This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
There are a lot of early start times across baseball Saturday, leaving us with just seven games to choose from for the main evening slate on DraftKings. With that being said, there is still plenty of winnings to be had, so let's discuss some players who could help lead you to a profitable night.
The starting pitching options aren't all that great, but one of the bigger available names is Jose Berrios ($10,300). He's coming off of his worst start of the year after giving up five runs across 5.2 innings against the Angels. He allowed a whopping 15 baserunners in that game, which is rare considering his 1.09 WHIP. While Berrios doesn't have the easiest of matchups against the Mariners, he still presents one of the higher-upside options on the slate.
Jon Lester ($9,200) continues to find a way to get things done in his 14th MLB season. In fact, he's actually off to a spectacular start with a 1.16 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. That kind of ERA is obviously not sustainable, but his xFIP is also strong at 3.40 and his BABIP allowed is right in line with his career mark. He's back to getting a lot more groundballs, which was something he got away from last year when he finished with a 4.43 xFIP - his highest mark since 2007. The Nationals are no cakewalk, but Lester remains a great target.
If you're looking to take a chance on a cheap pitcher in tournament play, Nick Margevicius ($6,900) is someone to consider. He's handling a favorable matchup against a Pirates team that has only produced a 63 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers, which is tied for the lowest mark in the league. Despite his 17.5 percent strikeout rate, more strikeouts could be in his future considering his 10.7 percent swinging strike rate.
It's not hard to argue against just leaving the Astros in this section on a daily basis. Their lineup is firing on all cylinders, which has them inside the top-two in the league in runs, home runs and OPS. Just as impressive is the fact they have struck out the second-fewest times (323). The Red Sox are starting Hector Velazquez, who isn't off to the best of starts with a 5.02 xFIP. Fade the Astros at your own risk.
Another lineup that should be popular is the Angels against Jakob Junis and the Royals. With Shohei Ohtani healthy and Tommy La Stella swinging a hot bat, this becomes a much more dangerous team. Junis has posted a career 4.40 xFIP and a 20.4 percent strikeout rate, so he's not exactly an overpowering force. Look for the Angels to hang a crooked number on him in their home park.
With the Pirates dealing with injuries to their rotation, they'll be deploying the opener strategy Saturday with Montana DuRapau starting. Following him to pitch the bulk of the innings will likely be Steven Brault. To say Brault's last two starts didn't go well would be an understatement since he allowed eight runs and three home runs across 7.2 innings. He's also struggled to keep runners off base throughout his career, resulting in a 1.64 WHIP over 176 innings. Although the Padres don't possess the most potent lineup out there, this is a prime spot to deploy their bats.
Astros vs. Velazquez (Red Sox)
While pricey, Bregman is one of the hottest hitters in the league with 10 home runs across his last 16 games. Even though his power numbers aren't as prodigious, Brantley has been excellent in his own right by hitting 21-for-61 (.344) with five home runs and five doubles across his last 16 games. Reddick checks in as a cost-effective option to consider, as he has finished with a wOBA of at least .356 against right-handed pitchers in four of the last five seasons.
Angels vs. Junis (Royals)
If you want the player with the highest upside for an Angels stack, then you have to include Trout in your entry. Even though his numbers are down slightly, he's still been excellent with a .422 wOBA and a 172 wRC+. La Stella is probably the hottest hitter on the team right now after going 14-for-31 (.452) with four home runs over his last eight games. Simmons has also been extremely reliable lately, recording at least one hit in 20 of his last 21 games along with a .386 OBP during that stretch.
Padres vs. DuRapau (Pirates)
Operating under the assumption that Brault will follow DuRapau, break out the Padres' right-handed hitters since Brault has allowed a .368 wOBA to righties during his career. Machado is the one to build around, while Reyes brings plenty of power upside based on his .336 ISO. Myers might be slumping out of the gate, but a lot of that has to do with his staggeringly high 37.1 percent strikeout rate. That might not be an issue for him in this matchup considering Brault has an 18.6 percent career strikeout rate.
Giants vs. Zack Godley (Diamondbacks)
The Diamondbacks would probably love to avoid starting Godley based on his 5.32 xFIP and 1.73 WHIP. He's pitched some out of the bullpen of late, but that hasn't had a positive impact on his numbers. With few other viable options, Godley's expected to start once again, although he will likely be on a short leash. The last time he started, they purposely limited him to just going one time through the opposing batting order. For those seeking out a contrarian stack in tournament play, rolling with the Giants might not be a crazy idea. This trio won't cost much, but they do provide some upside. Panik is particularly appealing since he is 18-for-52 (.346) over his last 14 games.