This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
A full 12-game slate Wednesday provides us with no fewer than five five-figure pitchers, so deciding who to fade is going to be crucially important. Thankfully, there are a few viable low-cost options we can plug in to keep our lineups balanced.
Charlie Morton ($11,600) walks a few too many batters for comfort but has logged an elite strikeout (30 percent) and groundball (51 percent) rate en route to a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts. Those who have read this column before know that I don't like paying above $11,000 for any one player on a large slate but the Tigers own the lowest wOBA in the league to go along with a 26 percent strikeout rate against righty pitchers, making it hard to fade Morton at any price.
James Paxton ($11,300) impressed in his first start off the injured list against the Padres, striking out seven while throwing four frames of scoreless baseball. The Blue Jays hold a bottom- 5 wOBA against southpaws but have shown some selectivity at the plate, which could work against Paxton and his nine percent walk rate. It is also worth noting that Paxton threw just 66 pitches in his first outing since May 3, so there is some question as to whether he will be completely free of restriction.
Mike Minor's ($10,800) 2.74 ERA is impressive but I hesitate to recommend him at such a big price, as he has failed to log 20 DraftKings points in four of his last five starts. The Orioles will strike out as a squad but hold a .311 wOBA against lefty pitching. This puts them in the bottom half of teams, but it's not quite enough to go all in on Minor with so many other arms on the slate.
Chris Sale's ($10,600) recent numbers aren't quite as eye-popping as the ones he was putting up in early May, but it needs to be said that his last three starts were against the Astros (x2) and the Yankees. He will face the Royals on Wednesday, who have logged a bottom-3 wOBA and 25 percent strikeout rate against left-handed pitching. Sale will look to build on a phenomenal month that saw him post a 2.82 ERA and 43 percent strikeout rate in 38.1 frames.
German Marquez ($10,300) has been fantastic away from Coors Field this year (2.08 ERA) but it seems odd to price him in the five-figure range, as he will face a Cubs offense that ranks among the top 10 teams in wOBA and ISO against right-handers. If there is a GPP only hurler among the high-priced players, Marquez may be him.
Martin Perez ($7,400) is our first real low-cost look in his matchup against the Indians. Perez was knocked around a bit in his last outing against the Rays but still holds a 23 percent strikeout rate in 60.2 innings, along with the ability to get groundballs and limit homers. Meanwhile, the Indians have logged the sixth-lowest wOBA against lefty pitchers in 2019.
Yu Darvish's ($7,100) extraordinarily high walk and home run rates disqualify him from much more than a GPP look but he may be worth that against the Rockies, who remain one of the worst teams in the league on the road according to wOBA (.287).
Daniel Hudson (6,200) seems to have turned a corner after a rocky start to the season, as he finished the month of May with a 2.80 ERA in 35.1 frames. Advanced metrics tell us there should be some regression coming but he's still worth a look as one of the cheapest options on the slate due to Cincinnati's bottom-10 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Mike Moustakas ($5,600) has become one of my favorite infielders to play against mediocre righty pitching due to the .333 ISO he has logged against his opposite hand in 150 at-bats. Sandy Alcantara is a powder keg waiting to explode on the road, with more walks than strikeouts contributing to a massive 7.07 xFIP in 24.2 innings.
Daniel Mengden has somehow suppressed runs early in his 2019 campaign despite logging a 15.1 percent walk rate in 20.2 innings. I don't think I'll need to do too much convincing to get prospective owners to roster Mike Trout ($5,500) who has tallied a .309 ISO and .443 wOBA against righty pitchers.
Kevin Gausman had a disastrous month of May as evidenced by the 6.48 ERA he put up in 25 innings. Bryan Reynolds ($4,800) has yet to show elite power against righties but has logged a .393 wOBA in 86 at-bats.
Gleyber Torres ($4,700) has kept a pronounced reverse split in 2019, as evidenced by the .282 ISO he has logged against righty pitchers in 170 at-bats. Trent Thornton has thrown the ball reasonably well against righties so far this year, but a 4.89 xFIP should make DFS players sit up and take notice.
Tyler Beede simply hasn't fared well at the major league level, as he currently holds a 7.97 ERA in 20.1 career innings. He has allowed a .750 slugging percentage in a cup of coffee against lefty hitters this season, while Michael Conforto ($4,700) holds a .246 ISO against righty pitchers.
Brandon Lowe ($4,400) remains an under-the-radar power source against his opposite hand, logging a .260 ISO against right-handed pitching this year. Spencer Turnbull has notched a 2.84 ERA in 2019 but the 5.49 xFIP he owns against lefty hitting should make prospective owners consider him a stack target.
Matt Wieters ($3,800) is a name most probably didn't expect to see in fantasy baseball circles in 2019 but the former top prospect has been on fire since Yadier Molina landed on the injured list, tallying a .306 ISO in 36 at-bats against right-handed pitching. He should fit in nicely against Anthony DeSclafani, who has been hammered to the tune of a .670 slugging percentage by left-handed hitting.
Mets against Tyler Beede (Giants)
Beede actually threw the ball well in his last outing but needs to be on our radar as a target due to his track record in the major leagues. This could be a nice opportunity to fit struggling power hitters like Davis into lineups at a discount.
Braves against Joe Musgrove (Pirates)
We need to hone in on Musgrove for as long as this slide lasts, as he finished May with an unsightly 8.10 ERA in 30 innings. Donaldson should be considered a key part of this stack due to the .225 ISO he has kept against righty pitchers.