This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
With a lot of early start times Saturday, only seven games will make up the main evening slate on DraftKings. There are still plenty of big-name pitchers set to take the mound, which might make scoring at a premium. Let's dive into the matchups and discuss some of the better options to target for your lineup.
The most expensive pitcher set to take the mound is Gerrit Cole ($11,100) against the Angels. He's once again been spectacular with a 3.28 ERA that is backed by a 3.11 FIP. While it's hard to imagine, he's actually improved in the strikeout department from last season, posting a staggering 36.8 percent strikeout rate. Add in the fact he's allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven straight outings and he figures to be one of the more popular pitching options.
With the Giants scuffling along, there have been plenty of rumors about them potentially trading Madison Bumgarner ($9,200). While he's not having the best of starts with a 4.02 ERA and 3.96 FIP, his 24.9 percent strikeout rate represents his highest mark since 2016. The good news for DFS purposes Saturday is he'll be starting this game against the Cardinals at home, where he's registered a 3.40 FIP compared to a 4.70 FIP on the road.
The Dodgers continue to trot out excellent starting pitching, which is one of the main reasons why they are running away with the NL West lead. Kenta Maeda ($7,700) isn't their most dominant force, but he's pitched well with his 4.07 FIP and 1.10 WHIP. He's looked even better at Dodger Stadium with a 3.46 FIP, which is where he will face the Padres today. The last time he went up against them at home, Maeda recorded 12 strikeouts across 6.2 scoreless innings. Since he won't destroy your budget, he's worth a look in tournament play.
To no surprise, the Rockies lead all of baseball with a .379 wOBA at home. However, they check in with the lowest road wOBA at .278. Normally that would make them a team to avoid when they are away from Coors Field, but that might not entirely be the case against Robbie Ray and the Diamondbacks. Although Ray can rack up strikeouts in bunches, he's also allowed plenty of baserunners with a 1.36 WHIP. One player to particularly target is Ian Desmond ($4,400), who has recorded a .436 wOBA against lefties this year.
When a right-handed pitcher is on the mound, the White Sox are usually a team to avoid since they've only managed a 90 wRC+ against them. With Jon Lester on the mound the Cubs, they might actually be a team to consider since they have excelled with a 103 wRC+ against southpaws. The last time they faced Lester, they got to him for three runs and two home runs in 5.2 innings. Jose Abreu ($4,500) is certainly in play with his 160 wRC+ against lefties. The same can be said for James McCann ($4,400), who has been even better with a 168 wRC+ versus lefties.
After struggling on offense for the majority of the season, the Giants have started to show some signs of life by averaging 7.6 runs over their last seven games. They'll have a chance to keep things rolling against Miles Mikolas, who doesn't possess an overwhelming repertoire based on his 17.4 percent strikeout rate. Left-handed hitters boast a robust .387 wOBA against him, making Brandon Belt ($4,000), Alex Dickerson ($4,100) and Mike Yastrzemski ($3,800) players to consider.
Astros vs. Andrew Heaney (Angels)
Heaney has made strides in the strikeout department this season with a 28.8 percent strikeout rate, which is over six percentage points higher than his career mark. However, he's allowed nine home runs across only 36.2 innings, resulting in a 5.40 ERA and a 5.39 FIP. Right-handed hitters are the way to go when he's on the mound, making this an intriguing trio. Gurriel has launched seven home runs over his last nine games, so he might be in a favorable spot to take advantage of Heaney's propensity for giving up the long ball.
Mets vs. Jake Arrieta (Phillies)
Arrieta has experienced problems with the Mets this season by allowing 11 runs - including 10 earned - over 20 innings. He's given up 1.6 HR/9 overall, making Alonso one of the top hitters to target on this slate. McNeil isn't as much of a power threat, but he's been spectacular with his .391 wOBA. Cano's disappointing season has dramatically reduced his price tag, so now might be the time to pounce since he's gone .455 over his last six games.
Athletics vs. Marco Gonzales (Mariners)
Gonzales isn't exactly fooling many hitters with his 1.40 WHIP and 16.4 percent strikeout rate. Chapman carries arguably the highest upside on the A's while Semien owns a .351 wOBA versus lefties this year. Davis has a 141 wRC+ against lefties despite his poor start to the season, leaving a unique opportunity here to take advantage of deploying him at a bargain price.