This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have a jammed Saturday schedule with 12 games set to begin in the 7 p.m. EDT slot or later. The top of the pitcher pool is stacked, but there aren't many hurlers I'd want to roster in the middle tiers. As usual, there are also some fairly obvious spots to target hitters, so it will come to roster construction and finding small tweaks to get unique lineups in large-field tournament style contests.
It's impossible to not mention Jacob deGrom ($10,600), though he doesn't have an easy matchup against the Phillies. Corbin Burnes ($10,300) is the only pitcher in the pool with a strikeout rate over 30 percent across 30 or more innings. The Cardinals are another tough opponent, but Burnes has put up 40 and 37.4 DK points in two starts against them this season.
Though not at the same level from a skills perspective, I'd also be happy to start my pitcher pool with Yu Darvish ($9,800). He's struck out at least nine hitters in five of his last eight starts and draws a matchup against a Nationals lineup that's extremely weak since trading away Josh Bell and Juan Soto.
From the middle tier, I'll take a chance on Lucas Giolito ($7,300). While not spectacular, he's stabilized his performance of late by tallying 20.5 and 17.9 DK points in his last two appearances. He'll also take on a Tigers side that ranks last in the league in wOBA while striking out at the fifth-highest clip.
I'd rather use Giolito as my lowest-salaried option at pitcher, though Ian Anderson ($6,700) has posted decent point totals in three of his last five outings. Perhaps more importantly, the Marlins nearly match the Tigers lineup for offensive ineptitude.
All eyes are on Juan Soto this weekend as he returns to D.C., but Manny Machado ($5,400) also represents a strong option averaging 11 DK points across his last 10 games – only 0.3 per game fewer than Soto and comes at a $600 discount. Anibal Sanchez has allowed at least one home run in each of his five starts this season and multiple long balls on three occasions.
Jose Altuve ($5,500) is always a player to consider when the Astros face a lefty considering his .451 wOBA against them on the season. He's also Houston's locked-in leadoff hitter and draws a matchup against Zach Logue – who enters with a 5.13 SIERA across 35.2 innings this year.
Jose Urena briefly held respectable counting stats, but his skills never suggested that would continue. He currently maintains a 4.63 ERA with a 10.9 K% and he'll take on the Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Christian Walker ($4,400) is reasonably valued and could do a lot of damage given the circumstances.
Ezequiel Duran ($2,400) has quietly put together a six-game hitting streak. He hasn't produced a lot during that span due to a lack of counting stats and power. However, Duran is a cheap way to get exposure to a matchup against Marco Gonzales, who has allowed three home runs in a start twice in his last four outings. He's been fairly effective on several occasions, so it's not necessarily a great stack or place to invest heavily.
Mike Yastrzemski ($2,800) has recorded five extra-base hits across his last 10 games, yet his salary has dropped slightly since the beginning of that stretch. Tyler Beede has had some success as a multi-inning reliever, but the majority of the rest of the Pirates' bullpen is a disaster.
JJ Bleday ($2,000) has shown hints of a breakout with three extra-base hits in his last four starts and typically fills the cleanup spot in the Marlins' lineup. Ian Anderson is up for a spot start for the doubleheader Saturday, but his 8.5 K-BB% and 4.62 SIERA aren't inspiring.
Stacks to Consider
I generally try not to recommend the Coors Field game, but this is such an obvious spot it has to be pointed out. Urena has posted more walks than strikeouts since joining the Rockies, which has led to a 5.59 SIERA. The Diamondbacks are also cheap relative to what would be expected from a Coors stack, but that means they'll likely be a very popular option.
Sanchez's flaws have already been highlighted, and the Padres' lineup obviously boasts the talent to take advantage. Unlike the Diamondbacks, San Diego hitters are fully valued so it does force more creative and risky builds to include the top of the order. However, that could help to drive down roster rate, which will add to the intrigue of using this as a base.
This is another obvious choice, as Logue has coughed up 1.77 HR/9 and has particularly struggled with the long ball while pitching on the road. The Astros have been very stubborn with keeping Gurriel as the second hitter, but he offers salary relief and is a minor way to get different than opponents who are rostering Astros stacks. In addition, each of the three players suggested here have ISOs above .179 against left-handed pitchers this season. It should be a big day for the Houston offense.