Thirteen games on the main slate to kick off the weekend. There is a bit of weather that could get in the way of a few contests, but can navigate those well while assessing the best DFS options for Friday.
For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Guardians and the Tigers has been postponed due to inclement weather.
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers ($9,000) - Looks like the bad weather could delay first pitch, but it shouldn’t create problems beyond that. The Tigers got to Bieber for a few runs when they squared off on Sunday, but Cleveland’s right-hander still punched out 10 in his fifth quality start of the season. The Tigers don’t make much hard contact against right-handed pitching, and their 24.7% strikeout rate against righties is the fifth-highest in baseball. There’s simply no better combination of opponent vs. pitcher form on this slate.
Other Options – Sean Manaea ($10,000), Bailey Ober ($8,000)
Garrett Whitlock, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($6,800) – Whitlock has been frustrating of late, but his stuff is too good for his downward trend to maintain much longer. Although the wind at Fenway could be problematic against righties, this Orioles lineup is top five in soft-contact rate and infield-fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching. Combine that with Whitlock’s strikeout potential, and the right-hander is due to bounce back in a big way Friday.
Other Options – Jeffrey Springs ($6,300)
Pete Alonso, New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($5,400) – Rain could delay the start of this game, but the real impact appears to be wind blowing out to left. Bailey Falter ($7,300) has a 46.4% fly-ball rate against right-handed hitters, which is asking for trouble against Alonso on a normal day, never mind in these conditions.
Alonso is also hitting left-handed pitching much better this month. While his OPS against lefties in May is only .786, he’s rocking a .261 ISO and a whopping 50% hard-contact rate against left-handed pitching in the month of May.
Trevor Story, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,500) – Another game where the wind will be blowing out to left field. Red Sox right-handed bats won’t get the advantage of facing a lefty, but Kyle Bradish ($6,000) is a nice consolation prize.
For Story, it’s all the same at this point. Six of his nine home runs this month have come off right-handed pitching, along with one of his three doubles, leading to a .302 May ISO. Story also has a 52.3% fly-ball rate and 38.6% hard-contact rate against right-handers this month, so he’s in a big spot whether or not the wind provides any aid.
Other Options – Manny Machado ($5,100)
Christian Vazquez, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,100) – Vazquez is as good a salary saver as you’ll find on Friday. He’s got a .402 wOBA and a .420 OBP against right-handed pitching this month. Boston’s catcher has made minimal soft-contact against righties, and his 39.5% fly-ball rate against right-handers in May could play large in windy conditions at Fenway against Bradish.
Luke Voit, San Diego Padres vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,900) – Voit hasn’t done a ton of damage against left-handed pitching, but he’s still generated a 37.5% hard-contact rate against them this month. He’s also in the midst of a little hitting streak, so he’s clearly seeing the ball well. Jose Quintanta ($8,300) has been good for the Pirates in 2022, but he’s coming off a rough outing. Yet, he hasn’t given up a home run since April 28. The only homers he’s given up this season have come from righty bats, making Voit a candidate to end Quintana’s homerless streak (and vice versa).
Other Options – Eduardo Escobar ($3,400),
Mitch Garver ($3,800)
J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,000) – Martinez has been on a tear this month, and he’s particularly crushing right-handed pitching. Four of his five home runs hit this season have come this month and against right-handed pitching. Six of the eight doubles he has hit in May were also against righties, leading to his .505 wOBA and .269 ISO against righties this month. Given his 44.2% hard-contact rate, 1.9% soft-contact rate and 28.5% line-drive rate against righties in May, it’s no surprise he’s had so much success over the last 21 games.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners ($5,000) – Alvarez hasn’t exactly thrived in the latter half of May. That doesn’t always bode well for a streaky hitter like him, but it also means he’s that much closer to his next hot streak. With Alvarez still generating a 38.1% hard-contact rate against righties during this 10-game cold stretch, he’s due to add on to the damage he’s done against Chris Flexen ($5,300) in the past (3-for-7 with two home runs). It also helps that Flexen’s hard-contact rate and fly-ball rate against lefties this month are both 47.4%.
Other Options – Christian Yelich ($4,900), Bryce Harper ($5,800)
Andrew McCutchen, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals ($3,700) – Cutch only has the one extra-base hit against righties this month, but he’s making a ton of hard contact (40%). Although Dakota Hudson ($5,400) has only given up a pair of extra-base hits to right-handed hitters this month, they’re getting to him quite often (12-for-35). With that low soft-contact rate he has against righty hitters matching McCutchen’s against righty pitchers (13.3%), the Milwaukee OF is in position to get a few quality offerings to work with.
Trevor Larnach, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals ($2,300) – Larnach has a tendency to strike out often against right-handed pitchers, but Brad Keller ($7,000) struggles mightily in that regard against left-handed hitters. The KC righty also doesn’t generate much soft contact from lefties (11.1% soft-contact rate), which means Larnach will get opportunities to add to the 10 extra-bases hits he has in 26 games played this season — six of those hits coming against righties.
Other Options –
Orlando Arcia ($2,000), Kike Hernandez ($3,500)
TEAM TO STACK
Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles – Stacking right-handed bats against Bradish is the way to go Friday — or any day he’s starting. As much as left-handed bats have a 42.9% hard-contact rate against him, he’s kept a lot of their contact on the ground. Still, Alex Verdugo ($3,300) and Franchy Cordero ($2,700) are solid value bats to turn to.
But Boston right-handed bats are the way to go on Friday. Righties have a 51.4% hard-contact rate against Bradish this month, making Story and Martinez great bats to feature. Vazquez is a great way to save at catcher, and he’s been hitting well since Boston’s series vs. Houston. Kike Hernandez ($3,500) is another strong value atop Boston’s order, as much as his May numbers against righties aren’t the least exciting of the four Boston righty bats mentioned.
Other Options – New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies
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