Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Lance Lynn, Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers ($9,700) – Max Scherzer ($10,500) headlines tonight’s pitching slate, but he has a brutal matchup vs. the Dodgers. They rank second in wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, despite the fact that they’ve played without Cody Bellinger ($3,600) for most of the season. They were first in that department last season, so the Dodgers have the potential to be even better against right-handers moving forward.
With that in mind, I prefer Lynn at a slightly cheaper price tag. He’s taking on the Tigers, which is basically the exact opposite of facing the Dodgers. They own the second-highest strikeout rate vs. right-handers this season, and their implied team total of 3.9 runs is tied for the second-lowest mark on the slate. Lynn has been a bit overshadowed by Carlos Rodon for the White Sox, but he’s pitched to a sparkling 2.06 ERA and 10.3 K/9 through his first 14 starts.
Other Options – Max Scherzer ($10,500), Lance McCullers ($9,400)
JT Brubaker, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($7,000) – The best Vegas data on tonight’s slate belongs to Adrian Houser ($8,300), but I actually prefer Brubaker on the other side of that matchup. The big difference is that Houser has virtually no strikeout upside – he’s pitched to a 7.14 K/9 this season – while Brubaker has plenty. He’s averaged just under a strikeout per inning this season, and the Brewers own the seventh-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers. Brubaker is also significantly cheaper than Houser, which could allow you to fit an extra stud batter into your lineups.
Other Options – Adrian Houser ($8,300), Sonny Gray ($7,500), Drew Smyly ($6,700)
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,100) – Perez signed the richest contract extension in Royals’ history during the offseason, and he has responded with another excellent year behind the dish. He’s also excelled offensively, specifically against left-handed pitchers. He’s posted a 186 wRC+ in that split, and he’ll be facing a mediocre left-hander Friday in J.A. Happ ($6,800). Happ has pitched to a 5.83 ERA and a 5.51 xFIP this season, and RHB’s have crushed him to the tune of a .384 wOBA. The Royals are implied for 5.1 runs in this matchup, so there’s plenty to like about Perez on tonight’s slate.
Other Options – Gary Sanchez ($5,000), Yadier Molina ($4,500)
Elias Díaz, Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($3,800) – A catcher at Coors Field is always going to be viable, and Díaz has been red hot recently. He’s homered in three straight games, and he finished with 26.0 DKFP yesterday vs. the Cardinals. His hitting numbers for the season aren’t great, but he has been at his best when facing a right-hander at Coors.
Other Options – Yermin Mercedes ($3,600), Jorge Alfaro ($2,800)
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals @ Colorado Rockies ($4,800) – Goldschmidt has been priced up a touch after hitting a homer yesterday, but he’s still extremely affordable for Coors. He’s expected to bat second for the Cardinals, whose implied team total of 6.3 runs is tied for the top mark on the slate. It’s also an exploitable matchup vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez ($4,900), who has pitched to a 5.81 ERA and a 6.36 xERA so far this season.
Other Options – Yuli Gurriel ($5,100), Carlos Santana ($4,300)
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs ($4,200) – Votto is not the same player that he was in his prime, but he’s still a quality hitter against right-handed pitching. He’s posted a 142 wRC+ in that split this season, and he’ll be facing a subpar right-hander on Friday in Alec Mills ($6,200). Mills improbably threw a no-hitter last year, but he’s made up for it by allowing hits in bunches to left-handed batters this season. They own a .420 wOBA against him, and he’s posted a 5.81 FIP in that split.
Other Options – Ji-Man Choi ($3,700), LaMonte Wade Jr ($3,700)
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros @ Cleveland Indians ($5,800) – Altuve has somewhat quietly had a massive first half of the season. He’s already launched 18 homers, which puts him on pace to break his previous career-high. He’ll be on the positive side of his splits tonight vs. Sam Hentges ($5,800), who has surrendered a dreadful .433 wOBA to right-handed batters this season. The Astros’ implied team total of 5.2 runs is the fourth-highest non-Coors mark on the slate.
Other Options – Ryan McMahon ($5,000), Tommy Edman ($4,600)
David Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,200) – The top non-Coors implied team total on Friday belongs to the Angels. They’re currently implied for 5.5 runs vs. left-hander Keegan Akin ($5,000), who has been nothing short of a disaster this season. He’s pitched to a 7.11 ERA over 38 innings, and he’s allowed a ton of hard contact.
Fletcher isn’t someone who possesses a ton of upside – he has just 10 homers in 1,503 career plate appearances – but he’s simply too cheap as the Angels projected leadoff hitter. Historically, leadoff batters with a comparable salary and implied team total have averaged 8.29 DKFP per game, which is more than enough to pay off his current price tag.
Other Options – Jazz Chisholm Jr ($3,600), Luis Rengifo ($2,600)
Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,700) – Let’s stick with the Angels. Rendon is an outstanding hitter, and while he’s gotten off to a slow start this season, he has started to heat up. He’s scored at least 8.0 DKFP in five of his past six games, and he posted his best wRC+ of the year during June. Rendon has also historically feasted on left-handed pitching, so I like his chances vs. Akin.
Other Options – Nolan Arenado ($5,800)
Luis Arraez, Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals ($3,800) – This game has the potential to be fruitful from a fantasy perspective. We’ve already touched on a few Royals, but the Twins are implied for 5.0 runs of their own. They’re taking on right-hander Brady Singer ($6,500), who has pitched to a 4.70 ERA this season. Some of his advanced metrics suggest he’s an improvement candidate moving forward, but the Twins are one of the better offenses in the league.
Arraez doesn’t have a ton of pop, but he has the potential to win a batting title someday. He owns a 107 wRC+ vs. right-handers this season.
Other Options – Cavan Biggio ($4,200), Josh Fuentes ($3,500)
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($5,800) – Story was hitless last night for the Rockies, but he’s in another excellent spot on Friday. He’s taking on right-hander John Oviedo ($5,400), who has pitched to a 5.23 ERA and 5.30 FIP this season. He’s been even worse on the road – his ERA balloons to 6.91 – and Coors Field is probably the toughest road venue in all of baseball.
Other Options – Bo Bichette ($5,400), Tim Anderson ($5,100)
Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals @ Colorado Rockies ($3,400) – DeJong is cheap, can hit right-handed pitching and is playing at Coors Field. That’s pretty much all you need to know. For what it’s worth, he was 2-4 in yesterday’s contest as well, resulting in 8.0 DKFP.
Other Options – Gleyber Torres ($3,900), Miguel Rojas ($3,200)
Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,100) – This is about as cheap as Winker has been this season, and he definitely has the potential for a huge game on Friday. He’s blossomed into quite possibly the best hitter in baseball against right-handed pitching, posting a ridiculous 203 wRC+ in that split this season. That gives him a massive advantage vs. Alec Mills, so don’t be surprised if he puts one over the fence tonight.
Other Options – Charlie Blackmon ($5,500), Dylan Carlson ($3,900)
Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins ($3,400) – Soler is a feast-or-famine hitter, and there’s been a lot more famine than feast so far this season. Still, he has prodigious power, evidenced by the 48 homers he hit back in 2019. He has been hitting second for the Royals recently, which gives him the opportunity for multiple at bats vs. J.A. Happ. He’s a nice cheap source of power on tonight’s slate.
Other Options – Tyler Naquin ($3,400; questionable), Yonathan Daza ($3,300), Myles Straw ($3,000)
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