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We’ve got an exciting Friday slate on FantasyDraft with 14 games to choose from! Make sure to finalize your lineups by 7pm eastern.
Must Play SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($25,900) at ARI
Holy cow, Scherzer is having himself quite the season. I mean, we all knew he was an ace entering the year, but he’s been even better than advertised. Scherzer is rocking a career-best 40.0% K-rate with a 6.5% walk-rate, good for a 1.75 FIP. Of course, it’s only been eight starts, but he’s definitely outperfoming Justin Verlander and Chris Sale (the other studs on the mound tonight). Scherzer also has the best matchup out of the three, against his former team, which is why I’m recommending him out of the bunch. The DBacks have been worse than you might think against right-handed pitching this season, as their .300 wOBA ranks them 25th in the league, while their 24.6% K-rate is the sixth-highest mark. Furthermore, the humidor in Arizona has definitely suppressed offense so far. Scherzer is certainly expensive, but completely worth the price tag.
Honorable Mention: Justin Verlander, HOU ($25,100) vs TEX
Value SP: Luke Weaver, STL ($15,400) at SD
Weaver has been a complete mess as of late, but I like his chances against the Padres tonight. The Padres are second-to-last in wOBA versus righties with their .284 mark and play in the best pitching environment in all of baseball. They also have a 27.1% K-rate, higher than any other team, which Weaver can easily take advantage of with the stuff he has. Weaver will likely be a contrarian pick, as other fantasy players are probably scared to touch him right now, so any production out of him will be even more valuable if nobody else in your contests is starting him. Consider him in GPP contests.
Honorable Mention: Kenta Maeda, LAD ($17,700) vs CIN
IF Alex Bregman, HOU ($7,500) vs TEX (LHP Cole Hamels)
For as much as everybody is panicking over Bregman’s cold start, he hasn’t even been that bad. Bregman is still rocking a 117 wRC+ this year and has increased his walk-rate to 13.7%, which is higher than his 12.5% K-rate. Bregman slaughtered lefties last year, with a .331/.404/.570 line, and he’s facing a southpaw tonight in Cole Hamels. Hamels has an ugly 4.96 FIP with a 1.77 HR/9, meaning Bregman may be in line for a homer. He will certainly have lots of RBI opportunities batting fifth in the loaded Astros lineup.
Honorable Mention: IF Travis Shaw, MIL ($8,100) at COL (Bettis)
OF Nelson Cruz, SEA ($8,100) at DET (LHP Matt Boyd)
We’ve got another lefty-killer to take advantage of tonight with Nelly Cruz. He’s got a .375 wOBA versus lefties this year and is batting fourth for the M’s. While Matt Boyd is running a 3.00 ERA right now, he’s not anywhere near that skilled of a pitcher. Boyd has an atrocious 6.36 Deserved Run Average through six starts with a weak 17.9% K-rate. Cruz is at a modest price for the kind of damage he can do to lefties, and an entire stack against Boyd could be a smart play.
Honorable Mention: OF Odubel Herrera, PHI ($7,800) vs SF (Samardzija)
Value: IF Jonathan Schoop, BAL ($6,500) vs TB (RHP Jake Faria)
Since Schoop is just returning from the disabled list, his price is very cheap. He hasn’t performed very well this season, but he’s also barely played, and Schoop is batting .286 since returning to the lineup. He’s batting fourth in an awesome ballpark for power – don’t forget that he hit 32 homers last year – so he should rack up lots of runs and RBIs. Opposing starter Jake Faria has a poor 11.1% walk-rate with a 4.15 ERA this year, so he’s a great pitcher to target.
Honorable Mention: OF Tyler Naquin, CLE ($5,500) vs KC (Hammel)
Top Stack: Red Sox at Blue Jays (RHP Aaron Sanchez)
Aaron Sanchez has been hot trash this season, posting a 12.0% walk-rate with just a 15.3% K-rate, leading to a 5.18 SIERA. Toronto is a launching pad for hitters, and the Red Sox lineup has some bats that will do some damage. J.D. Martinez ($9,900) is an elite bat to consider, while Mitch Moreland ($8,300) has a 1.069 OPS in the last 15 days. Anybody starting for the Sox tonight could give you some good production, including Eduardo Nunez at just $6,700.
Honorable Mention: Yankees vs Athletics (Graveman)
Not really relevant to DFS, but I have to share here because none of my chats even likes baseball (at least not to this level), and it pertains to one of tonight’s matchups.
Joey Gallo is 1-15 against Justin Verlander. That one hit was, of course, a HR. Gallo is on my bench for the evening as I’m set for HRs and need BA, which means he’s gonna hit another one on the way to 2-4 with a walk.