Here are my favorite DraftKings plays for Saturday’s nine-game MLB main slate.
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Chris Bassitt, New York Mets vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, $9,700 — There are a handful of great arms on this slate. There are better pitchers on this slate. However, several of the pitchers are facing each other, lowering the likelihood that they earn the win bonus. Other elite arms draw tough matchups on Saturday night. Bassitt is a top arm and he is in a favorable spot. The Pirates have an 83 wRC+, .288 wOBA, .139 ISO and 25% K-rate vs. right-handed pitching.
Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals, $7,500 — It’s slim picking on Saturday if you’re shopping for a steal. This is a stacked slate loaded with arms. The prudent move would be to spend salary at the pitcher position, but if austerity is necessary, then Greene is worth a look. The matchup is tough, but this will be the second game of a doubleheader. Greene could draw a watered-down lineup or worn-down lineup. A doubleheader in September is not on top of the list of favorite things for major league hitters. Greene has not gone long in his three rehab starts, but he piled up 15 strikeouts in seven innings.
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies, $5,600 — When slates are stocked with solid pitchers, it’s always useful to talk to our old friend, BvP. He may not be the most trustworthy friend, but sometimes he’s on to something. In 36 at-bats vs. Aaron Nola ($10,100), Riley has 15 hits (five double and three home runs).
Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets, $4,700 — There are only a few good matchups for hitters on Saturday night. Most of the hitters on this slate will face a top-tier arm, but even the best arms have weaknesses. Chris Bassitt should not have much of a problem with the Pirates, but he has allowed a .337 wOBA, .176 ISO and 1.4 HR/9 to LHB. Cruz has a .341 wOBA, .260 ISO, 118 wRC+ and 40% hard contact rate vs. RHP.
Dermis Garcia, Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros, $2,200 — In 2014, Garcia was the No. 1 international prospect. It’s been a long way to the top, but he’s hit at every level of the minor leagues, and now he is hitting in the big leagues. Against right-handed pitching, he has a .439 wOBA, .289 ISO, 199 wRC+ and 44% hard contact rate. Over the last seven days, Garcia has a .438 ISO. Jose Urquidy ($7,700) is surrendering a .343 wOBA, .213 ISO and 2.1 HR/9 to RHB.
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants, $3,700 — Friday was supposed to be Lux’s first game back, but instead the Dodgers played it safe and Lux sat for the 13th straight game. If the left-handed second basemen returns to the lineup, he draws a favorable splits matchup — .352 wOBA and 128 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers (PO and PLR are RHP).
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners, $6,200 — He’s on the heater of all heaters. Trout homered in seven straight games and was one away from tying the record before going 0-4 on Tuesday. Since the beginning of that streak, Trout recorded a .595 wOBA and .657 ISO.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics, $6,400 — Some lefties can hit lefties. Alvarez is one of those hitters — .406 wOBA, .250 ISO, 170 wRC+ and 43% hard contact rate. That being the case, it shouldn't be a surprise that his BvP stats vs. Cole Irvin ($6,100) are favorable — eight hits and two home runs in 17 at-bats.
Taylor Ward, Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners, $3,600 — Against right-handed pitching, Ward has a .349 wOBA, .187 ISO, 127 wRC+ and 35% hard contact rate. Those are great numbers for a value batter hitting towards the top of the order. The deal is even better given his matchup. George Kirby ($8,000) is allowing a .368 wOBA, .177 ISO, 34% hard contact rate and 1.5 HR/9 to right-handed batters.
Tyrone Taylor, Milwaukee Brewers vs. New York Yankees, $2,600 — Against right-handed pitching, Taylor has a .315 wOBA, .215 ISO, 101 wRC+ and 32% hard contact rate. That’s not great, but it is pretty good for a player priced below $3,000. Jameson Taillon ($7,300) isn’t a push over, but he has not been a lock down pitcher either.
TEAMS TO STACK
Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals — This slate is one of the best pitching slates in a while. The best stack may not appear to be the best, but the standard must be lowered given the slate. The Reds are cheap and seem to be in the best position to take advantage of their opposing pitcher. José Quintana (7,800) faced the Reds on Aug. 31 and allowed seven hits. a walk and two earned runs over 4.1 innings. That’s not terrible. Overall, the sentiment is that Quintana is a new man since joining the Cards. This is true, but it is heavily influenced by his matchups — Cubs, Rockies (twice), Diamondbacks, Reds, Nationals and Pirates.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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