DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown

DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

There's only one day game, so it's a heavier than typical main slate for a Wednesday. The player pool is dominated by elite pitching, so the focus will be on finding the most efficient ways to jam elite pitchers into your lineup without sacrificing a ton with hitting. 

Pitching

If there was a complaint to have against Justin Verlander ($10,500) early in the season, it was a relative lack of strikeouts. However, that's changed recently as he has 13 strikeouts across 11 innings since returning from the injured list Sept. 16. His sample of increased strikeouts also extends to before his stint on the injured list, as he has a 37 percent strikeout rate across the last 30 days. He draws a matchup against an Arizona offense that has the third-lowest wOBA in the league over that same span.

Verlander is my favorite cash-game play, but there is a strategic element to rostering Zac Gallen ($9,400). He has a 2.26 SIERA across his last five starts and squares off against Verlander and the Astros. Due to matchup, Verlander is likely to have the higher roster rate, so pivoting to Gallen will serve as leverage while still giving you a high-quality pitcher. Brandon Woodruff ($10,000) is other elite pitcher I'd be eager to roster, as he joins Gerrit Cole as the only pitchers with a strikeout rate greater than 30 percent for the season.

George Kirby ($8,400) and Jesus Luzardo ($8,100) have both been relatively inconsistent but have both shown a ceiling that can well exceed their price points. Kirby's only particularly poor performance ironically came at Oakland in his last outing, so that recency bias could drive down his roster rate. Luzardo draws a tough matchup against the Mets, but New York's lineup has been mediocre against southpaws throughout the season. In addition, he's topped 25 DK points in two of his last five starts, with a third that came in at 17.9 points. That's good upside for the price.

I'm not particularly interested in the lower tiers of pitching, but if I were to pinpoint a flier it would be Adrian Martinez ($6,000). Even when he's been hit hard across his last two outings, he's posted a reasonable 13:5 K:BB in 10 innings. The Angels have struck out at a 25.3 percent clip over the last month, so there should be a reasonable floor despite his low price.

Top Hitters

Since the All-Star break, Eloy Jimenez ($5,200) has maintained a .241 ISO and .427 wOBA but hasn't gotten that much positive attention for his work. On Wednesday, he'll face Josh Winder, who has served up five home runs across 14.2 innings since being recalled Sept. 11.

Josiah Gray has had a home run problem all season, so picking any Atlanta hitter with reasonable pop is a fine choice. Despite a 58.6 percent groundball rate, Michael Harris ($4,900) has maintained a .238 ISO across the second half of the season.

We'll get a bit different for the final top hitter recommendation to recognize what Luis Rengifo ($4,400) has been doing at the plate. He has four home runs across his last 10 starts, and he's been good for the past couple months, maintaining a .335 wOBA and 118 wRC+ since the All-Star break. Adrian Martinez was noted above but only as a punt play, as his 2.2 HR/9 for the season has to be acknowledged.

Value Hitters

Michael Lorenzen has had a significant problem against lefties this season, allowing a .450 slugging percent and .356 wOBA without the handedness advantage. That makes Seth Brown ($2,700) a cheap option for power.

Nick Gordon ($2,800) is undervalued for his production generally, as he's maintained a 117 wRC+ and .330 wOBA across 408 plate appearances on the campaign. Johnny Cueto has had some success, but he gives up a lot of contact so I'm not shying away from rostering hitters against him.

J.D. Davis ($3,100) is known for his work against left-handed pitching, but he's hit in the middle of the Giants lineup regardless of the handedness of the opposing pitcher. Jose Urena has a 5.07 SIERA for the season, which is the highest on the slate.

Stacks to Consider

Atlanta vs. Nationals (Josiah Gray): Ronald Acuna ($6,100), Dansby Swanson ($5,200), Austin Riley ($5,200)

Atlanta is in a prime spot against Gray, who has served up a ton of home runs regardless of the specific sample used. Across the last 30 days, Gray has just a 1.1 K-BB% and a 5.80 SIERA while giving up 2.3 HR/9. This stack is expensive, but it should have a strong chance of hitting for those who can make the cost work.

White Sox vs. Twins (Josh Winder): Yoan Moncada ($4,100), Jose Abreu ($5,000), Eloy Jimenez ($5,200)

This White Sox stack isn't exactly cheap, either, but it does offer significant savings compared to the Atlanta stack above. The circumstances for why it's attractive are very similar, however. Across his full season of work, Josh Winder has a 4.78 SIERA and 8.7 K-BB% (second lowest on the slate) while allowing 1.7 HR/9. Note that the White Sox don't have anything left to play for and are on a seven-game losing streak, factors that unfortunately create an inflated amount of risk.

Giants vs. Rockies (Jose Urena): LaMonte Wade ($3,700), Thairo Estrada ($4,800), Wilmer Flores ($4,600)

This Giants stack isn't exciting on paper, but it does offer the most savings for those looking to pay up for quality pitching. They should also be in a good spot against Urena, who admittedly has pitched much better of late. However, he held a K-BB% that was negative for a significant portion of the season, so we know a blowup could occur at any point. Because this group of players doesn't generate much excitement, it could be under-rostered despite the fairly obvious positive matchup.

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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