Friday brings us a full 15-game slate. Gotta love that. It’s an ideal slate too because we have pitching options at every pricing tier, and plenty of bats that deserve our attention as well. If I missed a guy you like today, which I probably did, find me on Twitter @RyNoonan and let me know. Let’s dig in.
Aaron Nola – Phillies vs. Braves – $11,000 – Matchup exceeds price in this spot. I think Aaron Nola is a bit pricey here, but I’m willing to pay the going rate. The Braves are the most popular DFS pitching target; their completely inept against both left and right-handed pitching, they have a sub-.100 isolated power in both spots and offer enough strikeout upside too. Aaron Nola has really made the leap this season, entering play on Friday with a 72 cFIP and 2.67 DRA (deserved run average, via Baseball Prospectus), while limiting walks and striking out nearly 9.9 batters per nine. I hope his price keeps people away.
Jake Arrieta – Cubs vs. Giants – $12,800 – I think Jake Arrieta is an easy tournament fade at his price, but clearly no one has the floor of Arrieta if you’re playing cash games. His upside is a bit capped based on his current strikeout rate and the Giants propensity to make contact, but getting Jake Arrieta in the most friendly pitching environment in the game is a +EV move every time.
Gerrit Cole – Pirates vs. Rockies – $8,700 – I don’t understand why Gerrit Cole is just $8,700, but he is, so let’s use him. He has elite strike out upside, is pitching at home in run-suppressing PNC Park, and the Rockies are below average (87 wRC+) against right-handed pitching. Getting a $10K+ pitching for under $9K is an easy decision in this spot.
“Since the beginning of 2015, only Jake Arrieta (.228) has a lower wOBA-against versus right-handed hitters than Aaron Sanchez (.229)”
Aaron Sanchez – Toronto vs. Twins – $8,000 – Since the beginning of 2015, only Jake Arrieta (.228) has a lower wOBA-against versus right-handed hitters than Aaron Sanchez (.229). Read that again. Obviously Sanchez isn’t the pitcher that Arrieta is, but when we look at Sanchez’s opponent, Minnesota, the bats that scares me there are all right-handed. It’s a great park shift for Sanchez as well and his 59.2% ground ball rate should help keep him out of danger as well.
Yoenis Cespedes (OF) – Mets vs. Brewers – $4,900 – You’ll want to have some Mets bats on Friday, and the preferred play for me is Yoenis Cespedes. He fares much better in terms of wOBA and ISO against right-handed pitchers and Brewers’ starter, Wily Peralta is terrible. Since the start of 2015 Peralta has allowed right-handed bats to compile a .389 wOBA against him. Peralta doesn’t discriminate though, he’s slightly worse against lefties (.391).
Starling Marte (OF) – Pirates vs. Rockies – $4,800 – Starling Marte is another right-handed bat with reverse splits, with an ISO that’s nearly 100 points higher against right-handed pitching. Rockies’ starter Eddie Butler gets a start outside of Coors, but that doesn’t matter. He’s still been hit hard 42.1% of the time this season, the highest mark on the slate.
Carlos Correa (SS) – Astros vs. Rangers – $4,300 – The Astros have the highest implied-team total on the slate at 5.0 against Colby Lewis, so I’m a bit surprised that Carlos Correa isn’t closer to $5,000. Correa is fairly split-neutral, but has shown exceptional power against righties, and that’s been a problem for flyball-heavy Colby Lewis, who’s allowed right-handed bats to slug .414 against him since the beginning of 2015.
“Robinson Cano has been on a bit of a heater lately…”
Robinson Cano (2B) – Mariners vs. Reds – $5,400 – Robinson Cano has been on a bit of a heater lately, and while he’s pricey at $5,400, he’s still a viable option. For the season he has a hard-hit contact rate of 33% but it’s up to 46% over the past 2 weeks. Spending the weekend in the Great American Ballpark is going to be a lot of fun for Cano.
Jayson Werth (OF) – Nationals vs. Opp – $4,400 – Jayson Werth loves left-handed pitching, so I love Jayson Werth. Facing Justin Nicolino, he of the 7.03 DRA and 136 cFIP, Werth has a great shot to go deep on Friday. His 250 point jump in isolated power is a huge edge and needs to be exploited.
Manny Machado (3B/SS) – Orioles vs. Angels – $4,100 – Manny Machado is way underpriced against fly ball southpaw Hector Santiago. It’s a negative park shift for Machado and the Orioles, let’s not pretend that most of Machado’s home runs are wall scrappers. Over the past two weeks we’ve seen an increase in fly balls for Machado, which shouldn’t hurt him here either.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – Cubs vs. Giants – $4,600 – Recency bias is likely to come into play for Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs on Friday. Currently in their first ‘cold streak’ of the season, the Cubs have burned many DFS’ers over the past few days with their less than stellar output in Milwaukee. Oh, and Jake Peavy is a hot mess so fire up the Rizzo.
Bryce Harper (OF) – Nationals vs. Marlins – $4,700 – Bryce Harper against a lefty? While Harper is better against righties, his current .429 wOBA and .266 ISO against lefties is still elite by any measure.
David Wright (3B) – Mets vs. Brewers – $3,900 – David Ortiz is killing it this season, and it’s no surprise to see him atop the leader board when searching for the best hard-hit contact rate in the league. It may surprise you to know that David Wright is currently second on that list. Look for him to be a bit under-owned against the previously mentioned Wily Peralta.
Kiké Hernandez (OF) – Dodgers vs. Padres – $3,700 – I prefer sub-$3K Kiké against a lefty, but he’s still in such a good spot. He’ll likely hit near the top of L.A.’s lineup, and his career .422 wOBA and 174 wRC+ makes him an easy plug and play against left-hander Christian Friedrich.
Michael Conforto (OF) – Mets vs. Brewers – $3,800 – We’re picking on Wily Peralta, I know. Michael Conforto is a $4,200 outfielder against a good pitcher, so getting him for $3,800 against Peralta is too difficult to pass up. Simple as that.
“We’ve seen what Danny Valencia can do to bad left-handed pitching”
Danny Valencia (3B) – A’s vs. Yankees – $3,600 – Since the beginning of 2015 CC Sabathia has been pounded by right-handed bats, to the tune of a .364 wOBA. We’ve seen what Danny Valencia can do to bad left-handed pitching, and his current form is about as hot as they come.
Ryan Howard (1B) – Phillies vs. Braves – $3,500 – No one gets excited about rostering Ryan Howard, but for just $3,500 I think he’s in play today. Braves’ starter Matt Wisler has shown some major splits so far in his career, allowing a .373 wOBA and .500 slugging percentage against left-handed bats over the past season+. He’s worth a look in tournaments.
Matt McBride (OF/1B) – A’s vs. Yankees – $2,000 – The Josh Reddick-to-the-DL news bodes well for Matt McBride, who’ll likely hit in the middle of the A’s lineup and can be had at minimum price with dual eligibility. Yes please.