WATCH: STACK TO CONSIDER – ANTHONY RIZZO
I can’t recall a time in which I’ve seen a slate that has this many teams with implied-team totals at or above five runs. We might see three or four on a given slate, but as I type this I see NINE teams with team totals above five. That’s huge. Especially on a slate with Coors Field in play, we have numerous viable pivots which makes it a lot more fun than jamming in likely high-owned Rockies. Remember that 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. NYM – $12,900 – This isn’t a great spot for Max Scherzer, but he’s still the ace of the slate and has the clearest path to double-digit strikeouts, which we love. He’s also priced well compared to his peers so you’ll likely want him in cash games, but the Mets have hit right-handed pitching well this season and have taken Scherzer deep four times in 14 innings so far this season.
Other Options – Luis Severino (11,500)
James Paxton – SEA vs. TEX – $8,800 – When sorting through the game’s top pitchers this season according to Baseball Prospectus’ PWAR metric, only Chris Sale (61), Max Scherzer (73) and Chris Archer (74) have a better cFIP than James Paxton’s 75 among the top 30 in PWAR. That’s impressive. Mix in the fact that Paxton is facing the league’s worst offense against left-handed pitching this season, and it’s easy to see why he’ll likely soak up a ton of ownership on Friday night.
Other Options – Aaron Nola ($6,300)
Alex Avila – DET vs. TB – $4,000 – Alex Avila is one of the only Tigers bats that’s not priced down, but he’s hitting the ball so well right now I’m willing to pay this price. Penciled into the 2-hole against right-handed pitching, Avila enters play on Friday with a .409 wOBA against RHP and his hard-contact rate and exit velocity over the past two weeks makes this price feel like a bargain.
Other Options – Yasmani Grandal ($3,600)
Cameron Rupp – PHI vs. ARI – $2,200 – I wrote up Cameron Rupp on Thursday as a pivot if you were fading Chris Sale, and now he’s $200 cheaper and facing another lefty who’s significantly worse at baseball, Patrick Corbin. Using Rupp and his massive .333 ISO against lefties in this spot will open up a ton of roster flexibility tonight.
Other Options – Derek Norris ($2,800)
Anthony Rizzo – CHC vs. PIT – $4,800 – The Cubs new unconventional lead-off man seems to have taken well to his new home in the lineup. Despite the negative park shift here with the game in Pittsburgh, I think Rizzo is a great place to spend up in both cash games and tournaments. There’s a strong chance that he seems five at-bats tonight.
Other Options – Mark Reynolds ($5,100), Paul Goldschmidt ($5,600)
Miguel Cabrera – DET vs. TB – $3,800 – I’m not sure why one of the game’s best bats is just $3,800 but he is, so you have to consider him. He’s up $400 from Thursday and will likely see an increase in ownership after his walk-off, but he’s a cash game lock at this price in my opinion.
Other Options – Eric Thames 1B/OF ($4,000)
Robinson Cano – SEA vs. TEX – $4,100 – At $4,100, Robinson Cano has a case to be listed in the Value section, because he’s just too cheap. Tyson Ross is making his season and team debut for the Rangers tonight and will have his hands full with a Mariners lineup looking to take advantage of a pitcher who struggled in his last few starts in the minors. The Mariners’ 5.5 implied-team run total is the second largest number on the slate.
Other Options – Jose Altuve ($4,600)
Dustin Pedroia – BOS vs. HOU – $3,900 – The Red Sox are in a great spot tonight, on the road against Mike ‘Dumpster’ Fiers. Fiers’ underlying stats show that he’s been lucky to have a 4.29 ERA to this point. His deserved-run average, or DRA, is 6.54, while his cFIP of 120 shows that he’s 20% worse than a league-average starter moving forward. That’s gross. Pedroia is the most cost-effective way to get exposure to the Red Sox offense tonight.
Other Options – Jason Kipnis ($3,400)
Justin Turner – LAD vs. CIN – $4,500 – Third base is loaded on Friday night, but give me Turner for $4,500, on the road in a hitter’s park against a below average right-handed pitcher. Turner’s reverse split tendencies are well documented, and he’s currently red-hot at the plate. His hard-hit rate is 37% on the season, but over the past two weeks, he’s at 55%. I love the middle of the Dodgers lineup tonight.
Other Options – Nolan Arenado (5,200), Josh Donaldson ($4,700)
Jedd Gyorko – STL vs. BAL – $3,700 – There’s a lot to like about Jedd Gyorko tonight. First, the park shift for the Cardinals’ cleanup hitter is a sizable one and one that plays very well for right-handed power. He also has a large sample size of at-bats that show he’s a reverse-splits hitter, and he’s facing a reverse-splits pitcher in Kevin Gausman. If I had to pick a sub-$4K bat to go deep tonight, I’m going with the ‘Jerk Store’ here.
Other Options – Anthony Rendon ($3,500)
Francisco Lindor – CLE vs. MIN – $4,500 – If you’re building multiple lineups you’ll want to have some exposure to the Indians and their slate-best 5.6 implied-team total. There’s no better place to get that exposure than with Francisco Lindor. His switch-hitting abilities make him matchup proof, and he’s nearly identical in terms of handedness splits versus lefties and righties.
Other Options – Corey Seager ($4,800), Carlos Correa ($4,400)
Eric Sogard – MIL vs. SD – $3,700 – I think this Brewers’ offense is going to get overlooked tonight and that’s a mistake. They have a 5.5 implied-team total at home against Miguel Diaz and the Padres, and Sogard will likely lead off in one of the best parks in the game for left-handed bats. He’s hard-hit rate is up 7% over the past two weeks and you can plug him in at either second base or shortstop.
Other Options – Brandon Crawford ($3,800)
Marcell Ozuna – MIA vs. ATL – $4,500 – The outfield, per usual, is loaded on Friday night. I wanted to give you a play that I think will go overlooked and that’s Marcell Ozuna. He’s a lefty-masher who often goes under-owned when compared to his more popular/more expensive teammate, Giancarlo Stanton. If you want a one-off tourney flier, give Ozuna a look.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($5,300), Cody Bellinger 1B/OF ($4,800)
Aaron Altherr – PHI vs. ARI – $3,900 – A quick glance through Aaron Altherr’s game logs will show you a sporadic spike in production, and each of those times is when he faced a left-handed pitcher. Altheer’s ISO is 120 points higher against lefties, and he’ll feast tonight at home against Patrick Corbin.
Other Options – Denard Span ($4,200), Hunter Renfroe ($3,600)
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.