This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Saturday's seven-game evening slate features high-salaried pitchers in non-ideal situations, leaving us to find favorable matchups in the lower ranges. We also take a look at a few value bats that can help prospective poolies round out their lineups.
Ian Anderson's ($8,900) start to the season may not mirror his incredible 2020 stats, but there's still plenty to like about the 23-year-old's peripherals having logged a 13-percent swinging-strike rate to go along with a 53-percent groundball rate. This makes him a candidate for your first pitcher's slot, as the Phillies have hit the ball on the ground at a 48-percent clip against right-handed pitchers and hold the fourth-highest strikeout rate against them over 809 plate appearances.
Garrett Richards' ($8,200) two starts against the Orioles this year have yielded less-than-spectacular results, but I'm going back to the well due to Baltimore's league-worst .275 wOBA against righty pitchers. Richards' walk rate appears to be spiking again after he posted a sub-3.00 BB/9 rate in 2020, but he;s done well to keep the ball in the park by only allowing three homers in 28.2 frames.
Kohei Arihara's ($5,000) overall numbers aren't pretty, but the 5.79 ERA he will carry into Saturday's contest doesn't reflect the fact he has produced over 25 DraftKings points in two starts this season. This makes him a low-cost option to consider against the Mariners, who hold a bottom-five wOBA and a top-10 strikeout rate against righties this year.
Vince Velasquez posted his best start of the year in his last outing against the Brewers, but the 28-year-old has been hit hard by righty bats this year allowing a .755 slugging percentage across nine innings. Ronald Acuna ($5,600) has produced numbers that are very much in line with his high salary logging a .321/.414/.670 batting line in 112 at-bats.
Eduardo Escobar ($5,300) has hit the ground running against left-handed pitchers in 2021 with a robust .383 ISO and a .484 wOBA over 28 at-bats. Joey Lucchesi hasn't been nearly as terrible as his 10.13 ERA would lead you to believe, but mediocre peripherals shouldn't be our focus when the 27-year-old has also allowed a .730 slugging percentage against right-handed hitters in 9.1 frames (42 batters faced).
Jose Abreu's ($4,800) .208/.304/.396 batting line may not inspire confidence from a DFS perspective, but what we don't see there is the .316 ISO and .373 wOBA he's managed against southpaws in 19 at-bats. While the sample is small, this is consistent with 2020 when he tallied a .308 ISO against his opposite hand across 52 at-bats. Daniel Lynch compiled a decent minor league resume, but allowed three runs and recorded a negative K/BB ratio in his first big-league start Monday against the Indians.
Adolis Garcia ($3,600) will likely see an opener first, but once Ljay Newsome takes the mound he'll face someone who was tagged for eight runs in just two innings in his first start and finished 2020 with a 5.17 ERA over 15.2 innings. Garcia has shown tremendous power against same-handed opposition this year, as evidenced by the .333 ISO in 48 at-bats.
Taylor Trammell ($3,200) is not without his warts, but the astronomically high strikeout rate that has plagued him in 2021 should be less of a factor against Arihara, who has only fanned 14 batters in 24 innings. Those who don't believe in the 28-year-old as a punt play should look to take advantage of Trammell's power with a .254 ISO against right-handed pitchers.
It's difficult to know what to make of Zac Lowther as he prepares to make his first start in the major leagues. The 25-year-old was a top prospect as a starter in Baltimore's minor league system, but a mediocre fastball has seen him profiled as more of a reliever at the highest level. Bobby Dalbec ($3,300) has struggled mightily over the past week, but has retained a .219 ISO and .396 wOBA in 32 at-bats against southpaws.
Stacks to Consider
You'll have to pay up to deliver maximum hurt against Lucchesi, but the former Padre shouldn't disappoint having allowed at least three runs in three of his four starts. Cabrera's struggles against lefties could be in his rear-view mirror shortly and holds a massive 62.5 percent hard contact rate in 22 at-bats.
The Braves lineup should be able to unleash its considerable power against Velasquez, who has allowed five homers in his last three appearances. While Riley hasn't yet shown big power against righty arms, he remains a nice option to round out the stack due to a .371 wOBA across 84 at-bats.