After returning from the All-Star break with a fun Friday night, Major League Baseball continues a busy weekend with a total of 18 games scheduled for Saturday. Most of the fantasy baseball action will be under the lights on Saturday night, providing a nice 12-game main slate on DraftKings, scheduled to get underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Three of the 12 games on Saturday night’s slate will be the second games played by those teams after rain forced a cancellation and a suspension Friday. There are a few places to monitor for rain again on Saturday night, so be sure to check in before lineups lock for the latest.
To keep up with all the news and lineups leading up to first pitch, make sure to install the DK Live app and follow DraftKings Network on Twitter (@DKNetwork). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the second half of the season gets rolling.
Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago White Sox ($12,800) – If you have the salary available, Strider is definitely worth considering as a building block as he makes his first start of the second half. Before the All-Star break, Strider went 11-2 in 18 starts averaging 25.6 DKFP per outing. He had a 3.44 ERA and 2.84 FIP and led the majors with 166 strikeouts and a 14.3 K/9 rate. He has at least nine strikeouts and 28 DKFP in four straight outings and has allowed just a total of four earned runs in 26 innings in those starts.
In his most recent start, Strider dominated the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing just four hits and striking out 11 in six shutout innings to earn 36.7 DKFP. The White Sox are a much more favorable matchup than that, and Strider brings a similar ceiling. He has been the most dominant and the most reliable starting pitcher in all of baseball this season, so even though he’s so expensive, you have to consider if you can stretch your salary cap to spend up on the ‘stache.
Other Options – Pablo López ($10,200), Andrew Abbott ($9,500)
Steven Matz, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals ($5,200) – One way to afford spending up on Strider is by going cheap at your other starting pitcher spot with Matz. Matz is still in search of his first win of the season, but he has turned his performance around since being demoted to the bullpen. He went 0-6 in his first 10 starts of the season with a 5.72 ERA and 4.81 FIP. He was sent to the bullpen at the end of May, and he pitched much better with a 2.81 ERA and 2.71 FIP.
Just before the All-Star break, the Cardinals had to give Matz a start against the Chicago White Sox due to multiple injuries in their rotation. He definitely pitched well enough for the win, going 5 1⁄3 innings with just two hits and one unearned run allowed, along with nine strikeouts and 28.8 DKFP. The bullpen let the lead slip, though, which is why he’s still in search of his elusive first W. This should be a good matchup for Matz to continue his remarkable turnaround, and his strikeout rate of 10.13 K/9 in his past nine appearances show he has a high enough ceiling to be a great value at barely over $5K. He may not be fully stretched out but did throw 75 pitches in that start before the break, and the Cardinals will be looking for some length from him, especially since they have to complete their suspended game earlier in the day.
Other Options – Micahel Lorenzen ($7,000), Kyle Gibson ($6,000)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets ($6,300) – Betts picked up after the All-Star break with another multi-hit game. He has six multi-hit performances in his 11 most recent games while hitting .450 (18-for-40) with 10 walks, eight doubles and six home runs, powering him to an impressive .624 wOBA over that span. Betts has averaged 16.9 DKFP per game over those 11 contests and has stayed right in the middle of the Dodgers’ recent offensive surge. His matchup against Kodai Senga ($9,600) isn’t ideal, but Betts is still hot enough to build around given his extremely high ceiling and regularly outstanding production.
Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees at Colorado Rockies ($5,300) – Normally, I wouldn’t have back-to-back 2B as my top two stud picks in the infield, but since Betts can slide into the outfield, it’s possible to include both him and Torres in your builds on Saturday night. Torres had three hits on Friday and has hit .310 (18-for-58) over his past 15 games with three doubles, a home run, two stolen bases and a .343 wOBA. He has hit leadoff the past two games and has typically lived near the top of the lineup.
On Saturday, the Yankees have a great matchup against Connor Seabold ($5,000). Seabold served up nine homers over his past four starts with a 12.96 ERA and 9.88 FIP, so you’ll definitely want to build in some Bronx Bombers to your roster on Saturday.
Other Options – Matt Olson ($6,100), Manny Machado ($5,200), Bobby Witt Jr. ($4,600)
Maikel Garcia, Kansas City Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($3,500) – Garcia has settled into the leadoff spot for the Royals over the past several weeks and has become a strong value option at 3B. He has hit .320 in his past 25 games with three doubles, two homers and nine stolen bases. The Royals could e a nice source of value as a team since they’ll get a good matchup against Cooper Criswell ($7,500) and some kind of bullpen game for the Rays in this second game of their doubleheader. Garcia has a good ceiling due to his speed and current form in the Royals’ leadoff spot.
Donovan Solano, Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics ($2,600) – Solano’s positional flexibility has been on full display over the past few weeks, as he has moved all around the infield, including playing 2B, 1B and 3B in Friday’s 5-4 win. He had two hits, two walks and 16 DKFP in the victory and has gone 14-for-40 (.350) with seven doubles, two homers and a .454 wOBA over his 13 most recent games. He has typically been hitting second, especially against lefties like Hogan Harris ($6,000). Harris has a 6.07 ERA and 4.63 FIP in nine games for Oakland this year, so this should be a good matchup to target Minnesota. Solano is a solid value way to do that at either 1B or 3B.
Other Options – Mauricio Dubón ($3,500), Zach Neto ($2,700), Jonathan Aranda ($2,000)
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago White Sox ($5,500) – Acuña didn’t get a hit on Friday night but still managed 11 DKFP in his first game back after the All-Star break with two walks and a stolen base. Acuña leads the National League with 42 steals and is just one behind Esteury Ruiz for the MLB lead. Acuña has also smashed 21 homers and is hitting .329 with a .419 wOBA and an average of 12.7 DKFP per game. He and the Braves got a dominant 9-0 victory over the White Sox to start the second half and will look to continue their success against Lance Lynn ($6,600), who is coming off a strong start but has been inconsistent throughout the season.
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees at Colorado Rockies ($5,000) – Stanton and the Yankees get to start the second half against the Rockies in Denver. He smashed his 10th homer of the season on Friday in the first inning and later added a double for 21 DKFP. He has only hit .211 with a .311 wOBA on the season but has hit .289 with four homers and a .438 wOBA over his past 11 games. With some good momentum and that great matchup against Seabold, Stanton makes a ton of sense at elevation on Saturday.
Other Options – Randy Arozarena ($5,600), Julio Rodriguez ($4,800)
Jesús Sánchez, Miami Marlins at Baltimore Orioles ($2,900) – Sánchez has plenty of power potential for Miami and typically hits cleanup against righties. He went 12-for-34 (.353) in his past 10 games with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and a .452 wOBA. He has an incredible 75% hard-hit rate in that 10-game span, per Statcast, and he is a great way to get a high ceiling with a middle-of-the-order bat while spending under $3K. Sánchez and the Fish face Kyle Gibson ($6,000) and the Orioles Saturday night, and Gibson has allowed lefties like Sánchez to hit .284 against him this season with five homers and a .345 wOBA.
Henry Davis, Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants ($2,600) – The Pirates called up Davis in mid-June and are giving the 23-year-old former No. 1 overall pick a chance to establish himself as a key contributor moving forward. So far, Davis has hit .257 with three doubles, one homer, two stolen bases and an average of 6.6 DKFP per contest. Before getting called up, Davis posted a .437 wOBA in Double-A and a .422 wOBA in Triple-A. He should continue to grow and adjust, and he brings a high ceiling as he does while hitting in the heart of the Pirates’ order with a salary under $3K.
Other Options – Harold Ramírez ($3,400), Kerry Carpenter ($3,200), Jordan Walker ($3,100)
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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 skills 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.