WATCH: MLB IN 90 SECONDS – NICK MARKAKIS
Friday’s 13-game slate includes Coors, where the Rockies will face a below average left-hander, and arguably the game’s best pitcher so far this season, Max Scherzer. Can we afford to get exposure to both of these situations? Lots to unpack here, so let’s get to it. The best place for last minute info, other than DK Live, of course, is Twitter. Find me there @RyNoonan. Let’ dig in.
Max Scherzer – WAS vs. ATL – $13,200 – Max Scherzer has been as consistent as it gets over the first few months of the season, and he possesses both a ceiling and a floor that’s unmatched at the position. His strikeout to walk ratio is the core of his success this season, and while Atlanta isn’t a team we typically target when looking for Ks, Scherzer’s skill set far outweighs the Braves’ above average contact skills. Max is almost a must-play in cash games.
Other Options – Zack Greinke ($11,200), Carlos Martinez ($10,700)
Jordan Montgomery – NYY vs. MIL – $6,500 – This price point for Jordan Montgomery jumps off the page, and I suspect he’ll garner a long look as an SP2 paired with Scherzer in cash games. Milwaukee’s 25.5% whiff rate against southpaws certainly raises the appeal, but I wouldn’t go overweight on your exposure because the Brew Crew is swinging it well right now and their .186 ISO against lefties is among the top 10 in the league. Personally, I’m staying off Montgomery in tournaments.
Other Options – James Paxton ($8,500), Drew Pomeranz ($8,700)
Gary Sanchez – NYY vs. MIL – $4,700 – I’m definitely on team ‘Cheap Catcher’ typically, but this is a great spot for Gary Sanchez and the Yankees. Brewers’ starter Junior Guerra is a fly ball pitcher and is 7.10 FIP is not going to get any help with his trip to the Bronx tonight. I’d look elsewhere if you’re plugging in a one-off catcher, but you’ll want Sanchez in your lineup if you’re stacking the Yankees here.
Wilson Ramos – TB vs. BOS – $3,300 – Dating back to the start of 2015, Wilson Ramos has a .422 wOBA and .310 ISO against left-handed pitching. Those are Ruth-ian numbers in a vacuum. He’s a great play at this price at home against Boston lefty Drew Pomeranz.
Other Options – Mike Zunino ($3,500)
Cody Bellinger – LAD vs. KC – $4,600 – We’ve seen Cody Bellinger’s price tag come back down to earth a bit, so now is as good of a time as any to jump on board. The young lefty has shown a propensity to swing and miss quite a bit, so targeting him against fly ball pitchers that don’t miss many bats is the ideal approach. Cue Jason Hammel’s walk-up music. I do love Paul Goldschmidt here too, but I like the slight savings that we’re getting on Bellinger.
Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($4,900), Joey Votto ($4,600)
Joey Gallo – TEX vs. LAA – $3,900 – You can essentially cut and paste the Cody Bellinger blurb and insert it here for Joey Gallo. The prodigious power is something we’ll want exposure to, and his high whiff rate is mitigated in this spot against Ricky Nolasco. It’s going to be a hot one in Texas tonight too, and the Rangers’ have a 5.5 implied-team run total.
Other Options – Mitch Moreland ($3,100), Danny Valencia ($3,100)
Jonathan Schoop – BAL vs. MIN – $4,600 – I love Baltimore’s decision to move Jonathan Schoop up in the lineup. He’s been hitting mostly second or third of late and could go under-owned here despite having crushed right-handed pitching with a .359 wOBA and .201 ISO over the past three seasons. The Orioles have some appeal as a sneaky stack play tonight against Felix Jorge.
Other Options – Jose Ramirez ($4,900), Jose Altuve ($5,100)
Jason Kipnis – CLE vs. DET – $3,600 – As was the case on Thursday, Cleveland has one of the slate’s highest implied-team totals and the top of their lineup can be had for cheap. Jason Kipnis will likely be leading off here against Jordan Zimmermann and his 5.79 FIP, and Cleveland is pegged for 5.8 runs tonight.
Other Options – Yolmer Sanchez ($3,800)
Nolan Arenado – COL vs. CWS – $5,200 – Nolan Arenado at home against a bad lefty? This is chalk city, folks. The Rockies’ right-handed bats will likely be very popular, and rightfully so with a 6.5 implied-team total. If you wanted some Coors exposure without loading up and stacking them, I’d use Arenado.
Other Options – Miguel Sano ($4,600), Justin Turner ($4,700)
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs. HOU – $3,700 – There’s nothing in Josh Donaldson’s current form or batted ball profile that jumps out and explains his recent struggles, but he hasn’t been himself this season. I’d be more concerned if there appeared to be an injury issue to worry about, so $3,700 for the former MVP is a steal. Buying opportunities like this need to be pounced on because you want to be in on this stock while it’s on the ground floor.
Other Options – Manny Machado ($3,800)
Corey Seager – LAD vs. KC – $4,700 – Similar to his teammate Cory Bellinger, Seager swings and misses at an above average clip so getting him when he’s facing a pitcher who doesn’t strike many hitters out is ideal. Also worth noting is his current form, with a hard-hit rate of 56% over the past two weeks.
Other Options – Carlos Correa ($5,100)
Trevor Story – COL vs. CWS – $3,900 – The overwhelming trend on this slate is targeting high variance bats against low strikeout pitchers. Trevor Story could be popular in cash games tonight at home against Derek Holland for less than $4,000. I’ll only use Story when he’s home against a lefty who has a below average swinging-strike rate. He’s checking all the boxes tonight.
Other Options – Francisco Lindor ($4,000)
Ryan Braun – MIL vs. NYY – $4,600 – Ryan Braun is hitting better than his recent stats would indicate. He enters play on Friday with an eight-game hitting streak, but over the past two weeks he’s seen a spike in his average hit distance, exit velocity, hard-hit rate and fly ball rate. He’s too cheap tonight, in New York against a lefty where his .438 wOBA will play well.
Other Options – Aaron Judge ($5,600), George Springer ($5,100)
Nelson Cruz – SEA vs. OAK – $4,300 – Nelson Cruz might be an expensive ‘value’ play but he shouldn’t be this cheap against a lefty. Sean Maenea might soak up some ownership but leveraging Nelson Cruz here might be a smart play in tournaments.
Other Options – Michael Brantley ($3,700), Nomar Mazara ($4,200)
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.