One pitcher on Thursdayís seven-game main slate costs 29 percent of the daily bankroll. While that may seem like too much money to commit to one player, I will make the case for doing exactly that, while suggesting a rather unlikely stack to help manage expenses.
For those interested, weíve started an MLB DFS Slack channel for paid RotoWire subscribers. (There is a season-long one as well.) To join those channels, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Max Scherzer, WAS vs. BAL ($14,500): I would generally shy away from paying this much for a pitcher but there are a few compelling reasons to roster Scherzer. The first thing to note is that the right-hander has had five outings of 30 or more DraftKings points in his last eight starts, with two of those outings netting over 40 points. We should also recognize that Scherzer has an advantageous matchup against the Orioles, as he will take a fastball that has registered nearly 20.0 RAA and pit it against an offense that has logged the third lowest RAA in the league against the heater (-15.4).
GPP Fade: Madison Bumgarner, SF vs. SD ($9,400): Bumgarner hasnít looked like the same pitcher since returning from a fractured pinkie finger earlier this month, having notched just an 11.8 percent strikeout rate while allowing three homers in 17.1 innings through three starts. He has notched a seven percent swinging strike rate over that span. There is every chance that a pitcher as talented as Bumgarner can turn things around with time but itís tough to spend nearly five figures on a hurler based on nothing more than reputation.
Cheap GPP Consideration: Chad Kuhl, PIT vs. ARI ($6,700): Kuhl has struck out at least five batters in eight consecutive starts, which makes him an intriguing dart throw against the Diamondbacks, who have struck out more than 25 percent of the time against right-handed pitching this season. Couple that with the teamís general ineffectiveness against righties (.292 wOBA) and Kuhl becomes a viable money-saving option for those who intend to roster Scherzer.
A.J. Ellis, SD at SF ($3,000): Ellis hasnít hit for much power this year but has logged a strong .372 wOBA against left-handed pitching with a 39 percent hard contact rate over 35 at-bats. Players likely wouldnít normally look to target San Diegoís offense but they may find a few cheap options to try to exploit Bumgarner as he finds his footing after returning from injury.
Matt Olson, OAK at CWS ($3,900): Olson has shown tremendous power against righties (.250 IS0), but a 29 percent strikeout rate could make prospective owners leery against certain hurlers. Lucas Giolito does not fall into this category, however, as he has logged a strikeout rate of under 10 percent against his opposite hand while allowing a .500 slugging percentage in 36 innings.
Jedd Gyorko, STL at MIL ($3,200): Gyorko has hammered left-handed pitching in 2018, as evidenced by the .333 ISO and .467 wOBA he has tallied in 33 at-bats. Brent Suter has had issues keeping the ball in the yard at Miller Park, having surrendered eight homers in just 39.1 innings at home.
Colin Moran, PIT vs. ARI ($3,400): Moran often gets overlooked in DFS circles but the 25-year-old has been pulling his weight, notching a 3.7 RAA against the fastball as well as a .174 ISO against right-handed pitching. Zack Godley has had his moments in 2018 but owns a fastball that has registered a -6.0 RAA and has allowed a .352 wOBA against left-handed hitters in 36.1 innings.
Yairo Munoz, STL at MIL ($3,200): Munoz is another cheap power option we can use against Suter, as he is sporting a .280 ISO against left-handed pitching in 25 at-bats in his first cup of coffee in the Major Leagues. The sample may be small but Munoz has shown good power at various points in his Minor League career and is heading into a ballpark that has been one of the best environments for home run hitters this season.
Juan Soto, WAS vs. BAL ($4,500): Soto has been a revelation for the Nationals, as he is hitting .326/.423/.596 with six homers in 89 at-bats. While he hasnít performed quite as well against right-handed pitching (.164 ISO) he will take an 8.3 RAA against the fastball into the matchup against Kevin Gausman, whose heater has registered a -15.7 RAA in 14 starts this season.
Daniel Palka, CWS vs. OAK ($3,700): Palka has shown power from both sides of the platoon in 2018, resulting in a .205 ISO in 156 at-bats. Opposing starter Chris Bassitt has managed to limit damage in his first two starts for the Athletics this season but should still be seen as a potential stack target, as he has logged an ERA over 6.00 in 76 innings at Triple-A Nashville over the last two seasons.
Ian Happ, CHC at CIN ($3,700): Happ has largely failed to impress following a breakout 2017 campaign but has still logged a .238 ISO and a 41 percent hard contact rate against right-handed pitching in 126 at-bats. Matt Harvey has thrown the ball a bit better since signing with the Reds (5.09 ERA) but has still allowed a .581 slugging percentage to left-handed hitters in 29 innings.