This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
There is a fairly light afternoon set of games in the majors Saturday, leaving 11 games to choose from for the main evening slate on DraftKings. There are plenty of teams in situations to score in bunches, so picking the right starting pitcher could prove to be key. Let's examine the matchups and highlight which players might be the best to consider for your lineup.
The first half couldn't have gone much better for Matthew Boyd ($11,100), who finished with a 3.87 ERA that was supported by an even better 3.56 FIP. Despite still having problems keeping hitters inside the ball park, he's had success keeping runners off base with a 1.12 WHIP and has dramatically improved in the strikeout department with his 32 percent strikeout rate. This will be his third start of the season against the Royals and it's been a mixed bag so far with one good and one bad outing. The Royals own the second-lowest wRC+ against left-handed pitchers in baseball at 75, leaving Boyd as an appealing option for their rematch.
Merrill Kelly's ($8,400) transition to the majors has had its ups and downs, but he hit a nice groove heading into the break by allowing three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts. That included matchups against the Phillies and Dodgers, so he hasn't just been steamrolling bad lineups. Up next is a bout with the Cardinals, who are currently missing two of their better hitters in Marcell Ozuna (finger) and Yadier Molina (thumb). Since Kelly won't cost much, he remains a viable target in tournament play.
The Astros seem to have the magic touch when it comes to starting pitchers. They've certainly done an excellent job with Wade Miley ($8,000), who has a 3.28 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in his first season with the team. His 4.33 FIP indicates there could be some regression on the horizon, although his improved 20.7 percent strikeout rate has provided plenty of help. Facing the Rangers at Globe Life Park isn't exactly an ideal situation for most pitchers, but this might not be a daunting matchup for Miley. The majority of the Rangers' best hitters bat from the left side, which is great for Miley since he's held lefties to a .230 wOBA. Rolling with him could be a risk worth taking.
The Mariners could be in for a rough night with Wade LeBlanc expected to take the mound against the Angels. His 5.21 FIP and 1.33 WHIP leave a lot to be desired and he's also been homer-prone, giving up 14 in just 67.2 innings. That will likely make Mike Trout ($5,200) a popular option despite his hefty price tag. Justin Upton ($4,000) should also be included in a lot of entries based on his career .368 wOBA versus southpaws.
Dakota Hudson has been pretty lucky to generate a 3.51 ERA up to this point. He's allowed a ton of baserunners with his 1.53 WHIP and his FIP checks in at 4.99. He's mainly struggled against left-handed hitters, allowing a .391 wOBA against them compared to a .269 wOBA versus righties. That puts Ketel Marte ($4,500), Eduardo Escobar ($5,000) and Jarrod Dyson ($4,400) all in play for this slate.
Julio Teheran has been one of the better pitchers for the Braves this season, although he's still not missing a ton of bats based on his 20.7 percent strikeout rate. His WHIP also checks in at 1.36, which is up from his career mark of 1.21. The Padres slugged three home runs against him earlier this season, so don't shy away from Manny Machado ($4,200) and Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,500) just because Teheran has allowed 1.0 HR/9 for the season, overall.
Reds vs. Kyle Freeland (Rockies)
Freeland finished in the top-five in the NL Cy Young voting last year, but has endured a horrible start to this season leading to his current 7.13 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. The Rockies decided to send him to the minors, and he wasn't been any better there with an 8.80 ERA and 1.89 WHIP across six starts. He's still expected to be recalled to start this game, leaving this right-handed trio with tremendous upside.
Rockies vs. Tanner Roark (Reds)
Roark has pitched well for the Reds, but playing in Coors Field is a completely different story. One really concerning stat for him here is his .388 wOBA allowed to left-handed hitters. Blackmon and Dahl both mash righties and love hitting at home, so they should be a lock for a Rockies stack. Murphy has yet to really take advantage of the friendly confines of his new home park, but it's hard to argue against him and his career .353 wOBA versus righties.
Mariners vs. Matt Harvey (Angels)
The Angels are expected to activate Harvey from the IL after a lengthy absence due to a back injury. He was awful before going down, posting a 7.50 ERA and a 6.22 FIP. That should make the Mariners a popular stack for those looking to fade the Coors Field game. Lefties have crushed Harvey to the tune of a .383 wOBA, making Vogelbach and Narvaez two hitters to target. Santana also qualifies as a great option despite not having the platoon advantage based on his career-high 127 wRC+.