PITCHING DUEL: IWAKUMA VS. MANAEA
There’s nothing better than a 15-game Friday night slate, right? Make sure you check DK Live before lock so you get all the up to date lineup and weather information before the first pitch. If you’re on Twitter, find me there @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Justin Verlander – Detriot Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins – $10,300 – The Indians beat Justin Verlander up in his last start, and I’m hoping that others flock to Corey Kluber, Jacob deGrom and Jon Lester because of the boxscore. The Twins offer massive swing-and-miss upside for Verlander. Their projected lineup for tonight is striking out 25.9% of the time so far this season.
Other Options – Corey Kluber ($10,800)
Trevor Cahill – San Diego Padres vs. Miami Marlins – $5,600 – I really like this spot for Drew Pomeranz ($6,700) too, but Trevor Cahill is just too cheap. He doesn’t have the tournament upside that Pomeranz has with strikeouts, but he’s in play as an SP2 in cash games. We know that the ballpark is favorable, and Cahill is missing enough bats to work six innings with a K in each. The Marlins are fairly aggressive and rarely walk, and that aggressiveness should help Cahill work deeper into the game.
Other Options – Drew Pomeranz ($6,700), Mike Fiers ($7,200)
Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – $3,500 – The Dodgers are my favorite stack on the slate. It’s a great park shift for their offense, and they’re the majors’ best team against right-handed pitching so far this season. Grandal’s switch-hitting ability always makes him a preferred cash game play.
James McCann – Detriot Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins – $2,900 – The Tigers are facing Hector Santiago in Minnesota, and while that’s not a great ballpark for offense, Santiago’s flyball-heavy profile can be an issue for him at times. McCann has a large sample of at-bats against lefties and he’s mashed them to the tune of a .270 ISO.
Other Options – Francisco Cervelli ($3,000)
Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers – $4,700 – Wily Peralta’s struggles against left-handed bats are well documented, and always worth exploiting. He’s allowed lefties to compile a .371 wOBA and .202 ISO over the past few seasons. Matt Carpenter has seen plenty of Peralta, and he’s owned him, so you have to like Carpenter here on the road.
Other Options – Anthony Rizzo ($5,300), Miguel Cabrera ($4,900)
Eric Thames – Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals – $3,800 – It’s really just comical at this point. This guy is just crushing the ball, and I don’t see how you can avoid drafting him at this price. What more do you want me to say?
Other Options – Trey Mancini ($3,300), Danny Valencia ($3,200)
Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins – $4,400 – I’ve listed quite a few Tigers here, and I think they’re strong cash game considerations today. Ian Kinsler is the table-setter here, and his strong contact rates help his viability. A .376 wOBA and .198 ISO against lefties doesn’t hurt, either.
Other Options – Jonathan Villar ($4,500)
Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs – $3,600 – I don’t love the Reds’ offense, but I think they’re in play because of their ability to run, something that we know Jon Lester struggles managing. Peraza had a stretch of four consecutive games with a stolen base last week, and will clearly have the green light to go if he finds his way on.
Other Options – Cesar Hernandez ($3,400)
Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants – $5,300 – I’m just not a fan of Coors slates. The presence of a Coors Field game completely changes the dynamic of the slate, and always soaks up a tonight of ownership regardless of the pitching matchup. Johnny Cueto isn’t a typical target, but Arenado at home is always in play.
Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – $3,700 – We’ll need to make sure that Justin Turner is in the lineup after he’s missed some time lately after being hit in the hand by a pitch on Tuesday, but reports are that he’s likely ok. On the road in Arizona against Taijuan Walker is a dream spot for the Dodgers’ third basemen.
Other Options – Nick Castellanos ($3,800), David Freese ($3,000)
Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – $4,600 – I think on a non-Coors slate we’d see Seager at 30%+ ownership, but this is a way to use Coors to your advantage. Seager is far and away in the best spot of the night, and he’s absolutely worth paying up for.
Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals – $3,900 – Elvis Andrus is off to a great start this season, with a hard-hit contact rate that has him in the top-10 of the league. Royals’ starter Nate Karns has been someone who’s shown reverse split tendencies in his career, and he was the seventh-worst starter in terms of holding runners on last year, with an 8.20% swipe-rate-above-average.
Other Options – Chris Owings ($3,500)
Nelson Cruz – Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics – $4,200 – This is at least $500 too cheap for Nellie Cruz. If Cruz was $5,000 every time he faced a left-handed pitcher he’d still be a strong play and would garner ownership in both cash games and tournaments. A .446 wOBA and .331 ISO against lefties will do that. For perspective, over the same time frame, Paul Goldschmidt has a .225 ISO against lefties, and THAT’S elite.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,400), Kyle Schwarber ($4,900)
Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – $3,600 – It’s a good day for steals, with some of the game’s easiest pitchers to run on in action tonight. Pittsburgh’s Tyler Glasnow has really struggled holding runners on, so both Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are inexpensive plays with upside.
Other Options – Billy Hamilton ($3,900), Andrew Toles ($3,100)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is RyanFix) 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.