA against righties entering Saturday, making him a viable option against Anthony DeSclafani.
Whit Merrifield, KC at CWS ($4,300): Merrifield is swinging a hot bat for the Royals at 29-for-70 (.414) over his last 17 games. He's been one of the few bright spots in their lineup with a .307 average and 17 steals. He doesn't hit a lot of home runs, but he still has plenty of upside against the underwhelming Giolito.
Alex Bregman, HOU vs. DET ($5,500): There are few hitters in baseball who are as hot as Bregman, who is 30-for-75 (.400) with nine home runs and eight doubles in his last 19 games. This is a major mismatch against Francisco Liriano since Bregman has a .439 wOBA against lefties.
Paul DeJong, STL vs. CIN ($3,700): DeJong spent a significant amount of time on the disabled list earlier this season, but he has at least one hit in each of his seven games since being activated. He's shown a better eye at the plate in his second season in the majors with a walk rate almost double what it was in 2017. He doesn't have the platoon advantage against DeSclafani, but he hasn't exactly struggled with a .355 wOBA against right-handed pitchers for his career.
Charlie Blackmon, COL vs. SEA ($5,600):Mike Leake will start for the Mariners, and while his 4.36 ERA this season is serviceable, his 5.5 K/9 doesn't instill a lot of confidence for a start at Coors Field. Blackmon entered Saturday with a .375 wOBA against righties and has a lot of potential in what could be a high-scoring affair for the Rockies.
George Springer, HOU vs. DET ($4,300): Springer is having a disappointing season by his standards with just a .251 average. His slugging percentage is also down over 100 points from last year. Despite his struggles, he still has an excellent .373 wOBA against lefties and has a strong outlook against Liriano.
Juan Soto, WAS at NYM ($4,100): The 19-year-old continues to show an excellent eye at the plate with 32 walks and 40 strikeouts over 205 plate appearances. Soto only has one home run in his last 15 games, but he's batting .306 overall and will face right-hander Corey Oswalt, who has allowed 13 runs in 17.1 innings for the Mets.