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MLB’s offensive influx shouldn’t slow down Saturday. Every team is in action, but few aces will toe the rubber.
Making matters trickier, DraftKings and FanDuel cut three games with some of the best pitching options (Sonny Gray, Nick Lodolo, Logan Allen) from their evening slate. OwnersBox bunches them into a separate mini-night slate for anyone seeking exposure to those hurlers.
This breakdown will focus on the other slates for all three sites in hopes of May flowers blossoming your bankroll.
OwnersBox: Early (4 games) starts at 2:15 p.m. ET; Evening (3 games) starts at 6:10 p.m. ET; Main (8 games) starts at 7:10 p.m. ET
DraftKings/FanDuel: Afternoon (4 games) starts 2:15 p.m. ET; Main (8 games) starts 7:10 p.m. ET
The Yankees have scored 18 runs in sseven games without Aaron Judge and enter the weekend with an 89 wRC+ against righties. Drew Rasmussen flaunts a 3.66 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and the highest PLV of Saturday’s probable starters despite yielding five runs apiece to the Blue Jays and Astros. A larger Yankee Stadium discount would have been nice, but he’s still the premier afternoon option.
A quick glance says Drew Smyly is the early slate’s clear pivot. He’s ceded five runs in as many starts since coughing up seven runs (six earned) to start the season at Cincinnati, bringing his ERA down to 2.83. While the Marlins have fared better against southpaws (108 wRC+), they mustered just one run off Justin Steele yesterday.
The evening slate is light on high-end pitching, increasing the odds of cash-game contestants paying full freight for Spencer Strider. Despite coming off his worst start of the season, allowing eight baserunners and four runs to the Mets, the Atlanta righty still has an MLB-high 41.0% K rate and the best swinging-strike rate (20.1%) of any healthy starter. Max Fried can confirm that Baltimore’s lineup is no joke, but Strider is clearly the best — and probably the only — ace going Saturday night.
We all know the A’s are bad, but are they bad enough to trust a pitcher with an 8.49 ERA and 1.52 WHIP? That’s the conundrum we all face with Brady Singer and the Royals hosting MLB’s only inferior team. After entering the year with considerable promise, Singer surrendered eight runs in two separate April outings. His opponents are collectively faring better than Freddie Freeman with a .388 wOBA this season, and Singer’s xwOBA is somehow even higher (.414). But he sure is cheap against a team that lacks power and strikes out in spades, so it’s not a crazy thought for DK players looking for a cheap complement to Strider.
MacKenzie Gore is a safer alternative that won’t break the bank on DraftKings, but only Strider costs more on FanDuel. Those preferring to save money for hitters on FanDuel can instead turn to Alex Cobb for $8,300. He’s issued four walks in six outings while boasting a 3.12 SIERA and an elite 60.8% ground-ball rate.
For all his flaws, a locked-in Javier Báez still wreaks havoc. After going all of April without a home run, the free-swinging shortstop has deposited three long balls in his last four games. The notoriously streaky hitter is a hot hand worth riding, especially at a bargain-bin price for Adam Wainwright’s season debut. The 41-year-old’s fastball was in the mid-80s during the World Baseball Classic. Eric Haase is also a cheap catching option after going yard twice Wednesday.
On the other end of that matinee, Spencer Turnbull has allowed 20 earned runs in 26.1 innings, including three homers to lefties. Lars Nootbaar is leading off regularly against righties and reaching base at an elite clip. Keep an eye on St. Louis’ lineup. With Tyler O’Neill placed on the IL, Alec Burleson could represent a cheap filler if given the nod. Nolan Arenado is also priced for a rebound gamble on FanDuel.
OwnersBox and DraftKings price Philadelphia’s elite hitters accordingly for a juicy matchup against Corey Kluber. FanDuel, however, is still paying too much deference to the former Cy Young Award winner. Five shortstops, including Thairo Estrada, cost more than Trea Turner, but the star offseason signing won’t stay cold forever. Kyle Schwarber is in a prime position to go yard against a poorly aging righty with an 11.1% barrel rate, and Bryce Harper has looked just fine since returning from Tommy John surgery sooner than expected. They’re an elite and surprisingly affordable FanDuel stack if forgoing Strider.
Marco Gonzales has served up six doubles, three home runs, and a .379 wOBA in 78 plate appearances against righties, who took him deep 23 times in 2022. Although he has yet to discover his groove, he still has more walks than strikeouts, and a .369 xwOBA bodes hope for better days ahead. Roll the dice on his career success (146 wRC+) against lefties despite still searching for an extra-base hit off a southpaw this season. Yordan Alvarez is a worthy top-shelf play for someone with funds to burn, and José Abreu is an intriguing punt play for those who still believe.
Coming off a nine-strikeout performance, Colin Rea might have drawn some sleeper appeal against a Giants lineup posting MLB’s highest strikeout rate. However, they’re also capable of inflicting damage; only the Rays and Dodgers had a higher ISO against righties. San Francisco’s hitters are particularly affordable on DraftKings. Back in the leadoff role with four dingers in his last eight games, LaMonte Wade Jr. is essentially a cash-game lock at $3,100. Joc Pederson is always worth considering against the right righty, and a slumping Michael Conforto comes up at an appropriate discount everywhere.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)