This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thursday's seven-game main slate is unique in that no pitcher cracks the $10,000 threshold, despite a few quality names on the docket. This could encourage players to spend up in both spots, as value pitchers seem to be hard to come by.
Tyler Chatwood, CHC at KC ($9,400): The Royals have struggled mightily against right-handed pitching this season, logging a bottom-five wOBA against them in 369 at-bats. Chatwood will head into the matchup with another key advantage due to the Royals putting up a bottom-five RAA against the cutter, a pitch Chatwood throws 27 percent of the time. The 30-year-old has dominated all comers in his first two starts of the year, as evidenced by the fact that he has allowed just one run in 12.2 innings.
Nate Pearson, TOR at ATL ($7,300): It's not easy to find a value pitching matchup that makes sense by the numbers on Thursday, so I'm going to take a bit of a flyer on Pearson, who pitched a scoreless five innings in his major league debut on July 29. This comes on the heels of a fantastic minor league career that saw him post a 2.19 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 123 innings. The Braves will never be an easy out in this league, but I am willing to go with the potential on this kind of slate.
Aaron Judge, NYY at PHI ($5,300): Judge's dominance in 2020 transcends handedness, but the 28-year-old has a more extensive body of work against righties, against whom he has logged a .500 ISO and .499 wOBA in 34 at-bats. Zach Eflin, who is making his first start of the year after the team was shut down due to COVID-19 concerns, finished 2019 with a 5.00 xFIP at Citizens Bank Park.
Anthony Rizzo, CHC at KC ($5,000): Brad Keller has yet to throw a pitch this year due to a positive Covid-19 test, but the 25-year-old will make his season debut after missing his first two turns in the rotation. Keller had a decent year in 2019, but a lack of strikeouts combined with too many walks contributed to an xFIP over 5.00 against right-handed batters. Meanwhile, Rizzo has mashed righty pitchers in 2020, registering a .321 ISO in 28 at-bats.
Jose Abreu, CWS vs. MIL ($4,800): Josh Lindblom had a rough outing in his stateside return after spending the last two years in the KBO, allowing two runs and walking three batters in just 3.2 innings. While it is just one start, Lindblom hasn't fared well in Major League Baseball in any of his stints since 2014. This could mean a real opportunity for Abreu and the and the .214 ISO he has notched against righty pitching if Lindblom remains overmatched at this level.
Teoscar Hernandez, TOR at ATL ($4,100): Hernandez crashed and burned as a value play against a left-hander on Wednesday, but I'm confident enough to go back to him against Touki Toussant thanks to the .560 ISO he has logged against right-handed pitchers in 25 at-bats. Toussant has begun the season with walks haunting him once again, which has contributed to the six runs he has allowed in just 6.2 frames (two appearances).
Didi Gregorius, PHI vs NYY ($3,700): Gregorius has started strong in what has been a tumultuous Phillies season, tallying a .411 wOBA in his 15 at-bats against right-handed pitching. It's a bit difficult to gauge who Jordan Montgomery is due to the fact that we haven't seen him in a significant role since 2017, but he profiles as something of a groundball pitcher, and Gregorious has continued his flyball ways by posting a 60 percent rate so far in 2020.
Jedd Gyorko, MIL at CWS ($2,900): To say that Gyorko has started the season slow would be an understatement, but the former hot prospect should get time against left-handed pitching, and I had to recommend someone against Gio Gonzalez, who has been pummeled to the tune of a 7.36 ERA in his two appearances (7.1 innings). Unfortunately, no one on the Brewers really seems to qualify as someone you must have on your squad, but I have no problem sneaking in one or two extremely cheap bats against a pitcher who is struggling so mightily.
Stacks to Consider
The White Sox have quietly gotten off to a nice little start at the dish in 2020, and we can get three of the bigger contributors at very reasonable prices in order to test Lindblom. Robert may be the most productive of the bunch, as he has notched a .220 ISO against right-handed pitching following a minor league career that saw him post a .551 slugging percentage in 773 at-bats.
Keller will likely give up far too much contact to survive against a potent offense like the Cubs. While the numbers suggest the biggest correction in his numbers should come against lefty hitters, it was hard to exclude Baez, who has started the season sporting a .229 ISO in 48 at-bats.