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DraftKings MLB: Saturday Picks

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

PITCHER

Madison Bumgarner, SF at SD ($13,400): The Padres are a bottom-10 offense against southpaws, with a .314 wOBA and 25.2 percent strikeout rate that’s tied with the Rays for the highest in the majors. Bumgarner has stymied them on multiple occasions this year, striking out 34 in 28.1 innings while averaging 26.1 fantasy points per game over four starts.

Rick Porcello, BOS at TB ($12,600): There’s really no reason to fade Porcello, who has averaged 24.9 fantasy points per game and posted a 4-0 record against Tampa Bay this season. The Rays have been average against righties in terms of wOBA (.316), but they have struck out at a 24.2 percent rate against that handedness, the highest in the American League. They’ve also been one of the weaker offenses in baseball at home this season, with a .307 wOBA and 25.3 percent strikeout rate at Tropicana Field.

CATCHER

Salvador Perez, KC at DET ($2,700):  It’s never a bad idea to try and harness some cheap power upside at catcher, and Perez certainly checks that box. He’s expected to play after getting the night off Friday due to a sore knee, and he faces southpaw Daniel Norris, who’s given up a .341 wOBA and five homers to right-handed hitters at home this season, along with a 30.3 percent hard contact rate. Perez has hit lefties well on the road this year, with a .214 ISO and 20 percent HR/FB rate, which dovetails favorably with the 44.7 percent fly ball rate Norris gives up to right-handed hitters at Comerica Park. 

FIRST BASE

Kendrys Morales, KC at DET ($3,800) Morales is another high upside play to deploy against Norris, considering the slugger’s .371 wOBA against southpaws, and his .282 ISO when facing them on the road. Morales has also been putting the screws to the ball, posting a .329 batting average, .421 wOBA, .291 ISO and seven homers in his last 21 games.

SECOND BASE

Trea Turner, WAS at PIT ($5,300): Pirates starter Ivan Nova has pitched very well in over the last month except for his most recent start, but Turner has excelled against right-handed pitching. The dynamic rookie has hit all 12 of his home runs this season against righties, and he has a .359 batting average, .414 wOBA, .256 ISO, 22.2 percent HR/FB rate and 37.9 percent hard contact rate against them on the road. Nova has given up 13 homers on the season to righty bats, while generating a 21 percent HR/FB rate versus that handedness as well.

THIRD BASE

Justin Turner, LAD vs. COL ($4,100): Turner is an ideal bat with which to try and capitalize on Rockies starter Chad Bettis’ weakness versus right-handed hitters, particularly considering Turner’s stellar track record versus righty arms. The slugging third baseman has blasted 22 of his 27 homers on the season against righties, while also posting a .301 batting average, .383 wOBA, .263 ISO and 37.7 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness. Bettis has yielded a .353 wOBA and 16 homers on the season to right-handed hitters, along with a 34.4 percent hard contact rate.

SHORTSTOP

Manny Machado, BAL vs. ARI ($3,900): Machado is an appealing value play against D-Backs lefty Robbie Ray, despite the fact that the latter has been a solid pitcher away from Chase Field this season and Machado has been rather lackluster at the plate lately. Ray has given up 18 homers and a 37.3 percent hard contact rate to righty bats this year, while Machado has crushed 31 of his 36 homers on the season against right-handed pitching and boasts a .366 wOBA and 34.9 percent hard contact rate versus that handedness.

OUTFIELD

J.D. Martinez, DET vs. KC ($3,800): Martinez has a .357 batting average, .430 wOBA, .271 ISO and 40.7 percent hard contact rate at home, and an even more impressive .364 average, .440 wOBA and .281 ISO against right-handed pitching there. Those numbers could spell trouble for Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who’s yielded a .344 wOBA to righty bats on the road, including a .367 wOBA and 5.50 xFIP over his last four starts.

Mookie Betts, BOS at TB ($5,400): Betts’ bat has caught fire again, as evidenced by his .474/.545/.553 slash line over his last 10 appearances, which has helped lead to an average of 10.9 fantasy points per game over that span. Those stellar numbers virtually mirror his track record against the Rays this season, against which he’s averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game over 17 contests. He’s also gone off for double-digit fantasy points in seven of his last 10, while posting a .335 batting average, .392 wOBA and 33.8 percent hard contact against right-handed pitching this year. Rays starter Matt Andriese has been tough at home, but Betts is the type of play that transcends matchup this season.

Nelson Cruz, SEA at MIN ($4,400): Cruz is the most potent righty Mariners bat to trot out against Twins starter Tyler Duffey, who’s given up a whopping .420 wOBA to right-handed hitters that rises to .437 when facing them at Target Field. He’s also yielded 14 of the 17 homers he’s given up to that handedness at home, leading to an astronomical 3.35 HR/9 and 31.8 percent HR/FB rates. Cruz counters with a .367 wOBA, .222 ISO and 22 homers against righties on the road, as well as a .388 wOBA and 40.6 percent hard contact rate over his last 20 games.

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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.