Friday’s 14-game main slate offers a ton of offensive options up and down the price tiers at each position. We also have quite a few aces sprinkled in as well, so deciding whether or not to spend up or go with the chalk with your two starting pitcher spots is going to be a key decision on Friday. Questions about the slate or why I left your favorite sleeper of the day off the list? Find me on Twitter, @RyNoonan. Let’s dig in.
Noah Syndergaard – Mets vs. Padres – $12,900 – There’s no doubt that Noah Sydergaard is in the best spot, regardless of price, on the entire slate. His early season performance has been exceptional, and the Padres 65 wRC+ against right-handed pitching is the lowest mark in all of baseball. Syndergaard has the strikeout upside that we seek, but I think you can safely forecast ownership totals north of 50% in cash games here.
Vince Velasquez – Phillies vs. Marlins – $10,200 – There are a slew of top shelf options on Friday, and Vincent Velasquez is in that mix. With that said, he’s a tad overpriced which hopefully drops his ownership levels to a desirable spot for tournaments. The ballpark shift is a favorable one for Velasquez, and his fly ball tendencies, and the Marlins .145 team ISO against right-handed pitching is one of the lowest in the league.
Rich Hill – A’s vs. Orioles – $7,400 – I’d rather use Rich Hill at home, but he’s still underpriced for the type of strikeout upside that he offers. The Orioles mash right-handed pitching, but they’re fairly average against lefties with a strikeout rate approaching 23%. He’s not the safest option, but Hill is very viable in tournaments.
“The Orioles mash right-handed pitching, but they’re fairly average against lefties”
Drew Pomeranz – Padres vs. Mets – $6,600 – Strikeouts are king here on DraftKings, and when we have a pitcher at $6,600 with ginormous strikeout upside than we have to consider him. The Mets are much better against right-handed pitchers, and their 23.9% K-rate against southpaws pairs well with Pomeranz’s 11.17 K/9 and 13.8% swinging-strike rate. At this price I think he’s even cash game viable.
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Mookie Betts (OF) – Red Sox vs. Yankees – $4,500 – Lets not complicate things here. Mookie Betts is a $5K player who’s hitting in one of the most friendly hitting environments in the game on Friday and will only cost you $4,500. Betts is fairly split-neutral, but does see a 25-point jump in isolate power against right-handed pitching.
Robinson Cano (2B) – Mariners vs. Astros – $5,100 – Robinson Cano is expensive on Friday, but I like this spot for him in tournaments. Doug Fister has given up a ton of hard-hit contact this season, and playing this game in Houston is a nice bump in hitting environment for Robinson Cano. I think his price will be a deterrent for most, so paying up to be contrarian is certainly in play here.
David Ortiz (1B) – Red Sox vs. Yankees – $4,500 – Yankee Stadium for left-handed power bats is a Coors-esque DFS situation. It’s so difficult to avoid because it’s such a favorable situation especially when the pitcher, Michael Pineda in this case, has allowed left-handed bats to slug .588 against him with a .418 wOBA. It’s a Large Father kind of night in the Bronx.
Miguel Cabrera (1B) – Tigers vs. Rangers – $4,100 – I prefer to pay up a bit for Ortiz, but Miguel Cabrera for $4,100 is something that’s worth considering in cash games. He’s just too good, especially against left-handed bats, and Cole Hamels 4.90 FIP and a drop in velocity shouldn’t scare you away from one of the best hitters in the game.
“A drop in velocity shouldn’t scare you away from one of the best hitters in the game”
Josh Reddick (OF) – A’s vs. Orioles – $4,300 – Josh Reddick is not cheap on Friday, but he’s in a great spot to pay off. Orioles’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez has been hit hard by left-handed bats this season and many seasons in the past, and the park shift for Reddick and the A’s is something that we should be considering when building lineups on Friday.
Joey Votto (1B) – Reds vs. Brewers – $4,500 – It’s been a slow start to the season for Joey Votto, but he’s starting to warm up. He’s facing Tyler Cravy who’s struggled with fly balls and left-handed bats in his brief career, two things that work in Votto’s favor especially when he’s at home in Cincinnati.
Nolan Arenado (3B) – Rockies vs. Giants – $4,000 – Against Madison Bumgarner?! I don’t love it either, but let’s not get too fancy for our own good. Arenado isn’t an exaggerated platoon split guy, but he’s just too good to be priced at $4,000 against anyone. I wouldn’t go crazy with Rockies and their low 2.7 implied team total, but you could do a lot worse than Arenado as a one-off at third.
Ian Kinsler (2B) – Tigers vs. Rangers – $4,000 – This article is not an endorsement for using Cole Hamels on Friday. The projected total tells us that we should expect Detroit to have a strong day with an implied team total of 4.4 runs, so rolling out multiple bats near the top of their order, Kinsler included, makes quite a bit of sense.
J.D. Martinez (OF) – Tigers vs. Rangers – $3,400 – These Tigers are just too cheap. I’m not going out of my way to intentionally target Cole Hamels here, but his presence has created a ton of value for the Tigers bats, none more so than J.D. Martinez. His .421 wOBA versus left-handed pitching is excellent and J.D. is my pick to go deep tonight.
Chris Coghlan (2B/3B) – A’s vs. Orioles – $3,600 – I wish the A’s bats were a little cheaper, but this is a great spot for them, as mentioned above with Josh Reddick. The price will likely keep some away, as will the iffy early weather reports, making the A’s an intriguing stack option for tournaments on Friday.
Alex Presley (OF) – Brewers vs. Reds – $2,000 – He went deep on Thursday from the leadoff spot, and while asking for a repeat performance is a bit greedy, Alex Presley is a great cash game play if he’s back in the leadoff spot again on Friday. Throwing him in for 4-5 at-bats for the minimum price will give you ultimate flexibility with the rest of your roster.
“He mashes right-handed fly ball pitchers…”
David Peralta (OF) – Diamondbacks vs. Braves – $3,400 – It’s a negative park shift for David Peralta as he goes from the desert to the Dirty South, but he’s so cheap. He mashes right-handed fly ball pitchers, and while Aaron Blair has some potential, he profiles as a bit of a fly ball starter in his limited innings to date.
Nomar Mazara (OF) – Rangers vs. Tigers – $3,200 – If you want to spend up elsewhere, throwing Nomar Mazara into your cash game lineup will definitely help raise your floor. He’ll likely hit second against Jordan Zimmermann on Friday, and while Zimmermann’s 0.57 ERA is intimidating, a 93% strand rate and 4.04 xFIP tell a different story.
Miguel Sano (3B/OF) – Twins vs. White Sox – $3,900 – I prefer to play Miguel Sano at third base, but his multi-position eligibility doesn’t hurt. Neither does the fact that he’s facing Mat Latos. A big-time power prospect in a great hitter’s park against a pitcher that gives up fly balls and doesn’t miss any bats? Yes, please.