Yahoo DFS Baseball: Saturday Picks

·5 min read

Some of the pieces of the MLB season are already "in place". We can feel comfortable about a few playoff teams and others that are out of it (at least my Tigers finally axed Al Avila). On a day-to-day basis, it's always a new series of scenarios and new opportunities. There are 11 games included on Saturday's DFS slate. The second leg of the doubleheader between Atlanta and Miami is not being included. Here are my recommendations.

Pitching

Logan Webb, SF vs. PIT ($46): Webb was stellar in 2021 posting a 2.71 FIP. This year, he's been slightly worse with a 3.32, but that's still pretty solid for a pitcher. In terms of things being "in place", the Pirates are basically locked into finishing 28th in runs scored and team OPS.

Andrew Heaney, LAD at KC ($41): Heaney has pitched incredibly well for the Dodgers with a 0.64 ERA and striking out 11.89 batters per nine innings. The only concern is he's only gone five innings and qualified for a win in two of six starts. Kansas City ranks in the bottom-eight in offense, so there's a decent chance Heaney reaches the fifth and picks up the victory if he can cruise early.

Lucas Giolito, CWS vs. DET ($41): Giolito has endured some rough outings, hence the 4.91 ERA. However, he also maintains a 4.27 FIP while striking out 10.16 batters per nine innings. Another encouraging factor for Giolito is the fact the Tigers sit last in runs scored and team OPS.

Top Targets

Once again, Jose Altuve ($20) is adding some speed to his power with 10 steals to go with his 19 home runs. He also has an 1.077 OPS against lefties and a .954 at home. We have Jared Koenig, who enters with a 6.39 ERA in five MLB starts. Even if someone else takes the mound, the Athletics can't toss anybody out there I'm worried about.

The counting stats are what make Adolis Garcia ($17) such an enticing DFS option. Sure, he has a .304 OBP, but he's also registered 19 homers, 16 stolen bases, and even four triples. Marco Gonzales has posted a 3.98 ERA, but also a 5.11 FIP. His problem is he allows a lot of home runs and doesn't strike anybody out, and Garcia is a hitter who you don't want making  a lot of contact against you.

Bargain Bats

There is little power in the bat of J.P. Crawford ($8), but against righties this year he's hit .271 with a .352 OBP. Over his career, Dane Dunning has produced a 4.24 ERA and has allowed lefties to hit .279 against. While Seattle employs a few lefty bats, none of them really wow you. You can still save some salary and hope to get some bang for your buck on a player like Crawford, who - as a shortstop - has to do less offensively to generate positional value.

This is more about the play of Jared Walsh ($7) in the past than this season. Even against righties, he's struggled this year. But since 2020, Walsh has an .870 OPS versus right-handed pitchers. Dylan Bundy is a righty and comes in with a 6.33 road ERA.

Stacks to Consider

Dodgers at Royals (Brad Keller): Freddie Freeman ($23), Gavin Lux ($16), Cody Bellinger ($14)

Keller doesn't allow a lot of home runs. It's about the one good thing you can say about him as a pitcher since he's posted a 4.45 ERA this year after a 5.39 in 2021. Lefties and righties both hit Keller well, but I wanted to go with three lefty Dodgers since he's right-handed.

Freeman has recorded 15 homers and nine stolen bases and has also put up a batting-title-worthy .324 average. And since 2020, he's managed a 1.004 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Lux has slashed .296/.372/.423 with four home runs and seven stolen bases and .298/.372/.440 versus righties. Bellinger has racked up 15 home runs and 11 stolen bases along with a .713 OPS versus right-handers.

Padres at Nationals (Anibal Sanchez): Juan Soto ($27), Jake Cronenworth ($21), Jurickson Profar ($20)

The writing was probably on the wall for the Nationals the second they decided it was worth putting Sanchez back in the rotation. Through five starts, he's struggled to a 7.56 ERA and has given up 2.88 home runs per nine innings. Sanchez is 38 now and didn't pitch in the majors last season.

Soto is facing his old team and was a huge trade-deadline acquisition for a reason. Since 2020, he's registered an 1.057 OPS against righties. Cronenworth will be happy to be facing a righty on the road considering his .822 OPS versus them the last two years and an .811 on the road this season. Profar has produced 12 home runs, five stolen bases, and 65 runs. And over the last three weeks, he's managed an .829 OPS.

Diamondbacks at Rockies (Jose Urena): Daulton Varsho ($22), Josh Rojas ($17), Alek Thomas ($14)

Urena has posted a 5.34 FIP this season and hasn't even spent the entire year with the Rockies. He maintained a 5.01 mark in 2021 as a Tiger. The season before that yielded a 6.05 FIP as a Marlin. Basically, you can't blame Coors Field for Urena's poor numbers, but pitching there certainly doesn't help him.

Varsho has racked up 16 home runs and eight stolen bases, and all have come against righties en route to an .804 OPS in those matchups. Rojas has hit .271 with a .345 OBP to go with six homers and 13 stolen bases. The rookie Thomas has recorded eight long balls and four swipes. But more importantly, he has a .758 OPS versus righties and an .876 on the road.