This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday's six-game main slate features at least two pitchers we can comfortably slide into roster spots, though DFS players may need to dig if they plan on deviating from the norm. On the hitting side, we can use predictive stats to target two pitchers who may be in for a rude awakening in their final few starts this year.
Shane Bieber, CLE at DET ($10,900): It's hard to imagine a price that would be too high to pay for Bieber on a short slate. The right-hander has put up a minuscule 1.53 ERA to go along with a 41 percent strikeout rate in 10 starts this year. Meanwhile, The Tigers have tallied the third-lowest wOBA in the league against right-handed pitching, while striking out against them at a 28 percent clip.
Dakota Hudson, STL at PIT ($8,200):Hudson won't blow anyone away on the mound (22 percent strikeout rate) which may leave some to wonder how he has maintained a 2.92 ERA in seven starts this year. While he may be a candidate for regression, Hudson has kept hitters at bay with a more-than-serviceable heater (8.8 RAA) and a heavy 57 percent groundball rate. Not only do the Pirates carry the lowest wOBA in the league against right-handed pitching, they also hit the ball on the ground at a 47 percent clip.
Seth Lugo, NYM at PHI ($7,100): It may be difficult for prospective owners to find a value pitching option on a slate like this, but Lugo may be a viable alternative despite not having the best matchup. Lugo has never really been considered a DFS-friendly pitcher but has logged a 33 percent strikeout rate as well as a 2.63 ERA and a 54 percent groundball rate in 13 games (four starts). It should also be noted that he put up his best outing of the year against the Phillies earlier this month, striking out eight batters through five innings of one-run baseball.
Trevor Story, COL vs, LAD ($5,500): Julio Urias has thrown the ball well overall this year but has been tagged for a 5.40 ERA in 11.2 frames on the road. Story will always be a top name on the slate against lefty pitchers at Coors Field due to the .289 ISO and .463 wOBA he has tallied against opposite-handed pitchers in 141 at-bats.
Bo Bichette, TOR at NYY ($5,200): Bichette may not be the name that leaps to mind when one thinks of the very best hitters on a particular slate, but he has earned his spot in this section by logging a .309 ISO and a .411 wOBA against right-handed pitching in 55 at-bats. As has been the case for the past few seasons, Masahiro Tanaka is struggling to keep the ball in the yard at Yankee Stadium. He has tallied a 2.1 HR/9 rate at home in 21.2 innings.
Kyle Tucker, HOU vs. TEX ($4,400): Jordan Lyles has been hit the hardest by same-handed opposition in 2020, but lefties may soon get in on the action if the 6.30 xFIP he has logged against them in 21.2 frames is to be believed. Tucker has absolutely crushed right-handed pitching this year, logging a .272 ISO in 114 at-bats.
Franmil Reyes, CLE at DET ($4,200): Casey Mize certainly doesn't lack talent, but he hasn't been able to put together results at this level, as we can see from the 5.85 ERA he has tallied in five starts this year. Reyes has kept something of a reverse split in 2020, registering a .225 ISO and a .360 wOBA in 138 at-bats against righty pitchers.
Aaron Hicks, NYY vs. TOR ($3,600): It's a shame that the Yankees don't have more quality left-handed bats to take advantage of Chase Anderson, who has allowed a swollen .667 slugging percentage against lefty hitters in 11.2 frames. Hicks hasn't been a slouch against righty arms this year, having tallied a .200 ISO and a .351 wOBA in 100 at-bats.
Stacks to Consider
As I alluded to above, prospective owners can safely load up on bats from both sides of the plate against Lyles thanks to the .593 slugging percentage he has allowed against right-handed bats in 21 frames. This should put particular focus on Springer, who has notched a .223 ISO and .360 wOBA against right-handed hurlers in 112 at-bats.
Brault's 5.23 xFIP against righty batters allows us to look to him as a stack target, and we have some powerful, moderately priced hitters with which to do it. As it happens, the Cardinals simply haven't seen many left-handed pitchers in the shortened season, but both Goldschmidt and Edman have notched ISOs above .300 in limited at-bats against southpaws.