Quick housekeeping note for tonight’s featured MLB slate: Players in Game 2 of the Mets-Marlins doubleheader will not accrue fantasy points. That means we’re down to just eight contests on Wednesday and that you’ll have to wait until next April to use Kodai Senga in any DraftKings lineups. Alas.
Let’s dive into everything else you’ll need to know.
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, $12,000 - All three pitchers priced above $10K on this slate have good matchups, but I have to lean with Cole. The veteran RHP has clinched the American League Cy Young with a fantastic month of September, pitching to a 1.38 ERA and a 1.37 FIP across 26.0 innings of work — which includes eight frames of two-hit ball against this same Blue Jays lineup last week. That wasn’t a fluke, either. It’s become the norm for pitchers facing Toronto. In fact, the Jays possess just a .203 average and a 75 wRC+ over the last two weeks. I’d expect Cole to have a similar outing this evening.
Matt Waldron, San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants, $7,000 - It’s slim pickings towards the bottom of the pitching pricing list on Wednesday, which is probably why the stability of Waldron is so appealing. The 27-year-old has been perfectly cromulent as a starter the past month, registering a 3.86 ERA and a 20.6% strikeout rate over five outings. Still, his viability is far more about the matchup. The Giants’ bats have underwhelmed as of late. As a team, San Francisco has managed a 77 wRC+ and a .120 ISO across the past 14 days. A quality start for Waldron is certainly a likely outcome.
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies, $6,500 - This is a layup. In general, Freeman has been one of the best hitters on the planet in 2023, batting .350 with a 170 wRC+ since the All-Star break. Now add in that he’ll be playing at Coors Field tonight. Now add in that he’s a left-handed bat facing Noah Davis ($5,500). The 26-year-old has been opposed by 65 LHBs so far this season. He’s allowed those opponents to slash .345/.446/.546. Yikes.
William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, $4,700 - Contreras has been everything the Brewers could want this season, and nowhere has that been more apparent than in his splits against left-handed opponents. In 168 plate appearances against southpaws, Contreras is hitting .361 with a .299 ISO and a 193 wRC+. If that seems good, it’s because it is. No qualified hitter in baseball has a better wRC+ versus LHPs. In other words, Zack Thompson ($5,900) is in danger this evening.
Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics, $3,200 - Injuries have taken some of the prospect sheen off of Kirilloff’s name, yet the 25-year-old has done some serious damage when healthy in 2023. In 250 plate appearances against RHPs, Kirilloff is slashing .299/.372/.489 with a 138 wRC+. Sort of easy to see why he’s recently been batting clean-up for the Twins, right? Joey Estes ($5,300) gave up five barrels and three home runs in his MLB debut last week. You want to be stacking Minnesota.
Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants, $5,400 - Tatis didn’t quite find the overall power stroke some expected in 2023, yet the former All-Star has looked the most like his old self when facing LHPs like Sean Manaea ($6,000). In 142 plate appearances within the split, Tatis has produced a .306 average to go along with a .234 ISO and a 155 wRC+. Manaea’s quietly re-found his form in the season’s second -half, but I still like Tatis in this opposite-hand matchup.
Jason Heyward, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies, $3,900 - I’ve written up Heyward several times in this space, yet it’s worth continuously pointing out how insane this season has been for the 34-year-old. Out of seemingly nowhere, Heyward has registered an .841 OPS and a 128 wRC+ off of right-handed pitching. Heck, he’s hitting .327 with a 143 wRC+ since the beginning of August. It’s an incredible comeback story and he remains too cheap on most slates — particularly ones where he’s playing in Colorado.
Matt Wallner, Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics, $3,400 - As I said above: Let’s stack the Twins. Minnesota has one of this slate’s highest implied run totals, yet only two assets on its roster are priced above $4K. That’s a welcomed buying opportunity. For Wallner specifically, the outfielder is just another platoon bat in the Twins’ stable. In 195 plate appearances against RHPs in 2023, Wallner owns a .270 ISO and a 169 wRC+. That’s a lot of ceiling with a price tag this affordable.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) 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.