Saturday features a 9-game main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel starting at 7:05pm ET.
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Tonight’s slate features three pitchers over the $10,000 mark on FanDuel:
- Zach Plesac (R), $10,200, CLE @ MIN
- Dinelson Lamet (R), $10,100, SDP vs. SFG
- Zac Gallen (R), $10,000, ARI vs. SEA
Zach Plesac has just 34 innings pitched on the season so far, but in that time has collected a strong 2.89 FIP to go along with 9.0 K/9. On Saturday, he takes on a Minnesota Twins team that has been relatively strong against right-handed pitching, collecting a .333 wOBA thus far in such matchups. When they don’t make contact, however, they’ve been striking out quite a bit — their 25% strikeout rate is good for fifth-highest in baseball against righties.
At $10,200, Plesac’s average of 41.5 FanDuel points over his last four starts would equate to just 4.1x his salary, indicating the upside is likely not there in guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). For cash games, however, he is the safest option when comparing against the rest of the big three.
Dinelson Lamet is having an exceptional third season for the San Diego Padres. Over 52 innings, he’s pitched to a rock solid 2.92 FIP and averaged 11.7 K/9 in that span. On Saturday, he takes on a San Francisco Giants team that is seventh-best in all of baseball against righties, collectively hitting to a .332 wOBA and striking out just 22.2% of the time.
Their .171 team ISO, on the other hand, is predictably low. His range of outcomes over his last five starts is anywhere between 24 and 60 FanDuel points, making him a risky proposition in cash games. The Giants lack of strikeout upside also makes him a less than ideal choice for GPPs.
Zac Gallen takes on a Seattle Mariners team that has been near league average so far against right-handed pitching, hitting to a .316 wOBA over the course of the season. Their 22.5% strikeout rate is also relatively low, making this matchup nothing to write home about from a DFS perspective. He also hasn’t scored more than 46 FanDuel points in any of his nine starts, which at $10,000 makes him a tough sell for GPPs. You can make a case for him in cash games, though, as he’s been relatively consistent over the course of the season.
Dakota Hudson offers strong value at just $7,800 on FanDuel. His matchup against the Cincinnati Reds is strong; their .312 wOBA is bottom-third in baseball and they strike out 24.8% of the time collectively in such matchups. While his range of outcomes is wide — he’s scored anywhere between 13 and 49 FanDuel points over his last six starts — he dominated this Reds team in their last meeting, pitching seven innings while allowing just one earned run and striking out seven. That performance earned him 49 FanDuel points, good for 6.3x his current salary. He offers strong upside in GPPs.
Teejay Antone is the cheapest pitcher on the slate on FanDuel, coming in at just $5,500. His bottom of the barrel price tag is unwarranted, though. In 25 innings pitched so far, the rookie has compiled a 3.66 FIP to go along with a very impressive 11.7 K/9.
His opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals, have been around league average against righties, hitting to .315 wOBA collectively. Their 22% strikeout rate is relatively low, but Antone has been above average in that category. At just $5,500, you don’t need much out of him to pay off his salary. He offers immense value at this price point if you’re looking to pay up for big bats on Saturday.
Kyle Hendricks continues to be a solid contributor for the Chicago Cubs. His 3.59 FIP and 6.8 K/9 are about in-line with his career average and he’s scored 43 FanDuel points in each of his last two starts. The matchup on Saturday is also a good one.
His opponent, the Milwaukee Brewers, are third worst in the league against right-handed pitching (.297 wOBA) and have been striking out 26.6% of the time in such matchups. At a $9,300 price tag, though, his lack of ceiling makes him a poor choice for GPPs. In cash games, however, he provides a safe floor in this matchup.
Despite throwing seven innings, Framber Valdez got lit up in his last start, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits while striking out just two batters. He’s been a workhorse for the Houston Astros, who have proven that they will leave him out there even in a bad spot in order to save the bullpen. That strategy is not going to work out well against a strong Los Angeles Dodgers team. At $9,000 on FanDuel, he’s an easy fade.
- Ramiel Tapia (L)
- Trevor Story (R)
- Charlie Blackmon (L)
- Nolan Arenado (R)
- Kevin Pillar (R)
Total Salary: $24,700
It’s never a surprise when the Colorado Rockies are a top stack option at Coors Field, and that’s the case tonight against the Los Angeles Angels and pitcher Jaime Barria. Barria has been decent so far in 2020 (3.89 FIP, 0.9 HR/9), but struggled mightily in 2019, pitching to a 6.23 FIP and allowing 2.6 HR/9 over 82.2 innings. He’ll need to limit the long ball here to have any chance of success against this powerful Rockies lineup.
Trevor Story has been very strong against righties so far in 2020, colleting a .364 wOBA and 51.6% hard hit rate across 141 plate appearances. Charlie Blackmon (.316 wOBA) and Nolan Arenado (.329 wOBA) have also been predictably good against right-handed pitching.
As always, they will be extremely popular in GPPs when playing at home, so from a game theory perspective it’s probably wise to look elsewhere.
The Los Angeles Dodgers also rank highly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
- Mookie Betts (L)
- AJ Pollock (R)
- Max Muncy (L)
- Cody Bellinger (L)
Total Salary: $15,300
The Dodgers take on the lefty Valdez in this matchup, a pitcher who was highlighted earlier in the ‘Fastballs’ section. The Astros coaching staff has shown a willingness to keep Valdez out there to eat up innings, even if he isn’t particularly effective. That game plan bodes well for a powerful Dodgers offense at home with an implied team total of 5.2 runs.
AJ Pollock has been especially strong against lefties, posting a .425 wOBA and .333 ISO against them in 44 plate appearances so far. Max Muncy has also been very good, collecting a .351 wOBA to go along with three homes runs so far against southpaws.
They will undoubtedly come in lower owned that the Rockies and make a strong pivot in GPPs.
Kris Byrant grades out exceptionally well on Saturday against lefty Brett Anderson. Bryant has been lights out against left-handed pitching this season, collecting a .439 wOBA and 175 wRC+ in such matchups. He’s priced at just $3,000 on FanDuel and is projected to bat second for the Cubs.
George Springer also stands out in his matchup against lefty Julio Urias. Springer has been exceptional against southpaws this season, hitting to a very strong .355 wOBA and .333 ISO so far. His $3,500 price is very reasonable, especially when considering the fact that he will likely lead off for the Astros in this one.