Friday night should be a fun setup for fantasy baseball with 14 games on the schedule including every team except the Yankees and Red Sox, who are getting their second consecutive day off as they prepare for their series in London. Nine of the 14 games are divisional matchups, so many teams will be very familiar with their opponents for this final weekend in June.
As you put together your roster for this Friday night, make sure to take a close look at each matchup and select just the right star player in a plus position. If you run short on cap space, check out these top bargain plays, who can offer good production at an affordable salary.
SP ANÍBAL SÁNCHEZ, WAS at DET, $7,400
Sánchez spent parts of six seasons with the Tigers in Detroit and will return to Comerica Park for the first time as a visitor since departing last year to join the Braves and now the Nationals. Sánchez struggled at the end of his Detroit tenure but has enjoyed the switch to the National League. He is 3-6 with a 4.02 ERA this season but has turned things around after a slow start. He has given up two earned runs or fewer in five of his past six outings, compiling a 2.35 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.
Aside from the narrative element, facing the Tigers will be a good matchup for Sánchez since Detroit ranks last in the Majors in runs scored and is hitting just .229 as a team. In their past six games, the Tigers have totaled only 14 runs while hitting .230, so give Sánchez a look as the Nats look to keep rolling as they continue their road trip that started with a promising sweep in Miami.
SP ELIESER HERNANDEZ, MIA vs. PHI, $6,500
The Marlins will look to bounce back from their sweep by the Nationals as they host another division opponent, the Phillies. Hernandez will be making his second straight start against them after posting 13.7 DKFP in his most recent outing. He allowed three runs on four hits in five innings and struck out six.
His strikeout potential and the resulting upside is what makes him the most intriguing option under $7K. Hernandez has at least six strikeouts in each of his past three starts, fanning a total of 19 batters in 16 2/3 innings. He still is looking for his first win of the season even though he hasn’t given up more than three runs in any of his four games. He might not go extremely deep into the game unless he improves his efficiency, but his strikeout rate has been solid enough to use him as an inexpensive SP2 and stock up in other spots.
2B BRIAN DOZIER, WAS at DET, $3,400
Dozier got off to a brutally slow start to the season for the Nationals but has started to turn things around over the past few weeks. He is 20-for-69 (.290) so far this month with seven doubles, five homers, 12 RBI and a .956 OPS.
Despite his difficulties, Dozier has remained a solid play when facing lefties. He is hitting .349 against southpaws this year including five of his 12 home runs. He has a 1.097 OPS against lefties and is 3-for-11 in his career against the Tigers’ scheduled starter, lefty Daniel Norris ($5,700). Dozier knows Comerica well from his time with Minnesota and is a .284 career hitter in Detroit with 11 homers and a .826 OPS.
2B/OF GARRETT HAMPSON, COL vs. LAD, $3,000
Hampson is my favorite value play of the slate since he is a great way to get exposure to Coors Field without having to pay a huge salary. He spent a few weeks in Triple-A earlier this month but has picked things up, going 6-for-17 (.353) with three multi-hit games, a double, a triple and an average of 15.7 DFKP in his four games since returning.
He has been hitting at the bottom of the order but could move up since the Rockies are facing lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,900). Wherever he hits, though, he has shown he can produce in a Rockies lineup that always is worth buying into at a cheap rate when they’re playing at Coors Field.
1B AUSTIN NOLA, SEA at HOU, $2,400
If you are looking to go ultra-cheap, check out Nola, who is the older brother of Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola but just now is arriving in the Majors after a long journey through the minors. Nola can play a variety of positions and was hitting .327 with seven home runs, 37 RBI and four stolen bases in Triple-A before getting called up.
Since being called up to Seattle, he has gone 3-for-10 in his first 10 games and mostly has been used as a defensive replacement at 1B. He has a hit in each of the three games he has started and could get a start Friday when the Mariners face lefty Wade Miley ($8,600) in Houston. With his power and speed potential, Nola is a good punt play if he’s in the lineup.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.