This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We've got two games taking place Friday, both in the National League. It's a win-or-go-home game between the Padres and the Cardinals, and then Game 2 between the Cubs and Marlins, which was delayed by rain. We've got slim pickings by MLB standards, but here are some DFS recommendations nevertheless. First pitch is at 2:08 p.m. ET, by the way. Get your rosters in early!
First, let's start with Adrian Morejon ($6,400), who is listed as the probable starter for the Padres on Friday. The thing is, Morejon pitched 1.1 innings in Game 2 on Thursday. This is looking like a bullpen game, so I wouldn't bother on this front. Meanwhile, Jack Flaherty ($8,400) is starting for the Cardinals. Flaherty was stellar last year, but this season he had a 4.10 ERA. Petco Park is usually a pitcher's park, but the Padres ranked third in runs scored this year, so this is still a tough matchup.
Pitching-wise, I'm vacillating between Yu Darvish ($9,000) and Sixto Sanchez ($7,800). The Cubs and Marlins had basically the same offense this season. Seriously, they finished within two runs of each other and within two points of OPS of each other. However, the Cubs certainly have better names in the lineup, and the more proven pitcher. Darvish has always been an elite strikeout guy, but this year he curtailed the homers and posted a 2.22 FIP in 12 starts. Sanchez was considered an elite prospect, and so far he's looked solid, with a 3.49 FIP in seven starts. I'm concerned that he posted an 11.57 ERA over his final two starts. Still, you need two pitchers in your lineup, and I like these two the best.
TOP PICK/VALUE PLAY
I'm going to combine these categories into one section, because there are only four teams playing and I have two stacks to recommend. Fernando Tatis ($5,600) came up huge in Game 2, but he actually struggled a bit down the stretch of the regular season. That's why I'm recommending Manny Machado ($5,400) instead. He posted a .950 OPS with 16 homers and six stolen bases this season. Oh, and if you are worried about Petco Park, he had an 1.153 OPS at home in 2020.
The Marlins are a team to largely skip today I feel, but I wanted to recommend at least one Miami player. Since Darvish is a righty, I wanted to get a lefty bat in here, so I'm going with Corey Dickerson ($3,500) as a value play. The southpaw had a bit of a down year, but this was a weird season for Miami. He batted at least .300 in each of his prior two seasons. Dickerson also has an .844 OPS versus righties since 2018, and he hit better on the road this year.
Like I said, this is almost certainly going to be a bullpen game for the Padres. A lot of San Diego's bullpen was used just last night, and frankly the last couple of days. The Cardinals have been racking up runs in this series, even when losing Game 2, and I don't think the Padres are about to shut down the Cards. Goldschmidt batted .304 this year, and while Morejon may not be in the game long, Goldy has a .971 OPS versus lefties since 2018. Wong doesn't have power, but he gets on base, as he had a .350 OBP this year. He also has an .811 OPS on the road since 2018. You have to have a catcher in your lineup, which is why I figured I'd recommend Molina. He still managed a .262 average this season and has that "playoff experience" people like to talk about. In Game 2, he picked up his 100th career postseason hit.
Sanchez is a rookie, and despite his big arm, he only struck out 7.62 batters per nine innings. Also, he had a 4.50 ERA on the road, admittedly in a small sample size. The big bats for the Cubs struggled this season, but I'm not going to write them off entirely. Maybe this is the time for them to break through. Rizzo's issues were mostly against lefties this year. Against righties he still had an .800 OPS, and he has a .910 OPS versus righties since 2018. Bryant had a bizarre year, especially for a man with an MVP to his name, but he still has a career .280/.380/.508 slash line. Heyward, meanwhile, is a lefty who actually had a slightly better year than expected. He managed an .848 OPS with a .936 OPS versus righties.