This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Saturday brings a heavy dose of day games, leaving only five games to pick from for the main evening slate on DraftKings. That makes things a little tricky, but there are still some excellent matchups to exploit. Let's break some of them down while also discussing possible ownership percentages.
Hyun-Jin Ryu ($11,200) threw 192 innings during his first season in the majors in 2013, but injuries have limited him to 152 innings or fewer in each season since. He's managed to stay healthy this year and couldn't be pitching much better, posting a 2.70 xFIP and a 0.74 WHIP through nine starts. His .233 opponents' BABIP likely won't hold, but his 1.9 percent walk rate will go a long way towards keeping his WHIP down. Facing the Pirates on the road won't be the easiest of matchups, but Ryu registers as one of the top pitching options.
Another pitcher off to just as impressive of a start is Mike Soroka ($9,500), with his 1.01 ERA and 0.87 WHIP. Like Ryu, he's also been aided by an abnormally low .203 BABIP allowed. Even though his 3.69 xFIP indicates he hasn't been as dominant as his ERA would suggest, you're going to be successful more often than not when you only allow one home run in 44.2 innings. He'll face the Cardinals once again after throwing seven shutout innings against them earlier this season. Expect him to be one of the more popular choices for this slate.
The Rangers have had a hard time piecing together a respectable starting rotation in recent years, and this season is no different. The one bright spot for them has been Mike Minor ($10,400), who has recorded a 2.64 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. His ERA is likely to be on the rise as the season progresses based on his 4.02 xFIP, although his .287 BABIP allowed is right in line with his career numbers. This could be a prime spot to deploy him in DFS against an Angels team that owns the sixth-lowest wOBA (.288) versus left-handed pitching.
The Rockies playing the Orioles at Coors Field is a match made in heaven if you love offense. The Rockies hung eight runs on them Friday and could be in line for a monster of a series. They will likely be the chalk stack of the night against Andrew Cashner, who has already allowed nine home runs across 54.1 innings.
The Braves are also in a favorable spot to produce against Dakota Hudson, who isn't an overpowering force based on his career 16.3 percent strikeout rate. Hudson did a great job of limiting home runs in the minors, but it's concerning he's already allowed nine over 47 innings this year. The Braves possess plenty of dangerous hitters in their lineup, so look for them to be one of the more popular stacking options.
Trotting out hitters against David Price might not seem like the best idea considering his 3.37 xFIP and 1.07 WHIP. However, the Astros are not your ordinary lineup since they rank inside the top five in the league in runs scored, home runs and OPS. They also come in with the highest wOBA against left-handed pitchers (.372), so don't shy away from them in this matchup.
Rockies vs. Cashner (Orioles)
Cashner allowed a .361 wOBA against left-handed hitters last year, so this could be a way to stack the Rockies without destroying your budget. Injuries have really put a damper on Murphy's season, but he's starting to show signs of life by hitting 6-for-13 with three extra-base hits over his last four games.. Dahl has a career .372 wOBA against righties and Tapia is destroying pitchers with a career 174 wRC+ at Coors Field.
Braves vs. Hudson (Cardinals)
Talk about extreme splits. While Hudson has held righties to a .227 wOBA for his career, lefties have posted a whopping .414 wOBA against. That makes Freeman the top option to build a Braves stack around. Markakis has cooled off a bit after a hot start, but he still has a .349 wOBA and managed more walks (30) than strikeouts (24). Catcher isn't always the easiest of spots to fill - especially during a limited slate - so McCann is also appealing here.
Astros vs. Price (Red Sox)
This is an interesting cost-effective stack if you want to load up on pitching. Correa carries tremendous upside while Diaz has done an excellent job of filling in for Jose Altuve (hamstring), hitting 12-for-32 (.375) with three home runs across his last 10 games. Gurriel might be one of the better cheaper options at any position after recording a .382 wOBA versus left-handed pitchers last year.
Orioles vs. Kyle Freeland (Rockies)
While stacking Rockies is a sound strategy, rolling with the Orioles is a viable strategy in tournament play. They'll also receive the Coors Field bump and will face the struggling Freeland, who enters with a 5.20 xFIP despite a .255 opponents' BABIP in his favor. Mancini has by far the highest upside on the Orioles, while Villar is also appealing based on his combination of speed and power. Alberto might not be a household name, but he recorded a .348 wOBA at Triple-A for the Rangers last year and is hitting .305 with an 11.3 percent strikeout rate with the Orioles.