This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday's eight-game main slate features at least one pitcher below $7,000 we can take a crack at, which should allow us the freedom to stack up on powerful offenses against inexperienced and mediocre options.
Matthew Boyd's ($11,200) incredible 33 percent strikeout rate comes at a cost, as prospective owners need to make peace with the fact that a ball or two may leave the yard during the outing. This is less of an issue for the matchup against the Royals due to the fact that they hold a bottom-5 ISO against lefty pitchers.
Mike Clevinger ($10,800) has been on something of a run lately, recording at least 20 DraftKings points in five of his last six starts. He exceeded 30 DK points in two of those outings. The 28-year-old may find it difficult to maintain this streak against the Twins, as they hold one of the highest wOBAs in the league against righty pitching. It must also be noted that Clevinger has logged a 5.47 ERA in 26.1 innings on the road.
Aaron Nola ($10,600) is rightly considered one of the better pitchers in the National League but a nine percent walk rate combined with a 1.3 HR/9 rate may make DFS players a bit squeamish at this price. The Giants don't strike out quite as much as we might want but they do hold just a .295 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Chris Sale ($10,000) hasn't looked like his dominant, old self lately, having failed to notch double-digit DK points in four of his last six starts. He still carries a massive 35 percent strikeout rate and a 3.06 xFIP, however, which makes him a viable option against every team at this price. The Angels are a middle-of-the-road offense against southpaws but strike out at a rate of just 17 percent, which could make it difficult to realize Sale's full value.
Domingo German ($9,700) has had a real issue keeping the ball in the yard this season, as evidenced by the 1.8/9 rate he has held over 104 innings. The Blue Jays are sort of an odd offense, as they are a bottom-10 team against righty pitching according to wOBA but their .190 ISO is good for the 10th highest mark in the league.
Moving into the mid-range, we see Jon Gray ($8,200) has a matchup against the Padres. Gray has had a bit of an up-and-down season but should reside in our player pools Thursday, as he holds a 24 percent strikeout rate and a 49 percent groundball rate. Meanwhile, the Padres have kept a bottom-10 wOBA and a 26 percent strikeout rate against righty hurlers.
Eric Lauer ($6,700) has looked like a different pitcher at home this season, logging a2.60 ERA in 52 innings. This makes him a very intriguing low-cost option against the Rockies, who currently hold the second-lowest wOBA in the league on the road.
Dillon Peters has gotten good results in 2019 but we should still pay attention to the .524 slugging percentage he has allowed against righty hitters in 15 innings. This sets up nicely for Michael Chavis ($4,600) who has tallied a .267 ISO against right-handed hitters in 234 at-bats.
Aaron Judge ($4,500) has had a bit of a volatile season in 2019 but his proficiency against lefties has remained constant, as we can see from the .254 ISO and .444 wOBA he has logged in 59 at-bats. It appears as though the dam is about to break for Thomas Pannone, who carries a 5.40 xFIP against righty hitters in 39.2 frames.
Nicholas Castellanos ($4,200) has destroyed left-handed pitching in 2019, as evidenced by the .278 ISO and .428 wOBA he has tallied in 79 at-bats. Alex Wood has only logged 11.1 innings this year after returning from injury but we can still attempt to take advantage of the 5.26 xFIP he holds against right-handed hitting.
Aristides Aquino ($3,800) has only had a handful of at-bats at the highest level but he has come out of the gate on fire against southpaws, going 5-for-9 with two homers in four games. It is also worth noting that the 25-year-old dominated in Triple-A this year to the tune of a .636 slugging percentage. Cole Hamels has been fantastic for the Cubs this season but has still allowed a 36 percent hard-hit rate to right-handed hitters in 83.1 innings.
Yankees against Thomas Pannone (Blue Jays)
Higashioka is a bit of a spec play heading into Thursday's action but he hit two homers in a start against a lefty Wednesday and has logged four hits in his 11 at-bats against southpaws, which makes me think he will get the start against another struggling lefty here. This would allow us to fit in a number of high-priced assets in a powerful Yankee lineup.
Braves against Elieser Hernandez (Marlins)
Hernandez kept a microscopic 1.13 ERA in 48 innings at Triple-A but has had a tough time dealing with lefty hitters at this level, as they have walloped him to the tune of a .661 slugging percentage in 15.1 innings.