This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
All 30 teams are in action Wednesday, though we have a split slate with several teams on getaway days. Even so, we still have seven games to work with on the main slate, which kicks off at it the typical 7:05 p.m. EDT.
We immediately have an interesting choice, as Shane McClanahan ($10,200) and Shohei Ohtani ($8,800) – arguably the two most talented pitchers on the slate – square off against each other. The Angels have crushed everyone in their path lately, which gives me a slight lean towards Ohtani. However, both have been excellent from a skills perspective to begin the season, as Ohtani has maintained a 1.82 SIERA and McClanahan a 1.98 mark.
It's hard to not take note of what Tylor Megill ($9,900) has done to start the campaign, as he's maintained a 27.7 percent strikeout rate. He'll take on a Nationals lineup that is middle of the road as measured by wOBA, but is one the least strikeout-prone teams in the league. I'd prefer Ohtani for the lesser cost.
There isn't much in terms of value available, so I'll pay up at pitcher on pretty much all my teams. For those willing to get riskier, I'd be looking to Brady Singer ($5,000). He is the least expensive pitcher in the pool, but that shouldn't be the case based on skill. He hasn't been spectacular, but he should the chance to return value on such a minimal price is high. Singer has been in Triple-A since late April, but he threw five innings in his most recent outing so length shouldn't be an issue.
There are a lot of bad pitchers taking the mound Wednesday night, so identifying preferred hitters will come down to small details. Nationals Park is a strong environment for home runs, so I'll be targeting Mets hitters against Aaron Sanchez. Pete Alonso ($4,900) isn't cheap, but his cost doesn't rival the other top hitters on the slate. Francisco Lindor ($5,100) is also a fine choice.
Chris Archer has surrendered at least one home run in four of his five appearances this season. All Houston bats are in play as a result, but Kyle Tucker ($4,600) is an intersection of being both a top hitter and a relative value option.
On the opposite side of that game, Jose Urquidy has the second-lowest strikeout rate on the slate. Minnesota bats are likely to be less rostered than they should be as Houston project to be fairly chalky. I like Byron Buxton ($6,100) if he returns to the lineup, though Jorge Polanco ($4,500) is another relative value like Tucker.
Ian Anderson has a lot of name value, but he hasn't pitched well to begin the season with a near even amount of strikeouts and walkouts. However, he has suppressed home runs, so I don't necessarily want to target the top Boston bats. Alex Verdugo ($3,600) is a nice compromise.
Jeimer Candelario ($3,500) is starting to turn things around at the plate, he serves as the Tigers' cleanup hitter and is cheap. That's a pretty hard trio of factors to argue against, and Zach Logue is among the top pitchers to target Wednesday.
Juan Yepez ($3,000) will remain a staple in this section until his cost rises to a reasonable point. He served as the Cardinals' cleanup hitter Tuesday, which would cause his stock (and price) to skyrocket if it continues. Spenser Watkins has as many walks as strikeouts to begin the season and has surrendered 1.2 HR/9.
Stacks to Consider
The Cardinals let me down Tuesday night, but I'm ready to go right back to them. Watkins has a 5.28 SIERA, worst among the pitchers in the pool. As was discussed in Monday's column, this stack is very difficult to roster based on the cost of the top three hitters in the order, but Yepez helps balance that. Even so, this stack could require taking a chance on rostering Singer in the SP2 slot.
Let's get a little contrarian. The Astros are likely to be a popular team to stack Wednesday, but Chris Archer has a superior strikeout rate to Urquidy across the last two seasons. Both are prone to the home run ball, so given the likely discrepancy in roster rates I'll opt to play the Twins. There will also be significant savings available by rostering Kepler and Miranda, so you'll be able to lock in two elite pitchers and fill out the rest of the lineup with respectable hitters. If Buxton is in the lineup (that doesn't seem likely), the budget portion of this write-up will change.
The Nationals have trotted out some truly miserable starting pitchers this season. Patrick Corbin held the Mets in check Tuesday, but Sanchez has allowed 13 earned runs across 13.2 innings to start his campaign. This is an obvious play, so don't expect to be unique if you roster this combination of players.