This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Many players will likely be resigned to the fact they need to roster the most expensive player on Saturday's eight-game evening slate, but there are plenty of value plays in the mid-range and below who can help prospective poolies build competitive lineups.
Few pitchers are truly matchup-proof, but that phrase perfectly describes Corbin Burnes ($10,500) with his 2.25 ERA and 35 percent strikeout rate in 152 innings. Meanwhile, the Cubs have produced a bottom-10 wOBA and the league's highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching. It should also be noted Burnes posted a whopping 49.6 DraftKings points in his last start against the Northsiders in August.
Lance Lynn ($8,700) represents one of the better values on the slate considering he can be rostered for less than $9,000 for the first time over his last 10 starts. The 34-year-old is putting the finishing touches on a career-best season that has seen him post a 2.50 ERA and 28 percent strikeout rate from 140.2 frames. Lynn will face a Rangers offense with the third-lowest wOBA in the league against righties.
It seems DraftKings isn't ready to elevate the salary of Jose Suarez ($6,700), despite the fact the 23-year-old has only allowed two runs across 14.2 innings this month while striking out 15 batters. While the sample size may be small, people are going to need to find value options if they intend to roster Burnes, and Suarez offers the highest ceiling of any pitcher below $7,000.
Humberto Castellanos was able to get on track with a solid outing against the Mariners, but still holds a 5.44 xFIP and 38 percent hard contact rate against lefties in 17 frames. Yordan Alvarez ($5,000) has hit with power against all comers in 2021, resulting in a .253 ISO over 484 at-bats.
Kris Bubic has been hit the hardest by left-handed bats this year, but the 24-year-old has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard against both sided hitters. He enters the contest against the Mariners having allowed 17 home runs against his opposite hand across 91.1 innings. Mitch Haniger ($5,900) has taken a step back in the power department overall after missing all of 2020 due to injury, but has hammered southpaws to the tune of a .258 ISO from 178 at-bats.
Conventional wisdom tells us not to pay a premium for catchers in DFS, but there's nothing conventional about Salvador Perez ($5,300) with his .352 ISO and .420 wOBA against left-handers en route to 45 homers. Yusei Kikuchi looked to be on track for a breakout season early, but hasn't registered an ERA under 4.50 during any month since June.
Brad Miller ($3,600) has recently sat out a few games to give a recovering J.T. Realmuto time away from the catcher's position, but the 31-year-old will likely be in the lineup to face Carlos Carrasco and his .532 slugging percentage allowed in 24.1 innings at home this season. Miller has shown excellent power against righties based on a .259 ISO over 224 at-bats.
Salaries may not adjust before the end of the campaign, but I think it's time we started looking at Yu Darvish as a target. The one-time ace of the Padres staff has been absolutely hammered in the second half of the season having allowed a .567 slugging percentage and a 7.20 ERA in 45 innings. Tyler O'Neill ($3,900) doesn't make much contact, but he's compensated in 2021 with an influx of power with a .239 ISO against righty pitching over 352 at-bats.
Spencer Howard will continue to act as an opener for Texas, despite the 11.25 ERA in 16 home innings this year. He'll likely give way to A.J. Alexy, who holds an xFIP of 5.85 from 14.2 innings. Both hurlers should provide opportunities for Brian Goodwin ($2,800) and his .217 ISO along with a .368 wOBA against righties across 166 at-bats.
Stacks to Consider
The Astros are never short on firepower, making them a perfect stack against a struggling September call-up. Kyle Tucker has maintained a moderate salary despite the .257 ISO in 455 at-bats and should be considered an excellent value option to round out a lineup.