DraftKings MLB: Saturday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Saturday's six-game evening slate presents some unique challenges as there's no obvious pitcher to load up against, but those willing to sift through the numbers can find their fair share of targets to exploit.

Pitchers

The dip in Walker Buehler's ($9,600) strikeout rate has been significant, but the 26-year-old remains a strong DFS option thanks to the 16.1 RAA he's accumulated with his fastball making it the fourth-most effective heater in the league this year. Meanwhile, the D-backs have logged the second-lowest wOBA against right-handed pitching while also recording the second-lowest ISO (.131). It's also worth noting Buehler put up 35.5 points in his last start against Arizona in June.

Walks and home runs allowed have been major problems for Patrick Sandoval ($8,400) this year. And while the latter may be an issue against the Mariners, it's difficult to pass against a lineup that has logged the second-lowest wOBA in the league against left-handed pitching. We should also be able to offset some of that potential damage with punchouts, as Sandoval's 26 percent strikeout rate will likely play well against a team that has gone down on strikes over 27 percent of the time.

The Rockies hold the lowest road wOBA by a wide margin, making it a good idea to look for hurlers to roster against them whenever they are away from Coors Field. This decision is made easier when we have an arm like Joe Musgrove ($7,700), who enters with a 2.97 ERA and a 29 percent strikeout rate over 94 innings. German Marquez has been absolutely fantastic for the Rockies of late, but he's struggled to a 4.67 ERA on the road.

Top Hitters

Justin Turner's ($5,200) overall power numbers haven't quite returned since dipping after the 2019 season, but the veteran has still taken care of lefties with a .255 ISO from 94 at-bats that's complemented by a robust .389 wOBA. Caleb Smith has done well to limit damage against his opposite hand this season, but that may be about to change if the 4.88 xFIP in 53.1 frames is any indication.

Zach Davies is another pitcher whose advanced statistics forecast major regression as subpar walk and strikeout rates have contributed to a 5.36 xFIP across 88.1 frames. Nolan Arenado ($5,500) has done his best work against opposite-handed pitchers in 2021, but has shown decent power against righties with a .223 ISO over 269 at-bats.

Aaron Judge ($5,400) appears to have found his power stroke in July with a .260 ISO in 30 at-bats. Zack Greinke's 3.64 ERA may seem solid, but that number conceals a glaring disparity as the former Cy Young Award winner has been tagged with a 5.26 ERA over 51.1 innings in his home ballpark.

Bargain Bats

Those who want to take advantage of Sandoval's struggles with the home run ball should take a look at Ty France ($3,300). While he isn't having the best season overall, the 26-year-old has shown some power against southpaws with a .206 ISO across 91 at-bats. Sandoval's skill set could result in both strikeouts and solo homers, which makes rostering a powerful, low-salary option like France a viable strategy.

Vladimir Gutierrez appears to be sitting on a powder keg with respect to left-handed hitters, as his 6.14 xFIP is a world apart from the .309 wOBA he's allowed in 20 innings. The Brewers don't have many left-handed hitters we can use to take advantage of this, but Jace Peterson ($3,700) and the .368 wOBA he's posted against orthodox pitchers should do nicely.

No one will ever accuse David Fletcher ($2,800) of being a powerhouse, but the infielder has been unconscious to begin July sporting a .437 wOBA from 32 at-bats. Chris Flexen has been excellent at home this year, but one could do far worse than Fletcher as a punt play considering he's notched 20-point performances in two of his last three contests.

Stacks to Consider

Dodgers against Caleb Smith: Justin Turner ($5,200), AJ Pollock ($3,500), Albert Pujols ($2,800)

"Value" isn't always a word associated with the Dodgers offense, but the presence of a mediocre lefty allows us to grab two value options who have specialized in hitting against the platoon. This is particularly true of Pujols, who appeared to be on his way out of baseball after being cut by the Angels, but now holds a whopping .317 ISO against lefty pitchers in 82 at-bats.

Padres against German Marquez: Manny Machado ($5,000), Trent Grisham ($4,000), Wil Myers ($3,400)

Marquez's home and road splits may just be a product of a one-season sample size, but the difference is so stark across 105.1 innings that it's worth testing out in a matchup against one of the league's quality offenses. We can look at Grisham in particular, who has produced a .220 ISO and .360 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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