DraftKings MLB: Saturday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

We have another heavy schedule for Saturday afternoon, so our focus will be on the eight-game slate kicking off at 1 p.m. EDT. It's not a particularly strong day for pitching, though there are a few seemingly misvalued arms who could be the key to unlocking the slate. As has been the case for much of the week, there aren't many obvious advantageous hitter parks (no Coors or Great American Ballpark available), so our focus should primarily be on exploiting matchups when selecting batters.

Pitchers

 Zac Gallen ($10,400) is the clear top pitcher and only ace of the slate. Deciding whether to pay up for him will dictate a lot of roster decisions the rest of the way because he's $1,100 more than the next closest pitcher. Gallen faces a Giants' lineup that is mediocre early on, including in strikeout rate. We should project a fine outing, though not likely a standout one.

That brings us to a trio of options in the $8,000 range. The first is Kutter Crawford ($8,000). He's been among the breakout pitchers allowing only one earned run across his first 21.1 innings while racking up 24 strikeouts. The matchup also weighs in Crawford's favor as he starts in pitcher-friendly PNC Park against a Pirates lineup that has K'ed 24.5 percent of the time.

Crawford is squaring off against Mitch Keller ($7,800), who's turned things around over his past two starts. However, he's striking out batters at a far less prolific rate than Crawford and has the harder matchup. The last pitcher in the group is Javier Assad ($7,900). His start looks to be fool's gold in some ways (28.1 K%, 8.6 SwST%), yet he's posted a 2.86 ERA across 107 career innings as a starter.

Bailey Ober ($7,000) represents the value choice of the day. After a disastrous opening outing, he's delivered more as expected (1 ER across 11 IP, 10:2 K:BB). He also faces a Tigers lineup that has been among the worst in the league.

Top Hitters

Based on the starting pitchers, the Brewers-Cardinals matchup offers some under-the-radar potential for offensive fireworks. Especially with Christian Yelich (back) out, the Brewers lack firepower in their lineup, though William Contreras ($5,000) has done well to start the season. A matchup against Miles Mikolas (4.52 SIERA, 8.7 K-BB%) is neutral at worst.

Christian Walker ($4,900) should be on the radar anytime there's a lefty on the mound, and that's the case with Kyle Harrison and he's also given up 2.0 HR/9 in 2024 and seven barrels – the second-highest number on the slate.

Value Bats

Patrick Wisdom ($3,200) began the season on the injured list, though he was activated Friday and immediately started in right field while hitting second. He's a boom-bust option (.295 ISO; 36.8 K% in 2023), but rostering the presumed second batter at that salary point is a smart move in a positive matchup against Roddery Munoz.

Perhaps Ronel Blanco has turned into one of the best pitchers at limiting hard contact, but I'd be willing to bet on some regression in the near future. He doesn't miss many bats, and Jesse Winker ($3,500) has quietly barreled five balls in 43 batted ball events after posting the same number over 116 across 2023. Winker should also be hitting second in the order.

Stacks to Consider

Cardinals vs. Brewers (DL Hall): Paul Goldschmidt ($4,700), Nolan Arenado ($4,600), Willson Contreras ($4,400)

It hasn't been the best start for the Cardinals' offense, though they'll be in a solid spot to produce Saturday. Hall has struggled in his transition from a relief to a starting role as his velocity and ability to miss bats have dissipated. The nice thing about this stack is that the salary reflects the fact St. Louis hasn't hit well, so they can be used as a secondary stack while still rostering decent pitchers.

Astros at Nationals (Trevor Williams): Jose Altuve ($5,100), Yordan Alvarez ($5,600), Kyle Tucker ($5,300)

The Astros don't hold the same advantage of a cheap lineup to stack, but the top of their order has been extremely productive. Given the relatively bargain pitchers available who should still project well, it's a day where we can go for a primary stack. As for the matchup, Williams has also had exceptional batted-ball luck. He lists a career 1.4 HR/9 (2.1 in 2023), yet has served up zero long balls despite giving up barrels at a 9.5 percent clip.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Dan Marcus plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: marcusd91 DraftKings: dmarcus87.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Marcus
Dan started covering fantasy sports in 2015, joining Rotowire in 2018. In addition to Rotowire, Dan has written for Baseball HQ and Rotoballer.
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