There are exciting Major League Baseball matchups sprinkled throughout this Saturday afternoon and evening, and the main slate of fantasy baseball on DraftKings gets started at 7:05 p.m. ET with the eight games scheduled for under the lights. It looks like it will be a quiet weather night, so all 16 teams can be considered as options as you start to assemble your squad.
As always, make sure to keep up with all the latest news and monitor starting lineups by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season winds down.
Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals ($8,500) – The Mariners are trying to hold off the Orioles for the final Wild Card spot and could also potentially move up with a strong finish. They have dropped three of their past four games, though, so they’ll be looking for a strong start from Gilbert, who is surprisingly affordable given his recent roll.
Gilbert has picked up at least nine strikeouts and produced over 30 DKFP in three of his past four starts and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six straight starts. In his four most recent outings, he has a 0.78 ERA and 0.94 FIP while piling up 34 strikeouts in 24 innings. The Royals should be a good matchup for the 25-year-old righty, and he’ll look to continue to find success on the road, where his splits have been strong all season.
Other Options – Clayton Kershaw ($10,500), Framber Valdez ($10,200)
Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels ($8,000) – Ryan has had some rough outings against the top lineups in the league since returning from the IL, but he has shown he can dominate the less stacked teams like the Angels. He is coming off back-to-back strong showings, logging 36.6 DKFP vs. the Royals followed by 27.7 DKFP vs. the Guardians in his most recent appearance.
Ryan has 33 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings over his five most recent games, going 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA and 3.72 FIP. He has been much better at home this season. He has a 2.85 ERA, 3.65 FIP and 9.68 K/9 at Target Field compared to a 4.66 ERA, 4.83 FIP and 8.22 K/9 on the road. He’ll be on the right side of those splits as he takes on the Angels, who have the second-highest K% in the Majors since the All-Star break and have just a .296 team wOBA over that span. Ryan brings a high ceiling with relatively low risk, and I see him and Gilbert as a solid mid-tier tandem to build around on Saturday’s slate.
Other Options – Reid Detmers ($7,200), Davis Martin ($6,000)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($5,500) – Machado isn’t exactly surging to the finish line, but the 30-year-old has carried the Padres’ offense for much of the season. He’ll be taking on the Rockies at Coors Field in a great matchup (more below in stacks) against Chad Kuhl ($5,400), who he has gone 7-for-14 (.500) against in his career with a pair of home runs. Machado brings plenty of power potential and a high ceiling, so I’m going back to the well for a second straight day with Manny as my top stud IF.
Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,300) – Correa is finishing his first season in Minnesota on a heater and should be back in the lineup after a routine day off Friday. Over his past 19 games, Correa has hit .392 (31-for-79) with five doubles, six home runs and a .480 wOBA. He also has slightly favorable splits at home and vs. LHP, both of which will be the case Saturday as he takes on Reid Detmers ($7,200) in Minnesota.
Other Options – Justin Turner ($4,700), Jake Cronenworth ($4,500)
Ty France, Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals ($3,900) – With Julio Rodríguez (back) going on the injured list and Eugenio Suárez (finger) still not ready to return, France will have to help carry the Mariners’ offense. While he isn’t exactly on fire just yet, he has collected three multi-hit games in the past week and has six homers with a .331 wOBA over his past 23 contests. He’s locked into a premier spot in the batting order and gets a great matchup (highlighted below in stacks), so France should be set up to bring good returns Saturday.
Ezequiel Tovar, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres ($2,000) – Tovar went 2-for-4 with a run scored in his MLB debut on Friday, singling on each of the first two pitches he saw in the Majors. The highly-touted 21-year-old prospect spent most of the year in Double-A with the Hartford Yard Goats, where he hit .318 with a .405 wOBA, 13 homers and 17 stolen bases in 66 games. In his five-game stay at Triple-A, he hit .333 with another home run. He brings power, speed and a very nice hit tool while remaining available at the minimum salary. Even against Yu Darvish ($9,700), the rookie brings too much upside to overlook at only $2K.
Other Options – Elvis Andrus ($3,900), Nick Gordon ($3,500)
Juan Soto, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($5,700) – Soto smashed his 26th homer of the season on Friday as part of his 2-for-5 game, resulting in 21 DKFP. He has only hit .234 since joining the Padres, but he does have a .356 wOBA in those 42 games. He has also been much better lately, going 10-for-26 (.385) over the past seven games with a .509 wOBA. If he catches fire, he could carry the Padres in the postseason, and he should be able to carry your fantasy roster on Saturday in a great matchup (highlighted below).
Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians at Texas Rangers ($4,600) – Kwan has been impressive throughout his rookie season and has locked down the leadoff spot for Cleveland since mid-summer. Far from hitting any kind of rookie wall, the 24-year-old lefty is surging to the finish line and enters Saturday with a seven-game hitting streak, which includes five multi-hit performances. Over his past 14 games, he has gone 22-for-62 (.361) with two triples, two home runs, four stolen bases, a .426 wOBA and an average of 12.8 DKFP per contest. The Guardians have also caught fire over that span, winning 13 of those 14 games and surging out to a comfortable lead in the once tight AL Central race.
Other Options – Eloy Jiménez ($5,500), Michael Toglia ($4,100)
Will Brennan, Cleveland Guardians at Texas Rangers ($2,300) – Brennan joined the Guardians just three games ago, but the 24-year-old has hit safely in all three contests, going 4-for-11 (.364) with three RBIs and a pair of stolen bases. He showed off a good hit tool at Double-A and Triple-A this season, hitting .316 with nine homers, 15 stolen bases and a .369 wOBA in 93 games with the Columbus Clippers. Brennan had a 13-game hitting streak when he was called up and has shown no signs of slowing down, so getting him at this bargain salary makes a lot of sense to help you stack sluggers in other spots.
Miguel Vargas, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($2,100) – Vargas is getting some playing time down the stretch for the Dodgers, who have already wrapped up the NL West. The 22-year-old prospect is the Dodgers’ next big bat in the system and posted a .304/.404/.511 with 17 homers, 16 steals and a .396 wOBA in 113 games in Triple-A. He was ranked as the No. 42 prospect in all of baseball and the No. 3 prospect for the Dodgers by MLB Pipeline. Vargas brings a high ceiling if he gets another start against Jordan Montgomery ($7,700) as the team evaluates where he is in his development for next season.
Other Options – Yonathan Daza ($3,500), José Azocar ($2,200)
TEAMS TO STACK
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies – The Padres at Coors Field are again a strong option to consider at Coors Field, even though they only managed three runs in the series opener Friday. They’ll get a good matchup on Saturday against Chad Kuhl ($5,400), who has given up 16 home runs over his past 10 starts while going 1-4 with an 8.47 ERA and 7.58 FIP. San Diego has faced him twice during that span, totaling 12 runs on 15 hits in 9 2/3 innings, including four home runs.
Soto and Machado (highlighted above) are big bats to build around, and Jake Cronenworth ($4,500) also brings strong BvP history, having gone 5-for-10 with four extra-base hits, including two home runs, against Kuhl. Jurickson Profar ($3,900), Brandon Drury ($5,200) and Josh Bell ($4,000) all bring good power potential, as well, while Austin Nola ($3,600) and José Azocar ($2,200) bring a bit of salary relief if needed.
Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals – The Royals will give the ball to lefty Kris Bubic ($5,600), who has struggled to a 2-13 record, 5.81 ERA and 4.97 FIP in 26 games this season. He has lost seven straight starts, surrendering 29 runs on 55 hits in 33 1/3 innings. While he hasn’t been as homer-prone as Kuhl, he has been hit hard by both righties and lefties, the latter of which has a .461 wOBA against him on the season.
As a result of his reverse splits, left-handed hitters are still in play for the M’s, meaning J.P. Crawford ($3,300) and Jesse Winker ($3,100) aren’t stay-away options if they are in the lineup. Righties like France (highlighted above), Luis Torrens ($2,200) and Dylan Moore ($3,200) are also strong value plays. Factor in switch hitters Carlos Santana ($2,800), Abraham Toro ($2,100) and Sam Haggerty ($2,700), and the Mariners a strong value stack to consider either around the Padres or as an alternative with pay-up plays elsewhere.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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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