This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have a couple of doubleheaders on the docket Tuesday, leaving us with another busy day of baseball. The main evening slate on DraftKings is loaded with quality options to consider, especially on the pitching side. Let's discuss some players to target as you build your entries.
At this point, fading Jacob deGrom ($11,100) could be considered as hazardous to your health. He's allowed two earned runs through 35 innings, leaving him with a 0.51 ERA. His FIP is just as impressive at 0.82. Oh yeah, and he has a staggering 48.0 percent strikeout rate. His salary will do a number on your budget, but finding a way to squeeze it into your entry for his matchup with the Cardinals could be worth it.
Another ace who is set to take the mound Aaron Nola ($10,400), who will face off against the Brewers. His numbers aren't as crazy as deGrom's, but it's difficult to complain about a pitcher with a 3.11 ERA and a 2.63 FIP through six starts. His strikeout rate is down a bit at 25.8 percent, compared to 33.2 percent last season. Still, he could excel in that area given that the Brewers entered Monday with the third-most strikeouts in baseball.
When you're looking for starting pitching options, one of the first things to do is see who is facing the Tigers. Their lineup has been dreadful out of the gate, entering Monday with the worst OPS and the second-most strikeouts in baseball. Trying to exploit a matchup against them will be Nick Pivetta ($7,900), who has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five starts.
Ronald Acuna Jr. ($6,000) continues to put on a power display in the majors, posting a .375 ISO in the early going. What's really impressive is that he done that while also posting just a 13.8 percent strikeout rate. That improvement could be huge given that he has a 25.5 percent strikeout rate for his career. Expect him to be a tough out for Joe Ross ($6,900), who doesn't miss many bats given his career 20.3 percent strikeout rate.
Unlike Acuna, Rhys Hoskins ($5,400) has seen his strikeout rate spike this season, entering Monday at 31.9 percent. However, he's still hit for plenty of power with a .286 ISO. He has a .267 ISO and a .390 wOBA for his career against left-handed pitchers, making him an appealing option against Eric Lauer ($7,300), who has a bloated 1.49 WHIP for his career.
Sticking with the Phillies' matchup against Lauer, Alec Bohm ($3,700) should also be on your radar. His play entering Monday has been disappointing, but his 53.2 percent hard-hit rate and 10.4 percent barrel rate could indicate that better days are just around the corner. With how much Lauer has struggled to keep hitters off base, this could be just the matchup that Bohm needs to get back on track.
Speaking of hitters who are off to a slow start, it's been a rough going for Dominic Smith ($3,900). The Mets power-hitting lefty entered Monday with a .130 ISO and a pedestrian .264 wOBA. This comes after he had a .299 ISO and a .412 wOBA last season, so don't expect him to keep up this slow start for much longer. This might be a chance for him to provide value against the inexperienced Johan Oviedo ($6,600), who has only pitched 34.1 innings above Double-A.
Stacks to Consider
If Keller is going to get his career on track, he's going to need to improve his control. He's followed up his 20.7 percent walk rate in 2020 with a 14.1 percent walk rate through his first five outings this season. That's part of the reason why he has a 1.72 WHIP for his young career. His inability to keep hitters off base could end up being disastrous against the potent Padres' lineup. Hosmer only has a 17.7 percent strikeout rate and entered Monday with a .353 wOBA, so while he's not the biggest name in the lineup, he could still provide value.
It's difficult to resist stacking against Lopez whenever he starts given his career 1.50 WHIP. He's struggled in that department again this season with a 1.43 WHIP through five starts. Also, he's allowed six home runs across 21.2 innings. This could be an ideal spot to deploy France, who generally doesn't strike out much and has followed up his .362 wOBA from last season with a .356 wOBA entering play Monday. If you use deGrom as one of your starting pitching, a Mariners stack could help your budget, as well.
Hentges' track record in the minors makes him a pitcher to consider stacking against. He had a 1.41 WHIP at High-A in 2018 and followed that up with a 1.65 WHIP at Double-A in 2019. He never pitched higher than that level before appearing in the majors this season. It hasn't been a great beginning to his career since he's allowed three home runs and posted a 1.41 WHIP over three relief appearance. The home runs could be an issue against Soler, who enters with a career .219 ISO.