DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

A loaded pitching slate awaits Friday, where 14 games are included in the main slate.

Pitching Breakdown

Walker Buehler ($11,500) headlines five arms priced in five-figures. He's been brilliant of late, and offers great GPP upside, having topped 50 DraftKings points (DKP) twice in seven starts, but the Diamondbacks present a reasonable challenge despite a 91 wRC+ against righties.  He's allowed 16 hits and nine runs in 18.0 frames against Arizona to date and may not be as stable as you'd like for the price.

Stephen Strasburg ($11,000) follows and is coming off of his worst start of the season, allowing nine runs to the aforementioned Diamondbacks. He'll get a surging Mets squad that he's faired well against, fanning 22 across 19.2 innings and allowing just six earned runs. Familiarity reigns surpreme Friday, as Shane Bieber ($10,700) faces Minnesota for the fourth time to date. He's surrendered just six runs in 15.1 frames, fanning 18. Mix in that he's been worth 21.8 DKP or better in eight of his last 10, and he surprisingly looks trustworthy despite the Twins' third-ranked .344 wOBA against righties. 

Trevor Bauer ($10,200) and Caleb Smith ($10,000) round out the top tier. It's very challenging to trust Bauer after his laborious NL debut in Atlanta last week, but he's also likely primed for a bounceback at low ownership. Smith has allowed four homers over 12.0 innings against the Braves this year, and after Atlanta raked in Minnesota and struggled Thursday, a rebound seems in order, making him only a GPP option for me.

Wade Miley ($9,000) and Julio Teheran ($8,800) figure to be popular in the next tier of arms, with plus matchups and win probabilities against Baltimore and Miami, respectively. Robbie Ray ($9,800) looks like an intriguing GPP option against the Dodgers. Their lefty-heavy lineup could be altered, but Ray allows only a .280 wOBAs to lefties if it's not. He's also fanned 27 Dodgers in 18.1 innings, giving him some flexibility in allowing runs.

The second/bottom tier of arms seems to have us chasing wins more than enjoying any plus matchups. We start with Boston's Brian Johnson ($7,600) as a (-205) favorite against the Angels, which seems a bit too lofty. The Yankees' J.A. Happ ($7,100) hasn't been worth double-digit points in three straight, but has a 2.19 ERA against the Blue Jays in 12.1 frames while checking in as a (-145) favorite. Finally, Chris Archer ($7,500) shouldn't be ignored. He earned 31.4 DKP combined in his last two starts against St. Louis and has fanned 22 Cardinals in 17.0 innings to date. 

Tyler Beede ($5,300) and Drew Smyly ($5,800) are your absolute bottom tier options. Smyly has been worth an average of 21.0 DKP in three starts since joining the Phillies, while Beede fans 23.9 percent at home. Clear risk/reward with both, but the price is so minimal, both will be considered as second options for GPPs.

Key Chalk/Value

Despite the top-end pitching available, there are still four games with double-digit run totals that all figure to be trendy for lineup construction. We start with an 11 total in Boston where the previously mentioned Johnson faces Jaime Barria ($6,000). Barria has a 5.68 road xFIP, allowing a .441 wOBA to lefties and .463 to righties, so we can confidently use any of Boston's five bats priced at 5k or higher, with Rafael Devers ($5,300) leading the way, and J.D. Martinez ($5,000), Mookie Betts ($5,000) and Xander Bogaerts ($5,000) priced identically. Johnson, meanwhile, struggles against righties, so if we're not paying up for Mike Trout ($5,800), this could be a spot for Justin Upton's ($3,800) power to surface.

Astros' bats will be equally popular in hitter-friendly Camden Yards, where Dylan Bundy ($6,600) allows 2.3 HR/9. Finding value here is tough as seven bats are priced at 5k or higher, led by Yordan Alvarez ($5,700), who is raking righties to the tune of a .442 wOBA, 185 wRC+ and .325 ISO. Carlos Correa ($5,300) is surging, while Jose Altuve ($5,300) looks like a fade given his season-long struggles against same-handed arms.

Yankees' are a nightly popular option and should be again Friday against Toronto's Sean Reid-Foley ($7,700), who's been surprisingly good of late, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his five appearances since June. New York is priced a bit more affordably than Boston or Houston thanks to injuries. A surging Cameron Maybin ($4,400) has gone for double-digit DKP in five straight, while Aaron Judge ($4,200) has too much potential to be priced this low. Mike Ford ($3,400) is a terrific value assuming he starts.

Stacks

Royals vs. Edwin Jackson (Tigers)

Jorge Soler (OF - $4,600), Whit Merrifield (2B/OF - $4,500), Hunter Dozier (3B - $4,400)

I'm not sure how you avoid targeting Royals against Jackson Friday, as he allows 3.8 HR/9, a .566 wOBA to righties and a .416 wOBA to lefties. Not much else needs to be said, as Jackson had a 7.76 xFIP at Triple-A after his Major League struggles. The three here aren't incredibly cost friendly, but represent the safest options in a limited Royals attack. If we're looking to save some, Cheslor Cuthbert ($3,800) and Bubba Starling ($3,100) work well, as would whoever is behind the dish.

Brewers vs. Kolby Allard (Rangers)

Ryan Braun (OF - $4,700), Keston Hiura (2B - $4,900), Yasmani Grandal (C - $4,200)

Allard didn't look like a big league pitcher in his brief stint in Atlanta last year, so much so his stock fell to where he yielded just a middle reliever for the Braves at the deadline. He had a 7.38 xFIP over three appearances, and while the Brewers are a bit injured and don't have terrific splits against lefties, it gives us a bit of some salary relief to stack upon. Keep an eye on the Brewers' lineup choices, as Ben Gamel ($3,900) and Manny Pina ($3,200) are fine value options if in the lineup, while Christian Yelich ($5,900) is always an option if back to health.

Mariners vs. Jalen Beeks (Rays)

Domingo Santana (OF - $4,300), Austin Nola (1B/2B - $3,800), Tom Murphy (C - $3,700)

This can be a GPP/value stack for Friday, as Beeks has allowed 13 runs over his last four appearances, allowing five homers in the process. Santana has a stable .362 wOBA and .271 ISO against lefties, while Nola and Murphy are better in this spot in a smaller sample size. Nola goes for a .468 wOBA and 203 wRC+, while Murphy sits at .407/162 and should safely be in the lineup against the southpaw.

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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