FanDuel MLB: Friday Breakdown
FanDuel MLB: Friday Breakdown

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

It's only the second day of the season, but the slate is already reduced and the number of aces can be counted on one hand. That being the case, the over/unders are still modest with the biggest number coming from the Detroit-Toronto game. That matchup had the one of the higher over/unders on Thursday and finished 2-0 in 10 innings.

PITCHING OVERVIEW

The most expensive and most popular pitcher will likely be Gerrit Cole ($11,300), who won 15 games last year with help from a career-best 34.5 K%. However, there may be better places to look for much cheaper.

German Marquez ($9,800) blew fire away from home last season, securing a .265 wOBA allowed and cool 28.3 K%. Those numbers should be more than good enough against the Marlins, who will likely be near the bottom of the charts again after sporting a .291 wOBA against righty arms in 2018.

Ross Stripling ($8,200) comes at a decent price and he may close as the biggest favorite on the slate. That also means he could be a popular cash play against an Arizona roster that is arguably worse than a year ago when it managed a .300 wOBA and 24.1 K% against righties. Similar to the expensive guys, Stripling had an elite 27.0 K% last season.

If you hate spending money on pitching, Matt Shoemaker ($7,000) is at a discount against an unexciting Tigers lineup that managed four hits on Thursday. They were last in the league with a .290 wOBA against righty arms last season and while Miguel Cabrera is healthy, there's not a ton of help around him. Shoemaker has battled injuries in recent seasons, but had a solid 25.4 K% in seven starts last year. Born and raised in Michigan, he is 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers.

Joey Lucchesi ($7,600) makes a little more sense according to the odds, as he hopes to build on last season's 26.5 K%. He had 17 Ks in two starts against the Giants and that aligned with their season totals, a 23.3 K% and .285 wOBA against southpaws.

KEY VALUES/CHALK

In terms of odds, there isn't one game that stands out, especially since there aren't many desirable players on Detroit or Toronto. The Red Sox will be popular against Yusei Kikuchi, but even then, a lot of their guys struggled against southpaws last season. Mookie Betts ($4,900) could be the chalkiest play after roasting lefty arms for a .368 ISO and .488 wOBA last season. J.D. Martinez ($4,800) is a level just below that with a .244 ISO and .406 wOBA. Otherwise, you're paying too much for lefty-lefty matchups against the mostly unknown Kikuchi, who gave up four hits in his debut last week.

While Derek Holland showed some improvement last season, I'm still not afraid to go against him, especially with a righty. He struck out righties more consistently, yet still had a .337 wOBA allowed. That could lead to success for any number of righty Padres and that includes Fernando Tatis ($3,000), who had a couple hits in his debut. Franmil Reyes ($2,800) doesn't have much more experience, but he hit cleanup in the opener and sported a .442 BABIP in 94 plate appearances against southpaws last year. 

There's plenty of value to be found in the Cardinals-Brewers and Angels-Athletics games, with questionable arms on the mound. Marco Estrada, the cheapest pitcher, will be popular to go against after giving up three runs in his first start, striking out only one. Following last season's .389 wOBA allowed to righty bats, it looks to be another shaky season. Of course, that means Mike Trout ($4,800) will be overused, but someone like Andrelton Simmons ($2,900) could be overlooked. Simmons hit clean up in Thursday's game and while he's not a power bat, that's not what you're banking on in Oakland.

It could be more useful to go after Freddy Peralta, who couldn't figure out lefties last season with a .374 wOBA and 1.59 HR/9 allowed. Matt Carpenter ($4,300) has the numbers, but Kolten Wong ($2,300) could end up being the chalk play after two homers on Thursday. Then again, after nine home runs all last season, it's unlikely he goes yard in back-to-back games to start the campaign. On the other side, Christian Yelich ($4,700) should see some love against Jack Flaherty after also homering on Thursday.  

STACKS

The most popular stack will likely be riding Betts, Martinez and another Red Sox righty against Kikuchi. I'd rather save a few bucks and possibly get a better matchup.

If you like Wong, you can throw him together with Dexter Fowler ($2,400) and Harrison Bader ($2,400) at the bottom of the lineup, but again, those guys aren't going to duplicate Thursday's production even in another favorable situation.

The popular cheap stack will probably be in the game that opened with the highest over/under. That means the Blue Jays against Matt Boyd, who struggled against righties last season with a 13.2 K-BB% and 4.98 xFIP. Boyd showed some life at times, but he was also prone to allowing a few homers and closed the season giving up 10 in his final five starts. In 18 spring innings, he gave up 22 hits and 10 earned runs. The one guy I'd avoid is probably Justin Smoak ($3,300) since he's most expensive and has significantly less power against southpaws. Instead, a mix of Teoscar Hernandez ($3,000), Randal Grichuk ($3,000), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($2,900) and Kevin Pillar ($2,400) could be the better route.

If you want to go against the grain for GPP purposes, Holland is always a threat to be shelled against righties, even in a game with a 7.5-run over/under. In addition to Reyes and Tatis, this is the spot for Manny Machado ($4,400) to make an early mark with the Padres. Wil Myers ($3,200) is the third option and slightly safer than leadoff batter Ian Kinsler ($2,900).

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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