This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday's six-game main docket offers a little bit of everything, with viable pitchers to select up-and-down the short slate, as well as sneaky value hitters to go along with high-priced talent at the top.
Dustin May, LAD at ARI ($8,800): May's pitch-to-contact style hasn't always translated into DFS points, but he is the perfect pitcher to use on a short slate at this price thanks to the 2.88 ERA he has logged in eight starts. The D-backs are a bottom-10 team against right-handers according to wOBA and hold the ninth-highest groundball rate this season. This should play well for May, who has thrown groundballs at a 50 percent clip.
Keegan Akin, BAL at NYY ($6,700): Those looking to differentiate themselves on a small slate should take a serious look at Akin. The 23-year-old put up 23.8 DraftKings points without a win against the Yankees last week on the strength of his fastball, which has resulted in a 28 percent strikeout rate in four games (two starts). The Yankees fall just outside the bottom-10 in wOBA against southpaws while striking out against them at a 24 percent rate.
Fernando Tatis, SD vs. SF ($6,000): I always feel a bit guilty going to the very top of the slate for recommendations, but that simply can't be helped in the case of Tatis, who has notched a .357 ISO and a .448 wOBA against same-handed opposition in 129 at-bats. Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill has kept a 1.6 HR/9 rate and a 60 percent hard contact rate against righty hitters in 5.2 frames (30 batters faced).
Bryce Harper, PHI at MIA ($5,200): Harper has largely disappointed during the shortened season, but he has retained his power on the road, where he has logged a .279 ISO in 43 at-bats. It's a shame we don't have more quality lefty bats to line up against Sandy Alcantara, who has allowed a .579 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in 9.1 innings.
Mike Brosseau, TB vs. BOS ($4,700): Brosseau represents incredible value anywhere under $5,000 when he is facing a mediocre southpaw, as he has logged a phenomenal .432 ISO against lefties in 37 at-bats. Mike Kickham has worked behind an opener in his first two appearances this year but will finally get an opportunity to make a proper start. This is great news for us, as Kickham has allowed a .600 slugging percentage to opposite-handed hitters in 3.1 frames (17 batters faced).
Alex Dickerson, SF at SD, ($4,200): Chris Paddack came into the year as a pitcher to watch in the National League, but he has disappointed as we hit the closing stretch of 2020, having notched a 4.71 ERA in nine starts. The bulk of this damage has come against lefty hitters, against whom Paddack has allowed a .526 slugging percentage in 26.1 innings. This allows us to slide Dickerson into our lineups, as he has logged a .275 ISO and .372 wOBA against righty pitchers in 102 at-bats.
A.J. Pollock, LAD at ARI ($3,900): Pollock is close to a league-average hitter against righty hurlers in 2020, but he has found another gear against southpaws, as evidenced by the .282 ISO and .407 wOBA he has kept in 39 at-bats. Madison Bumgarner has fallen incredibly far from the perennial All-Star he has been for most of his career, having allowed a .742 (!) slugging percentage against righty bats in 16.1 innings.
Bobby Dalbec, BOS at TB ($3,200): He arrived too late in an already shortened season to do any lasting damage, but Dalbac has shown phenomenal power in his cup of coffee in the big leagues, having tallied a .469 ISO in 32 at-bats. This makes him an extremely attractive spend-down option against Josh Fleming, who has allowed a .489 slugging percentage against opposite-handed hitters in 12.1 innings.
Stacks to Consider
This is one of those unfortunate scenarios where the team in question doesn't quite have the power we need from the right side of the plate to exploit the lefty hurler, but we are certainly justified in taking a shot on a short slate, as Bumgarner hasn't scored more than six DraftKings points in any of his last three starts.
Kickham will make his first start since 2014 in the contest against the Rays, which presents a great opportunity for us to get a couple of cheap, talented bats onto our rosters. Renfroe represents a sneaky play at his price, as his .121 batting average against southpaws hides a .273 ISO in 33 at-bats.