This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday's 14-game main slate doesn't offer as much pitching security at the top as we might expect with such a full plate, but we can find plenty of cheap options in good matchups, which should allow us to focus on creating power lineups.
There isn't much wrong with picking Chris Sale ($11,800) in his matchup against the Blue Jays, as he carries an explosive 36 percent strikeout rate to go along with a 2.99 xFIP, but it's difficult to justify paying this kind of premium on anyone on such a large slate where we have so many options to choose from.
Walker Buehler ($10,900) can be forgiven for a rough outing at Coors Field, as he had put up at least 26 DraftKings points in each of his previous four outings. Buehler's high strikeout rate and ability to limit walks and homers makes him someone always worthy of a GPP look but he has a tough task ahead of him against the D-backs, who hold the fourth highest ISO and wOBA in the league on the road.
Domingo German ($10,100) features a strong strikeout rate and a fantastic curveball but gives up far too many homers (1.5/9) to be trusted on a five-figure salary. The Mets are a middle-of-the-road offense against righties when it comes to wOBA, and German has not put up more than 17.1 DK points in any of his last four starts. It must also be noted that this will be German's first start at the big-league level in nearly a month after recovering from a hip injury.
Sonny Gray ($9,200) seems to be well on his way to putting the disastrous 2018 spent with the Yankees in the rear-view mirror, as he currently holds a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts. While he may walk a few too many batters, Gray has been able to use his heavy groundball rate and ability to get punchouts to turn in some nice performances. It remains dangerous to use a righty in a small ballpark against the Brewers, however, as they hold a top-10 ISO against orthodox pitchers in 2019.
John Means ($8,400) may be an unsuspecting pitcher on a recommendation list but he deserves our attention after logging a 2.50 ERA in 17 games (13 starts). Means is armed with one of the best changeups in the league according to RAA but this is his highest price point in 2019 by a wide margin, which may make prospective owners uncomfortable about taking a shot on his 5.14 xFIP.
Mike Leake ($7,500) doesn't do much aside from getting ground balls, but DFS players should understand that it remains open season on the Cardinals, who hold the lowest wOBA in the league over the last 30 days.
Finally, we will take a look at Cal Quantrill ($5,00), who will make a spot start against the Giants. Quantrill didn't have much success as a starter before being moved to the pen but he needs to be in our player pool at this price due to the .295 wOBA the Giants have notched against right-handers this year.
We already talked about German's tendency to give up homers but what should also be noted is that the strikeouts come down slightly while the walks tend to go way up against righty hitters. This should be good news for Pete Alonso ($5,000) who has logged a .300 ISO against same-handed pitchers.
Peter Lambert has been absolutely torched by opposing offenses in 2019. This is especially true against lefty hitters, to whom he has allowed a stunning .804 slugging percentage in 10.1 frames. Michael Brantley ($4,900) should be viewed as a nice addition under the $5,000 mark, as he has logged a .360 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this year.
Jason Vargas seems to be en route to a career-best season but it's impossible to ignore the 5.35 xFIP he has tallied against right-handed hitters in 48.2 frames. This is particularly true when we can get Gary Sanchez ($4,700) at a reasonable price, as he holds a .327 ISO against left-handed pitching.
Shin-Soo Choo ($4,600) is an elite hitter who is rarely in an elite price range despite the .240 ISO and .395 wOBA he has tallied against righty pitchers in 225 at-bats. Meanwhile, Griffin Canning has allowed six homers to lefty hitters in just 30 innings.
Ariel Jurado has actually thrown the ball better against lefties this year per his results but advanced metrics tell us that may change, as he carries a 5.50 xFIP against lefty hitters in 27.1 frames. Kole Calhoun has been a powerhouse against southpaws in 2019, as evidenced by the .231 ISO he has logged in 199 at-bats.
Nick Markakis ($4,100) isn't the sexiest name in the lineup anymore but he has still logged a respectable .362 wOBA against right-handed hurlers. Nick Pivetta has struggled mightily with lefty hitters this year, allowing a .534 slugging percentage in 30 innings.
Trey Mancini ($4,000) has shown his power against both sides of the platoon this season, which has resulted in a .237 ISO in 80 games. Austin Pruitt will enter the ball game for the Rays after opener Ryne Stanek. Pruitt has struggled at every level of professional baseball he's played at in 2019, logging a 5.61 ERA and a 5.74 ERA at Triple-A and the major leagues, respectively.
Royals against Mike Clevinger (Indians)
Clevinger seemed to be on his game to open the season but the right-hander has been crushed since returning from a two-month stint on the injured list, allowing 12 runs in his last 6.2 innings (two starts). Clevinger is listed as one of the more expensive options on the slate but it is worth seeing if he has his legs under him yet.
Rangers against Griffin Canning (Angels)
Canning not only allows too many homers in general but has struggled away from home, allowing a .510 slugging percentage in 27.1 innings. Calhoun is the one to really focus on in this stack, as he has tallied a .250 ISO and .418 wOBA against right-handers in 52 at-bats.