This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
While a lot of eyes will be on the NFL, we have yet another packed slate of games across baseball to take advantage of on DraftKings. With 11 games to pick from, we have plenty of options to consider, so let's get right to it and discuss some of the better players to target.
There is no shortage of viable pitching options with several aces taking the mound. Arguably the most appealing is Gerrit Cole ($12,200), who will be facing the Mariners at home. He checks in with a whopping 38.7 percent strikeout rate, which could make things really ugly for Seattle considering they have struck out the third-most times in baseball. Cole also owns a microscopic 0.84 WHIP at home.
One of the hottest pitchers right now is Jack Flaherty ($10,000). He's stepped up with the Cardinals making a push for the playoffs, allowing two earned runs or fewer in each of his last 11 starts. He thoroughly dominated the Giants in his last outing, allowing only two base runners across eight shutout innings. While not as bad as the Giants, the Pirates don't exactly have an elite lineup, leaving Flaherty with an excellent opportunity to continue his recent run of success.
As far as cheap options go, it doesn't get much more appealing than Mike Montgomery ($4,400) against the Marlins at Marlins Park. He's already pitched significantly better of late, allowing two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. Montgomery's so cheap you can pair him with one of the elite starting pitchers and still have a reasonable amount of your budget left to spend on hitters.
The Astros are dealing with a few significant injuries, but they still possess several potent hitters in their lineup. Look for them to be one of the more popular teams to pursue for their matchup with Felix Hernandez, who enters with a 5.89 FIP. Left-handed hitters have managed a .380 wOBA against him, so this could be a prime opportunity to deploy Yordan Alvarez ($5,400) and Michael Brantley ($4,400). Even taking a chance on Kyle Tucker ($4,300) is worth considering.
Vince Velasquez has recorded several strong performances of late, but it's hard to project what type of outing he is going to have whenever he steps on the mound. Case in point, the Marlins roughed him up for seven runs over 2.1 innings just a couple of weeks ago. Velasquez has allowed 22 home runs over 99.1 innings, making Pete Alonso ($5,100) one of the top players to target at any position.
This season can't end soon enough for the Orioles. Their pitching staff is a complete disaster, which often makes them one of the top teams to stack against. That should be the case here for the Rangers, who will be facing Asher Wojciechowski and his 5.77 FIP. Lefties have recorded a .384 wOBA against, so don't sleep on Shin-Soo Choo ($4,600), Danny Santana ($5,000) and Willie Calhoun ($5,000).
Angels vs. Dylan Cease (White Sox)
Cease's first taste of action in the majors has not gone well with him posting a 6.75 ERA and a 5.51 FIP. He's certainly not doing himself any favors with his 1.55 WHIP. Trout is currently dealing with a toe injury, but he's someone to build an Angels stack around if he's in the lineup. Goodwin is looking to finish his season on a high note, hitting 12-for-40 with four home runs and two doubles over his last 11 games.
White Sox vs. Jaime Barria (Angels)
A key stat to consider with Barria is that even though he is right-handed, righty hitters have recorded .392 wOBA against compared to a .327 wOBA by lefties. That leaves this trio with significant upside. Jimenez has had his ups-and-downs during his rookie campaign, but he's come on strong of late by hitting .357 with two home runs and three doubles across the last 10 games.
Diamondbacks vs. Anthony DeSclafani (Reds)
The Diamondbacks are making a late push to get into the playoffs and will try to keep things rolling versus DeSclafani, who has actually allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 12 starts. However, left-handed hitters have registered a .361 wOBA against, leaving an opportunity to squeeze some value out of this matchup. Marte and Escobar represent the obvious names to consider, while Rojas is appealing at a more cost-effective price. He showed an excellent combination of power and speed in the minors, recording 15 home runs and 20 steals in 61 games at Triple-A.