This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's nine-game main slate features a steep drop-off in pitcher price and quality after just five entries, which may make selecting our second option a bit difficult. On the offensive side, we can find mediocre pitchers in hitter-friendly parks, as well as a pitcher who may not yet be ready to face top opposition after an extended offseason.
Upon first glance, it may not be clear how Mike Minor ($11,000) has amassed his 2.52 ERA, as none of his statistics suggest dominance. The fact remains, however, that the left-hander carries the third most valuable changeup in the league according to RAA. This should come in handy against the Tigers, who hold a bottom-10 RAA against the pitch as well as a 27 percent strikeout rate against southpaws
Patrick Corbin (10,600) seems to have taken a step back in most relevant categories after his breakout season in 2018 but his 27 percent strikeout rate and heavy groundball profile should still be enough in a matchup against the Marlins, who have notched a .274 wOBA against left-handers, good for the second-lowest mark in the league.
The Twins are the top team in the league against right-handed pitching according to wOBA but prospective owners can be forgiven for choosing to roll with Charlie Morton ($10,200) who has notched at least 19.3 DraftKings points in each of his last six starts. Morton's walk rate has steadily been coming down in recent weeks, leaving us to focus moeu on his 2.31 ERA and 30 percent strikeout rate.
Jake Odorizzi ($9,500) took a drubbing at the hands of the Royals in his last outing but has had a fantastic season overall, logging a 2.58 ERA on the strength of the third most valuable fastball in the league according to RAA. The Rays land just outside the top 10 in most relevant metrics, making Odorizzi someone who may be difficult to trust in cash formats.
The standard GPP-only caveat applies to Yu Darvish ($7,600), who carries a 26 percent strikeout rate but gives up enough walks and homers that he will surely be vulnerable against a tough offense like the Braves.
Zac Gallen ($7,100) showed off a good strikeout pitch and a nice changeup in his major league debut against the Cardinals, which makes him an intriguing low-cost play, even in a tough matchup against the Nationals. It must also be noted that Gallen logged a 1.77 ERA in 14 starts at Triple-A this year.
Pete Alonso ($5,400) should get strong looks across the board against Nick Pivetta in Citizens Bank Park. Pivetta has been crushed by righty hitters to the tune of a .621 slugging percentage in 23.1 innings.
Those who don't wish to take a shot on Yu Darvish can fairly comfortably play against him due to the 10 homers he has allowed to lefty hitters in 44.1 frames. Freddie Freeman ($5,100) is well equipped to exploit Darvish's tendency to lose the baseball due to the .286 ISO he has logged against righty pitchers.
Jason Vargas has had an exciting few days but the only thing relevant for our purposes is the 5.58 xFIP he has logged against righty hitters in 43.2 innings. Meanwhile, Scott Kingery ($4,900) has tallied a .434 wOBA against left-handed pitchers in 44 at-bats.
Marcell Ozuna ($4,800) has hit for power against all comers but has been far more of a complete hitter against same-handed hurlers, as evidenced by the 128 wRC+ he has notched in 244 at-bats. Daniel Mengden will be called up to fill what may just be a slot for a warm body, as he has logged a 5.09 ERA and a 5.94 xFIP in 23 innings with the big club.
After months of negotiations, Dallas Keuchel finally signed with a major league team, making his debut for the Atlanta Braves against the Nationals. It is worth seeing if Keuchel has knocked off all the rust during his time off, and there may not be a better person to test him than Javier Baez ($4,600), who has logged a phenomenal .389 ISO against lefty pitchers.
Tanner Roark has thrown the ball reasonably well this year but his underlying stats hide something of a dirty secret, as he has logged a .626(!) xFIP against left-handed hitters. Shohei Ohtani ($4,500) may not have the firepower in his bat he showed during his rookie season but has still notched a .224 ISO against righty pitchers.
Khris Davis ($3,900) could be an interesting low-cost play as a power hitter Wednesday, as we have assurances he will play in the outfield against Adam Wainwright in a National League park. Wainwright has thrown the ball well against righty hitters but has still allowed a 41 percent hard contact rate in 48 innings.
Phillies against Jason Vargas (Mets)
We have seen how the ball flies in the Phillies home park in the first two games of this series, which should allow Vargas' troubling peripheral stats to come to the surface. We also get a nice price on Realmuto, who has logged a .260 ISO against lefty pitchers.
Cubs against Dallas Keuchel (Braves)
Keuchel will get no reprieve in his second major league start of 2019, as he will face an offense with plenty of right-handed power. This will likely end up being a bit of a contrarian stack but those who have read this column before know that I like to test the resolve of those not used to major league hitting, be that a rookie or a veteran who has yet to find his sea legs.