This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Friday will be a busy night across baseball with 14 games on the schedule. There are a lot of struggling pitchers set to take the mound, which could lead to a lot of scoring in several games. Let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to consider for your DraftKings entries.
It's difficult to have a lot of faith in Blake Snell ($8,300) given his 1.55 WHIP and inability to pitch deep into games. However, he has a favorable matchup at home against the Rockies, who only have a .578 OPS on the road. The last time he faced them at home, he allowed one run and recorded 11 strikeouts over six innings. Overall, Snell has a 2.56 FIP and a 1.04 WHIP at home this season.
The Mets have to be thrilled with the initial returns from Taijuan Walker ($9,000), who has a 2.44 ERA and a 3.06 FIP through 15 starts. He's normally done a good job of keeping hitters inside the ball park and he's taken that to another level this season, allowing just 0.6 HR/9. Even his strikeout rate has jumped up to 25.9 percent, which is four percentage points higher than his career mark. He has an excellent opportunity to keep things rolling versus the Pirates, who have the worst OPS in baseball.
Alek Manoah's ($7,000) start against the Orioles was rained out Thursday, so now he'll take the mound on the road Friday against the Rays. He also faced them in his last start, pitching seven shutout innings while striking out 10 batters. He has a 29.1 percent strikeout rate for the season and could end up being a significant bargain given his salary.
The Nationals suffered an embarrassing loss Thursday, but at least Juan Soto ($5,300) stayed hot at the plate. He posted his third straight multi-hit performance and he is now 25-for-72 (.347) with three home runs and five doubles over his last 20 games. Trying to slow him down will be Logan Webb ($7,000), who will be activated from the IL to make his first start since May. He's not an overpowering force, though, given his career 21.9 percent strikeout rate and 1.44 WHIP.
Fernando Tatis Jr. ($6,300) played his part in a wild comeback win over the Nationals on Thursday, going 2-for-5 with a home run. He now has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games, hitting 19-for-51 (.373) with six home runs and four doubles during that stretch. He has an excellent opportunity to keep things rolling against Kyle Freeland ($6,600), who has a 6.25 FIP and has allowed 2.2 HR/9.
Going back to the Nationals matchup versus Webb, Starlin Castro ($2,900) might be someone to consider at a cheaper salary. He's provided very little in the way of power this season and his 87 wRC+ would be his lowest mark since 2015. However, he's currently on an 11-game hitting streak that has seen him hit 17-for-38 (.447) with a home run and four doubles.
Ryan Mountcastle ($3,400) has two factors working in his favor that make him an appealing option. First, the Orioles will be playing at home, where he has a .382 wOBA this season. Second, they will be facing left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel ($7,200). Mountcastle only has a .312 wOBA against righties this year, but he has a .347 mark versus lefties.
Stacks to Consider
Another day, another bad pitch on the Orioles to stack against. Lopez has a 6.02 ERA and 5.12 FIP this season to go along with his 1.60 WHIP. His inability to keep hitters off base is nothing new given his career 1.53 WHIP. The White Sox have one of the more dangerous lineups in baseball, so this game could get ugly for the Orioles in a hurry. Abreu's numbers are down this season, partially because of his career-high 50.9 percent ground ball rate. He's shown signs of improvement lately, though, hitting 11-for-38 (.289) with three home runs over his last 10 games.
The good news is that Richards only allowed two runs over five innings in his last start. However, he was a bit lucky given that he issued nine base runners. He may have been aided by the fact that he was on the mound in the A's pitcher-friendly park. Now back at Fenway Park, he could revert back to the pitcher who had allowed at least four runs in each of his previous four starts. During that stretch, he allowed six home runs over 11 innings. This trio can do plenty of damage in that regard.
A lack of control has been an issue for Velasquez, who has a career-high 12.1 percent walk rate. It's resulted in a 1.34 WHIP, which is almost right in line with his career 1.37 mark. The Red Sox have a .792 OPS at home, so expect them to be a formidable foe. Devers is someone to consider building any Red Sox stack around given his .283 ISO and .386 wOBA.