This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's eight-game main slate is a bit strange in that the pitching mid-range has all-but been eliminated, but we can find an extremely cheap play in order to fit in our more expensive sections at the top. This will come in handy as we get to our hitters, as several starters towards the bottom of the slate have either struggled mightily this year or are mediocre starters making their season debuts.
Kenta Maeda, MIN at MIL ($9,100): Ordinarily I wouldn't dream of starting a high-priced pitcher at Miller Park, but location doesn't seem to matter for the Brewers this season, as they carry a bottom-5 ISO and a jaw-dropping 31 percent strikeout rate at home. Maeda already features two pitches greater than three runs above average (fastball and slider) and has thrown grounders at a 49 percent rate.
Zach Eflin, PHI vs. BAL ($6,400): The Orioles have been a surprise breakout team early this season but still struggle with the slider, as evidenced by the bottom-5 RAA they hold against the pitch. Not much can be gleaned from the four innings Eflin threw against the Yankees last week, but I feel comfortable at this price due to the 5.5 RAA he registered in 2019 with his slider, a pitch he threw 28 percent of the time.
Nelson Cruz, MIN at MIL ($5,400): Cruz's .583 ISO against lefty hitters in just 12 at-bats this season may seem like small-sample hijinks, but the 40-year-old actually posted a .461 ISO in 115 at-bats against his opposite hand in 2019. Eric Lauer has allowed six runs in 5.2 innings over his two appearances (one start) this year and registered a 4.62 xFIP against righty hitters in 2019.
Juan Soto, WAS at NYM ($5,000): Soto got off to a late start in 2020 due to a positive Covid-19 test but has hit the ground running, logging six hits (including a homer and two doubles) in 10 at-bats against right-handed pitchers. This can be seen as a nice continuation of last year when Soto logged a .303 ISO in 356 at-bats against his opposite hand. Walker Lockett has never sniffed success at the major league level, as we can see from the career 8.84 ERA he has notched in 37.2 innings.
Carlos Correa, HOU vs. SF ($4,500): There's a lot of noise surrounding the Astros right now, but none of it should make us forget that Correa has tallied a .391 wOBA in 42 at-bats against same-handed pitchers. Trevor Cahill will make his season debut after dealing with a finger injury. DFS players may want to see if Cahill suffers any mound jitters after being tagged with a 5.98 ERA in 102.1 frames last year.
Kyle Lewis, SEA at TEX ($4,100): Lewis has jumped out as an early Rookie of the Year candidate, posting a .232 ISO and .467 wOBA in 56 at-bats against righty pitchers. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles has allowed a .632 slugging percentage over his first four innings against right-handed hitters (21 batters).
Michael Conforto, NYM vs. WAS ($3,800): Curiously, Conforto has hit for almost no power against right-handed pitching this year, but we will take the discount that affords us, as the 27-year-old notched a .280 ISO in 375 at-bats against righty pitching in 2019. Anibal Sanchez has been absolutely torched by opposite-handed hitters during the young season, as evidenced by the .684 slugging percentage he has allowed over his first 22 lefty batters faced.
Michael Chavis, BOS vs. TB ($2,700): Those looking to go to the basement in order to save salary should take a strong look at Chavis, whose .333 ISO against southpaws in 18-at bats looks to be a continuation from 2019 (.255 ISO). Blake Snell has compiled an incredible strikeout rate in 2020 (39 percent) but has also allowed a .556 slugging percentage to right-handed bats in 6.1 frames.
Stacks to Consider
I mentioned Lockett's struggles at the highest level above, but I neglected to highlight the 4.11 ERA he logged in 547 innings in the minor leagues. No matter which number you look at, nothing in his profile says that Lockett will be ready for the Nationals after dealing with a back injury. Soto and Turner are known quantities in DFS circles, but Cabrera might be less well-known as a value play despite tallying a .219 ISO against right-handed pitching in 32 at-bats.
It's a bit difficult to use current data in a stack like this, as players generally don't have many at-bats against left-handers this early in the year, but Gonzalez and Cruz have both started incredibly hot in their handful of at-bats against left-handed pitching, while Sano logged a .367 ISO against his opposite hand in 109 at-bats last season.