This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
There are a few of the top pitchers in baseball set to take the mound Wednesday, but most of the scheduled starters as less than spectacular, to say the least. That could lead to some high-scoring contests and lofty point totals in DFS. Let's breakdown some of the matchups to see how ownership percentages might play out.
The biggest name with the best matchup on the slate is Noah Syndergaard ($51) against the Twins. Syndergaard had to face the Nationals in both of his first two starts, which isn't exactly the best way to start the season. After allowing four runs in Washington during his first start, he rebounded to allow two runs across six innings at home in their rematch. He posted a combined 13 strikeouts across 12 innings and should continue to have excellent upside in that category based on his career 27.1 percent strikeout rate. This game being played in New York is huge since the loss of the DH means Nelson Cruz will likely start out the game on the bench. While expensive, Syndergaard figures to be one of the highest owned pitchers for the evening.
Another top-tier pitcher set to take the mound is James Paxton ($46). However, unlike Syndergaard, he has an unfavorable matchup against the Astros. Both of his first two starts this year came against the Orioles and he wasn't able to get through the sixth inning in either contest. He did record 14 strikeouts across 11 innings, but the fact that he also gave up five earned runs is a bit disappointing. At this expensive price, it might not be a bad idea to fade him based on his opponent.
Yusei Kikuchi ($42) could also be a popular choice for the evening. After an impressive performance against the Red Sox in his second start of the season in which he allowed three runs (two earned) and recorded five strikeouts across six innings, he was roughed up in his following start against the White Sox. The good news is that he has 12 strikeouts compared to just two walks across 15.2 innings. The Royals don't have a great lineup and are in the bottom-third of the league in OPS, so Kikuchi could provide some value.
With Jeremy Hellickson on the mound for the Nationals, the Phillies could have several players among the leaderboard in terms of highest owned players. Hellickson's 3.45 ERA last year looks nice, but he had a 4.27 xFIP and a meager 17.6 percent strikeout rate. Bryce Harper ($25) could be one of the most popular players at any position while Rhys Hoskins ($25) and Jean Segura ($16) should also be in plenty of lineups.
Jordan Lyles pitched five shutout innings in his first start of the season, but don't get too excited. It came against an anemic Reds lineup and he only had two strikeouts compared to three walks. Lyles has a 1.46 WHIP and a 16.1 percent strikeout rate for his career, so look for the Cubs to have high ownership percentages in their matchup against him. He's allowed a career .354 wOBA against left-handed hitters, making Anthony Rizzo ($20) a prime target to go along with Javier Baez ($23) and Kris Bryant ($16).
The Rangers starting rotation is filled with uninspiring pitching options, including Wednesday's starter Lance Lynn. Lynn's 1.53 WHIP last year was terrible, but he was somewhat unlucky based on his .336 BABIP allowed. Still, he's prone to giving up baserunners based on his 1.32 career WHIP. Lefties also had a .366 wOBA against him last year, so David Peralta ($21) should be in a lot of lineups Wednesday. So should Eduardo Escobar ($10) since he recorded a .351 wOBA against right-handed pitchers last season.
A Phillies stack against Hellickson could very well be the top option of the night. Outside of Harper, Hoskins and Segura, there are several other potent bats to choose from. Odubel Herrera ($13) is another left-handed hitter who could cause Hellickson problems and he's off to hot start with at least two hits in three of his last seven games.
If you're rolling with a Cubs stack, it might not be a bad idea to just go with all lefties considering Lyles' struggles against them. Forming a trio of Rizzo, Ben Zobrist ($15) and Kyle Schwarber ($18) provides upside without destroying your budget. Even Jason Heyward ($18) should be in the discussion. For those deciding to go with the Diamondbacks, it's hard to ignore how well Adam Jones ($17) is playing right now. Jarrod Dyson ($16) has also been batting leadoff against right-handed hitters and could be a cost-effective source of production.
Looking for a stack that might fly under the radar, the Pirates against Yu Darvish is appealing. Despite the Pirates scoring the third-fewest runs (34) in the league, they still have some dangerous hitters in Starling Marte ($17) and Josh Bell ($20). Adam Frazier ($17) has performed well as their leadoff hitter and Francisco Cervelli ($10) has found himself batting towards the top of the lineup lately, which is big when trying to settle on a catcher. Darvish has been awful in his first two starts, issuing 11 walks and allowing six runs across 6.2 innings. If he can't find the plate, even the injury-depleted Pirates could put up some runs.