This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
After inclement weather altered Wednesday's schedule, we'll try to get back on track Thursday. Most of the slate consists of early start times, including a matchup between the Giants and Padres. For the evening slate, most of the matchups aren't that appealing. A series between two bad teams will get underway when the Orioles host the Rangers. The Phillies will try to improve their playoff chances against the lowly Pirates. Let's try to add some excitement to the evening by winning some money on DraftKings.
Aaron Nola ($8,500) hasn't had the best of seasons with a 4.48 ERA that would be the second-highest mark of his career. His FIP is considerably better at 3.31, though, and he's missed plenty of bats with his 30.3 percent strikeout rate. He could be in line for a great performance against the Pirates, who have the second-lowest OPS in baseball.
The move to the Blue Jays has suited Steven Matz ($9,200), who has a 3.84 ERA that is supported by a 3.92 FIP. One of the main seasons for his success has been an improved ability to keep hitters inside the ball park. He's allowed just 1.1 HR/9, compared to his career mark of 1.4 HR/9 allowed. Up next is a matchup against the Twins, who he held to two runs and recorded five strikeouts against over 5.2 innings in his last start.
With only five games to choose from for the main evening slate, there aren't many viable pitching options with cheap salaries. If you want to differentiate yourself in tournament play, then rolling with Michael Pineda ($5,800) could make sense. He has a tough matchup against the Blue Jays, which should turn most people away. However, he also faced them in his last outing and performed well, allowing three runs (one earned) across 5.2 innings. Including that outing, he's allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight starts.
The Pirates are expected to start Connor Overton ($5,000) in what will be a bullpen game against the Phillies. That could set up tough circumstances for them against Bryce Harper ($6,000), who is making a run at the NL MVP award. Across his last 18 games, he is 23-for-58 (.397) with a .532 OBP and seven home runs.
After back-to-back quality starts, Patrick Corbin ($7,400) came crashing back down to Earth in his last outing, allowing six runs across four innings against the Rockies. The game wasn't played at Coors Field, either, which makes his final line even more disheartening. For the season, he now has a 6.11 ERA and a 5.56 FIP. With him set to face the Reds, this could be an opportune time to deploy Nick Castellanos ($5,500), who has a career .373 wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
Staying with the Reds' matchup against Corbin, Kyle Farmer ($3,800) might be a way to gain some exposure to the game at a cheaper salary. Not known as much of an offensive threat prior to this season, he has amassed a .355 wOBA and a .238 ISO versus left-handed hitters.
Brad Miller ($3,800) has been forced into more playing time down the stretch after an injury to Rhys Hoskins (abdomen) that took him out for the season. Although his overall numbers don't jump off the page, he does have 19 home runs and could provide some bullpen against the Pirates' bullpen.
Stacks to Consider
To say Otto's first taste of the majors has not gone well would be an understatement. Across just 16.1 innings, he allowed 17 runs and recorded a 1.65 WHP. He had only pitched a total of 30.1 career innings at Triple-A before being called up, so his initial struggles don't come as a huge surprise. The Orioles playing this game at home is significant since they have a .767 OPS there, compared to a .652 OPS on the road. Mountcastle has certainly preferred playing there, posting a .363 wOBA at home, compared to a .313 wOBA on the road.
Given his 6.53 ERA and 1.63 WHIP at Triple-A this season, it might have been a little early for the Orioles to call up Lowther. They are short on starting pitchers, though, so here we are. Unfortunately for them and Lowther, he's allowed 11 runs across 11.1 innings since being recalled at the beginning of the month. As bad as the Rangers' lineup has been, facing him in the Orioles' hitter-friendly home park might still make them a team to stack. While Peters has struck out a ton, he's also shown power with 12 home runs across 63 games.