This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Saturday's nine-game evening slate presents pitchers at every salary tier, which should allow prospective poolies to get creative with lineup construction. We will also take a look at three hitters under the $3,500 mark for those who like to hunt for value plays.
A matchup against the Braves isn't ideal for DFS purposes, but I'm more focused on the salary of Brandon Woodruff ($9,800) as it's dipped below $10,000 for the first time in 10 starts. This has to be considered value as he'll enter the contest with a 30 percent strikeout rate and a 2.14 ERA. It's also worth noting Atlanta has managed a 25 percent strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers, which rates as the ninth-highest mark in the league.
The Cubs fall just outside the bottom-10 against right-handed pitching according to wOBA while also carrying the highest strikeout rate in the league versus orthodox hurlers. Joe Ross ($8,100) has enjoyed a fantastic summer after a shaky start to the season by only allowing 10 earned runs over 44 innings in June and July.
Tyler Anderson ($7,000) has been surprisingly effective in July with a 2.51 ERA across 18 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .261 wOBA. Meanwhile, the Rangers carry the lowest wOBA in the league against southpaws with a .289 mark in over 1,200 plate appearances. While Anderson's DFS scores haven't quite mirrored his statistics this month, he did post a hefty 28.2 points against the Pirates on Jul. 4.
Rich Hill seems to be showing signs of fatigue in his age-41 season considering his strikeout rate has declined while his walks have risen the last two months. This has contributed to a bloated 6.30 xFIP in 17.2 innings in July. Jonathan India ($5,300) isn't the most powerful bat in the Cincinnati lineup, but the .429 wOBA he's logged over 72 at-bats against lefties makes him someone to strongly consider against the fading veteran.
Mitch Haniger ($5,700) has shown tremendous power against southpaws in 2021 with a .287 ISO and a .372 wOBA from 122 at-bats. Taylor Hearn likely isn't stretched out enough to provide much length Saturday, but DFS players should take advantage of the start since he's allowed eight home runs to right-handed hitters in only 30 innings.
Triston McKenzie may be the closest thing we have to "Wild Thing" Rick Vaughn, as the right-hander can seemingly get hit hard or twirl a gem on any given day. Jose Abreu ($5,000) is a prime candidate to succeed against a flamethrower like McKenzie as he's cut his strikeout rate to under 20 percent in July to go with a .244 ISO across 90 at-bats.
Brent Rooker ($3,300) demolished Triple-A arms in 218 at-bats this season with a .307 ISO. He's followed up that performance against same-handed pitchers by hitting four homers over 37 at-bats. Jake Woodford has allowed just a .277 wOBA against righty hitters, but his 5.58 xFIP tells us something has to give.
It's unfortunate the Cardinals don't offer the left-handed bats to take full advantage of a pitcher like Bailey Ober, who has been stung by his opposite hand to the tune of a .588 slugging percentage in 20.2 innings. Dylan Carlson ($3,100) isn't exactly a power hitter, but he's begun to show more pop as of late with a .206 ISO over 91 at-bats this month.
It's hard to overstate how badly Yu Darvish has struggled in July. The former Cy Young Award runner-up's ERA has exploded to 7.32 through 19.2 frames on the back of a .613 slugging percentage allowed to opposing hitters. This gives us the opportunity to plug in Ryan McMahon as a value option due to his .225 ISO against right-handed pitchers in 244 at-bats.
Stacks to Consider
We may need to pay up for India, but the Reds lineup features a few bats who specialize in hitting against southpaws that we can roster for salary relief. Farmer is the most attractive target in this regard with a .241 ISO and .397 wOBA from 58 at-bats against lefties.
Kyle Hendricks has produced a solid season overall, but opposing hitters have been teeing off on him since the All-Star break thanks to a .561 slugging percentage against across 19.2 innings. Bell's power numbers have risen steadily since March, culminating in a .267 ISO over 86 at-bats this month.