Friday night MLB DFS is here and that means a full slate of games to choose from. Remember the heavy variance that comes with baseball and be very aware of your bankroll management. As always, the Rotogrinders lineups page and push notifications are the best way to get every teams lineup in a timely manner. Now let’s dig in for some picks for FanDuel and DraftKings.
The decision at pitcher today is greatly influenced by the weather around the nation. Some of the better pitchers on the board are almost certain to be affected by either a delay or postponement. And in the case of Justin Verlander, it is the winds blowing out to right-center for a fly ball pitcher, so the weather is affecting him also. I’m going to eliminate all those guys from my options for the time being and that leaves me with a middle tier of players I can target. Sanchez jumps out because of the matchup. In fact, the 3.62 implied total for Miami is the third lowest on the board today. He was a good pitcher last year when he rejuvenated his career. He’s been average at best this season, but I’m willing to take a chance due to the big ballpark, pristine matchup and no weather concerns.
Catcher/ First Base
Edwin Encarnacion (vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Seattle has been a highly productive offense so far this season with the addition of the free agents they added. Edwin Encarnacion has been one of the main drivers of this new offense and tonight Seattle gets a solid matchup against a right-hander. So far this season with his new team, Edwin has walked almost as much as he struck out (16.2% BB, 17.6% K) against right-handers. It’s a good sign that he’s maintained some of his skills that made him a once elite hitter. Going with a middle tier pitcher and some cheaper hitting options down the road, this first base position is one I’d like to spend up on and grab a slugger.
Robinson Cano (vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
Perhaps he will prove me wrong, but I feel like Adam Wainwright is far past his prime and will never regain his once dominant form. Therefore, I have no issues stacking a few batters against him tonight and in looking up and down this New York lineup, Cano fits the bill as the type of hitter I want to take. Last season against right-handers, Robinson only struck out 14.3% of the time while racking up a 44.9% hard-hit rate. All the numbers say he’s a perfectly acceptable play at this position. What pushes him over the top is the flat-out disrespectful salary of $2,900 on Fanduel and only $3,600 on DraftKings. I think there’s incredible value in playing the New York Mets second baseman tonight at these prices.
It is highly probable that people will look up this matchup and ballpark and glance right over Cincinnati hitters. It’s just not very sexy to roster guys playing in the mammoth San Diego stadium. However, that could be a mistake with a guy like Suarez. He put up some impressive numbers last year against left-handed pitching and may very well be the best hitter in this lineup now. In 178 plate appearances in 2018, Suarez racked up a .273 ISO and 54.6% hard-hit rate. He has the power against left-handers to get the ball out of any ballpark in the majors and I’ll gladly roster the third baseman with lower ownership tonight.
Corey Seager (vs. Milwaukee Brewers)
The Dodgers lineup gets a park upgrade tonight playing in the very hitter friendly confines of Milwaukee as opposed to their own massive ballpark. Corey Seager has dealt with injuries over the last couple years, but when he’s been healthy you can pencil him in as one of the top three or four hitting shortstops in all of baseball. Tonight, the Dodgers get a matchup with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin. So far this season his xFIP sits at 5.27 and the ERA sits at 6.52. He’s not a particularly good option on the mound. Last season against left-handed batting, his strikeout rate dipped all the way down to 15.6% while his walk rate jumped up to 11%. He allowed 39.1% of the contact against him to be of the hard-hit variety and those are the type of numbers that make this Dodger lineup a very solid stack option tonight. Throughout all the injuries over the last couple years, Seager has maintained a very low strikeout rate and a very high walk rate against right-handed pitching (13.3%k rate, 13.3% BB rate). Corey Seager fills a thin position and should snuggle up into the top three spots in the batting order against a hittable right-hander in a hitter friendly park.
Charlie Blackmon (vs. Philadelphia Phillies)
Although the Colorado offense has struggled to start the season, I still want a piece of them in this matchup at home against Vincent Velasquez tonight. Specifically, the left-handers in this lineup are going to be part of numerous stacks for my roster’s. Last season Velasquez was exquisite against right-handers but the split differential towards left-handers was incredible. He allowed a .241 ISO to lefties and allowed 35% of the hits to be of the hard-hit variety. Over the last two seasons, Blackmon has been unstoppable against right-handed pitching at home. His ISO is .210 against righties, compared to .168 against lefties. And his home splits or even more pronounced. Over the last two years he’s racked up a .229 ISO at home and only .164 on the road. All those strikeouts Velasquez racks up comes at a cost. He typically allows very hard-hit balls when people get a hold of them and that could be disastrous in this ballpark tonight.
George Springer (vs. Texas Rangers)
George Springer has proven to be one of the best all-around leadoff men in baseball over the last three seasons and tonight this Houston lineup travels to a fantastic hitter’s park in Texas. The weather will be sublime for hitting tonight as the temperatures should be fine with the big factor being the wind whipping out to centerfield at around 12 miles per hour. The wind is peculiar in this ballpark as it forms jet streams throughout different parts of the stadium. A ball that gets caught in one of the streams blowing in can immediately be knocked down no matter how hard it was hit. Conversely, if you get a flyball up into one of these jet streams blowing out then it will be a homerun festival. Drew Smyly is not particularly good, as evidenced by the 5.75 xFIP this year and George Springer has as much power as anyone in this lineup with the added bonus of speed and extra at-bats that come with being a leadoff hitter. I think this whole lineup is solid and he’s the best player in it for this matchup, in my opinion.