DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks

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). The final Saturday of the regular season consists of nine games for the main evening slate on DraftKings.

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STARTING PITCHER

Corey Kluber, CLE at KC ($11,000): Kluber has won at least 18 games in three consecutive seasons and reached 20 wins this year for the first time in his career. His 2.83 ERA has been supported by a 3.15 FIP and he's again done an excellent job of limiting baserunners with a 0.97 WHIP. One reason for his success is his impeccable control as his 1.4 BB/9 this year would mark the fourth time in the last five years that he has walked fewer than two batters per nine innings. His strikeouts are down compared to last year, but his 9.3 K/9 is still great. Look for him to finish the regular season with a strong performance against a Royals squad that has struggled to score runs all year.

GPP Fade: Jon Gray, COL vs. WAS ($8,400): Gray has faltered again down the stretch, posting a 5.36 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP across his last nine starts. Normally a great source for strikeouts, Gray only has a 7.0 K/9 over those nine outings. Opponents also mashed 13 home runs off of him in just 48.2 innings. Gray has a ton of talent, but he's too inconsistent to have confidence in Saturday against the Nationals, who have averaged 5.8 runs per game entering Friday.

Cheap GPP Consideration: Steven Matz, NYM vs. MIA ($6,700): Matz's 4.14 ERA and 1.27 WHIP might not jump off the page, but it's a marked improvement over his 6.08 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 2017. Home runs have still been a problem for him, but that's not a huge concern for him Saturday since the Marlins entered play Friday with the fewest homers in baseball. They also have the lowest OPS against lefties (.648), making Matz a consideration in tournament play at this cheap price.

CATCHER
Willians Astudillo, MIN vs. CWS ($3,700):
Astudillo has been toiling in the minors since 2009, but has finally received his first taste of the majors this year. He's made the most of his opportunity with a .379 wOBA. He hasn't shown a great eye with only two walks across 89 plate appearances, but he's only struck out three times. Carlos Rodon will start for the White Sox and he's pitching poorly, allowing at least four earned runs in four of his last five starts.

FIRST BASE
Tyler Austin, MIN vs. CWS ($4,500):
Austin wasn't able to surpass Greg Bird in the pecking order at first base for the Yankees, but he's getting consistent playing time for the Twins. He's hit for plenty of power with both teams, totaling 17 home runs across 66 games entering Friday. With his .364 wOBA against left-handed pitchers, he's an excellent option against Rodon.

SECOND BASE

Jeff McNeil, NYM vs. MIA ($4,000): Not much has gone right for the Mets offensively this year, but McNeil has been a bright spot since being recalled toward the end of July. He entered Friday with a .370 wOBA and has only recorded a 9.8 percent strikeout rate. Trevor Richards will start for the Marlins and has had trouble keeping hitters off base with a 1.40 WHIP, making McNeil someone to target at this reasonable price.

THIRD BASE

Matt Chapman, OAK at LAA ($4,100): Chapman is known for his spectacular defensive abilities, but he's also made significant strides at the plate this year. His hard-hit rate has increased from 36 percent last year to 43 percent entering Friday and he's also cut down his swinging-strike rate from 11.5 percent in 2017 to 8.8 percent this year. His 24 home runs and 42 doubles make him a dangerous threat most nights, but especially so Saturday against Tyler Skaggs, who has allowed 21 runs across 12 innings in his last four starts.

SHORTSTOP

Marcus Semien, OAK at LAA ($4,100): Semien doesn't stand out in any one particular category, but he's provided balanced production with 15 home runs and 14 steals entering Friday. This is the fourth consecutive season that he has recorded at least 10 homers and 10 steals. With how awful Skaggs has been, Semien is a good cost-effective option in an A's stack.

OUTFIELD

Lorenzo Cain, MIL vs. DET ($4,900):Christian Yelich has rightfully received a ton of attention in his first season with the Brewers, but Cain has also proven to be an extremely valuable addition. Cain's power numbers are down, but he's batting .310 with a .400 OBP and has a career-high 30 steals entering Friday. This is a matchup to exploit against Daniel Norris based on Cain's 175 wRC+ against lefties.

Nelson Cruz, SEA vs. TEX ($4,100): Known for his power, Cruz had also hit at least .287 in three straight seasons entering 2018. He won't reach that threshold with a .259 average entering Friday, but part of that is due to his .266 BABIP that is almost 40 points lower than his career mark. He's still slugged 37 home runs and has a promising matchup against Adrian Sampson, who has allowed at least one homer in all four of his appearances this season.

Robbie Grossman, MIN vs. CWS ($3,900): Grossman is closing out the season on a high note, entering Friday with a .390 wOBA in September. He's doesn't do a ton of damage with his .385 slugging percentage, but his .384 wOBA against lefties this year makes him another Twin to consider against Rodon.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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