DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Thirteen games are included in Friday's main slate, and weather looks like it could be an issue across the East Coast, where pop up storms are more likely than they have been in recent days.

Pitching Breakdown

Justin Verlander ($12,000) leads a loaded pitching slate name wise, facing the Angels. Verlander has been hit hard lately, relying on strikeouts to offset that and score sound fantasy points. The Angels strike out the least against righties (17.7 percent) and rank fifth with a .335 wOBA. I'm personally never fading Verlander, but at this price and his recent form, maybe it's best to save a little money.

Jacob deGrom ($11,300) follows and has similarly been roughed up of late. He's surrendered seven runs and three homers over his last three starts, not awful but not superb by deGrom standards. Philadelphia has only a 91 wRC+ against righties, striking out 23 percent of the time. He should receive more than usual run support against with Vince Velasquez ($7,500) opposing him, but this isn't a slam dunk matchup.

Clayton Kershaw ($10,700) rounds out the five-figure pitchers, and has the most obviously positive matchup against a Padres lineup that fans 25.9 percent of the time. But he's allowed four runs in each of his last two starts and 13 total in his last five. He was worth 20.2 DraftKings Points (DKP) in an earlier meeting with San Diego, allowing three runs while striking out five in seven frames. That honestly may be the ceiling here, which makes him a questionable play for the price.

Zack Greinke ($9,700) is your next big name and is also forgettable. He's already allowed nine runs in 19.0 innings against Colorado. Masahiro Tanaka ($9,500) is an interesting case. He's allowed at least four runs in four of his last six starts, but has absolutely dominated the Rays, allowing one run while striking out 23 in 22.0 innings this season, bringing him to 97 Ks in his last 89 innings against Tampa. I don't love the current form, but he looks like my preferred top arm when blending matchup and price.

This sets up as a really odd pitching slate that has lots of big names, and plus matchups, all coming in poor form. The cheaper options that continue this trend include Dakota Hudson ($7,600) and Julio Teheran ($6,600). Hudson gets a weak-hitting Giants team that has a .296 wOBA and 83 wRC+ against righties, but strikes out only 22.3 percent of the time. Hudson allowed seven runs in his last outing against San Diego, and that paired with the lack of punch out potential severely limits the upside. Teheran has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts, lasting only 11.1 innings in the process. He's been incredibly inefficient, yet has dominated Miami this season. Teheran has allowed only four hits while fanning nine in 12 innings against them this year. It's hard to trust him given his current run, but given the price, I like him to return at least 2x value.

Key Chalk/Value

A whopping six games have double-digit run totals, so there shouldn't be a shortage of options to build an offense. It seems hard to believe, but Milwaukee has been shut out in consecutive games entering Friday's matchup against a surging Pirates offense that scored 32 runs in a four-game set against the Cubs. This is a highly targetable pitching matchup of Zach Davies ($5,300) and Steven Brault ($5,100). The Brewers core of Christian Yelich ($5,800), Mike Moustakas ($4,800) and Yasmani Grandal ($4,600) all hit lefties well, and I'm always a fan of Keston Hiura ($4,000) at this price or lower. Outside of Josh Bell ($5,600), the Pirates side may be a little cheaper with Bryan Reynolds ($4,700), Corey Dickerson ($4,200) and Adam Frazier ($4,200) all profiling well.

Conflicting starting pitcher reports shouldn't alter projections for Texas at Minnesota, with DK listing Michael Pineda ($7,900) for the Twins, but most sites showing Martin Perez ($7,900) as the starter opposing Adrian Sampson ($7,300). Assuming it is Perez on the hill, the Rangers don't hit lefties all that well outside of Joey Gallo ($5,600), which possibly puts the onus on the Twins' lineup to push this game close to its 10.5 run total. Minnesota bats aren't cheap, and rightfully so with Sampson carrying a 6.47 road ERA and 5.92 xFIP, allowing a .439 wOBA and 1.070 OPS to righties. Price is the only thing that may prohibit a stack of Mitch Garver ($5,300), Nelson Cruz ($5,100) and Miguel Sano ($5,100), but there may be some value found in Byron Buxton ($4,000) at a discount.

Pitching ambiguity looms over the Red Sox as well, with DK listing Ryan Carpenter ($4,800) as the Tigers' starter, while most other resources show Gregory Soto ($5,200). Both have been awful, which will likely leave the Red Sox as the slate's chalkiest offense. J.D. Martinez ($4,700) looks a little too obvious given the cheaper price to Mookie Betts (5,000), Xander Bogaerts ($5,100), and Rafael Devers ($5,500). Soto has been pelted by right-handed bats to the tune of a .424 wOBA, so a look at Michael Chavis ($4,200) or a hot Christian Vazquez ($4,600) gets you into this game at a reduced cost.

Toronto-Baltimore looks like a game that could offer some savings with a high run total. More pitching questions loom here, with DK listing Marcus Stroman ($7,900) for the Jays, but it looks more like Aaron Sanchez ($4,900) will get the nod. No player outside of Lourdes Gurriel ($5,300) tops 5k, and no Oriole is priced higher than Jonathan Villar ($4,400). Sanchez allows a .387 wOBA to righties, putting Trey Mancini ($4,300), Reynato Nunez ($4,100) and Pedro Severino ($3,800) on radars. Dylan Bundy allows slightly more favorable numbers to lefties, suggesting some potential value in Cavan Biggio ($4,400), Eric Sogard ($4,600) and Freddy Galvis ($4,000).

Stacks

Braves vs. Jordan Yamamoto (Marlins)

Freddie Freeman (1B - $5,100), Tyler Flowers (C - $3,600), Ozzie Albies (2B - $4,100)

Atlanta homered five times Thursday and can come at you from every spot in the lineup. As such, I present a different look stack, offering stability in Freeman and bargains taking up secondary positions in Flowers and Albies. Yamamoto has allowed six runs over his last nine innings, making him targetable. Freeman has a .411 wOBA, 153 wRC+ and .275 ISO against righties, locking him in. Flowers figures to get the nod over Brian McCann, who started Thursday and has a nice .365 wOBA and .222 ISO on the cheap. Albies went deep Thursday, and has really warmed up from the left side, boasting a .379 wOBA, 133 wRC+ and .259 ISO since June 1. 

Nationals vs. Brad Keller (Royals)

Juan Soto (OF - $5,400), Trea Turner (SS - $5,300), Anthony Rendon (3B - $5,200)

This may be too pricey for some, but the return should remain ample for the price. Keller has allowed 13 runs over his last 12 innings and has a 5.26 road xFIP. That Nats are surging, and this core is the reason for it. Rendon boasts a .412 wOBA,154 wRC+ and .311 ISO, while Soto follows with a .394/142/.232 line. Turner has rounded into form, posting a .379/128/.253 line since the beginning of June, scoring 24 times and stealing nine bases in 29 games. 

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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