This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We're back down to a smaller nine-game schedule for the main slate Wednesday. There are still a lot of interesting options, and a game at Coors Field is always worth noting from a hitter's perspective. From a pitching standpoint, there are quality arms available, but it may not be a day where we see massive pitching performances due to a lack of strikeout upside.
This isn't likely to be a ceiling pitcher pool, because no probable starter has a strikeout rate above 25.5 percent (with a substantial sample). Justin Verlander ($10,500) is the highest-priced pitcher and faces a Rangers lineup that strikes out a high rate and is roughly average in metrics such as wOBA and wRC+. Sandy Alcantara ($10,300) is worth mentioning thanks to his consistency, though he does draw a matchup against the Phillies – who have hit well as a whole across the last 30 days.
Speaking of the Phillies, I'm willing to take a look at Noah Syndergaard ($7,900) strictly due to his matchup against the Marlins. Miami's lineup has a .254 wOBA and 23.7 strikeout rate across the last 30 days. Syndergaard has uninspiring skills (18.2 K%, 4.27 SIERA), so understand there is risk here. In roughly the same price tier, I'm also interested in Jose Berrios ($7,300). The Orioles lineup has been strong, but prior to a poor outing against the Twins his last time out, Berrios had managed more than 15 DK points in five consecutive starts and over 20 DK points in three of his previous five outings.
Madison Bumgarner ($6,900) is a decent punt play. His shortcomings in skills will be covered later, and his 15.8 percent strikeout rate is most notable in this context. Despite that, Bumgarner has shown his ceiling on a few occasions of late, spiking 22.2 and 32.4 DK point performances in his last five games. A matchup against the Pirates gives him the chance to do so again.
Jose Ramirez ($5,800) and the Guardians get a nice matchup against Drew Hutchison, who has only a 3.3 K-BB% for the season – lowest among the player pool. Hutchison has allowed only 0.8 HR/9, but he has also allowed a 10.1 percent barrel rate. His 4.37 ERA is due for another bump up.
It's never difficult to make the case for Yordan Alvarez ($5,900), but it's even easier to do so Wednesday. He draws a matchup against Glenn Otto, who has the third-highest SIERA on the slate and has allowed 1.3 HR/9.
AJ Pollock ($3,800) is one of those players that doesn't fit neatly into either the value or top hitter category, but I still want to take the time to highlight his potential Wednesday. Since Tim Anderson has been out -- first due to suspension and now injury -- Pollock has taken over as the team's leadoff hitter. He's also got a dream matchup, which we'll dive more into in the stacks.
Vinnie Pasquantino ($2,100) has slowly started to show signs of paying off the Royals' patience with him. He has maintained a .731 OPS across his last 10 games, which isn't all that impressive. However, given his price and position as Kansas City's cleanup hitter, he offers nice value.
The Rockies have made a point to play Elehuris Montero ($2,700) of late, and one avenue for him to be in the lineup is taking over at third base for Ryan McMahon when lefties are on the mound. Montero has taken advantage of his increased opportunity, posting a .920 OPS across his last 10 games. He draws a matchup against Joe Quintana – who has been quite tough this season – but Montero should benefit from Coors Field.
The Pirates have a left-handed heavy lineup which doesn't make them a good team to look towards against Madison Bumgarner, but Michael Chavis ($2,000) is minimum priced and has a substantial role on a short-side platoon role. It's not predictive, but Chavis' two-homer game Tuesday is an illustration of what he can do against southpaws.
Stacks to Consider
The White Sox can't get their offense going consistently this season, and they took another hit with the injury news surrounding Tim Anderson. However, Jimenez has gotten on track since the All-Star break (.660 SLG across 53 at-bats), Pollock is a nice value as the team's new leadoff hitter and a matchup against Bubic is too much to pass up. Across 80.1 innings this season, Bubic has allowed 1.3 HR/9 and has only a 7.6 K-BB%. That's good for an ugly 4.81 SIERA.
In addition to the homer rate cited above for Otto, he also has an 11.4 percent walk rate in addition to the 1.3 HR/9 he surrenders. The Astros' lineup has proven to be among the best in the league throughout the season and got Kyle Tucker back in the lineup Tuesday. Finally, Houston has stubbornly kept Yuli Gurriel second in the order, though he does offer some nice savings.
The shortcomings of Hutchison have been covered, and his 4.37 ERA is likely to only worsen based on the skills he's shown. The Guardians are a contact-heavy lineup that doesn't have a ton of pop, so there is a risk that a stack falls flat. That only increases due to the pretty substantial price associated with the top of the lineup and also the negative offensive effect of Comerica Park. However, with the Astros in a good spot and a Coors Field game on the slate, Cleveland offers an intriguing way to potentially play a bit contrarian.