Wednesday features a seven-game main MLB slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
James Kaprielian, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($8,400) – This is a GPP play because Kaprielian has struggled with left-handed batters (6.18 xFIP, .373 wOBA and a .221 ISO). Texas has some left-handed batters that can upset the applecart, but overall the lineups struggles with right-handed pitching (89 WRC+, .298 wOBA, .150 ISO and a 26% K rate) and those very same lefties also strike out frequently (25% K rate). This isn’t a boom-or-bust pay, but there’s enough power in the Rangers’ lineup to pause for concern. Those worries are mitigated by the pitcher-friendly park and Kaprielian’s numbers. His xFIP is a 4.68, but the pitcher-friendly park will help Kaprielian post numbers similar to his 2.84 ERA. His major weakness is that he allows too much hard contact (35%) and too many fly balls (50%), but he he gets away with it in Oakland and he should get away with it against the Rangers at Texas. It’s not impossible for Texas to hit home runs tonight, but it’s very possible that the Rangers strike out often in this matchup. Kaprielian has a 30% CSW% and a 27% K rate and he has six or more strikeouts in 5 of his 7 games.
Other Option: Trevor Bauer ($10,500)
Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves at New York Mets ($7,400) – Very few DFS players want to roster Kyle Wright at this price point. This make him a ripe GPP pick. His stats do not justify this price (five strikeouts and two earned runs in his one start), but the park and the matchup might. The Mets have improved, but they still have a weak offense against right-handed pitching (94 wRC+, .299 wOBA, .140 ISO and a 24% K rate). Kyle Wright has been 9.0 K/9 pitcher throughout his minor league career and he struck out 30 major league batters in 38 innings last season. His bugaboo has been walks and that has not gone away. Fortunately, the Mets are a below league average team in terms of walks (8.1% BB% vs. RHP). There is a lot of risk in taking a prospect in his second start, but there is strikeout upside in a matchup against the Mets.
Other Option: Michael King ($7,100)
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Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals ($5,200) – Since June 8, Sanchez has a .496 wOBA, .500 ISO and a 221 wRC+. Danny Duffy ($8,500) was having a great season against right-handed batters before going on the IL (.265 wOBA, .064 ISO and 0.0 HR/9), but Sanchez is having a great season against left-handed pitchers (.385, .345 ISO and a 147 wRC+). The tiebreak goes to Sanchez because the ballpark, Duffy’s pitch limit and the Royals’ bullpen favors the hot hitter.
Other Option: Salvador Perez ($5,100)
Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox ($3,900) – The best time to roster Zunino is against left-handed pitching. He’s not an ideal candidate against right-handed pitching (.262 wOBA), but he does have power (.265 ISO). Garrett Richards ($6,200) is allowing a 0.358 wOBA and a 40% hard contact rate to right-handed batters this season.
Other Option: Jorge Alfaro ($2,600)
Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($5,500) – Mike Foltynewicz ($5,500) will be a popular target today, and it won’t be surprising if the Oakland stack is the most popular stack of the day. Virtually, every one of Foltynewicz’s stats are bad (vs. LHB: .451 wOBA, .344 ISO, 42% hard contact rate, 3.3 HR/9, a 13% K rate and a 47% hard contact rate). Beyond the stat sheet, Folty admits that he is struggling mentally and he has lost his confidence. Sharks can smell blood in the water, and Olson won’t hold back (vs. RHP: .412 wOBA, .291 ISO, 169 wRC+, 40% hard contact and a 12% K rate).
Other Option: Trey Mancini ($5,000)
Nate Lowe, Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,400) – There are two ways to look at the Rangers’ left-handed bats. A solo shot from a cheap Ranger can be combined with James Kaprielian ($8,400). The alternative is to leverage against the young pitcher. As mentioned above, Kaprielian struggles to put away left-handed batters (18% K rate and a 16% BB rate) and his his hard contact and fly ball rate have resulted in an alarming number of home runs (1.8 HR/9). Nate Lowe is a slightly above average hitter and he has a 43% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Bobby Dalbec ($3,100)
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles ($5,700) – It’s been five games since Altuve’s last home run, but he still leads the league with nine home runs this month. Five games is not a long period of time and this isn’t a slump, it’s scared pitching (20% BB rate over that span). Baltimore’s overworked relievers will likely pitch the majority of innings in this game, and their bullpen does not feature a lot of quality arms. The team was forced to call up a 33-year-old knuckleballer that has never pitched in the big leagues. While it might make for a cool Disney movie, it does not say much for the situation in Baltimore. Playing a hot hitter against bad pitching is usually a reliable formula for success in DFS.
Other Option: Max Muncy ($5,600)
Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox ($4,500) – Garrett Richards ($6,200) does not strike out left-handed batters (17%) and this leads to a higher than average amount of hard contact (37%) and a .340 wOBA. Lowe has a .363 wOBA, .229 ISO and a 136 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Like most Rays, his numbers are worse at home (.334 home wOBA vs. RHP; .387 away wOBA vs. RHP), but that’s factored into the price.
Other Option: Tony Kemp ($3,300)
Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($4,600) – The left-handed Oakland hitters are in the preferred spot, but right-handed batters should be fine against Mike Foltynewicz ($5,500). As a team, Oakland’s 129 wRC+ against right-handed pitching ranks third this month, and Chapman has been a large part of that (.401 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 162 wRC+).
Other Option: Justin Turner ($5,900)
Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox ($4,300) – The Rays are -152 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook partly because of their left-handed batters. Wendle is yet another lefty that mashes right-handed pitching (.414 wOBA, .252 ISO and a 170 wRC+). A Rays stack in Tropicana Field is for contrarians only, but the one-off lefty value picks are a viable option on this slate.
Other Option: Austin Riley ($3,800)
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays at Miami Marlins ($6,000) – This isn’t a great matchup, but sometimes DFS players have to bite the bullet and play good hitters in less than ideal situations. Bo Bichette has a .404 wOBA, .250 ISO and a 157 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. If he were only able to hit in ideal matchups, then he wouldn’t have those numbers. The spend-up options have tough matchups, and Trevor Rogers ($9,800) is a guy that DFS players like to roster, not target. However, avoiding ill-favored matchups removes elite hitters and creates a small player pool that limits divergence.
Other Option: Marcus Semien ($5,400)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,400) – There are still questions surrounding Trevor Bauer ($10,500) and every major league pitcher for that matter. For this slate, the end result of the Spider Tack controversy is that James Kaprielian ($8,400) will likely be popular. Further complicating this mess is that Texas could be a popular stack. Kaprielian struggles with left-handed batters, and Texas has affordable options. Kiner-Falefa hasn’t been great against right-handed pitching, but he’s been serviceable (.341 wOBA and a 117 wRC+).
Other Option: Elvis Andrus ($3,100)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Braves OF Ronald Acuña Jr. (back) has been scratched from Wednesday’s game vs. the Mets.
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves at New York Mets ($6,200) – Who is Tylor Megill ? It doesn’t matter who Tyler Megill is (said like The Rock)! Ronald Acuna has a .401 wOBA, .308 ISO, 155 wRC+ and a 42% hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. Tylor Megill is not one of the Mets’ top prospects, but he’s pitched well in Triple A (3.77 ERA and 10.7 K/9) and injuries have left the Mets in a desperate spot. Acuña is facing an emergency call-up; this is one of the most advantageous matchups on the slate.
Other Option: Yordan Alvarez ($5,000)
Seth Brown, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers ($2,900) – There are numerous above average pitchers on tonight’s slate that require DFS players to find savings. Furthermore, the pitching options filter DFS players to a limited number of preferred matchups. Seth Brown will likely be popular, but not because he has a .220 ISO against right-handed pitching. He is a below average hitter (.283 wOBA vs. RHP), but he’s a lefty facing Mike Foltynewicz ($5,500). He fits perfectly into an Oakland stack or he works as a one-off for salary relief.
Other Option: Michael Brantley ($4,100), Joey Gallo ($4,200), Ramón Laureano ($4,300)
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