Friday night is the kickoff to the weekend (what’s a weekend, anymore?) and usually a night to get a loaded MLB slate. We have the loaded part with 12 games, buttttttt we don’t exactly have the pitching options. Best of luck trying to find two pitchers you feel overly confident about. When you figure it out, let me know, because I’m still figuring it out myself.
As always, feel free to follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Biggest Moneyline Favorite
Note: This section highlights the pitcher whose team is the largest favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Walker Buehler, $10,200, LAD (-250) vs. COL (+210) —Oh yipee, another day we get to talk about the Dodgers rotation.
I want no part of Buehler tonight. Yes, he’s facing one of the worst road offenses in the league in the Rockies, but do you truly want to pay top dollar for him right now? He’s averaging 10.2 DKFP over four starts, with only 17 strikeouts and nine walks through 19.0 innings. For reference, he walked all of 37 through 182.1 innings last season. He’s not getting batters to chase pitches like he was last year, either, which is a concern. I don’t understand why he’s the most expensive pitcher on this slate, but to be fair, not many guys are all that enticing. Buehler is nothing more than a tournament play in this spot. He enters this game with a 6.38 FIP, a 21.3 K% and an 11.3 BB%.
Other notable favorites: Adam Plutko ($6,300; -200) vs. Tigers, Jake Odorizzi ($9,000; -155) vs. Royals
Highest Projected Total
BOS (-120, 5.5 runs) vs. BAL (+104, 4.5 runs) 10 runs — The only double-digit total on the board as I write this Friday morning, the Red Sox are one of four teams with a 5.5 total. They’ll be taking on John Means ($5,400), who’ll open this game, followed by Jorge Lopez ($5,500). Neither of these guys should be striking fear into you and this presents a good spot for the Sox. Neither of these pitchers has thrown much this season, but if we focus on Lopez — who we should see more than Means — that’s the matchup to target. He posted some putrid numbers last season, allowing an overall .360 wOBA, a 5.55 FIP and 27 home runs through 123.2 innings with the Royals. Both sides of the plate hit him hard, but lefties had the advantage, tagging him for a .405 wOBA and a 5.99 FIP with 15 home runs. This could present a great spot for Alex Verdugo ($4,400) and Mitch Moreland ($4,600), specifically.
Other notable team totals: MIN (5.5) vs. KCR, LAD (5.5) vs. COL
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PHI @ ATL —Chance that this game will start in a delay but once everything clears out, should be good to go from there. Not a big concern.
BOS @ BAL — Rain will be in the area, but doesn’t look as if it will disrupt this game. It’ll be worth checking out closer to first pitch but for now, you should target as normal.
Splits to Start
Note: This section will now show the combined stats from 2019 and 2020
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
Worst vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Nick Margevicius, .437, 5.99
Andrew Heaney, .368, 4.75
Adrian Houser, .358, 4.73
Best vs. LHB, wOBA, FIP
Dallas Keuchel, .254, 3.09
Walker Buehler, .263, 2.91
Max Fried, .269, 3.27
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
Worst vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Logan Webb, .353, 4.27
Robbie Ray .347, 5.13
Jon Lester, .331, 4.48
Best vs. RHB, wOBA, FIP
Adrian Houser, .253, 3.50
Anthony DeSclafani, .260, 3.42
Walker Buehler, .285 3.76
Pitcher to Build Around
Jake Odorizzi, MIN at KCR, $9.000 —So, now that you’ve had a chance to take a look at tonight’s pitchers, are you excited for anyone? No? Didn’t think so. Odorizzi isn’t someone that will go out and throw a complete game with 12 strikeouts, but he does enough to warrant a spot on your roster. He’s ONLY faced the Royals so far this season and that’s who he gets again tonight. He’s allowed four runs on seven hits through seven innings, which isn’t great, but he’s also struck out eight. He’s getting stretched out more as time goes on and he should be at almost full capacity on Friday. The Royals are among the top teams in the league in strikeout rate against righties at 25.2%, so, on a pitching ravaged slate, Odorizzi could be your guy.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Mike Moustakas, CIN at STL, $5,100 — I’m really digging this spot for Moose, facing Dakota Hudson ($8,300) in St. Louis. Hudson REALLY struggled against lefties last season, allowing a .347 wOBA, 11 home runs and 44.5% hard-hit rate. Then we look at the numbers for Moustakas against righties since last season and he’s posted a sparkling .342 wOBA and .266 ISO with 26 HR and 66 RBI. If you’re a left-handed bat on the Reds, you’re a target this evening.
Save Big by Drafting
Edwin Encarnacion, CWS at CHC, $3,700 —Encarnacion is a very interesting play tonight because he’s always checking in at very low ownership. If people are stacking the White Sox, more times than not, they use Jose Abreu ($4,100) in the first base slot; thus, leaving Encarnacion on the board. The wind will be blowing out toward left field tonight and with the lefty Jon Lester ($9,500) on the mound for the Cubs, I’m liking this spot for a cheap big fly. Since last season, Encarnacion has a ridiculous .352 ISO against lefties over 149 plate appearances. I’m more than willing to take a shot at a cheap salary.
Favorite Team To Stack
LAD vs. COL (vs. Jon Gray) — While I may be sick of writing about the Dodgers as big favorites, I’m all about stacking their offense against Gray. His strikeouts are way down compared to last season, with only a 14.2 K% compared to 23.5% in 2019. He’s allowing more fly balls and that’s not a great thing to pair with a 42.2% hard-hit rate. The Dodgers are first in the league in wOBA and second in ISO against righties at .351 and .242, respectively. They’re an expensive stack, but should be worth the price of admission.
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