DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

All player prices are as of Friday, September 4


Michael Bolsinger, LAD (Fri. at SD), $8100 – The matchup and ballpark are obviously both ideal, yet this may still seem like a lot to pay for a guy who was just recently recalled from the minors. However, Bolsinger was wildly overqualified for the Triple-A level, as evidenced by his 2.31 ERA, 2.88 FIP and 11.8 K/9 over 46.2 innings for the Dodgers' affiliate in Oklahoma City. Even better, Bolsinger has been excellent in 16 big-league starts (89 innings) this season, posting a 2.83 ERA, 2.91 FIP and 7.8 K/9. With a 20.9 percent strikeout rate and 54.5 percent ground-ball rate through 141.1 career innings in the majors, it's abundantly clear that the 27-year-old deserves a long-term spot in the Dodgers' rotation.

Nathan Eovaldi, NYY (Sat. afternoon vs. TB) – Lousy against right-handed pitching all season, the Rays have been using more left-handed batters at the top of their lineup over the last few weeks. The move has contributed to the team's (likely temporary) offensive revival, but this is still a sub-par lineup without any truly dangerous bats, with apologies to Evan Longoria's recent hot streak. Eovaldi, of course, has been on a nice little run of his own, averaging 16.6 DraftKings points in each of his last 10 starts, with at least 10 points in every outing. As detailed by Fangraphs, Eovaldi's recent success has coincided with a change in the grip on his splitter, which he has subsequently thrown far more often.

Felix Hernandez, SEA (Sat. night at OAK) – I'm not a big fan of the Saturday night pitching options, so even though Hernandez draws a tough matchup for piling up strikeouts, it makes sense to lean on an ace who will probably carry a reasonable price tag. Yes, he's been less than his usual self since the All-Star break, but Hernandez did put up 29 DraftKings points and seven strikeouts in his last start, which came against the very same Oakland team that he'll face Saturday. I'll let everyone else chase Ervin Santana's last start.

Johnny Cueto, KC (Sun. vs. CWS) – After allowing 16 earned runs over his last three starts, Cueto will likely carry his lowest price tag in quite a while, just in time for an excellent matchup with the White Sox at pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium. Keep in mind that Cueto faced the Red Sox, Tigers and Orioles in his last three starts, and his average fastball velocity was actually above its season-long average in each of those outings. Cueto was also covered by Fangraphs recently, with the article noting that his velocity, movement and release point all looked normal over the past three starts.

Other options:Garrett Richards, LAA (Fri. vs. TEX), $8300; John Lamb, CIN (Sat. afternoon vs. MIL); Derek Holland, TEX (Sat. night at LAA); Danny Salazar, CLE (Sun. at DET); Justin Verlander, DET (Sun. vs. CLE)


C John Jaso, TB (at NYY), $3000 – Between his catcher eligibility, low price and track record of success against right-handed pitching, Jaso has been one of my favorite options since he returned from the disabled list in July. This weekend sets up perfectly for his limited skillset, as he'll get to take aim at the Yankees' short right-field porch in three consecutive matchups with right-handers. Jaso has been batting cleanup, and he can be used in a dirt-cheap mini stack along with teammates Grady Sizemore ($2500) and Daniel Nava ($2000), who bat first and second in the lineup against right-handers.

1B Adam Lind, MIL (at CIN), $4500 – Lind should be able to take advantage of a weekend at Great American Ballpark, with the Brewers facing weak right-handers on Friday (Keyvius Sampson) and Sunday (Michael Lorenzen). First-base counterpart Joey Votto ($5200) will draw equally favorable matchups in a series that should produce plenty of fireworks. You'll want a piece of this one any way you can get it, but the truly prime options are Lind, Votto and Jay Bruce.

SS Jose Reyes, COL (vs. SF), $4700 – As is often the case, the shortstop options appear rather unenticing this weekend, though Reyes is a notable exception. This is a bit more than I'd typically want to pay for him, even at Coors Field, but the matchups and lack of alternatives still point me in Reyes' direction. He and his teammates should feast on a struggling Chris Heston on Friday, and it could be more of the same Saturday night against Jake Peavy. I'll have to look elsewhere for Sunday, as Madison Bumgarner isn't to be messed with, even if he's pitching on the moon.

OF Jay Bruce, CIN (vs. MIL), $3900 – Bruce should feast on Matt Garza (Friday) and Wily Peralta (Saturday), the first of whom appears to be completely toast, and the second of whom was never any good to begin with. They've been two of my favorite pitchers to stack against for the last few months, and there's no chance that will change this weekend at Great American Ballpark. With a price tag just south of $4000, Bruce can gleefully be used as a stand-alone option or part of a stack.

1B/OF Darin Ruf, PHI (at BOS), $2500 – Ruf is unlikely to be in the lineup for Friday's matchup with Joe Kelly, but he'll likely bat fifth or sixth on Saturday and Sunday, with the Phillies facing southpaws Wade Miley and Eduardo Rodriguez. Although his other skills aren't quite big-league caliber, Ruf owns an excellent .296/.382/.534 slash line in 263 career plate appearances against left-handers, with his seemingly unsustainable .349 BABIP somewhat supported by an excellent hard-hit rate of 39.8 percent. The numbers probably exaggerate his ability to hit lefties in the long run, but we do have enough evidence to conclude that he handles them pretty well. Ruf should put a ball or two off/over the Green Monster this weekend.

Other options:1B Joey Votto, CIN (vs. MIL), $5200; 1B/OF Daniel Nava, TB (at NYY), $2000; 2B Robinson Cano, SEA (at OAK), $3700; 2B/SS Kelby Tomlinson, SF (at COL), $3300; 2B/3B Anthony Rendon, WAS (vs. ATL), $3400; SS Troy Tulowitzki, TOR (vs. BAL), $4100; OF Mookie Betts, BOS (vs. PHI), $4800; OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL (vs. SF), $4700; OF Marlon Byrd, SF (at COL), $4300; OF Aaron Altherr, PHI (at BOS), $3000; OF Grady Sizemore, TB (at NYY), $2400

Lineup Stacks


Yankees vs. TB's Jake Odorizzi
Blue Jays vs. BAL's Ubaldo Jimenez
Mets at MIA's Tom Koehler
Red Sox vs. PHI's Adam Morgan
Reds vs. MIL's Matt Garza
Brewers at CIN's Keyvius Sampson
Rockies vs. SF's Chris Heston
A's vs. SEA's Edgar Olmos

Saturday afternoon

Reds vs. MIL's Wily Peralta
Phillies at BOS's Wade Miley
Red Sox vs. PHI's Alec Asher

Saturday night

Indians at DET's Alfredo Simon
Tigers vs. CLE's Josh Tomlin
Rockies vs. SF's Jake Peavy
Rangers at LAA's Jered Weaver


Rays at NYY's Ivan Nova
Orioles at TOR's Mark Buehrle
Red Sox vs. PHI's Jerad Eickhoff
Phillies at BOS's Eduardo Rodriguez
Nationals vs. ATL's Manny Banuelos
Cubs vs. ARI's Rubby De La Rosa

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Jerry Donabedian plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: jd0505, DraftKings: jd0505.
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Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
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