Here are my favorite DraftKings plays for Friday’s MLB main slate.
For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics ($8,500) – He’s always a roll of the dice, but Giolito still carries similar strikeout upside to those at the top of tonight’s pool. On top of that, he’s facing a subpar lineup, which can’t necessarily be said about all of Friday’s high-priced arms. The A’s have a 24.1% strikeout rate and .120 ISO against right-handed pitching since mid-August. Both marks are right around Oakland’s season-long averages, so it’s highly likely that type of play maintains against a pitcher who can go off on any given night.
Brayan Bello, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($7,000) – Friday may be a full slate, but it is not full of a lot of quality value pitching options. The Orioles haven’t been striking out much against right-handed pitching of late (22.8% since August 15), but Bello comes in off his first MLB quality start. Two starts before his 25.1-DKFP performance vs. Texas, he posted 17.1 DKFP vs. Toronto while giving up two runs over five innings. Between those two outings, he struck out 12, walked two and gave up nine hits over 12 frames. He’s got the stuff, and the confidence is starting to come around now, too.
Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers ($5,600) – Priced second-highest at both third base and shortstop, Witt is in a great spot Friday. Although he had a quiet series vs. Cleveland, Tigers rookie left-hander Joey Wentz ($5,000) gives Witt his ideal type of matchup. Witt has hit for power against lefties all season long, and he’s got a .364 ISO, 26.4% line-drive rate, 47.4% fly-ball rate and 42.1% hard-contact rate against them since the deadline.
Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals ($4,700) – Got to give credit where it’s due, Patrick Corbin ($5,600) has been very good lately. He’s still an arm to target, but he’s definitely gone to work recently. So has Bohm against left-handed pitching, which is why he’s a great Philly bat to turn to Friday. Although he hasn’t hit for much power, Bohm is hitting .400 with a 33.3% line-drive rate, 40% fly-ball rate and 40% hard-contact rate against lefties since the deadline. He’s also a big fan of Corbin’s, having taken him deep in two of his 14 at-bats against the left-hander.
Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals ($2,100) – Schoop is back off the injured list, and he’s in a spot to pick up where he left off. Detroit’s second baseman was showing off some power before the injury and hit well in his rehab starts. While his numbers against lefties in August weren’t great, he made a lot of hard contact (37.5%) and got the ball airborne often (37.5% ground-ball rate). And since he hasn’t gotten to Daniel Lynch ($6,000) in any of his seven chances yet, Schoop is due to provide some value on Friday.
Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles ($2,000) – The Boston prospect has already done some damage in the early going, and he’s facing a right-hander with peripheral numbers that indicate Casas could have a strong showing. The Orioles have largely had a shot to win most Austin Voth ($5,700) starts, but the right hander has given up at 54.5% fly-ball rate and 39.4% hard-contact rate to lefties since the deadline. Voth also only has a 14.3% strikeout rate against lefties during that time frame, which means Casas is going to get plenty of chances to put the ball in play.
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,200) – Normally, I’m all in on Houston’s bigger left-handed bat, but Yordan Alvarez ($5,600) can’t seem to get past this hand issue. Friday presents a great bounce-back spot, but there’s too much in question for me to trust him at this price.
Tucker, on the other hand, just took it to the Rangers last series, and now he gets a shot at the returning Michael Lorenzen ($6,800). Lefty bats have a .387 wOBA and 20 home runs against Lorenzen in 13 starts this season.
Hunter Renfroe, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds ($5,100) – Renfroe hasn’t done much damage against left-handed pitching since the deadline, but some of that may be the result of bad luck. He’s hitting .265 with a .296 BABIP during that time, which are fine numbers. But one double and one home run while posting a 31.2% line-drive rate and 39.3% hard-contact rate should lead to greater power production. Nick Lodolo ($8,600) is a decent pitching option to consider rostering on Friday, but he does give up quite a bit of quality contact to righty bats.
Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics ($2,600) – Plain and simple, Sheets mashes right-handed pitching. He’s worth consideration against good righties, but he becomes a must-play as a value option when facing anything less than that. James Kaprielian ($6,600) gives up a lot of fly balls, which means Sheets is in position to build on his .236 ISO against righties since mid-August.
Jake McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies ($3,700) – McCarthy is feeling it right now, and he’s at Coors Field on Friday. Although his numbers are slightly better against lefties than righties recently, a .327 average and .212 ISO since mid-August are still plenty good. While German Marquez ($7,400) continues to generate a lot of grounders from lefty bats, they do have a 40.6% fly-ball rate and 23.1% home-run-to-fly-ball rate against him over his last four starts.
TEAM TO STACK
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers – It wasn’t too long ago Dane Dunning ($6,100) logged 30.6 DKFP in a game. But with the way he’s been throwing since that August 6 start, it may as well have been a year ago. Dunning has registered just 39.9 DKFP across his last five starts, bottoming out at -4.2 DKFP last time out.
Most of his recent struggles have come against right-handed bats, which means Bo Bichette ($5,700) is very much in play. With Alejandro Kirk ($5,200) getting back on track recently, he’s an option if you’re able to pay up at catcher Friday. Whit Merrifield ($3,300) has been quiet lately, but he’s done well against Dunning in the past and provides positional flexibility. Santiago Espinal ($2,600) presents more room to save, and he’s popped off for a pair of multi-hit games recently.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is dk-nfriar) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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 non-public information.
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