This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have only a five-game main slate Saturday with eight games during the 4:05 EDT timeframe, but DraftKings has opted to keep its biggest prizes for the 7:05 EDT (and later) games. We'll follow their lead.
MacKenzie Gore ($10,000) and Clayton Kershaw ($10,000) are valued at the same point. Their skills are also similar, though the pair diverge from there. Kershaw is set to be activated from the injured list Saturday and will pitch in a big-league game for the first time since May 7. Reports have indicated he isn't expected to work more than five innings, which is enough to eliminate him from consideration once factoring in salary. Meanwhile, Gore will start at home against Colorado. The Rockies enter with the fourth-lowest wRC+ and wOBA on the road this season. They don't strike out a lot, but that's not enough to outweigh their lack of punch.
Carlos Carrasco ($9,400) is overvalued based on skill, but the Angels lineup is so beat up he has to enter the conversation. He should be relatively safe for at least 15 DK points, which would be okay in cash games at his salary point.
I'm avoiding any true "punt" option, but both Jordan Montgomery ($7,600) and George Kirby ($7,100) are worthy of consideration. I'd prefer Montgomery based on his matchup against the Cubs compared to Kirby versus the Red Sox, but the latter has a four-percentage point advantage over Montgomery in strikeout rate.
Several factors line up for Anthony Rizzo ($5,600) on Saturday. Yankee Stadium is among the best hitters' parks in the league for home runs, and is the best among the options on Saturday's main slate. Matt Swarmer has fared well in a limited big-league sample this season, but he's surrendered three home runs in only 12 innings.
Jarlin Garcia has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen to this point in the campaign, but he'll start Saturday against the Dodgers. That's an unforgiving time to transition to the rotation, which makes Mookie Betts ($6,000) and Trea Turner ($5,800) names to build around.
Manny Machado ($5,400) has hit well regardless of matchup early in the year. However, he's absolutely demolished lefties so far (limited sample caveat), and Kyle Freeland carries the lowest strikeout rate among the pitchers in the pool.
Needless to say, Kershaw isn't typically a pitcher to target. However, it's reasonable to believe he'll show some rust coming off a lengthy stint out. Austin Slater ($2,800) has operated as the Giants' leadoff hitter against lefties and has maintained a .352 wOBA.
Eduardo Escobar ($3,200) has been on fire of late. We don't want to blindly follow hot streaks, but he's in a favorable position to produce again Saturday. Michael Lorenzen has allowed a .390 wOBA and 1.7 HR/9 against lefties this season, and Angels Stadium is also a positive environment for long balls.
Luke Voit ($2,900) has a .453 slugging percentage and .776 OPS since returning from the injured list on Apr. 10. He hits either fourth or fifth in San Diego's lineup, yet remains significantly undervalued.
Stacks to Consider
Padres vs. Kyle Freeland: Jurickson Profar ($3,600), Jake Cronenworth ($4,000), Manny Machado ($5,400), Luke Voit ($2,900)
Freeland is one of four pitchers with a SIERA above 4.30 on the season in the player pool Saturday. The Padres have recently been hot at the plate and there's no reason they can't take advantage of the matchup. This an easy stack to roster due to the ability to pay down for Profar and Voit, and it's likely to be very popular due to the matchup.
Dodgers vs. Jarlin Garcia: Mookie Betts ($6,000), Freddie Freeman ($5,000), Trea Turner ($5,800), Will Smith ($4,200)
As was discussed, Garcia has been a reliever but is penciled in to start Saturday - but confirm this prior to building LA stacks. The Dodgers shouldn't have any trouble taking care of the flaws in his profile, including a 9.3 BB% and 1.4 HR/9. Unlike the Padres, this is a difficult stack to roster due to the salaries at the top of the lineup, though the pitching available in the mid to low $7000s makes it possible to get there.
Mets vs. Michael Lorenzen: Brandon Nimmo ($3,800), Mark Canha ($3,300), Francisco Lindor ($5,100), Pete Alonso ($5,300)
The Mets offer a middle ground between the previous recommended stacks. They're likely to get less roster rate – the Yankees could turn out to be the most popular team of the day – but I like targeting Lorenzen due to his lack of strikeout rate (18.6%) and inflated walk rate (9.3%). There's also varying value points, with Nimmo and Canha likely to hit 1-2 in the order while providing salary relief.