WATCH: TOP STACK – CHICAGO CUBS
Friday’s main slate is a 10-gamer with lots of viable stacks due to the dearth of starting pitching options. Find me there, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Francisco Liriano – TOR vs. TB – $8,900 – When Francisco Liriano is the chalk, it might be an interesting night, and that’ll likely be the case here on Friday. Liriano dazzled in his spring outings, sporting an 18:2 K:BB ratio, and that strikeout upside pairs well with Tampa’s propensity to swing and miss (24.5% K-rate).
Other Options – Zack Wheeler ($8,000)
Mike Fiers – HOU vs. KC – $7,500 – Mike Fiers disappointed fantasy owners quite a bit last year. After a strong finish to 2015 it appeared Fiers was poised to breakout in 2016, but that never happened. He finds himself battling for a consistent role in the Astros’ rotation to open 2017, and I like this spot for him against the Royals who’ll likely be very left-handed against a somewhat reverse split pitcher.
Other Options – Mike Leake ($6,800), Brett Anderson ($6,400)
Kyle Schwarber C/OF – CHC vs. MIL – $5,000 – Looking for players that have a path to as many at-bats as possible is an underrated approach in MLB DFS, but one that I preach on my podcast and will consistently reference here on Playbook. Road teams are guaranteed nine innings of at-bats, so players hitting at the top of the lineup have the best path to 4/5 at-bats every outing. In cash games in particular, that matters. Give me the leadoff guy that hits bombs, who’s facing a pitcher that struggles to retire lefties, in a great offensive environment. Please. And thank you.
Other Options – Jonathan Lucroy ($4,500)
Yan Gomes – CLE vs. ARI – $3,300 – As you’ll see as you continue reading, I’m in on the Indians tonight. Arizona is a very hitter-friendly environment and their 5.3 implied-run team total is the highest on the slate. Gomes is very much in play for me if he’s in the starting lineup.
Edwin Encarnacion – CLE vs. ARI – $4,800 – It’s challenging to stack the Indians since you’re left choosing between E5 and his teammate Carlos Santana at first base, but give me Encarnacion here in this spot. He has massive power upside here with a .387 wOBA and .282 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Other Options – Anthony Rizzo ($5,500), Carlos Santana ($4,700)
Greg Bird – NYY vs. BAL – $4,000 – This is a sizable price jump for Greg Bird, but it’s a great spot for the young Yankee first baseman. He’s facing Ubaldo Jimenez who allowed lefties to compile a .349 wOBA against him last season, and the park is favorable as well here.
Other Options – Eric Thames 1B/OF ($4,000)
Robinson Cano – SEA vs. LAA – $4,200 – Second base is loaded at the top tonight, with the options listed below also in great spots, but I’m giving a slight edge to Robinson Cano in GPPs. I think he’ll likely be the least popular of the group, and I think the Mariners can beat Jesse Chavez up and turn things over to the Angels’ suspect bullpen earlier than they want.
Other Options – Rougned Odor ($4,800), Brian Dozier ($4,600)
Wilmer Flores – NYM vs. MIA – $3,300 – You have to consider Wilmer Flores against left-handed pitching. I mentioned in yesterday’s targets write-up that he was my favorite play of the day and delivered. I think he can do it again against the soft-tossing Wei-Yin Chen.
Other Options – Jorge Polanco 2B/3B ($3,500)
Manny Machado – BAL vs. NYY – $5,600 – Yankees’ starter Luis Severino really struggled against elite right-handed bats last season, allowing a gaudy .231 ISO against them. While Manny Machado is expensive, he’s affordable on this slate with no pitcher priced north of $9,000.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez 3B/OF ($4,300)
Ryon Healy 3B/1B – OAK vs. TEX – $4,000 – The 25-year-old Healy has legit power and has a prime spot in the middle of the A’s lineup in which to do his damage from. The A’s are interesting here because they’ll likely go overlooked, but it’s a sizable park shift in their favor and they’re facing a flyball pitcher in Texas’ A.J. Griffin. If you’re just running two or three lineups out there I wouldn’t recommend stacking Oakland, but sprinkling in some Healy makes a lot of sense to me.
Other Options – Evan Longoria ($4,200), Wilmer Flores 2B/3B ($3,300)
Francisco Lindor – CLE vs. ARI – $4,500 – Hey, look! More Indians! After a two-homer game last time out, I suspect Francisco Lindor will be even more popular than normal because recency bias is real, but don’t let that keep you away. If you’re using some Indians in your lineup you need to consider having Lindor in the middle of it.
Other Options – Jonathan Villar ($4,700), Carlos Correa ($5,000)
Tim Anderson – CWS vs. MIN – $3,800 – There really isn’t a lot to love at the SS position below $4,000 on Friday, but Tim Anderson will at least hit near the top of the order. I recommend spending up here.
Michael Brantley – CLE vs. ARI – $4,800 – Rinse and repeat. The outfield is loaded on Friday, but Brantley’s left-handed bat and .385 wOBA against right-handers is a bad matchup for a pitcher like Shelby Miller who really struggles against lefties, with a .341 wOBA-against.
Other Options – Nelson Cruz ($4,300), Ryan Braun ($5,100)
Domingo Santana – MIL vs. CHC – $4,000 – I’m not sure if the injury to Keon Broxton will change where Domingo Santana bats in the Brewers’ lineup, but it’ll either be in front of or behind Ryan Braun. Both Braun and Santana have done damage against left-handed pitching over the years, with Santana being a sneaky-good option with his .384 wOBA and .232 ISO.
Other Options- Nomar Mazara ($4,100), Steven Souza ($3,600)
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.