Friday features a 14-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
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Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Mets ($10,500) – The Mets have been an unmitigated disaster offensively this season. Every hitter on their roster is underperforming their season expectations, and they managed just one run against the Dodgers on Thursday.
That was in a bullpen game for Los Angeles, and now the Dodgers will have one of their aces on the mound in Buehler. He’s pitched to a 2.09 ERA this season, and he allowed just one run over seven innings with 10 strikeouts against the Mets in his last start. The Mets’ implied team total of 3.2 runs is the second-lowest mark on Friday’s slate, and Buehler is also a massive -249 favorite.
Other Options – Robbie Ray ($9,900), Chris Sale ($9,700)
Blake Snell, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($8,000) – Snell has had a rough first season with the Padres, but he’s turned things around recently. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his past eight starts, and he’s racked up 25 strikeouts over his past 17 innings. He draws a favorable matchup Friday vs. the Phillies, who rank 28th in wRC+ vs. left-handers over the past 14 days.
Other Options – Max Fried ($8,600), Sonny Gray ($8,400)
Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies ($4,500) – Kelly is tough to pass up on Friday. He’s taking on left-hander Austin Gomber ($5,900), and Kelly has torched southpaws to the tune of a 194 wRC+ this season. He’s also playing at Coors Field – the top hitter’s park in the league – and is expected to occupy the cleanup spot in the lineup. Add it all up, and $4,500 is a steal for Kelly.
Other Options – Will Smith ($4,900), Gary Sanchez ($4,800)
Christian Vázquez, Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers ($2,900) – Punting the catcher spot is always a viable strategy, and Vázquez is one of the better punts on Friday. He’s not a huge threat with the bat, but the Red Sox are implied for a sizable 5.8 runs. That’s the fifth-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Yadier Molina ($3,500), Reese McGuire ($2,500)
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($4,900) – The Rockies own the top implied team total on today’s slate at 6.8 runs, and Cron stands out as one of their strongest hitters. They’re facing a left-hander in Tyler Gilbert ($6,700), and Cron has historically raked against southpaws. He’s put together another excellent season vs. left-handers in 2021, posting a 154 wRC+ with a .301 ISO in those matchups.
Other Options – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($6,100), Freddie Freeman ($5,500)
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Detroit Tigers ($3,300) – Gurriel has eligibility at first base and the outfield on Friday, and he’s expected to bat fifth for a potent Blue Jays lineup. Opposing pitcher Tyler Alexander ($5,100) has surrendered a .359 wOBA to opposing RHBs this season, so Gurriel has plenty of upside for his price tag.
Other Options – Luke Voit ($3,400), Christian Walker ($2,600)
D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins ($4,200) – Most of the Yankees seem underpriced tonight, including LeMahieu. They’re taking on Charlie Barnes ($5,500), who has pitched to a 6.48 xERA over 18 1/3 innings this season, and the Yankees are currently implied for 6.1 runs. LeMahieu has always been able to hit left-handed pitching, and he should be at the top of a suddenly resurgent Yankees’ lineup.
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($4,900), Brendan Rodgers ($4,600)
Adam Frazier, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($3,600) – Frazier could be a bit overlooked Friday in a lefty-lefty matchup vs. Matt Moore ($7,200). Moore is coming off six no-hit innings in his last outing, but he’s still been dreadful for most of the season. He owns a 6.07 ERA and a 5.52 FIP, and left-handed batters have posted a very respectable .338 wOBA against him. Frazier has been equally good vs. right- and left-handed pitchers this season, so he’s a viable option at the top of the Padres’ lineup.
Other Options – Tommy Edman ($3,500), Garrett Hampson ($3,300)
José Ramírez, Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels ($5,900) – Ramírez has had an excellent season for Cleveland given the lack of offensive talent around him. He’s posted a 130 wRC+ while providing his usual combo of power and speed. He’s racked up 27 homers to go along with 14 steals, which is an excellent combination for fantasy purposes.
He’s displayed the majority of his power against right-handed pitchers this season – he’s posted a .324 ISO in that split – and he’ll be facing a right-hander on Friday in Jaime Barria ($5,800). Barria has surrendered a .368 wOBA against LHBs in limited MLB action this season, resulting in a 5.96 FIP. Ramírez has the clear edge in this matchup.
Other Options – Rafael Devers ($5,800), Manny Machado ($5,400)
Santiago Espinal, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Detroit Tigers ($2,700) – Espinal is not one of the Blue Jays’ household names, but he’s batting a smidgen higher than usual in the lineup with George Springer on the IL. He’s more than held his own this season offensively, and he’s posted a 110 wRC+ vs. left-handers in particular. He’s a nice way to make Blue Jays’ stacks a bit more affordable, and he has some standalone value as well.
Other Options – Josh Donaldson ($3,500), Tommy La Stella ($2,400)
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,400) – It’s been a bit of a lost season for Story. His numbers are down a bit, and he’s been playing in limbo in his final season with the Rockies. It’s still very confusing why the Rockies didn’t move him before the trade deadline, opting instead to grab a compensatory pick when he signs elsewhere in free agency.
Story clearly isn’t happy, but it hasn’t affected his play. He’s been significantly better since the All-Star break, posting a 124 wRC+, and he now gets to face a mediocre southpaw at Coors Field. That has historically been Story’s best split, and he owns a 146 wRC+ in those matchups this season.
Other Options – Bo Bichette ($5,200), Corey Seager ($4,600)
Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Colorado Rockies ($3,200) – Shortstop has become a star-laden position over the past few seasons, so it’s typically one of the toughest positions to find value. That said, Ahmed checks a lot of boxes on Friday. He’s expected to bat leadoff for the Diamondbacks, which makes him extremely cheap for a leadoff hitter at Coors Field. He’ll also be on the positive side of his splits against Gomber given his 128 wRC+ against left-handers this season.
Other Options – Amed Rosario ($4,100), Jake Cronenworth ($3,600)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins ($5,100) – Judge, Giancarlo Stanton ($4,600) and Joey Gallo ($4,400) all seem underpriced in the Yankees’ outfield, but Judge is the best hitter of the bunch. He’s crushed against left-handers this season, posting a 159 wRC+, and he’s expected to bat second in the Yankees’ lineup. That gives him the best chance out of the trio to rack up at least five at-bats.
Other Options – Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,700), Teoscar Hernandez ($5,000)
Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,400) – I love Joe. What an absolutely great baseball name. He should grow out a handlebar mustache and we should give him one of those old-timey baseball nicknames. I think Connor “Morning” Joe makes a lot of sense, but I’m open to suggestions.
Anyways, Joe is expected to bat leadoff for the Rockies on Friday, which makes him one of the best pure values on the slate. He’s posted an excellent 134 wRC+ vs. left-handers this season and a 135 wRC+ when batting out of the leadoff spot. He’s also launched four homers over just 38 at-bats when batting first in the Rockies’ lineup.
Other Options – Randal Grichuk ($3,600), Myles Straw ($2,700)
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