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DraftKings MLB: Weekend Value Plays

Jerry Donabedian

Donabedian is an Assistant Football Editor at RotoWire. He writes and edits articles and covers breaking news. A Baltimore native, Donabedian roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.

All player prices are as of Saturday, October 3


Yordano Ventura, KC (Sat. afternoon at MIN), $8600 Ventura was demoted to Triple-A Omaha in June and then struggled upon first returning to the majors, but hes been surprisingly dominant over his last 10 starts, putting up 21.9 DraftKings points per game with a 70:25 K:BB ratio (61 innings). Though hes come back to Earth a bit in his last few outings, Ventura should thrive in Saturdays matchup with a Minnesota team thats struggled against right-handed pitching all season. The Twins rank 27th in wRC+ (88), 26th in OPS (.696) and 22nd in strikeout rate (21 percent) versus righties this season, and the vast majority of the teams at-bats have come from players who will be in Saturdays lineup.

Justin Verlander, DET (Sat. night at CWS), $9200 Another surprising post-break standout, Verlander has arguably been even better than Ventura, putting up 23.4 DK points and a 64:19 K:BB ratio (70.1) over his last 10 games. Though unlikely to match his peak numbers over a longer period, the 32-year-old has at least proven that hes still an above-average big-league starter. And while Id normally avoid a heavy fly-ball pitcher at US Cellular Field, the combination of a favorable price tag and soft opponent more than makes up for the ballpark.

Rick Porcello, BOS (Sun. at CLE) Sticking with the theme, Porcello doesnt quite have the gaudy numbers to match Verlander or Ventura, but he does have an excellent 63:14 K:BB ratio over his last 10 starts, showing massive progress from the disaster that he was earlier in the season. Even though theres no chance he keeps striking out batters at anywhere near the same rate, Porcello is at least back to being be the low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 pitcher that he was before this year. Just make sure hes still priced under $8000.

Other options: Jake Peavy, SF (Sat. afternoon vs. COL), $8900; Kyle Hendricks, CHC (Sat. afternoon at MIL); J.A. Happ, PIT (Sun. vs. CIN)


C/OF Kyle Schwarber, CHC (at MIL), $4400 Although his high strikeout rate has caught up to him to some extent, Schwarber should still be viewed as the best or second-best DK producer among catcher-eligible players , boasting a .282/.397/.563 slash line against right-handed pitchers. He even owns a very reasonable 23.9 strikeout rate against righties, with his 44.3 percent mark versus southpaws the only thing holding him back. Luckily for Schwarber, the Cubs end their season with two matchups and poor right-handers, facing Milwaukees Tyler Wagner and Jorge Lopez.

1B/3B Jefry Marte, DET (at CWS), $2400 With Miguel Cabrera likely to be held out of one or both of the last two games, Marte should get a chance to bat fifth or sixth in the Detroit lineup, and hell be facing very bad pitchers in a homer-friendly park. The 24-year-old Marte may be a borderline prospect, but he has everything else working in his favor this weekend, including a dirt-cheap price.

3B/OF Derek Dietrich, MIA (at PHI), $2800 While his awful defense may keep him off the field when the Marlins still have dreams of contention, Dietrich has proven that hes a big-league quality hitter, posting a .236/.319/.425 slash line through 695 career plate appearances, with his batted-ball luck appearing either neutral or slightly unfavorable. Hes also been better against right-handed pitching (.243/.332/.443), and the Marlins will face three lousy right-handed starters in a homer-friendly ballpark to finish the season. Just make sure hes in the lineup, especially for Saturdays doubleheader.

OF Gerardo Parra, BAL (vs. NYY), $3100 Parra isnt nearly good enough to sustain the .886 OPS he posted for Milwaukee, but hes far better than what hes shown in Baltimore. Essentially, he can be viewed as a league-average hitter or slightly worse, just as he was before this season started. The cold streak makes him a tough sell, but it should also keep ownership down, and he has plenty else (matchups, lineup positioning and price) working in his favor.

1B/OF Darin Ruf, PHI (vs. MIA), $2700 Ruf is always a strong option when the Phillies face a mediocre or poor lefty, as his price tag is consistently below $3000 and he owns a .301/.388/.561 career slash line against southpaws over 282 plate appearances. He would likely be a very effective platoon player, but the Phillies have given him far too many at-bats against righties, which has resulted in mediocre (at best) overall statistics. As you can probably guess by now, the Phillies face very hittable lefties both Saturday night (Justin Nicolino) and Sunday afternoon (Adam Conley).

Other options: C Miguel Montero, CHC (at MIL), $3500; 1B Justin Bour, MIA (at PHI), $3900; 2B/3B Josh Harrison, PIT (vs. CIN), $3400; SS Carlos Correa, HOU (at ARI), $5000; 1B/OF Chris Davis, BAL (vs. NYY), $4500; OF Christian Yelich, MIA (at PHI), $4000

Lineup Stacks

Saturday afternoon

Rangers vs. LAAs Hector Santiago
Royals at KCs Tommy Milone
Marlins at PHIs Aaron Harang
Orioles vs. NYYs Ivan Nova

Saturday night

Orioles vs. NYYs Luis Severino
Tigers at CWSs Erik Johnson
Dodgers vs. SDs Robbie Erlin
Indians vs. BOSs Craig Breslow
Pirates vs. CINs Brandon Finnegan


Cardinals vs. ATLs Matt Wisler
Pirates vs. CINs Josh Smith
Tigers at CWSs Frankie Montas
Cubs at Mils Jorge Lopez
Marlins at PHIs David Buchanan

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.