This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Despite there being some early start times Saturday, 10 games will still make up the main evening slate on DraftKings. There are a few excellent starting pitchers who will be on the mound, but runs might not be hard to come by in several games based on some of the matchups. Let's dig in and highlight some of the better players to target.
The biggest name also boasts the best matchup with Clayton Kershaw ($11,000) set to start against the Marlins. He's shaken off any injury concerns so far, making 16 starts and logging 105 innings. He's also been as effective as ever, recording a 3.00 ERA and 3.62 FIP. Batters continue to struggle just getting on base, leaving him with a 1.05 WHIP. The Marlins own one of the worst lineups in baseball, so expect Kershaw to be the chalk pitcher of the night.
When Luis Castillo ($11,200) first appeared in the majors in 2017, he looked like a rising star. However, he fell flat last year with a 4.30 ERA and a 4.32 WHIP to go along with a pedestrian 23.3 percent strikeout rate. Luckily for the Reds, he's righted the ship this season with a 2.41 ERA and a 3.67 FIP. Maybe the biggest reason to be excited about Castillo is the fact his strikeout rate has jumped to 29.3 percent. He'll face a Cardinals team currently missing Yadier Molina (thumb), Marcell Ozuna (finger) and Matt Carpenter (foot), making him one of the better options to consider.
As far as cheaper targets for tournament play, Griffin Canning ($8,700) appears somewhat intriguing. He likely won't be highly rostered considering he allowed nine runs over 4.2 innings over his last two starts. However, Canning did record eight strikeouts in those games, leaving him with a 25.3 percent strikeout rate for the season. Opposing him will be the Mariners, who have scuffled along to average 3.5 runs over their last 10 outings. That average would be much lower had they not recorded a 10-run outburst on Friday. Since he won't destroy your budget, Canning could be a risk worth taking.
The Dodgers are going to be a popular choice more often than not with their dangerous lineup, especially when a righty is on the mound. They'll face an underwhelming one in Sandy Alcantara, who has disappointed with a 1.43 WHIP to go along with a 16.3 percent strikeout rate. Cody Bellinger ($5,400), Max Muncy ($4,700), Alex Verdugo ($4,200) and Joc Pederson ($4,200) all qualify as viable targets.
After being sidelined since the end of May with an arm injury, Gio Gonzalez will make his return for the Brewers. He was pitching well before the injury with a 3.19 ERA and a 3.25 FIP, but he didn't log more than 5.2 innings in any of his six starts and doesn't record many strikeouts. Ketel Marte ($4,800) has a 140 wRC+ against lefties this year, so expect to see him included in a lot of entries.
It's hard to get excited about the Royals' lineup most nights based on their lack of talent. However, they could be worth considering against Adam Plutko, who has allowed 10 runs over 10 innings in his last two starts. While that already looks bad, that stat line is even worse considering his two opponents were the Orioles and Tigers. He's also allowed 2.6 HR/9 for his career, leaving Jorge Soler ($4,800) and Hunter Dozier ($4,800) as two powerful bats that could provide significant production.
Red Sox vs. Tom Eshelman (Orioles)
This could be a fun couple of days for the Red Sox against a poor Orioles' pitching staff. Eshelman has only made two starts with the team, but has struggled like many of their pitchers by allowing six runs over 10.2 innings. Bogaerts and Devers are both scorching hot right now, with Bogaerts even recording at least two hits in six of his last seven games. Adding Holt could help offset their hefty price tags while also providing some value, since he has gone 11-for-18 with three doubles over his last seven games.
Rangers vs. Jose Urquidy (Astros)
The Astros are set to recall Uriquidy to make this start. In two previous major-league outings, he struggled by allowing seven runs over six innings. In the lone start that he made since being sent down, he allowed eight runs and four home runs over five innings. This trio carries tremendous upside. Gallo's power is off the charts while Choo continues to get on base a ton, leaving him with a .384 OBP. The switch-hitting Santana has excelled with a .386 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.
Astros vs. Ariel Jurado (Rangers)
More often than not, stacking the Astros remains a sound strategy. That could be the case again here versus Jurado, who has allowed 22 runs over his last 28.1 innings. Bregman is starting to heat up again, hitting .333 with three home runs and two doubles during his last 10 games. Alvarez has provided stellar power with his .364 ISO and Gurriel is enjoying a hot streak of his own with 12 homers over his last 20 games.