Welcome back to DFS plays of the day, Friday edition. We have a doozy of a 13-game slate tonight that includes the Red Sox vs Yankees, Coors Field, and three games going back, back, to Cali, Cali! I’m returning from a week long break from baseball and the first thing I noticed is a 10-game winning streak for the Orioles. Juan Soto has produced top-three numbers over the his last 12 games after hitting only .233 in his first 50. Corey Seager has hit five home runs in his last six games and will face Robbie Ray tonight who is the most expensive pitcher on FanDuel at $10,700. Nathan Eovaldi will start for Boston for the first time since June 8, while Tampa Bay’s acquisition of Isaac Paredes has sparked their offense and has quietly moved the Rays into second place in the AL East. Finally, Matt Carpenter is priced higher than Manny Machado on DraftKings. Man, I missed a lot while I was in Hawaii but I didn’t lose any money so that’s a good thing! Time to get back into the swing of things and kickoff the weekend with some winning lineups.
It’s important to have a process when playing DFS so I’ll share a few things I do every time I build a lineup.
Selecting a Pitcher
- To get a lot of fantasy points a pitcher needs to rack up the Ks. I look at a pitcher’s K% and the team K% of their opponent.
- Take a look at the lineup for the opposing team. Are all the regulars starting? How many L vs. R are there?
- Where is the game? Coors Field, Fenway Park, and Great American Ballpark are places to try and avoid.
- Look at the implied run totals for teams. Selecting hitters from teams with high IRTs is a good start.
- Look at the opposing pitcher’s stats. What is their weakness? LHH or RHH?
- Where in the lineup are they hitting? Finding cheap pieces batting near the top of the order is idea.
- Provides the best chance to win GPP tournaments
- 5-3 for DraftKings and 4-4 or 4-3-1 for FanDuel
- Diversify your stacks. Don’t always go for 1-4 in the batting order. Mix it up with the bottom of the lineup.
On to the plays…
Timmy’s Top 3 SP
Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL
With the exception of his 36% GB rate, Woodruff is top-15 in every important pitching metric. His 15.6% SwSt rate ranks 11th while his .263 xwOBA ranks 9th in the majors. B-Dubs has recorded eight or more strikeouts in each of his last three starts and although 5.63 ERA and 1.44 WHIP on the road are not good, I’m banking on his elite stuff tonight vs a Giants team that will likely be starting two rookies. Hot hitting Wilmer Flores got scratched Thursday and probably won’t play tonight while Evan Longoria is back on the IL with teammate Tommy Estella.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD
After spending some time on the IL Kershaw has proven he hasn’t aged a bit over his last two starts. He has 18 strikeouts in his last 14.2 innings and put up 60 FanDuel points in his last start against the Cubs. Kershaw gets a juicy matchup tonight vs crosstown inter-league rival LA Angels. The Angels have the highest K rate on the season at 26.5% and although Mike Trout and Ohtani are a threat to go yard every night, they have K rates of 29% and 24% respectively. The team is not headed in the right direction either. The Angels .188 average over the last two weeks ranks dead last in the majors. Clayton could have a big night here.
Alek Manoah, SP, TOR
Normally I don’t chase strikeouts against the Royals who have the third lowest K rate in the majors but this game is in Toronto tonight and the Royals have 10 players on the restrictive list including Whit Merrifield, Andrew Benintendi, and MJ Melendez. Don’t forget Salvador Perez is on the shelf with a thumb issue as well. So this Royals team is really shorthanded and Manoah is well equipped to take advantage of this weak lineup. He ranks top-10 in ERA, WHIP, and innings pitched while his 19% HC ranks sixth best in the majors. He should be able to rack up six or more strikeouts against this lineup.
The Rockies are hitting .283 and have scored 274 runs at home this season, both lead the majors. Seven of their nine starters are hitting above .294 vs LHP at home including Randal Grichuk who’s at .386 with a 57% hard contact rate. The Rockies are relatively cheap, especially José Iglesias, who’s been batting second with a 125 wRC+ over the past two weeks. You can play anyone in this lineup with confidence tonight and if Garrett Hampson cracks the lineup make sure to include him in your stack at below $2800 on both sites. If Quintana’s 7.4% BB rate gets him into trouble early look for the Rockies to knock him out and then get to face the 4.33 xFIP of the Pirates bullpen which ranks 25th in the majors.
The Rays have surprisingly taking over second place in the division and have done so with their hot bats. Even with Wander Franco now sidelined the Rays have found many other contributors. Yandy Díaz and Harold Ramírez both have an OPS over 1.000 in the past two weeks and newly acquired Isaac Paredes is always a threat to go deep with this 42.7% HC rate. Jonathan Aranda who was called up to replace Wander has started the last two games and is minimum price on DraftKings. The Rays are cheap and will likely not be rostered by many since Tyler Wells has pitched well this season. We could see the Orioles’ winning streak come to an end tonight.
The Guardians have three starters listed at the minimum price on DraftKings. The Tigers stink and Drew Hutchison smells even worse. His 11% BB rate will surely put him in trouble when José Ramírez and Josh Naylor come to bat with men on base. Drew’s 23% CSW and 9% SwSt rate are bottom of the barrel and rookie Nolan Jones should be able to take advantage of that. Love Cleveland at home today.
Here are some of the best value bats for tonight. We will see some value pop up once lineups are announced so use this as a reference and pay attention to the news, as there are always one or two guys batting at the top of a lineup that are not there on the regular.
Good luck tonight and I hope you win some beer money for the weekend!
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)