Friday’s 15-game slate should provide a ton of options at every position, making it difficult to narrow down the targets since we’ll have so many. We’ll often see a few teams each night with an implied-team total at or above 4.7 runs but tonight we have 13(!) teams that fall into that category. With Coors Field in play as well, we should be able to find some incredibly low-owned options in extremely favorable spots on Friday night. You can bother me at any time on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Madison Bumgarner – SF vs. NYY – $13,000 – The big name on the slate is MadBum, who’s in NY to face the Yankees and their 27th ranked offense against left-handed pitching. It’s obviously a negative park shift for Bumgarner, but Yankee Stadium is fairly neutral for left-handed starters and more of a danger zone for righties, so he’ll be ok. The Yankees have struggled to score against southpaws as their .306 wOBA and 87 wRC+ would indicate, but they don’t strikeout a lot, just 16.9% on the season, which could cap a bit of Bumgarner’s upside.
Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs. HOU – $10,000 – I imagine that Matt Shoemaker will be popular today, fresh off of a complete-game shutout of the White Sox where he struck out 13 and didn’t issue a walk. A repeat, or anything close to it, is a big ask but the strikeout upside is key here and very much the reason that he’s in play. This will be his fourth start against the Astros this season, and he’s struck out 24 in 21 2/3 innings thus far.
Gerrit Cole – PIT vs. PHI – $7,400 – Gerrit Cole will be making his second start since coming off of the disabled list, and the first showing wasn’t what he had hoped for. The matchup here against the 28th ranked Phillies offense could help him get on track though. Not only are Cole and the Pirates the slate’s largest favorite, the Phillies also have the lowest implied-team total of the day at just 3.2 runs. Except him to be very popular in tournaments, but he’s a strong SP2 in cash games if you’re spending up with the other pitcher spot.
Jason Hammel – CHC vs. MIL – $7,900 – Jason Hammel is a strong tournament pivot if you’re considering using Gerrit Cole. He’s just $500 more and I imagine he won’t be nearly as popular, but his matchup isn’t much worse. The Brewers have the league’s highest strikeout rate when facing right-handed pitching, a hefty 25.6% so far this season. That’s not Hammel’s game, but he can miss enough bats to return excellent value on his $7,900 price tag.
David Ortiz (1B) – BOS vs. MIN – $5,500 – What David Ortiz is doing this season is just insane. His isolated power against right-handed pitching is .394 this season. His .743 slugging mark is nearly 100 points higher than Jake Lamb, who’s second in the category. The Red Sox face Kyle Gibson and have the highest implied-team total on the slate at 6.1 runs. Fire away.
Jason Kipnis (2B) – CLE vs. BAL – $5,500 – Jason Kipnis is red-hot, perhaps the hottest hitter in the game right now. He was on fire heading into the break and hasn’t skipped a beat. He has a .492 wOBA and 216 wRC+ so far in the second half and will look to build on that tonight against Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – TOR vs. SEA – $5,300 – Josh Donaldson against a lefty, y’all. You know the drill. He walks nearly twice as much as he strikes out against them, and his 191 wRC+ in these spots this season is one of the best marks in the game. You’ll want to have some Dong-aldson exposure today.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – CHC vs. MIL – $5,600 – Deciding what to do at first base is going to be a difficult decision today. I think Rizzo is a great tournament play because he’ll likely be passed over for some of the less expensive options, but he’s crushing the ball right now. His average fly ball distance, hard-hit rate and exit velocity are all on the rise since the beginning of July and he faces noted platoon split pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
Brian Dozier (2B) – MIN vs. BOS – $4,900 – Brian Dozier’s .649 slugging mark is the sixth best in baseball against left-handed pitching, and his wOBA and wRC+ aren’t far behind. In Boston with the Green Monster right on top of him, Dozier is in a great spot to produce on Friday. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been struggling and has been giving up a ton of fly balls, something that bodes well for Dozier on Friday night.
Steve Pearce (1B/2B) – TB vs. OAK – $4,900 – I think the entire Rays offense will be underowned on Friday and that’s a mistake. I’ll use Steve Pearce and his dual positional eligibility as the centerpiece, but don’t forget about Logan Forsythe, Brandon Guyer and Evan Longoria as well. Pearce missed some time this season, so his at-bat totals are low, but his 2016 numbers against lefties (.512 wOBA, 233 wRC+) are validated by his outstanding career marks against lefties as well (133 wRC+).
Freddie Freeman (1B) – ATL vs. COL – $4,600 – Man, first base is a doosy today, huh? How often can you get a team’s best hitter in Coors for just $4,600? I get why you’d spend up on Ortiz, Rizzo or Encarnacion, but Freeman is a great selection.
Ian Desmond (OF) – TEX vs. KC – $4,300 – The ultra-aggressive Ian Desmond has been crushing lefties all season and will likely be off the radar today against Danny Duffy. Duffy has pitched well of late, but I like Desmond due to his power and speed combination against lefties.
Manny Machado (3B/SS) – BAL vs. CLE – $3,700 – The Orioles are all in a decent spot tonight against Trevor Bauer. The entire team is priced well and when you consider that they lead the league as a team in isolated power against right-handed pitching, it’s difficult to ignore this spot if you’re looking to save. Machado, Chris Davis, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop are all very much in play at their current price point.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS) – TOR vs. SEA – $3,300 – It’s a bit easier to fit Josh Donaldson in your lineup at $5,300 when you can slot Tulo in at short for just $3,300. He’s not the left-handed killer that he’s been in season’s past, but he’s still good and should be priced about $1,000 higher.
Ryan Rua (1B/OF) – TEX vs. KC – $3,200 – With Shin-Soo Choo on the DL, Ryan Rua is getting to play everyday, but he’s really only a DFS option right now against lefties. He’s posted a 140 wRC+ and .389 wOBA against them this season and is a great option since we can use him at multiple positions.
Adam Duvall (OF) – CIN vs. ARZ – $3,900 – Adam Duvall hasn’t homered since the break, but his hard-hit rate is up, and it’s only a matter of time until he connects with one. The majority of his 2016 home runs have come against right-handers, where he’s shown a near 100 point edge in ISO than when facing a lefty. Arizona starter Archie Bradley is on the docket for Duvall and the Reds on Friday.
Trea Turner (2B/SS) – WSH vs. SD – $3,600 – The Nationals have the slate’s third highest implied-team total on the day at 5.5. That’s a huge number but they will likely get glossed over by most players today as they build their lineups. Turner and his multi-position eligibility will likely hit leadoff against Luis Perdomo.
Andrew McCutchen (OF) – PIT vs. PHI – $3,800 – Andrew McCutchen has been mostly disappointing from a fantasy perspective this season, but he’s hitting well lately and is priced like a bench bat. His hard-hit rate, exit velocity and average fly ball distance are all up over the past month and he has the power/speed combo that we want in tournaments.
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.