This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Friday is the end of summer, as per the calendar. Depending on where you live, colloquial summer may already be over/still fully in the groove. Regardless, fall, and postseason baseball, is around the corner. There are 11 MLB games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here are my DFS recommendations.
Framber Valdez, HOU vs. KC ($10,200) Valdez has been on his game as the Astros fight for the AL West. He's gone seven innings in four of his last five starts, and across those outings he has an 1.59 ERA. Now he catches a Royals team that is Bobby Witt and a bunch of randos, locked into finishing in the bottom eight in runs scored.
Chris Sale, BOS vs. CWS ($9,200): Sale has been up and he's been down, but all in all he has a 3.85 FIP and has struck out 11.27 batters per nine innings over 18 starts. There hasn't been a discernible rhyme or reason to Sale's success, so I'll take him in a great matchup and hope he handles it. The White Sox have collapsed offensively and now rank 28th in runs scored with a woeful .294 OBP as a team.
Sawyer Gipson-Long, DET at OAK ($7,700): Given the expectations I had as a Tigers fan, I've been happy with this season, and the debut of Gipson-Long has been a nice capper on the campaign thus far. He's only made two starts, but in those starts he has a 2.25 FIP and has struck out 14.40 batters per nine innings. As the Tigers fight to not lose 90 games (proportionate expectations), the newly minted major leaguer faces the worst offense in MLB, as Oakland ranks last or 29th in most key statistics.
It wasn't enough to carry Cleveland's offense to anything beyond mediocrity in 2023, but Jose Ramirez ($5,700) has hit .279 with 24 homers and 27 stolen bases. Though he is a switch hitter, he has an .855 OPS versus righties. The righty Dean Kremer has a 4.66 FIP, with lefties hitting .268 against him this year.
Since returning from injury, J.D. Martinez ($5,000) has been on a tear, presumably hoping to hit the 30-homer mark, which he did Thursday in his 105th game of the season. While he started the year smashing righties, and has still been good in those matchups, he now has an .899 OPS against lefties. Sean Manaea has not been good at home, but on the road he has a 6.08 ERA. The southpaw also has allowed righties to hit .269 against him since 2021.
There have been few bright spots in the Yankees' season, but Gleyber Torres ($4,700) has hit .273 with 25 homers. His home park has helped, as he has an .841 OPS in the Bronx. Brandon Pfaadt has a 5.18 ERA on the road, compared to a 6.46 ERA at home, but obviously a 5.18 ERA is woeful. Plus, he's actually allowed a staggering 2.9 homers per nine innings in away starts.
You see only 13 homers and four stolen bases from Alex Verdugo ($3,900), and maybe you feel disincentivized from a DFS perspective. However, the lefty also has 36 doubles and five triples, so it's not as though he lacks for splashy hits. On top of that, 12 of those homers have come against righties, and he's slugged .459 at home on the season. Touki Touissant is a righty, and he has a career 5.36 ERA that says it all.
Stacks to Consider
As if Atlanta needed any help, it gets Corbin on Friday. The lefty has a 5.00 ERA, so if he gets lit up, Corbin will likely be locked into finishing with an ERA over 5.00 for the third season in a row. Given that he's allowed righties to hit .306 against him in that time, I have three guys who hit right-handed here.
Albies is a switch hitter, but since 2021 he has a .913 OPS versus southpaws, so clearly he has a preference. Speaking of preferences, he has an .896 OPS on the road this year as well. Since famously tweaking his approach at the plate, Riley has tallied three seasons in a row with more than 30 home runs and 90 RBI, and he's likely to slug over .500 for the third consecutive campaign as well. In that time, he has a .923 OPS versus lefties. With so much talent in Atlanta, the fact Ozuna has hit 35 home runs is going under the radar. And, yes, he has an 1.028 OPS versus southpaws.
Having a 6.20 ERA on the road over one season is a concern, but Hudson has a 6.20 ERA in away games since 2021. This year, his road ERA is actually up to 7.62, and lefties have hit .291 against him. Thus, I have two southpaws in this stack.
It's been futile, but Soto has delivered as expected for the Padres over a full season. He has a .909 OPS with 32 homers, 101 RBI and 11 stolen bases. That including a .962 OPS versus righties. Though Bogaerts is right-handed, he has an .801 OPS in those matchups. He's also one of the Padres who is better at home, where he has an .856 OPS. Grisham is not a great hitter, or even a good one, but he is a southpaw. He also has 13 homers and 14 stolen bases, so there is some DFS upside here.
You want issues pitching on the road? In his career, Megill has a 5.80 ERA in away games where he's allowed 1.9 homers per nine innings. Problems with lefties? Megill delivers! In his career, southpaws have hit .305 against the Mets hurler. The Phillies are built to handle right-handed pitchers who struggle with lefties, so a stack from this squad was an easy choice.
Though his power numbers will end up down in 2023, Harper has a .900 OPS against righties. He's also slugged a whopping .597 at home. Schwarber won't lead the National League in home runs again, thanks to Matt Olson's campaign, but he has 45 homers already and could pass the 46 he had in 2022. He has an 1.037 OPS over the last three weeks, so the slugger is definitely making a run at it. Stott is a bit less of a power hitter, but he has 15 homers to go with his .282 average and 29 stolen bases. Also, his .444 slugging percentage at home is better than his road number.