This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's evening MLB slate includes 10 games. While there's no shortage of selections, exploiting vulnerable pitchers is the surest path to finding value. Read on to find out which hurlers are easiest to stack against and which batters are best positioned to capitalize on these matchups…
Vince Velasquez, PHI vs. NYM ($9,200): Velasquez racked up 10 strikeouts despite lasting just four innings in a frustrating season debut against Washington, but he'll likely go deeper into the game against a Mets team that's scoring just 3.57 runs per game early on after ranking 26th with 4.12 per contest in 2016. The 24-year-old's career 27.4 percent strikeout rate shows that he's capable of replicating that double-digit strikeout effort here. Citizens Bank Park had the fifth lowest park factor in the league last season at 0.84, so he's also likely to work deeper into the game while allowing fewer runs.
Tom Koehler, MIA vs. ATL ($6,900): Koehler's affordability makes him a safe choice, while a nearly ideal combination of matchup and venue raises his upside. Atlanta's offense ranked third-worst in the league with 4.03 runs per game last season while Marlins Park came in just ahead of Citizens Bank Park with .83 as many runs scored relative to the average location. Koehler's 4.34 career FIP and 17.9 percent strikeout rate indicate that he possesses the skills necessary to capitalize on this favorable situation.
J.T. Realmuto, MIA vs. ATL ($3,600): The reigning NL player of the week has a golden opportunity to improve on the .500/.542/.909 line that won him the honor with southpaw Jaime Garcia pitching for Atlanta. While the right-handed hitting catcher has had trouble capitalizing on lefties early in his career, his .594 wOBA through six plate appearances in that split this season suggests he's finally coming around in that regard. Those who wait to find out whether that trend continues will miss out on getting Realmuto for cheap early in what could be his breakout season, and his 12 steals last year reveal that the 26-year-old brings an upside on the base paths that's usually absent at his position.
Eric Hosmer, KC vs. OAK ($4,100): Hosmer's proficiency against righties suggests he won't have a problem producing against one with just 62 innings of major-league experience. Andrew Triggs has allowed a .315 wOBA to left-handed hitters in that span, and the Royals' cleanup hitter has been far more potent than the typical batter from that side given his .348 career wOBA in this split.
Joe Panik, SF vs. ARI ($3,600): After Shelby Miller's disastrous .400 wOBA allowed to left-handed hitters last season, any such bat in the Giants lineup is worth consideration. He's not the biggest name on the team, but Panik's .333 career wOBA against righties is more than serviceable enough to expect strong results here. Panik's affordable $3,600 price and the scarcity of fantasy production at the second base position make him stand out from the alternatives given the astronomical ceiling of this matchup.
Jake Lamb, ARI at SF ($3,700): Lamb's .357 wOBA against righties this season is very maintainable considering the third baseman finished with a .374 mark in that split last season. This matchup is even more advantageous for Lamb than one against a typical right-hander, as Matt Cain is on pace to surrender a wOBA over .385 to left-handed hitters for the third consecutive campaign. His struggles against other lefties keep the slugger's overall numbers and price depressed, but he's a good name to keep in mind whenever the Diamondbacks take on a non-marquee righty.
Manny Machado, BAL at BOS ($5,300): Machado's career success against R.A. Dickey suggests he's likely to produce similar results with knuckleballer Steven Wright on the mound for Boston. The young slugger is 9-for-22 with a .409/.409/.591 line against Dickey, and his .352 career wOBA against righties suggests he has no trouble succeeding in that split in general. While it requires saving a few extra dollars at other positions, Machado's expected production is so far above the norm for a shortstop that he's well worth his $5,300 price.
Kyle Schwarber, CHC vs. LAD ($4,600): Chicago's potent lineup is likely to plate plenty of runs against right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who hasn't posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2012. Schwarber is the most likely candidate to score out of the leadoff spot, and his .394 career wOBA against righties further boosts his value. His hot start makes the fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft the top value play on his team despite a hefty $4,600 valuation.
David Peralta, ARI at SF ($3,400): Cain's documented struggles against lefties suggest getting as many such Arizona hitters in your lineup as possible is a sound play. Peralta is one such option, and his .373 career wOBA in that split makes the fourth-year outfielder a bargain at just $3,400. He usually bats second against right-handers, putting Peralta in position to take advantage of his proficiency by scoring and driving in runs for a top-heavy Diamondbacks lineup.
Josh Reddick, HOU at SEA ($3,500): Reddick is another player whose ineffectiveness against southpaws keeps his price depressed despite tremendous success in the opposite split. His wOBA against right-handers is over .350 for the fourth consecutive season, and facing Yovani Gallardo at Safeco Field (1.16 home run park factor in 2016) creates an environment conducive to further improving those numbers. Gallardo's on pace to allow at least a .334 wOBA to left-handed hitters like Reddick for the third consecutive campaign, so this is the right time to utilize the affordable outfielder.