As is typically the case, we have 15 games of baseball on Friday night. The Cubs are in Colorado and their implied-team total of 6.1 runs is the highest on the slate, so finding a way to fit in some Cubbies in will be key here, especially in cash games. The good news for tournaments is that we have seven more clubs with implied-team totals at 4.8 runs or above, so there’s options for the ‘fade Coors’ crowd. Any questions about the slate, find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Cole Hamels – TEX vs. TB – $11,100 – The Rays have typically been a club that has handled left-handed pitching well, but they’ve slipped quite a bit lately. They also enter play with a 25.2% strikeout rate against lefties as well, setting Cole Hamels up with a high floor on Friday night. Perhaps his struggles last time out will keep ownership totals down as well.
Steven Matz – NYM vs. SF – $10,100 – The Giants have been ice-cold since the break and that’s worth taking advantage of. They’re striking out more often as well, which bodes well for Steven Matz, who’s been stacking up strikeouts lately. The Giants implied-team total is just 3.7 runs here, and throwing in the league’s best park for pitchers doesn’t hurt either.
Zack Greinke – ARZ vs. SD – $8,800 – The Red Sox pummeled Zack Greinke last time out, so plenty of DFS’ers will just see that and dismiss Greinke completely. That’s a mistake. The Sox have embarrassed plenty of pitchers this season but lucky for Greinke, he gets to face a very different club on Friday, the San Diego Padres. The Padres are dead-last against right-handed pitching in most of the meaningful team statistics including wOBA and wRC+, and Greinke has as much upside as any pitcher on the slate despite his suppressed price.
Gerrit Cole – PIT vs. MIA – $7,500 – There’s no denying that Gerrit Cole has been pretty ‘meh’ of late, but he’s not far removed from a $10K+ pitcher, so getting him for $7,500 is worth considering. It doesn’t hurt that his opponent, the Marlins, just lost their most dangerous hitter (Giancarlo Stanton) for the season. Miami has the slate’s lowest implied-team total at just 3.2 runs.
Kris Bryant (3B/OF) – CHC vs. COL – $5,600 – Fresh off of a 5-5 day with a double dong, Kris Bryant gets to go to Coors Field. Think he’ll be popular? Yup, me too.
Jose Altuve (2B) – HOU vs. BAL – $5,500 – I can’t imagine that Jose Altuve will be very highly owned on Friday night with Coors Field on the board, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great play. Altuve faces left-hander Wade Miley which is a great match-up.
Ryan Braun (OF) – MIL vs. SEA – $5,200 – Ryan Braun may no longer be considered one of the best players in the league, but he still destroys lefties, and he’ll face Mariners’ southpaw Wade LeBlanc on Friday night. Braun’s 180 wRC+ in these spots is the eighth best mark in baseball.
Rajai Davis (OF) – CLE vs. TOR – $5,100 – The Indians could be an interesting contrarian stack on Friday, going under-owned in comparison to the much more popular Cubs and Rockies. If nothing else, Davis is in play because he’ll likely hit leadoff against left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – STL vs. PHI – $4,900 – I’m always interested in Stephen Piscotty when he’s facing a lefty, so he’s certainly in play against Adam Morgan. Piscotty’s power is on display in these spots and while he’s starting to be priced accordingly, he’s still worth considering.
Bryce Harper (OF) – WSH vs. ATL – $5,300 – Julio Teheran’s return to the Braves rotation could be a short one as Bryce Harper and the Nationals roll into town on Friday night. When Harper faces Teheran he must see beach balls because his career numbers against him are just too good to ignore. Team BvP will be all over this one, as Harper’s 12 for 28 with 5 home runs against Teheran in his career.
Logan Forsythe (2B) – TB vs. TEX – $4,800 – Like the aforementioned Stephen Piscotty, Logan Forsythe’s career success against left-handed pitching is now getting heavy weighting in his price. It’s a difficult matchup for him against Cole Hamels, but if you think Hamels will be popular on Friday I think Forsythe would make a great contrarian option.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD vs. CIN – $5,100 – Playing in Cincinnati is a great park shift for Justin Turner and the Dodgers. I’m interested in a number of Dodgers bats but I like Turner quite a bit. He’s improved against left-handed pitching this season, but he’s better across the board when facing a right-hander like Tim Adleman.
Dustin Pedroia (2B) – BOS vs. DET – $3,300 – Michael Fulmer has been outstanding this season, but he’s not good enough to price the Red Sox down so much that Dustin Pedroia is $3,300. I love the new construction of Boston’s lineup with Pedroia leading off.
Jose Abreu (1B) – CWS vs. OAK – $4,200 – It’s a perfect mix of reverse splits for Jose Abreu up against A’s starter Kendall Graveman. Abreu’s wOBA and ISO both jump nearly 100 points when he’s facing a righty, and Graveman has a large sample size of struggling against right-handed bats since debuting last season. Abreu has been better of late, hitting fewer ground balls and more line drives, so he’s a strong play at a great price tonight.
Chris Carter (1B) – MIL vs. SEA – $4,100 – Chris Carter has massive power upside, something you definitely want to target in tournaments. Facing Wade LeBlanc on Friday night, Carter’s seeing more than a 100 point spike in ISO against lefties this season.
Gary Sanchez © – NYY vs. LAA – $3,200 – If you are a Yankees fan you have to like what you’ve seen from the kids so far. Catcher Gary Sanchez has been hot out of the gate, showing immense power in his at-bats to date. That type of power is intriguing against a fly ball pitcher like Jered Weaver, Sanchez’s opponent on Friday night.
J.D. Martinez (OF) – DET vs. BOS – $3,600 – J.D. Martinez is just too good to be this cheap. He’s been fairly neutral over the past few seasons as far as handedness splits go, so he’s in play against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello.
Orlando Arcia (SS) – MIL vs. SEA – $2,800 – There aren’t many viable options under $3,000 these days, but Orlando Arcia is one tonight. I’ve already mentioned a couple of his teammates, but Arcia is in just as good of a spot, especially if he’s penciled in to the two-hole tonight.
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.