This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's 10-game evening slate on DraftKings has no shortage of quality starting pitching options. That might make viable hitters a little more difficult to find than usual, but there are still a few appealing matchups to try and exploit. Let's break things down and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Julio Urias ($8,700) had a good season in 2020, but his 20.1 percent strikeout rate was a disappointment. The good news is that he's rebounded to recorded a 27.2 percent strikeout rate through his first seven starts this season, which has helped propel him to a 3.34 FIP and a 0.98 WHIP. Reinforcements might be coming for the Mariners on Thursday in the form of Jarred Kelenic's promotion from Triple-A, but with him not in the plans for Wednesday, Urias could exploit their lineup that entered Tuesday with the third-worst OPS in baseball.
Another exciting young pitcher who is scheduled to take the hill for his team is Zac Gallen ($9,000). After getting roughed up by the Rockies at home, he rebounded in his last start against the Mets, allowing two runs (one earned) across six innings. His 12.2 percent walk rate is a concern, so he's been lucky to post a 1.20 WHIP. With that being said, he might not have that problem against a Marlins team that entered Tuesday with the eighth-worst OPS.
Danny Duffy ($8,900) has shown flashes of promise throughout his career, but control issues have often come back to haunt him. His walk rate has improved some this season at 7.0 percent, which is even more appealing when you consider that it didn't come at the expense of his strikeout rate, which sits at 28.0 percent. His matchup against the Tigers, who entered Tuesday with the worst OPS in baseball, is as appealing as it gets. The last time he faced the, he recorded eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings.
Outside of a terrible outing in his season opener, Andrew Heaney ($9,100) has pitched well for the Angels. In fact, he's allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. However, whenever a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, Alex Bregman ($5,200) is someone to pursue in DFS. He has a .433 wOBA against them this season and a .419 wOBA against them for his career.
Sticking with that same theme, Nelson Cruz ($5,400) is a top target whenever he faces a left-handed pitcher. The seemingly-ageless Twin's slugger has a 160 wRC+ against them this season and a 153 wRC+ versus them for his career. Opposing him will be Dallas Keuchel ($6,000), who certainly isn't an overpowering force given his career 18.8 percent strikeout rate.
After getting shelled for eight runs (seven earned) across four innings against the Marlins, Max Fried ($6,100) rebounded to allow one run over five innings against the Nationals in his last outing. His 2.06 WHIP through four starts is worrisome, as is his 40.7 percent hard-hit rate allowed. Even his 38.5 percent groundball rate is something to monitor given his career mark of 53.5 percent. While he's off to a slow start, this might be an opportunity to take a chance on Randal Grichuk ($4,200) and/or Teoscar Hernandez ($3,700) in tournament play.
Stacks to Consider
The A's are dealing with some injuries to their starting rotation, which will force them to start Kaprielian for this game. He doesn't have a ton of experience given that he has logged a total of 12.1 innings above Double-A. In what might amount to a bullpen game, the Red Sox could be in line to score plenty of runs. Verdugo doesn't carry the same name recognition that Martinez and Devers do, but he's been one of the teams most consistent hitters, entering Tuesday with a 123 wRC+ to go along with an impressively low 12.0 percent strikeout rate,
Lester had a forgettable 2020 season, finishing with a 5.16 ERA and an equally poor 5.14 FIP. He hasn't had a FIP below 4.10 since 2016. Part of that can be attributed to four straight seasons with a WHIP of at least 1.30. This could be a good spot to deploy a Phillies stack, with Hoskins leading the way. His 33.1 percent strikeout rate is a concern, but he has a .248 ISO and Lester doesn't miss many bats, so he could be a tough out.
The last time we saw Mize take the mound against the Royals, he was shelled for six runs over 4.2 innings. While he was a top prospect coming up through the Tigers' system, his career 17.9 percent strikeout rate and 9.9 percent walk rate both need significant improvement if he's going to live up to the lofty expectations that surround him. Santana has proven to be a valuable addition to the Royals, entering Tuesday with a 135 wRC+. He could give Mize plenty of trouble given that he has a 16.5 percent strikeout rate and a 15.5 percent walk rate for his career.