Friday’s main fantasy baseball slate has 14 games. Kris Bryant’s status for the Cubs’ game against the Brewers is uncertain as he deals with knee soreness. Mets IF/OF Jeff McNeil (lower-body), Braves SS Dansby Swanson (heel) and Phillies SS Jean Segura (heel) also have statuses that are uncertain. For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter at @DKLive.
Here are five different pitchers fantasy owners can consider using Friday on DraftKings:
1. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins ($10,500)
Greinke is having his best season as a member of the Diamondbacks, posting a 2.93 ERA with a 3.19 FIP, both substantially better than the NL averages of 4.39. Despite a league-wide power surge due to a juiced ball, Greinke has posted his best home run prevention since joining Arizona and has showcased the best control of his career, walking just 3% of batters, one of the best walk rates in baseball. Greinke has struck out 24% of batters, a plus rate, and has been one of the league’s best at enticing batters to chase pitches located outside of the strike zone, ranking 10th best among starting pitchers in chase rate. In part due to Greinke’s excellent control, he has been strong at pitching deep into games, averaging 6.4 innings per start, better than the league average of 5.3 innings per start.
Greinke is getting a large park upgrade Friday in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, one of the best pitcher’s parks in baseball, where he will face the league’s most impotent offensive team. The Marlins rank as the worst offense by both wOBA and isolated power and have struck out more often than average. Greinke is an elite spot for run prevention and depth into the game against Miami and also will be positioned well to get the win against a Marlins team that has the fourth worst run differential.
2. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals ($11,200)
Ryu has been baseball’s best pitcher at preventing runs, posting a 1.76 ERA. Ryu’s outstanding run prevention has been on the back of elite control and limiting strong contact in front of an excellent Dodgers defense that ranks as the best defensive team by the advanced metric Defensive Runs Saved. Ryu hardly walks anybody, walking just 3% of batters, the best rate among qualified starters, and his home run prevention has been fifth best by home runs allowed per nine innings. Ryu has been excellent at limiting opponent extra-base hits, holding them to an isolated power of .112, much better than the league average of .181.
Ryu’s matchup isn’t ideal — the Nationals have had a better-than-average offense and rank in the top five against left-handed pitchers — but his elite skills make him worth strong consideration, especially given the Dodgers have the edge in the pitching matchup. Ryu is backed by a Dodgers offense that ranks as the best offense vs. RHP, and Los Angeles will face RHP Anibal Sanchez ($6,600), who despite a plus ERA, has mediocre to below-average peripheral statistics, which could help Ryu be in position to get the win.
3. Lance Lynn, Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics ($10,800)
Lynn has been one of baseball’s best at combining effective strikeout generation with walk and home run prevention. Lynn has struck out 27% of batters while walking just 5% and allowing only 0.87 home runs per nine innings, which has contributed to an outstanding 3.00 FIP, fourth best among starting pitchers. Lynn has been especially hard on right-handed batters, striking out a heavy 34% of RHB while generating a 2.87 FIP vs. RHB.
Lynn’s heavy strikeouts of righties is noteworthy given his opponent, the Athletics, have batted right-handed hitters in five of their first six lineup slots recently. Lynn also is getting a substantial park upgrade, getting out of hitter-friendly Arlington and pitching in pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. Lynn has found more success stranding baserunners away from Arlington, contributing to a 3.64 ERA on the road, an improvement from a less nice 4.20 at home.
4. Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies ($9,900)
Soroka has been one of baseball’s best at preventing runs, posting a 2.46 ERA, fourth best among pitchers to throw at least 100 IP in 2019. Soroka’s elite run prevention has been on the back of elite home run prevention, allowing just 0.44 HR per nine innings, the best rate among starting pitchers. The lack of home runs has contributed to Soroka holding batters to a ridiculously low .070 isolated power, also the best among starters, indicating Soroka has been the most difficult pitcher to hit extra-base hits off of. Soroka’s one flaw has been a below-average strikeout rate, striking out 21% of batters, but his better-than-average walk prevention and elite home run prevention has led to an excellent 3.08 FIP, ninth best among starters. Soroka’s contact quality derived expected wOBA allowed, which takes into account the exit velocities and angles of batted balls, is also strong, coming in at .285, better than the league average of .320.
Soroka has a road matchup in a hitter-friendly park in Philadelphia on Friday, but despite the park, the Phillies’ offense has been below average this season both by wOBA and isolated power. The Phillies also have been poor offensively lately, ranking seventh worst by wOBA over the past 30 days and third worst since the All-Star break.
5. Michael Pineda, Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox ($9,000)
Pineda has fairly mediocre numbers across the board, striking out 22% of batters while posting a 4.24 FIP and 4.41 ERA. However, Pineda will be backed by a Minnesota offense that has been the best in baseball by wOBA, and he will take on a strikeout prone and unproductive team. The White Sox have struck out in the fourth highest percentage of their plate appearances while ranking as the sixth worst offense by wOBA. Chicago’s offense has remained strikeout prone and unproductive recently, striking out in a heavy 27.5% of their plate appearances over the past 30 days, second highest, while ranking as the fifth worst offense by wOBA.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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