This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
After a slate of mostly day games Thursday, we're back to another busy night of baseball Friday. There are 14 games that will make up the main slate on DraftKings, so let's get right down to business and discuss some players to consider for your lineups.
Jack Flaherty ($9,400) was considered to be one of the top pitchers in baseball heading in 2020, so it was a major disappointment for him to finish the season with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He only has a 1.07 WHIP for his career, so it's encouraging to see him back at it with a 1.02 WHIP through his first six starts this season. Although his 25.9 percent strikeout rate is three percentage points lower than his career mark, this could be an opportune time to deploy him at home against the Rockies, who entered Thursday with the seventh-worst OPS on the road this season.
As we continue to look for favorable matchups to exploit, Trevor Rogers' ($8,800) home start against the Brewers is extremely appealing. The Brewers entered Thursday with the eighth-worst OPS in baseball and are still missing their star outfielder Christian Yelich (back), who has returned to the IL. Rogers has been electric through his first six starts, posting a 2.59 FIP, 1.06 WHIP and a 33.8 percent strikeout rate. It's also worth noting that the Brewers have struck out the fourth-most times in baseball.
Matt Shoemaker ($6,400) was crushed in his last start, giving up nine runs (eight earned) across 3.1 innings against the Royals. He didn't record a single strikeout and has generated just two total strikeouts over his last three starts. He's mostly struggled this season, but one of his lone bright spots was his season opener against the Tigers, whom he held to one run while striking out five hitters across six innings. The Tigers have the worst OPS in baseball, so Shoemaker could be worth taking a chance on for their rematch.
Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100) is on an epic heater right now. During his current 12-game hitting streak, he is 25-for-52 (.481) with six home runs and four doubles. He has a favorable opportunity to keep things rolling against Patrick Corbin ($6,600), who has a 1.76 WHIP and has allowed seven home runs across his first 23.1 innings.
Wade Miley ($6,700) has a 2.67 ERA through his first five starts, but he's unlikely to sustain that level of success throughout the entire season. His FIP isn't as impressive at 3.92, and he's been aided by a .203 BABIP allowed. This could still be a good opportunity to deploy Jose Ramirez ($5,600), who has a .306 ISO to go along with an impressive 11.8 percent strikeout rate.
It's been an ugly start to the season for Kyle Schwarber ($3,200), who only has a .147 ISO and a 62 wRC+. He's never finished with an ISO under .204, though, so don't be surprised if he goes on a power run in short order. Playing Friday at Yankee Stadium could help. He'll also be facing a pitcher in Jameson Taillon ($8,300) who has allowed five home runs across 22.1 innings.
Tyler O'Neill ($2,800) misses a lot of pitches, posting a 33.7 percent strikeout rate for his career. However, he's also shown plenty of power, which he has taken to another level this season with a .250 ISO. He could be worth deploying against his former teammate Austin Gomber ($6,200), who has a 5.90 ERA and a 4.65 FIP during his first season with the Rockies.
Stacks to Consider
After logging 5.1 innings in his season debut, Skubal hasn't pitched more than four innings in a start since. His problem has been walks since he's issued 14 of them across 22 innings. Another complication is that he's already given up eight home runs. That could prove to be a dangerous combination against a Twins lineup that is loaded with right-handed hitting power. Although Garver's batting average has been awful again, he has already hit six home runs. That's more like the hitter that we saw slug 31 home runs in 2019.
If the Blue Jays had better options, they probably wouldn't be starting Stripling at this point. He struggled with a 1.50 WHIP last season and has a 1.74 WHIP across his first three outings this season. He has faced some tough lineups, though, in the Yankees, Angels and Braves. The problem is that he'll be facing another one here in the Astros. Brantley might not be the biggest name in their lineup, but he does a great job of getting on base, entering 2021 with three straight seasons of a wOBA of at least .359.
Canning's career is off to a mediocre start with a 4.58 ERA and a 4.48 FIP through 34 appearances, 32 of which were starts. He's allowed 1.5 HR/9, which is a scary stat for someone facing the dangerous Dodgers lineup. Also, the Dodgers will receive the benefit of having the DH with this game being played on the road. That could mean that Beaty finds his way into the lineup. He's shown an excellent eye at the plate in his limited plated appearances this season, posting a 19.5 strikeout rate and a 14.6 percent walk rate.