This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have a balanced schedule Saturday with eight games on the main slate. Aside from the top pitcher, there aren't many elite arms in the pool, but there are several mediocre options spread throughout the range of salaries. That will make matchups and value particularly important factors to determine the best pitcher plays.
From a batter perspective, there's no Great American Ballpark, Coors Field, or Yankee Stadium, meaning positive hitting environments aren't a huge part of contests Saturday. That being said, it's a fairly straightforward evening of baseball to work with.
Spencer Strider ($11,500) represents the obvious standout option and is $2,200 clear of any other arm on the slate. He's been unreal again in 2023 by posting a 41 percent strikeout rate and 2.77 SIERA. That K rate is difficult to sustain and could take a dip in the matchup against the Orioles as the lineup is built to make a lot of contact. It's possible Strider posts an eye-popping line every time he takes the mound, but this doesn't line up to be a ceiling performance.
Nathan Eovaldi ($9,300) is the next highest pitcher, again highlighting the massive gap between Strider and everyone else. He's coming off an incredible performance against the Yankees where he posted 43.5 DK points. We can't expect that again against the Angels, but he's managed at least 16.5 in five of six starts this season. The Angels are a tough matchup, though that's not likely enough to push me away from Eovaldi.
MacKenzie Gore ($8,700) is valued remarkably close to Eovaldi, so on the surface I'd rather find the extra $600. On the other hand, there are factors that make Gore appealing - including throwing in a pitcher-friendly home park in Arizona. The Diamondbacks are also grading out as exactly a league-average offense, less intimidating than both the Rangers and Orioles. Gore boats the second-highest strikeout rate of players in the pool, making this an interesting matchup against another lineup that doesn't have a lot of punch but also doesn't strike out.
Brady Singer ($7,000) has been disappointing to start this season, though he gets to pitch in his home park against the Athletics on Saturday. Not the worst offense in the league as many would expect, Oakland still strikes out at a particularly high clip to make this matchup worth targeting.
Colin Rea ($6,800) is an easy name to gloss over, but he's produced over 20 DK points in two of four starts while offering a 22 percent strikeout rate - and that's right in the middle of the 16 pitchers on the main slate. A matchup in San Francisco is positive as the Giants currently carry the league's highest strikeout rate. Pitching at Oracle Park should also help Rea neutralize a significant home run problem (1.7 HR/9).
It's understandable that Bryce Harper ($5,600) has gotten off to an inconsistent start after returning from Tommy John surgery on an accelerated timeline. He's in a good spot to homer for the first time this campaign as Corey Kluber has allowed at least one long ball in all of his starts and has given up multiple home runs twice.
Bobby Witt ($4,800) has come alive in his last 10 games by averaging 9.2 DK points. A lot of things are favorable in a matchup against Ken Waldichuk, who has the fourth-lowest strikeout rate and highest homer rate of any pitcher taking the hill Saturday night.
There are no obvious value bats for the Nationals because the lineup is poor throughout. However, Tommy Henry enters the game with a -2.3 K-BB% and 6.76 SIERA, so it's difficult to not fit someone from the Nats' order on DK rosters. Alex Call (2,600) is the leadoff hitter most days against southpaws, so he'll have the most opportunity to do damage.
Circumstances are a bit different in Texas, but Robbie Grossman ($2,500) has also done great against lefties – most recently batting second in the order. He's also averaged 10.3 DK points per across his last 10 starts. A matchup against Reid Detmers is neutral, but not a must-avoid.
Stacks to Consider
We should expect a lot of runs in this matchup in general, so stacking either the Red Sox or Phillies is in play. The Sox will take on Falter, who's only recorded a 16.3 percent strikeout rate while serving up 1.7 HR/9. That should lead to a lot of traffic on the basepaths and a chance for some long balls. There won't be any obvious value in the Phillies lineup, but there are some spots for savings in Boston. Verdugo has been sidelined by illness the last couple of games, so Raimel Tapia ($2,100) could remain locked into the leadoff spot. As the top three in the order appear even with Verdugo in the lineup, the stack isn't overwhelmingly expensive.
The Mariners have been among the most disappointing lineups so far, but they'll be in a good spot Saturday. France is making his big-league debut as a 28-year-old and doesn't carry much prospect pedigree. His minor-league stats suggest significant control problems as he's consistently posted double-digit walk rates. France has limited home runs this season, but could be in for a rough first ML appearance.