This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Wednesday should be busy across baseball with 15 games on the schedule. Three day games are on the docket, including the Rays hosting the Blue Jays. One of the more interesting matchups for the evening slate will be the Dodgers facing the Rockies at Coors Field. Any matchup there has the potential to bring plenty of runs, but two very good pitchers will be on the mound in Walker Buehler and German Marquez. As far as games with playoff implications go, an interleague matchup between the Red Sox and Mets is high up on the list. Also, the Mariners and A's will continue to battle it out to try and improve their chances of snagging an AL Wild Card spot. Let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to target on DraftKings.
In a key matchup against the Mets in his last start, Zack Wheeler ($10,400) again performed well by allowing one run and recording six strikeouts across five innings. That marked the third straight start in which allowed one or no runs, lowering his ERA to 2.83 for the season. He's already logged 200.1 innings and has proven to be the rock within the Phillies' starting rotation. An excellent opportunity to continue his success presents itself in a home matchup against the Orioles, who only have a .652 OPS on the road.
Entering his last outing, Corey Kluber ($9,000) hadn't logged more than four innings in any of his first three starts since coming off the IL. That all changed when he shut down Cleveland across six innings. Although injuries have limited him to 71 innings, he's performed well when on the mound, recording a 3.68 ERA and a 4.05 FIP. He's certainly an appealing option against the Rangers, who have the lowest OPS in baseball. The last time he faced them, he threw a no-hitter while recording nine strikeouts.
A year pitching in the KBO has done wonders for Chris Flexen ($7,000). He's been a reliable member of the Mariners rotation this season, posting a 3.66 ERA that is supported by a 3.82 FIP. Strikeouts aren't his forte given his 16.4 percent strikeout rate. However, he does a good job of inducing weak contact, allowing just a 38.8 percent hard-hit rate. He could be worth taking a chance on for a matchup against the A's at their pitcher-friendly home park.
Manny Machado ($5,700) is doing his best to keep the Padres alive in the playoff hunt. Over their last 10 games, he is 15-for-42 (.357) with two home runs and four doubles. Scott Kazmir ($5,900) is expected to start what could turn into a bullpen game for the Giants, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Machado continue his recent hot streak.
Aaron Judge ($5,200) stepped up for the Yankees again Tuesday, finishing 2-for-4 with a home run and a double against the Rangers. He loves hitting at home, where he has a 172 wRC+ for his career. Also working in his favor Wednesday is a matchup against Taylor Hearn ($5,100) given that Judge has a career 159 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers.
It's surprising that Frank Schwindel ($3,600) still has a salary this cheap given that he's showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, he's on a 10-game hitting streak in which he has hit 17-for-45 (.378) with three home runs and five doubles. While a matchup against the talented Joe Ryan ($8,200) isn't exactly a walk in the park, Schwindel could still provide value.
Going back to the Yankees, Gio Urshela ($2,900) is also a viable option and can be added to your lineup for a much cheaper salary than Judge's. Urshela has dealt with multiple injuries, which may be why he hasn't been able to replicate the success that he had during his first two seasons with the Yankees. However, now that he's finally healthy, he is 10-for-29 (.345) with two home runs and a double over their last eight games.
Stacks to Consider
Junk limited a powerful White Sox lineup to one run across 4.1 innings in his last start. The run did come on a home run and he's now allowed three of them across eight innings in the majors. That could be a troublesome area for him against the Astros, who are tied for the eighth-most home runs in baseball. Among their more powerful hitters is Alvarez, who has launched 31 home runs on his way to a .255 ISO.
There hasn't been much to like about the performance of Akin, who has a 5.30 FIP to go along with his 6.93 ERA. His 1.61 WHIP is a big problem considering he's allowed 17 home runs over 89.2 innings, as well. Harper could continue to do damage in that department while McCutchen is an excellent option whenever a left on the mound. Despite a miserable 69 wRC+ against righties this season, he has a 177 wRC+ versus lefties.
Desperate for healthy starting pitchers, the Padres won't have a choice but to roll with Velasquez again. His debut with the team didn't go well when he allowed four runs over four innings to the Cardinals last week. That's continued a painful season in which he's recorded a 6.09 ERA and a 5.68 WHIP. He's also allowed 2.0 HR/9, so this powerful trio carries plenty of upside into this matchup.