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.
Max Scherzer – WAS vs. NYM – $12,700 – The Mets have been scuffling of late and will be without Yoenis Cespedes, who was forced to leave Thursday’s contest early with a strained hamstring. A 75 wRC+ against right-handed pitching wasn’t going to keep me away, and it certainly takes a hit without their top slugger. So far this season Max Scherzer leads baseball with a 6.3% hard-hit against rate (league average is 14%), which is crazy good.
Other Options – Carlos Carrasco ($10,200), Marcus Stroman ($9,100)
Jameson Taillon – PIT vs. MIA – $7,400 – Jameson Taillon has faced the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees and surprisingly decent Reds offenses to start the season, so coming out of that with a 2.33 ERA and 90 cFIP is encouraging. Pitching in Miami is always a plus, so is throwing to Francisco Cervelli, and the Marlins’ aggressive approach helps Taillon here as well.
Other Options – Charlie Morton ($6,900)
Salvador Perez – KC vs. MIN – $3,300 – There just isn’t a safer, consistently cheap catcher that’s better than Sal Perez. Surprisingly, Twins starter Kyle Gibson does a decent job limiting hard contact, but Perez has plus power versus right-handed pitching as his .187 ISO indicates.
Other Options – Buster Posey ($3,800)
Francisco Cervelli – PIT vs. MIA – $2,900 – Francisco Cervelli isn’t just one of the best pitch-framing catchers in the game, he’s also sneaky good against left-handed pitching. Cervelli has a .401 wOBA against left-handed pitching dating back to the start of last season, and his 21.4% hard-hit rate this season lands him among the top-30 in the game.
Other Options – Geovany Soto ($2,400)
Eric Thames – MIL vs. ATL – $4,900 – Well, Thames’ price finally increased to an appropriate level based on his current run rate. What’s encouraging about Thames’ start is that he’s taking pitches and working counts, not just free-swinging and connecting at an unsustainable rate. I know he left Wednesday’s game early, but it appears to be precautionary.
Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($5,100), Joey Votto ($4,700)
Ryan Rua – TEX vs. LAA – $2,900 – Ryan Rua, who also has outfield eligibility, has been playing left field of late and he’s only DFS-viable when facing a left-handed pitcher, but here we are. Angels starter Tyler Skaggs can be a bit fly ball heavy, which bodes well for Rua and his dirt-cheap salary.
Other Options – Justin Smoak ($2,900)
Brian Dozier – MIN vs. KC – $4,300 – Most are always on Brian Dozier against left-handed pitching, but he’s a great tournament play here on Friday against a reverse-split righty like Ian Kennedy. Dozier has a .202 ISO against right-handed pitching dating back to last season, which syncs well with Kennedy’s .189 ISO over that same time frame.
Other Options – Jonathan Villar ($4,400), Jose Ramirez ($4,300)
Cesar Hernandez – PHI vs. LAD – $3,000 – Clearly what Cesar Hernandez is doing isn’t nearly as sexy as what Eric Thames has done, but Hernandez has been a dynamic force atop Philadelphia’s lineup, and he’s criminally under-priced at just $3,000. He’s a strong cash game play since he’s leading off on the road.
Other Options – Brad Miller ($3,400)
Nolan Arenado – COL vs. ARI – $5,000 – The Rockies’ big bats are always available at lower ownership rates outside of Coors, and a possibly overlooked Nolan Arenado is something that we should all be interested in. This is the only scenario where going to Arizona is a negative park shift for an offense, but don’t get carried away.
Other Options – Miguel Sano ($4,200)
Nick Castellanos – DET vs. CWS – $3,800 – Nick Castellanos leads baseball in hard-hit rate through the first month of the season, making hard contact in 29.3% of his at-bats. That’s impressive, and in line with what we’ve seen from Castellanos over his first few seasons in the league. His offense is needed even more right now without Miguel Cabrera in the Tigers’ lineup, but they shouldn’t struggle with Mike Pelfrey on Friday.
Other Options – Mike Moustakas ($3,100)
Francisco Lindor – CLE vs. SEA – $4,600 – It’s a good spot for Cleveland’s right-handed bats, lead by their young switch-hitting short stop. Mariners starter Ariel Miranda has had issues with right-handed power so far, allowing a ghastly .255 ISO against them in his career. Lindor’s safe because he’s still a great play when Seattle goes to the bullpen.
Other Options – Aledmys Diaz ($4,100), Corey Seager ($4,300)
Chris Owings – ARI vs. COL – $3,600 – We have to consider Chris Owings if he’s hitting second for a team with an implied-team total of 5.1 runs like the Diamondbacks have on Friday. Sandwiched between A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt doesn’t hurt either.
Other Options – Elvis Andrus ($4,000)
A.J. Pollock – ARI vs. COL – $4,200 – Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland has been solid to start the season, but he’s going to have his hands full on Friday. A.J. Pollock is a great play against left-handed pitching with his .372 wOBA and .210 ISO in these spots, and he has the ability to swipe a bag or two as well. Love him at this price.
Other Options – Bryce Harper ($5,200), Aaron Judge ($4,300)
Avisail Garcia – CWS vs. DET – $3,100 – Tigers’ starter Matt Boyd has been torched by right-handed power over the past two seasons, and it appears things are finally starting to click for Avisail Garcia who’s slashing .373/.420/.600 to start the season. He’s a high upside tournament play tonight.
Other Options – Cody Bellinger ($3,100), Yasmany Tomas ($4,000)
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.