<
>

Top MLB DFS building blocks for Wednesday

Max Scherzer is a no-brainer DFS pick on Wednesday, but what if you can't fit his salary under the cap? Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

Our experts are here to provide the best hitters and pitchers for you to build your daily fantasy baseball lineups around on Wednesday.


Hitters to build around

Kyle Soppe -- Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves

Markakis has nice per-dollar upside, which will help free up enough cap space for you to roster Max Scherzer tonight. Markakis has spent 93 percent of his time this season batting in the heart of this Braves order, a role that I will take to the bank for a player who has displayed plus-power when in the platoon split throughout his career. I like both Markakis and Max Kepler as cheap outfielders who give you some roster flexibility this evening.

Eric Karabell -- Denard Span, San Francisco Giants

It might seem strange to want to use any Giants at all in DFS, especially when Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish is on the mound. However, Span boasts fine numbers versus right-handers -- with all 12 of his home runs -- and some speed. While I generally don't look at pitcher-hitter histories, Span has faced Darvish and in eight at-bats he has three doubles and two singles with nary a strikeout. He certainly hasn't been overwhelmed. Span has homered twice in the past week and his price is a bit depressed because Darvish is pitching -- but note his gaudy 5.34 ERA over six Dodgers starts. He's not so awesome.

Joe Kaiser -- Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

The Nationals face 21-year-old Braves lefty Luiz Gohara, who will be making only his second big league start after giving up six runs in four innings in his MLB debut last week. This sets up nicely for Zimmerman, who is not only hitting .343 in September, but is also one of Washington's best hitters against southpaws this season (.324 BA, 9 HR, 1.030 OPS).

Tristan H. Cockcroft -- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

This is a case of Carpenter being way too cheap considering his talent, as he's just $3,600 on DraftKings and $3,900 on FanDuel. I'm making sure to begin my offense with him of late, and today he'll face the inexperienced Tyler Mahle, backed by a Cincinnati Reds bullpen that has the majors' second-worst ERA since the All-Star break (6.56). Plus, as a leadoff hitter, Carpenter has the maximum number of opportunities to come to the plate while facing a very weak staff.


Pitchers to build around

Kyle Soppe -- Chase Anderson, Milwaukee Brewers

I was planning on going chalk with Scherzer here, but Anderson's price tag makes him the best value on the board. Why is he priced in this tier? I mean, he has a sub-2.00 ERA since the final week of May and he is squaring off against the third-lowest-scoring team since the All-Star break. He has held lefties in check (.215/.278/.333) and his ERA sits at a tidy 2.40 at home this season, so there's no need to fear any potential platoon edges or the hitter-friendly location of this game. Lock him in for both GPPs and cash contests tonight.

Eric Karabell -- Doug Fister, Boston Red Sox

I don't have to feel good about recommending this ordinary right-hander, but facts are facts. Fister has allowed only five runs over his past four outings over 30 innings, good for a 1.50 ERA. Plus, he has somehow recorded 27 strikeouts in that span. In other words, Fister may be pitching way above his track record but he has actually been successful, so I'm not going to expect a pounding by the Oakland hitters.

Joe Kaiser -- Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs

If you don't pay up for Scherzer against the Braves, Lester is a proven option who can save you nearly $4,000 in salary on DraftKings and over $2,000 on FanDuel. He's coming off a nice outing against the Pirates when he gave up only one run in six innings. Lester also dominated the Mets in a previous start this season (7 IP, 1 ER, 10 K) and that was long before the Mets traded away many of their veterans.

Tristan H. Cockcroft -- Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

While I'd prefer a pitcher who misses more bats -- Stroman's 20 percent strikeout rate is below the 21.6 percent league average -- this is a pitcher too talented to be priced as cheaply as he is on Wednesday night ($7,700 on DraftKings, $8,100 on FanDuel). He also faces an Orioles team that has been extremely impatient during the second half, with baseball's worst walk rate (5.9 percent) and the fourth-highest chase rate (swung at 31 percent of non-strikes thrown). The O's woes could help explain how Stroman has whiffed 11 of 35 Baltimore bats he has faced this season.