Like most Fridays, we are treated to a full slate of 15 games today. The featured slate starting at 7:05 ET covers 14 of the 15 games, with the Padres and Reds game being the only one omitted.
There is a plethora of big-name starting pitchers on today’s slate and Shohei Ohtani ($10,900) headlines all of them at the top of the board. For as good as he is along with his track record against Houston, this price point is simply too hard to fit onto any squad. It could be slightly contrarian to get him into your lineup I suppose.
Tyler Glasnow ($10,300) follows him and is in a stellar matchup facing the Royals. They have the 2nd worst wRC+ (73) and t-4th highest K% (25.4%) against righties over the last month. Glasnow actually just squared off against them a couple of weeks ago and had 12 punchouts in just 5 innings of work. He’s a great option but doesn’t really work deep into games.
Behind Glasnow in the 9K range lie Eduardo Rodriguez ($9,700), Charlie Morton ($9,000), and Luis Castillo ($8,900). They’re all in fantastic matchups, but I’d take Castillo with the price at hand. E-Rod is coming off his first start since the IL against the A’s, and it went miserably with his lack of command. The White Sox are terrible, but the advanced metrics don’t really love what Morton has been doing despite his 3.43 ERA. Castillo hasn’t lit up the leaderboards in his metrics necessarily either, but pitching at home against the Tigers is as good as it gets.
There are plenty of big names in the 8K region, but I’d steer clear for a variety of reasons. Julio Urías ($8,800), Michael Kopech ($8,500), and Carlos Rodón ($8,500) are all fresh off the IL, and Rodon pitches in Coors, while Kopech faces the Braves. I don’t mind Urias, but the Dodgers could be cautious with his usage; who knows with them.
Corbin Burnes ($8,400) could make for a great contrarian play with everyone scared to use him pitching at Great American Smallpark against a red-hot Reds squad. The 2021 NL Cy Young winner has fantastic numbers against this roster. They have a .245 xwOBA and 29.5% K% in 112 plate appearances against Burnes and he has handled them just fine in two appearances vs them this year.
Of the mid-tier options available, Kenta Maeda ($7,700) is by far the best. He has looked incredible since coming off the IL having allowed just 2 ER across 17 innings with 21 strikeouts. Yes, two of those starts have been against weaker competitors, but look who he draws tonight. Oakland has the t-4th worst wRC+ (77) and t-7th highest K% (24.2%) against righties over the last month. The A’s have terrible numbers against Maeda’s pitch arsenal too. Against splitters thrown from right-handers, they have the 4th highest K%, the worst xwOBA vs sliders, and the 2nd worst xwOBA vs 4-seamers.
Brayan Bello ($7,700) has been on a great run lately too, but he doesn’t generate enough strikeouts. Of some lower options, Sandy Alcantara ($6,800) sticks out like a sore thumb at that price point. He has been a shell of his NL Cy Young self last year but has been solid in two of his last three starts. The O’s won’t be easy to shut down, but he could be worth the gamble at that price.
Picking what bats to target is always a struggle in my opinion. There’s so much variance around batters. They can hit one on the screws and it will lead to nothing, and that’s why I tend to stay away from wagering on batter props. With that being said, there are still plenty of bats to target for DFS.
We all know by now that the Yankees have been horrendous without Judge, but Coors Field and Austin Gomber cure all wounds. They make for an intriguing contrarian stack today with the likes of Anthony Volpe ($4,000), Harrison Bader ($4,300), and Giancarlo Stanton ($5,000) standing out the most from the roster to me.
Graham Ashcraft is also a great target pitching at home in Cincinnati. The Brewers aren’t a powerhouse offense by any means, but Ashcraft ranks in the bottom 11% in xERA/xwOBA for a reason. Cristian Yelich ($4,600) has been hitting the ball extremely well lately, so pairing him with William Contreras ($4,400) or Willy Adames ($4,300) could make for a solid mini stack.
Lastly, the Rays are also a great offense to add facing a rookie pitcher making his third career start. Jonathan Aranda ($2,000) got the call-up from AAA to replace Yandy Díaz while he is on paternity leave. He has been mashing in the minors, and if he’s in the lineup could be an interesting addition to any DFS lineup at that price. Brandon Lowe’s ($3,900) price tag is pretty low coming off an injury and Luke Raley ($4,200) has been hitting well all season long. There are plenty of good options in this Tampa offense.
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