This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Friday's six-game evening slate carries with it several quality pay-up options as far as pitching is concerned, but we can look to peripheral stats to find at least one low-cost hurler to round out our lineups.
Dustin May ($9,800) has found his strikeout pitch in 2021, as evidenced by his 37 percent punchout rate in 21.1 innings (four starts). Not only have the Brewers struggled against right-handed pitching, but they also rate as a bottom-five team at home according to wOBA. Miller Park can be a hitter's haven for any team, but May should be able to mitigate those park effects as he's kept the ball on the ground at a 57 percent clip.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,700) missed all of 2020 while dealing with the effects of COVID-19, but the 28-year-old seems to be making up for lost time by logging a 3.52 ERA (2.85 xFIP) and keeping a tidy 26:2 K/BB ratio in the process. While he's had trouble keeping the ball in the park to begin the year, this shouldn't be much of a concern against the Rangers who have managed the second-lowest ISO in the league against southpaws (.116).
Viable low-cost options are a bit hard to come by on the evening slate, but those looking to save some salary may want to take a shot on Griffin Canning ($7,200). His 8.40 ERA doesn't exactly scream "asset", but we have some evidence that positive regression is coming as a bloated 35 percent HR/FB rate has contributed to a 3.78 xFIP. The Mariners remain one of the league's worst offenses when facing right-handed pitchers, against whom they have logged a bottom-10 wOBA and 26 percent strikeout rate.
J.D. Martinez ($5,500) began atoning for his subpar 2020 almost immediately and now carries a monstrous .377/.478/.738 batting line against right-handed pitchers over 61 at-bats. Jordan Lyles' HR/9 rate has risen steadily over the past three seasons and stands at 2.63 in 24 innings (five starts). Same-handed hitters have been doing the majority of the damage against the 30-year-old this year, as we can see from the .724 slugging percentage he has allowed across 14.2 frames.
Shohei Ohtani's ($5,300) time on the mound has been something of a mixed bag, but there is no mistaking his dominance at the plate this season with a .329 ISO and .429 wOBA against right-handed pitchers in 62 at-bats. Ljay Newsome has prevented runs out of the bullpen in 2021, but didn't enjoy success as a starter in 2020 when he allowed a .724 slugging percentage to lefty bats from six innings (34 batters faced).
Eduardo Escobar's ($4,800) splits to begin this year tell a clear story. While he is hitting with a considerable amount of power from the left side of the plate, the numbers simply don't compare to his feats against southpaws notching a .478 ISO and a .581 wOBA against them in 23 at-bats. Austin Gomber's overall numbers will be inflated thanks to the nine runs he allowed in just 1.2 innings against the Rockies in his last start, but a .515 xFIP and 4.93 xERA let us know it's not all bad luck that allowed for the blowup outing.
Evan Longoria's ($3,600) stats against left-handers are so gaudy we can say with confidence they won't hold for the rest of the season. Still, we can't just ignore the four homers and eight walks he has logged against his opposite hand over 19 plate appearances. Blake Snell has been a strikeout machine this year, but a .431 wOBA and a 38 percent hard-hit rate against righties offer at least some evidence there is a weakness to exploit.
Guillermo Heredia ($3,200) hasn't played much against lefty pitchers this year due to being called up in mid-April, but it's hard not to give the 30-year-old a look at this salary as he's taken the league by storm with a .300/.429/.575 slash line across 40 at-bats. The Braves will face two mediocre lefties in Travis Bergen and Tommy Milone. Bergen finished 2020 with an xFIP of 5.18, while Milone has allowed a .471 slugging percentage to right-handed bats.
The .265 wOBA Kyle Lewis ($3,400) carries this season may cause some to steer clear, but prospective poolies should note the .318 ISO he's logged in 22 at-bats against righties. Those who aren't feeling adventurous enough to roster Canning may want to consider building a lineup to oppose as he's allowed a .763 slugging percentage against right-handed hitters in 9.2 innings.
Stacks to consider
The top-heavy nature of the Red Sox lineup makes it a bit difficult to fill our stack without breaking the bank, but Hernandez can be had for a reasonable salary and has logged a 39 percent hard-contact rate against same-handed opposition. This should allow him to put some good swings on the struggling Lyles.
By contrast, here are three hitters who have absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching with each holding ISOs above .400 in limited at-bats. While there isn't exactly a low-cost option here, each has a moderate salary attached particularly when one considers the matchup against Gomber.