DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

13 games are included in Friday's main slate as we return from the All-Star Break. Be sure to confirm starting pitchers, as team's rotations weren't fully set as I sat down to write.

Pitching Overview

Gerrit Cole ($11,500) leads the way and is going to be a cash game staple with no clear challenger. Cole is 2-for-3 against the Rangers to date, having allowed 13 runs and 17 hits over 16.1 innings against them, though eight runs and nine hits came in one outing. He's fanned 29, giving him big potential even if there's a slight risk of combustibility. It'll obviously be hot in Arlington, and early reports indicate some decent wind as well, so maybe GPPers will want to look elsewhere. But again, he's a high-owned cash game target.

Domingo German ($10,100) is the only other five-figure arm on the docket and will be a very popular pivot. The Yankees are huge favorites (-270), and Toronto ranks 25th with a .299 wOBA against righties, adding an 85 wRC+ and 24.6 percent fan rate. The only real knock is it looks too obvious.

Dinelson Lamet ($9,800) come next price-wise, and looks like an anomaly at DK, as he's priced at only $5,600 at FanDuel, checking in as the slates second-cheapest pitcher, in front of only Taylor Cole ($4,300 DK, $5,500 FD). Lamet is assured of coming with the absolute lowest of ownership, and he did fan seven in five frames in his first start, But it's really challenging to justify the price. Rounding out the 9k options are Mike Clevinger ($9,600) in a difficult matchup with Minnesota, and Jon Gray ($9,000), who's entered the break in good form, but I'll never take a chance on him at Coors Field at this number, and he has struggled against the Reds previously (see below).

A plethora of lefties are available but not many present as well as hoped. Caleb Smith ($8,600 vs. NYM), Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,000 vs. LAD) and Robbie Ray ($7,900 at STL) all face top-13 offenses against southpaws, with the Cardinals having the lowest wOBA at .322 while the Mets fan the most at 23.7 percent. Dallas Keuchel ($8,200) is an interesting case. He's not a strikeout guy but faces a Padres side that whiffs 26.2 percent of the time while posting a 97 wRC+. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in a start and has improved in each outing. 

Jason Vargas ($7,800) gets his own section. I think most realize he pitching beyond his means, even if his 3.77 ERA isn't a huge difference from his 4.98 xFIP. He's going to be insanely popular as a second option against Miami and their league-worst .278 wOBA and 73 wRC+. But they fan only 21.4 percent of the time, and he averages only 7.9 K per nine. You're banking on a lengthy outing with limited damage for 2x or better value. I greatly prefer Danny Duffy ($6,800) against Detroit, as the Tigers ,294 wOBA and 82 wRC+ is nearly as anemic, they fan 25.9 percent of the time, and Duffy held them to two runs and four hits over seven frames earlier in the year, striking out seven. 

Chase Anderson ($6,300) is the only other cheap arm that moves the needle a little for me, largely thanks to the Brewers being -175 favorites. He's been worth 9.3 DraftKings points (DKP) or more in three straight, and the Giants' .293 wOBA should help his cause in an effort for 2x value.

Key Value/Chalk

Chalk Friday is defined by Coors Field with the Rockies and Reds, and the Yankees facing Aaron Sanchez ($4,900). Sanchez is 3-12 with a 6.16 ERA and 5.33 xFIP, having allowed four or more runs in six of his last seven starts, including seven to the Yankees over 5.1 frames. DJ LeMahieu ($5,300) has hit safely in nine of 10 with multiple hits six times, and has a .378 wOBA and 137 wRC+ while going 3-for-3 earlier against Sanchez. Didi Gregorius ($4,300) offers a bargain buy in, owning a .360 wOBA against righties and a team-best 8-of-17 mark with a 1.087 OPS against Sanchez if you're a BvP guy.

Speaking of BvP, it's impossible to ignore the Reds' collective success against the aforementioned Gray. Derek Dietrich ($4,300) is 7-of-14 with a homer against, Scooter Gennett ($3,800) is 6-of-10, Yasiel Puig ($4,900) 7-of-17 and Joey Votto ($4,100) 7-of-12. All limited sample sizes, but the prices aren't prohibitive and they make for a chalky, chalky stack.

The opposite side of the Coors' matchup gives us the Reds' Sonny Gray ($8,800) and his 55.8 percent ground ball rate. I'm not here to suggest fading Rockie bats at home, but if Gray's tendencies hold, the high priced bats look like passes. Charlie Blackmon ($5,400) is in a league of his own (.446 wOBA, 164 wRC+, .335 ISO), and David Dahl ($4,600, .365 wOBA, 111 wRC+, .223 ISO) looks like the only reasonable pivot. 

Dodgers-Red Sox checks in with a total of 11 and nearly even winning odds for both sides, so we're looking at decent 5 to 6 run projections for both offenses. Cody Bellinger ($5,000) is an obvious target, while Chris Taylor ($4,100) offers a cheaper in to the Dodgers in a favorable spot against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,000), as he owns a .378 wOBA and .284 ISO against opposite-handed bats. The usual core four or five for the Red Sox all merit consideration, with Rafael Devers' ($5,200) possibly being the best bet given Maeda's struggles against lefties.

Seattle-Los Angeles Angels looks like a sneaky spot for offense with a total posted at 10 runs. Mike Leake ($7,900) has struggled on the road, owning a 5.08 ERA vs. 3.42 at home, allowing a whopping 2.8 HR/9. That obviously makes Mike Trout ($5,300) and Shohei Ohtani ($4,800) attractive, while this could be a spot for a long ball from Justin Upton ($3,800) for GPP gamblers. More on the Mariners offense below.


Mariners vs. Taylor Cole/Felix Pena (Angels)

Daniel Vogelbach (1B - $4,000), Omar Narvaez (C - $4,200), J.P. Crawford (SS - $3,700)

Pena will relieve Cole after the first inning and hasn't been terrible in long relief. That said, he's allowing a .392 wOBA to lefties (.412 at home), of whom the Mariners have a decent amount. Vogelbach is crushing right-handers (.412 wOBA, 170 wRC+, .322 ISO), and while Narvaez has cooled after a hot start, he's still carrying a .361 wOBA and 132 wRC+. Crawford comes cheap at a position we can often punt, and boasts a .366 wOBA and .229 ISO in this spot.

Astros vs. Jesse Chavez (Rangers)

George Springer (OF - $4,800), Alex Bregman (SS - $4,800), Jose Altuve (2B - $4,400)

Chavez has struggled at home, particularly against righties, allowing a .391 wOBA and .945 OPS. Springer and his .398 wOBA, 156 wRC+ and .282 ISO is where I'd build around, and if we can confirm wind is blowing in Globe Life Park, this becomes by far my favorite offense to target Friday. Bregman needs to be monitored after leaving Thursday's game after taking a grounder to the chin, and if he's out, Myles Straw ($4,100) gives a little salary relief as a replacement. Altuve was cranking up things prior to the All-Star break, and while he's far better against lefties, I'll trust Chavez's struggles paired with Altuve's spot in the top third of the order. Yuli Gurriel ($5,400) has favorable splits and was white hot entering the break, and his price reflects as such. 

Brewers vs. Shaun Anderson (Giants)

Christian Yelich (OF - $5,200), Eric Thames (1B - $4,800), Keston Hiura (2B - $4,300)

There's rarely a bad time to build around Christian Yelich, who sports a .484 wOBA, 202 wRC+ and .402 ISO against righties, while Thames has a .366 wOBA and .265 ISO.  Anderson has awkward home/road splits, struggling at home against lefties, but on the road against righties, allowing a .390 wOBA and .925 OPS in the latter instance. That has me eying a few less obvious Brewer bats rather than Mike Moustakas ($4,700) and Yasmani Grandal ($4,900) to round this out. While I'm a bigger fan of Hiura at a lower price, his .229 ISO suggests more potential than a slumping Lorenzo Cain ($4,200) or Jesus Aguilar ($4,300), who is far better against southpaws.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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