This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
There is one must-play high-priced option and one must-play value pitcher on Wednesday's eight-game main slate. The rest is up to interpretation. Along the way, prospective owners can round out their lineups by picking on two shaky minor league hurlers.
I generally don't like to roster pitchers who are priced as highly as Justin Verlander ($11,000), but the former Cy Young Award winner has posted at least 30 DraftKings points in four of his last six starts and will face a Detroit team that ranks as a bottom-5 offense against right-handed pitching according to wOBA.
The Mets have swung the bats well against left-handers in general but are a bottom-10 offense over the last calendar month. Those who roster Patrick Corbin ($10,000) may need to put up with elevated walk totals but he possesses the strikeout rate and groundball profile to stifle a struggling Mets lineup.
Mike Minor ($9,400) came careening back to earth in his last start after putting up a combined 70.4 DK points in his previous two appearances but he will get a much more forgiving matchup against the Royals, who rate as a bottom-5 team against left-handed pitching this season according to wOBA. There isn't much wrong with Minor's game in 2019, as he has used a fantastic fastball/changeup combination to post a 2.68 ERA in eight starts.
Kenta Maeda ($9,200) has seen his strikeout rate drop and his home runs and walks increase in 2019. This is a dangerous combination against a team like the Padres, who have notched a .175 ISO against right-handed pitching despite being a bottom-10 offense according to wOBA.
Matt Strahm ($8,900) has started off his first season as a major leaguer well enough (3.00 ERA) but the substantial dip in strikeout rate from his days in the minors may be an issue against the Dodgers, who are a top-10 team against left-handed pitching this year.
Mike Soroka ($8,800) still holds a sparkling 1.21 ERA in his first major league season but has had some issues with the free pass of late. He will attempt to use his 24.4 percent strikeout rate and heavy groundball profile against the Cardinals, who own a top-10 wOBA and a 10 percent walk rate against right-handed pitching.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,200) will likely be a popular value play against the Rockies due to the fact that he has put up at least 22.7 DK points four times in his last six starts. Colorado is once again struggling away from Coors Field this season, as evidenced by the .278 wOBA and 28 percent strikeout rate they have tallied in 812 plate appearances.
Christian Yelich ($5,700) will likely be popular as long as there is a righty on the mound. Opposing starter Jake Arietta has struggled against left-handed hitters but it's worth noting that Yelich carries just a .305 wOBA on the road.
Brandon Lowe ($4,900) has become a force to be reckoned with against right-handed pitching thanks to the .386 wOBA and .276 ISO he has tallied in 105 at-bats. Meanwhile, Jose Urena has tallied a 5.60 xFIP against lefty batters in 23.2 innings.
It may seem unbelievable after all this time but we need to consider Hunter Pence ($4,900) as a value play on the road, where he has notched a monstrous .436 ISO in 55 at-bats. He draws Jorge Lopez, who has kept a 6.07 ERA in 43 innings this year.
Carlos Correa ($4,800) has stung left-handed pitchers to the tune of a .333 ISO in 36 at-bats. He will have a chance to pad his stats against minor-leaguer Gregory Soto, who got hit hard in his only start with the big club this year and has yet to progress to a Triple-A squad in his professional career.
We can attempt to exploit another farmhand in Wilmer Font, as he has struggled mightily with the home run ball in his time at the highest level. Juan Soto ($4,500) has hit a rough patch in 2019 after his breakout performance last season, but still holds a .343 wOBA against right-handed hurlers.
Josh Donaldson ($4,200) appears to be having a resurgence against same-handed pitchers. He has tallied a .245 ISO against them in 106 at-bats. This may be bad news for Michael Wacha, who has allowed a .518 slugging percentage against right-handed batters in 21.2 frames.
As we alluded to above, Maeda's control has abandoned him when facing left-handed hitters, which has contributed to a 5.02 xFIP in 20 innings. This could make Eric Hosmer ($3,500) a viable low-cost option due to the .198 ISO and 42.4 percent hard contact rate he has notched against righty pitchers in 121 at-bats.
Astros against Gregory Soto (Tigers)
Soto has had mixed results in his career as a minor-leaguer but it's worth seeing how well he responds after his disaster of a debut earlier this season. Diaz could be the hidden gem in this group. The 28-year-old has tallied a .391 ISO in his 23 at-bats against left-handed pitching in 2019.
Rangers against Jorge Lopez (Royals)
Lopez has had his issues with righties but has been absolutely knocked around by left-handed hitters in 2019, as evidenced by the .667 slugging percentage he has allowed in 16.2 innings.