This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Friday brings a busy night on DraftKings with 13 games making up the main slate. There is no shortage of big names from which to choose, especially on the pitching side of things. Let's dig into the matchups and discuss some players to consider for your lineups.
Brandon Woodruff ($10,400) has been one of the best pitchers in baseball, recording a 1.42 ERA and a 2.20 FIP. He's missing plenty of bats with his 32.5 percent strikeout rate, and he's only given up four home runs across 76 innings. Add in a matchup against a Pirates team that has the worst OPS in baseball and Woodruff should be a very popular option in DFS, despite his hefty salary.
Targeting another bad lineup brings us to Tyler Mahle ($7,900) for his home start against the Rockies. Mahle has been one of the Reds' best pitchers, registering a 3.32 ERA that is supported by a 3.35 FIP. He also has a 28.2 percent strikeout rate, showing that his 29.9 percent mark from last season was not a fluke. Look for him to shine against a Rockies lineup that only has a .567 OPS on the road.
Unlike Woodruff and Mahle, Aaron Civale ($8,400) doesn't miss a ton of bats. In fact, he's on pace for a career-low 18.3 percent strikeout rate. The bright side is that he only has a 1.08 WHIP, and he generally does a good job of avoiding hard contact, given his career 5.9 percent barrel rate allowed. Despite his lack of strikeouts, he's an appealing option against a Mariners team that has the second-worst OPS in baseball.
Kyle Freeland ($5,500) allowed five runs across five innings in his last start against the A's and hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his three starts this season. He's someone to attack in DFS given his career 1.42 WHIP and 17.4 percent strikeout rate. Enter Nick Castellanos ($4,800), who has been out of his mind this season with a .441 wOBA.
Juan Soto ($5,700) has experienced a power outage, following up his .344 ISO last season with a .182 mark this year. The good news is, he's still walking more than he's striking out and he has a .375 wOBA. It could only be a matter of time before the power comes back. In the meantime, he still is an appealing option for his home matchup with Anthony DeSclafani ($6,400), who has a 4.34 FIP on the road.
Ryan Mountcastle ($3,300) is heating up, hitting 13-for-33 (.394) with four home runs and three doubles over his last eight games. He only has a 23.5 percent strikeout rate during that stretch, which is a significant improvement over his season mark of 30.1 percent. While Ryan Yarbrough ($7,700) doesn't present the easiest of matchups, Mountcastle's recent run of success and his career .353 wOBA against left-handed pitchers makes him an intriguing option.
Circling back to the Reds matchup against Freeland, Tyler Stephenson ($3,900) could be a viable option at the catcher position. He's proven to have a strong eye at the plate, recording a 10.9 percent walk rate to go along with a 19.7 percent strikeout rate. During his brief career, he also has a .365 wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
Stacks to Consider
Foltynewicz isn't fooling many batters given he has a 16.4 percent strikeout rate and has allowed 13 home runs over 66.1 innings. The Rangers don't have many quality arms, though, so his spot in the starting rotation is likely safe. However, he could provide disastrous results against the Dodgers, who are sporting a healthier lineup these days. Given Foltynewicz's propensity for allowing home runs, this is a great spot to deploy Muncy and his .250 ISO.
It's tough to get too excited about Stripling's recent run of success that has seen him allow two runs over 17 innings in his last three starts. One them came against an Indians team that ranks inside the bottom-10 in OPS. Another was against the Rays, who have struck out the most times in baseball. This is a much tougher task against the Red Sox given their team .752 OPS. Although Martinez and Hernandez don't have the platoon advantage in this matchup, Stripling has actually allowed a higher wOBA (.343) to righties during his career than he has lefties (.282).
If the Twins had other options, they would have probably removed Shoemaker from their starting rotation by now. He's been awful, posting a 7.28 ERA and a 5.99 FIP. The combination of him allowing 2.0 HR/9 and having a 1.58 WHIP is just asking for trouble against the Astros, who have one of the more dangerous lineups. After a slow start, Tucker has rebounded to 39-for-112 (.348), with six home runs and 11 doubles over his last 28 games.