Friday’s 14-game main slate won’t include the day game in Chicago between the Mariners and Cubs, but the remainder of the slate presents plenty of options tonight. We may have some weather to deal with, so be sure to check on that before lineups lock. I’m on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Max Scherzer – WSH vs. SF – $13,600 – The park factor bump that Max Scherzer gets by pitching in San Francisco is negated a bit due to the Giants high team-contact rate. Their 18.1% strikeout rate against right-handers is the third lowest in the league. But this is Max Scherzer after all. I think using over 27% of your salary on player is a less than ideal play, but Scherzer is still an option.
Vincent Velasquez – PHI vs. ATL – $9,700 – Atlanta is a popular team to target against in DFS due to their mostly punchless offense. They’re dead last in baseball with a .124 ISO and 79 wRC+ against right-handers, and Vincent Velasquez has Scherzer-esque K upside and can be had for nearly $4,000 less.
Steven Matz – NYM vs. COL – $8,500 – The best time to target the Rockies is when they’re on the road against a lefty (so this exact situation). They have the second highest strikeout rate in the league in these spots, and Steven Matz takes the mound in good form. Colorado has the lowest implied-team total on the night at just 3.1 runs.
Steven Brault – PIT vs. MIL – $4,100 – The only team that’s striking out more against lefties is Milwaukee, a gift that is delivered to Steven Brault tonight. We don’t have a ton of MLB innings to look at for the Pirate southpaw, but he struck out 66 batters in 50.1 innings in AAA this season. For $4,100 he’s worth the risk.
David Ortiz (1B) – BOS vs. LAA – $5,600 – What really needs to be said here? You have to give serious consideration to rostering David Ortiz any time he’s facing a right-hander, and as they often do, Boston has the highest implied-team total on the slate tonight at 5.5 runs. His 189 wRC+ against righties is lapping the field.
George Springer (OF) – Team vs. Opp – $5,000 – George Springer’s exit velocity and fly ball percentage are both up over the past month and that bodes well for him tonight against Matt Boyd. He sees a significant spike in production, especially power, when facing a lefty like Boyd. Spending up on Springer and his teammate Jose Altuve is a good way to allocate your budget tonight.
Jay Bruce (OF) – CIN vs. SD – $5,100 – How do you feel about hot streaks? If you think that a player can see a significant bump when in the midst of a hot streak then you’ll want to roster Jay Bruce tonight. He’s hit six homers in his past five games and his matchup against Edwin Jackson isn’t the time to shy away. You can expect him to be quite popular tonight, and for good reason.
Daniel Murphy (2B) – WSH vs. SF – $5,400 – Jeff Samardzija is back to his homer prone ways, giving up 14 long balls in his past nine starts. Pitching at home helps him a little bit, but Daniel Murphy has been on a season long tear and it’s really never stopped. His 172 wRC+ against right-handers in among the top-10 in the league, and he’s priced up enough that a lot of DFS’ers will stay away.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD vs. AZ – $5,000 – Justin Turner’s not cheap any longer, but he’s priced just right. Turner has been red hot for two weeks with nine multi-hit games in his past 12 contests. Diamondbacks’ starter Zack Godley has been hit hard his last three times out, and will likely take a beat again on Friday for as long as he’s able to last.
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD vs. AZ – $5,200 – Let’s keep the hits coming here and talk about Justin Turner’s teammate, Corey Seager. Seager sees a nice uptick when facing a righty, and pairing him with his aforementioned teammate from LA’s left side of the infield is a nice mini-stack tonight.
Khris Davis (OF) – OAK vs. CLE – $4,500 – Khris Davis is a sneaky tournament play when he’s facing a fly ball right-hander like Trevor Bauer. The lack of a platoon split keeps most away, but Davis is just as dangerous against righties, even flashing a bit more power in these spots. He’ll be owned in less than 5% of tournaments tonight.
Matt Kemp (OF) – SD vs. CIN – $4,800 – The days of Matt Kemp being a upper echelon fantasy outfielder are behind us, but he’s still useful in the right spot. He’ll take his hacks against Brandon Finnegan tonight, a lefty who’s been rocky at best of late. Kemp’s .352 ISO is the third best rate in all of baseball and he won’t be on many people’s radar at this price.
Brian Dozier (2B) – MIN vs. CWS – $4,000 – Above I mentioned Matt Kemp has the third highest ISO in baseball against lefties. Pop quiz: who has the highest? That’s right, Brian Dozier. He’s priced down a bit because the southpaw he’s facing is Jose Quintana but it’s worth noting that Dozier and his Twins teammates are one of the best offenses in the league against left-handers.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR vs. BAL – $3,900 – Joey Bats is back and will be above $4,500 sooner rather than later so jumping in while he’s under $4,000 seems like a wise move. He’s been just as good against righties as he has against lefties over the past few seasons and is facing reverse-split Orioles’ starter Kevin Gausman. He’s a great cash game play if he’s leading off.
Chris Davis (1B) – BAL vs. TOR – $3,800 – In that same game we can get Chris Davis against a fly ball pitcher for just $3,800 which seems like a mistake. There are so many plays at first base so that helps keep Davis in play in tournaments, but he should be popular at this discounted price and his upside is every bit of the $5,000 hitter that he often is.
Tommy Pham (OF) – STL vs. MIA – $3,600 – Tommy Pham doesn’t get the start every day, but when he does he’s often near the top of the lineup. If you seem him there tonight than fire away. It hasn’t translated into huge fantasy totals but Pham has been hitting well lately. His average fly ball distance is way up, along with his hard-hit rate and exit velocity. Watch for lineups and then act accordingly.
Joey Gallo (3B/OF) – TEX vs. KC – $3,200 – The much hyped prospect, Joey Gallo, is back up with the big club and has been hitting in the middle of Texas’ productive lineup since returning on Tuesday. He’s rarely a cash game option but his immense power makes him tournament viable at this price.
Jarrett Parker (OF) – SF vs. WSH – $2,400 – If you’re in a large field tournament with multiple entries and not using Max Scherzer in all of them than I think getting Jarrett Parker in a lineup makes a ton of sense. He’s basically free and what he does well is what ends up being Scherzer’s undoing when he’s not at his best. Despite all the strikeouts, Max Scherzer has given up the fifth-most home runs in baseball and Parker has flashed exceptional power against right-handed pitching this season.
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.