In my opinion, Friday is a day for tournaments. We don’t have many well priced/strong matchup/elite starting pitchers on the slate, and we have numerous offenses that are in prime spots to deliver on their upside. Keep that in mind tonight, and you can find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Johnny Cueto – SF vs. AZ – $12,100 – I don’t love his price, and I’d much prefer this game to be played in San Francisco’s spacious AT&T Park, but Johnny Cueto is still very much in play today. The Diamondbacks aren’t nearly as prolific against right-handed pitching as they are against lefties, and their 23.5% K-rate leaves Cueto with enough upside to deliver on this price.
Jacob deGrom – NYM vs. CHC – $10,300 – The Cubs have the lowest implied-team total on the slate at 3.5 runs, and that alone should make us at least consider Jacob deGrom. After a slow start to the season, deGrom looked like himself in June and will look to build on that tonight against the Cubs. He’s $1,100 cheaper than his last time out because he’s facing the Cubs, but I think he’s a viable tournament option due to the Cubs whiff potential.
Jaime Garcia – STL vs. MIL – $7,900 – Jaime Garcia hasn’t pitched particularly well of late, but that’s come against the Astros, Cubs and Mariners, some of the best offenses in baseball. He gets the Brewers and their 24% strikeout rate against left-handed pitching today at home, and he’s under $8,000. This is a nice bounce-back spot for Garcia if he’s able to induce his typical number of ground balls.
Nate Eovaldi – NYY vs. SD – $5,400 – Nate Eovaldi is another starter who hasn’t been sharp lately but is just too cheap to ignore. When you’re not going well, the Padres are a great spot to get right. As good as they’ve been against left-handed pitching (.341 wOBA) they’ve been equally bad against righties (.283). Eovaldi’s .301 wOBA against right-handed bats matches up well against the right-handed heavy Padres lineup in Petco, and will make him a very attractive SP2 today for both cash and tournaments.
Matt Carpenter (2B/3B) – STL vs. MIL – $5,400 – Matt Carpenter is my favorite ‘stud’ bat on the slate today. He’s pulverizing bad right-handed pitching and his matchup against Matt Garza should continue to bring video game numbers to Carpenter and the Cardinals offense. His .435 wOBA and 178 wRC+ against righties are both rates that land him in the top five in the league.
Mookie Betts (OF) – BOS vs. LAA – $5,300 – The lead-off bat for the offense with the highest implied team total on the slate is a good way to start building a lineup in DFS in my opinion. When that player has the power and speed combination that Mookie Betts has it makes it even better. Without a platoon advantage and being priced near the very top will likely keep Betts’ ownership totals down, making him a great GPP play for Friday.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARZ vs. SF – $5,100 – Just like Betts, Jake Lamb is another strong tournament play today. Johnny Cueto will likely be one of the more popular plays tonight at pitcher, but even those not using Cueto will likely steer clear of the Diamondbacks offense. Lamb has a strong .211 ISO against righties and he’s in the midst of a hot streak of sorts. His average fly ball distance on the season is 211 ft. but is up to 254 over the past two weeks. Lamb GOAT.
Brian Dozier (2B) – MIN vs. TEX – $4,900 – Speaking of current form, no one is hotter at the dish than Brian Dozier. He’s been a DFS plug-and-play against left-handed pitching over the past few seasons, and we need to get back to that mentality with him. On the season he’s fourth in the league with a .477 wOBA and 204(!) wRC+ against lefties. 204, people. Martin Perez does a decent job keeping the ball on the ground which helps mitigate a bit of the home run damage, but he’s a below average pitcher who’s allowed right-handed bats to compile a .339 wOBA against him since the start of 2015.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC vs. NYM – $4,900 – Anthony Rizzo is locked in at the plate right now. His slow start was mostly driven by bad batted ball fortune, and he’s going out of his way to correct that right now by spraying lazers all over the field. His line drive rate on the season is 32% but it’s up to 45% over the past two weeks, and his average fly ball distance over that span is 251 ft. with an exit velocity of 94.5 mph, nearly three percent above average. He’ll fly under the radar today, along with most of his Cubs teammates, since they’re facing deGrom.
Marcus Semien (SS) – A’s vs. PIT – $4,600 – Marcus Semien typically finds himself in the 2-hole for the A’s against lefties, so we can anticipate seeing him there against Jeff Locke tonight. Semien is streaky and he’s currently on the right side of that so, let’s ‘get in while the gettin’s good. Despite his low .261 average on balls in play, he’s piled up some elite numbers against lefties and his .625 SLG against them sets up well here.
Miguel Cabrera (1B) – DET vs. TB – $4,900 – Hey, do you know who’s really good at baseball? Like, really good? Yeah, it’s Miggy. With a decent amount of strikeout potential tonight, I think Rays starter Drew Smyly will be a popular play, and that sets up Cabrera and the Tigers well for tournament pivots. I like Rizzo a tiny bit more, but if you’re stacking Tigers, you have to strongly consider including Miguel Cabrera.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA vs. BAL – $4,100 – Nelson Cruz at $4,000 is a crime. Yes, he’s one of the best hitters in the league against lefties, but he’s no slouch against righties, and he’s facing Orioles starter Kevin Gausman who’s shown a fairly large sample size of reverse splits. Since the start of 2015 Gausman has kept southpaws in check with a .291 wOBA, but righties own a .338 wOBA against him. Cruz is about $600-$700 too cheap.
Carlos Gonzalez (OF) – COL vs. LAD – $3,400 – The Rockies were set to face Clayton Kershaw today prior to his back sending him on the DL, so the Rockies are cheap. All of them. I’m listing CarGo due to his massive power upside against right-hander Bud Norris, but Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are also under $4,000 and very much in play.
Nomar Mazara (OF) – TEX vs. MIN – $3,900 – Nomar Mazara is a viable cash game option tonight on the road. I always like to get road bats in cash when the matchup is right because the road team is assured of nine innings of at-bats, raising the expected floor and fantasy output. Dating back to 2014, Ervin Santana has allowed lefties to total a .334 wOBA against him over a nearly 200 inning sample size. Mazara has been playing well of late too, with multiple hits in five of his last 10 games.
Justin Bour (1B) – MIA vs. ATL – $3,600 – Julio Teheran is in a good spot tonight, so that’s giving us all of the Marlins for a slight discount. At first glance, it looks like Teheran has improved on his extreme handedness splits in 2016, but his success against lefties this season is BABIP driven and not sustainable. The Marlins lefties like Christian Yelich, Derek Dietrich and Bour are all in play tonight.
Tim Anderson (SS) – CWS vs. HOU – $3,900 – White Sox short stop Tim Anderson is my preferred cash game play at short tonight. He’ll be leading off and has four straight multi-hit games and has done that in nine of his past 15. That’s led to double digit DraftKings points in five straight outings and Astros’ starter Mike Fiers isn’t someone who should scare us away. The White Sox have an implied-team total of 5.2 runs tonight, the second highest mark on the slate.
Kolten Wong (2B) – STL vs. MIL – $3,000 – I don’t love Kolten Wong, but he’s very much in play at $3,000 if he’s hitting second again in the Cardinals lineup. With Matt Carpenter setting the table in front of him, Wong could be in a prime spot to produce and won’t cost you very much. They make for a strong mini-stack if they’re 1-2 in St. Louis’ lineup.
Scott Van Slyke (1B/OF) – LAD vs. COL – $2,900 – Scott Van Slyke owns a 143 wRC+ over the course of his career against left-handed pitching, and he’s dirt cheap. His multi-position eligibility helps too since we can plug him into our lineup in multiple spots. His game is more GPP than cash, but his price point makes him viable for any contest.
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.