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We’ve got a full 12-game slate on Friday night, giving us endless possibilities in our lineups. Two projected high-scoring matchups dominate the top plays of the day.
Top SP: Patrick Corbin, WAS ($10,100) vs. PIT
With 12 games on the Friday night slate, there is a surprising lack of elite pitching options from which to choose. Patrick Corbin and Carlos Carrasco stand out from the pack as the top two options both in track record and in matchups, with Corbin facing the Pirates at home and Carrasco traveling to play the Royals. I can see the argument for both, so I’ll save the $900 and go with Corbin for my top pitching option.
Corbin’s strikeout rate of 30.8% was the best of all pitchers on the slate in 2018, and he has looked solid in his two starts against a Mets team that has otherwise had its way with left-handed pitchers in 2019. Corbin faces a Pirates team that has struggled against left-handers thus far; coming into Thursday night, they were being held to a .269 wOBA against lefties, and that was before they were carved up by Jose Quintana on Thursday. Corbin will be pitching at home as a substantial home favorite, giving him the high floor and ceiling that you look for in an ace.
Honorable Mention: Carlos Carrasco, CLE ($11,000) at KC.
Value SP: Jake Arrieta, PHI ($8,800) at MIA
This is a textbook case of what to look for in a pitching matchup. The game takes place in a spacious ballpark (Marlins Park), against a weak Miami lineup (.262 wOBA vs. right-handed pitchers) that strikes out a lot (32% strikeout rate vs. RHP), with the Phillies strongly favored (-165) even on the road. In lineups where you want to skip the expensive starting pitching options, Jake Arrieta is worth a look. And while Arrieta himself might be the least exciting part of this matchup, he’s been solid enough that a quality start should be easily attainable. Though Arrieta has ugly strikeout and walk rates so far, his two starts have come against top-10 offenses versus right-handed pitching in the Braves and Twins. He should find smoother sailing against a Marlins lineup with the fifth-worst wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Honorable Mention: Zack Wheeler, NYM ($8,400) at ATL.
Matt Chapman is locked in at the plate in 2019, with more walks than strikeouts on the year and a triple slash line of .305/.397/.576. With teammate Khris Davis also on fire, opposing pitcher Drew Smyly will likely have his hands full. Smyly has already struggled mightily on the year after being out of the majors since 2016, as he has yet to escape the fourth inning of a start this year. This looks like another blowup spot for the Athletics, and Chapman should be in the middle of things once again. Chapman has actually been better against right-handed pitchers in his career, which will hopefully depress his ownership percentage a bit, as opposed to Davis who will be heavily owned. But this is too good of a matchup to worry about ownership percentages, and Chapman looks like one of the top plays of the day at a very reasonable price.
OF: J.D. Martinez, BOS ($5,000) vs. BAL (RHP David Hess)
There are so many good outfield plays on this slate that it is hard to single one out. J.D. Martinez seems like he has been a bit forgotten thus far, but he has hardly been a disappointment with a .326/.392/.543 triple slash. This is an extremely exploitable matchup, as Martinez posted a .434 wOBA against right-handers last year, and opposing pitcher David Hess has a career 1.93 home runs per nine innings in his brief career. Martinez has as much power as anyone in the league and frankly seems due for a home run barrage. While other DFS players rightfully play teammate Mookie Betts or the white-hot Davis, Martinez may provide an equally appealing option at a slightly lower ownership percentage.
Lorenzo Cain has been tormenting left-handed pitchers this year with a .604 wOBA, after posting a .422 wOBA against them in 2018. Cemented at the leadoff spot in front of Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun, Cain is in an excellent spot every day to produce fantasy points. While Julio Urias provides a difficult challenge, the Brewers have been feasting on lefties this year with a .436 wOBA, tops in the league. Urias is good enough to avoid stacking the Brewers lineup, but I feel confident in Cain’s ability to pay off his reasonable price.
Honorable Mention: Shin-soo Choo, TEX ($4,200) vs. OAK (RHP Mike Fiers).
Lineup Stack: Athletics at Rangers (LHP Drew Smyly)
With the highest projected run total of the day against a struggling pitcher, the Athletics are the top stack option on the slate. While I expect them to be a popular play, there are ways to differentiate yourself from the field. Chapman and Davis are no-doubt plays in a stack, but lesser-known Chad Pinder has excellent stats against lefties and has been hitting fifth in the lineup against them. Marcus Semien has hit lefties well this year and has been hitting atop the order, and Mark Canha has had success as well against opposite-handed pitchers. For as long as Stephen Piscotty continues to hit third between two of the hottest hitters in baseball, he remains a sneaky option despite his slow start. Mix and match combinations until you find one that fits with the rest of your lineup.
Honorable Mentions: Red Sox vs. Orioles (RHP David Hess).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is eriks44) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.