This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
There are plenty of matchups to get excited about Friday. One that jumps off the page is the resumption of the rivalry between the Dodgers and the Padres. Another highlight should be Shohei Ohtani taking the mound against the Astros, who have the second-highest OPS in baseball. Finally, a battle between two AL teams with playoff hopes will get underway when the White Sox host the Red Sox. It won't exactly be a star-studded pitching matchup, though, with Tanner Houck starting for Boston and Chicago having not even named a starter as of early Friday morning. Let's dive into the loaded DraftKings slate and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
The Blue Jays are scorching hot after sweeping the Yankees and will now try to improve their playoff chances in a series against the Orioles. On the mound will be Robbie Ray ($10,700), who has struck out at least 10 batters in four straight starts. He's faced the Orioles two times this season, allowing four runs and recording 15 strikeouts across 11.1 innings.
Jordan Montgomery ($9,400) hasn't exactly provided the Yankees with a lot of length given that he has only pitched at least six innings in one of his last seven starts. However, with their bullpen in shambles, the Yankees could use Montgomery to go deep in this contest against the Mets. He's had a good season with his 3.57 FIP and 1.21 WHIP, so he could take advantage of this matchup considering the Mets rank inside the bottom-10 in baseball in OPS.
As the Braves make a push for the playoffs, they are happy to have Ian Anderson ($6,600) back in their starting rotation after he dealt with a shoulder injury. Coming off of a shaky outing at Coors Field, he has a much more favorable matchup this time around against the Marlins, who have the third-worst OPS in baseball. Anderson could even provide more strikeouts than usual in this contest considering the Marlins have struck out the third-most times in baseball.
Ketel Marte ($5,500) is one of the more dangerous hitters on the Diamondbacks, especially against left-handed pitchers. He has a .368 wOBA against them for his career and a whopping .508 wOBA against them this season. That makes him a viable option for an expected matchup against Marco Gonzales ($8,300).
Griffin Jax's ($5,900) first season in the majors has not gone well, with him posting a 6.79 ERA and a 6.62 FIP. Not only is his 1.41 WHIP an issue, but he's allowed 17 home runs across just 58.1 innings. That could end up being his downfall against Salvador Perez ($5,800), who has gone deep 42 times on his way to a .270 ISO.
With Jax's struggles, Perez isn't the only player on the Royals to consider. If you can't fit Perez's hefty salary into your lineup, consider Nicky Lopez ($3,300). Although he provides very little power, he is 31-for-79 (.392) with 13 runs scored over his last 19 games.
As we continue to target pitchers with home run issues, Eduardo Escobar ($4,000) enters our radar. He brings plenty of power to the plate with his 25 home runs and .222 ISO, and he'll be facing a starter in Eli Morgan ($7,100) who has allowed 15 home runs over 67.1 innings.
Stacks to Consider
Has Lester turned things around with the Cardinals? Across his last five starts, he allowed exactly one run four times. However, he had a 1.43 WHIP over that five-game stretch, so he may have just been lucky. A matchup against a Reds team that has the fifth-highest OPS in baseball could break his recent string of successes. A key player for any Reds stack could be Castellanos, who has led the team with his 147 wRC+.
Ellis held the Yankees in check during his last start, logging five hitless innings. With that being said, it's difficult to have much faith in a pitcher who had a 6.32 ERA and a 6.04 FIP across 15 appearances (13 starts) at Triple-A this season. In 2019, he had a 7.18 ERA and a 5.95 FIP at that same level. The Blue Jays have one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball, making them an appealing team to stack. Well on his way to a hefty contract this offseason is Semien, who is having a career year at the plate with his .275 ISO and .374 wOBA.
Boyd has not performed well in two starts since coming off the IL, allowing seven runs and 15 base runners over eight innings. He also gave up three home runs across those two starts, which has been an area of weakness for him given that he has allowed 1.6 HR/9 for his career. The Rays have plenty of power that could give him trouble in this matchup, headlined by Cruz. Don't sleep on Zunino, though, given that he has a staggering .545 ISO against left-handed pitchers this season.