MLB DFS: Saturday Early Slate – Hurlers, Boppers, and Stacksby Joe Ricotta April 10, 2021 0 comments
It’ll be tough to top Joe Musgrove’s no-hitter last night, but we have a very intriguing set of games on tap this Saturday. Hopefully, you were able to make a few bucks last Sunday as some of the players I wrote up went nuclear. Cedric Mullins, Trey Mancini, and J.D. Martinez combined for 66 DraftKings points. Let’s keep it going here and take a look at some options for the early slate of games beginning at 1:10 p.m. EST.
Reminder: Be sure to check starting lineups and weather before setting yours.
Jacob deGrom ($10,300 DK, $11,000 FD)
Is there a better starting pitcher in baseball than deGrom? He won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019 and finished third in voting last season. Over the last three seasons, he’s combined to start 76 games with a 2.10 ERA, 0.943 WHIP, and 628 strikeouts in 489 innings pitched. The only question is whether he can get run support. That’s not a guarantee today, as the New York Mets face a tough 23-year-old up-and-coming left-hander.
However, deGrom looked razor-sharp in his first outing, allowing zero runs on three hits with seven strikeouts through six innings of work. He was so sharp that he didn’t even mess around with his changeup or curveball. He threw 76.6 percent four-seamers and 23.4 percent sliders. At 32 years old, he’s throwing the hardest he ever has, averaging 99.1 mph on his fastball. Even knowing the Mets struggle to get him runs, I’ll take deGrom’s consistency and strikeout upside on a slate lacking aces.
Dylan Cease ($5,900 DK, $6,300 FD)
Many people have high hopes for Cease this season. He got a tough draw his first start, facing the Los Angeles Angels. He lasted only 4.2 innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out three and walking three batters. Maybe he just needed an outing under his belt to really get going. The Royals are bottom-five so far this season in strikeout percentage against right-handed pitchers. He’ll need to keep the walks in check, but he should get enough run support. I really want to make sure deGrom is in my lineup at the end of the day, so paying down for the cheapest-priced pitcher on the slate to pair with him is fine.
C – Yermin Mercedes ($4,000 DK, $3,200 FD)
The man, the myth, the legend. Yermin Mercedes has become an early-season all-time great, being the first player since 1900 to begin the season with eight straight hits. It gets better. In his first career at-bat in front of the White Sox home crowd on Thursday night, The Yerminator launched a mammoth 485-foot blast. It was the longest regular-season home run by a White Sox player in the Statcast era. He’ll square off against Kansas City Royals lefty Mike Minor on Saturday. 10 of his 11 homers allowed last season were against right-handed hitters. I’m just going to keep riding this wave and put The Yerminator in my lineups.
OF – Nelson Cruz ($5,500 DK, $4,100 FD)
Cruz is a bit pricey but well worth it. He absolutely demolishes left-handed pitching. Over the course of his career, he has a .401 wOBA and 153 wRC+ against southpaws. Yusei Kikuchi has allowed a .362 wOBA, and 33 of his 41 career homers allowed have been to right-handed hitters. Fire up the boomstick.
Home Run Call of the Day – Christian Yelich
Minnesota Twins vs. Yusei Kikuchi
Kikuchi was stellar the first time out, striking out 10 batters in six innings of work. However, I still want to see him do it against a top offense like the Minnesota Twins. Since the beginning of last season, the Twins have the third-best wRC+ and wOBA against left-handed pitching. Stack them up with Jorge Polanco, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and, of course, Nelson Cruz.
Chicago White Sox vs. Mike Minor
The White Sox torment left-handed pitching. Even without Eloy Jimenez and Tim Anderson, I expect them to put some runs on the board if the weather holds off enough. They’ve won 17 straight games against left-handed starting pitchers, which is the second-most of any team all time. The Sox also have a 151 wRC+ against southpaws since the beginning of last season.
Follow Joey Ricotta on Twitter @theriot326
Main Image Credit: