This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Thirteen of the 15 MLB games Friday are included in the DFS slate. Hey, the silver lining there is you don't have to think about the game between the Reds and the Pirates, which isn't being included. Because of its start time, not because it's a game in what is shaping up to be one of the worst series in recent memory. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here are my recommendations.
Gerrit Cole, NYY vs. TEX ($9,700): The MLB coming down on grip enhancers hasn't hurt Cole as much as some feared. Through five starts in 2022 he has a 3.00 GAA and has struck out 10.16 batters per nine innings. The Rangers are middle of the pack in runs scored after finishing 28th last season, but they still have a sub-.300 OBP as a team.
Chad Kuhl, COL at ARI ($7,900): It's a gamble, but there's a worthwhile roll of the dice here in Kuhl. Even though he's pitching for the Rockies now, he has a 1.90 ERA. He won't continue that, but the Diamondbacks finished 25th in runs scored in 2021, are in the bottom 10 this year and have the lowest batting average in MLB to start this season. Maybe it's time to give Kuhl a shot?
Luis Garcia, HOU vs. DET ($7,400): Garcia has already had to face the Blue Jays twice in four matchups, so his 4.15 ERA is forgivable. This matchup is much easier on paper. The Tigers are down in the bottom three in runs scored, so Garcia can hopefully find his footing and also pick up a relatively easy home win.
The homers are flying out of the park for Yordan Alvarez ($5,200), but what else is new? He's a man who has slugged .581 in his career and he already has eight homers this year. Beau Brieske did well in his last start, but he's pitched 10 innings in his career, allowed three home runs, and struck out six batters. His 6.99 FIP does not bode well.
Ty France ($5,000) is a steady of a hitter as you might find. Over the last three seasons he has a .298/.372/.457 slash line, and this year he's slugged .505 with five home runs. Josh Fleming usually only pitches three-to-four innings when he's on the mound, but that should give France two shots at the lefty pitcher. Fleming also has a career 4.73 ERA.
The counting stats aren't there yet for Andrew Benintendi ($4,200), but he's slashed .354/.407/.439. I expect the stats to improve, as this is a guy who once hit 20 homers and stole 20 bases in a season. The lefty will be trying to tee off on righty Jordan Lyles, who tends to serve up the ball to opposing hitters. He has a career 5.19 ERA.
There's been little power to be found in the bat of Anthony Santander ($2,900) right now, but he's gotten on base at a .402 clip. Over the previous four seasons he's slugged .474, so the power should arrive. Carlos Hernandez has struggled in the Royals' starting rotation, as he has a 6.00 ERA through four starts.
Stacks to Consider
A matchup so favorable, you don't even need Mike Trout in your stack! Adon got one start last season, which earned him a chance in the rotation this year. Thus far, he's managed a 7.33 ERA, and he's allowed 1.54 home runs per nine innings. Adon has also allowed lefties to hit .333 against him in his career, hence the two lefties in my stack.
Ward is not a lefty, but man is he ever hot out of the gate. He's slashed .368/.476/.721 with six home runs through 19 games. Lefties tamp down Marsh, but he has an .747 OPS versus righties in his career, and he's hit three home runs with three stolen bases in 2022. Walsh has been slow out of the gate, but I'm not sweating it. He's posted a .960 OPS against righties since 2020.
The Red Sox's offense has been a little underwhelming this season, but this matchup could cure what ails them. Velasquez has a career 4.94 ERA and a 4.50 ERA this season. He's also allowed 1.53 home runs per nine innings in 2022, which is his career number as well. We know who Velasquez is at this point, making him a nice choice to face with a stack.
It's rarely a bad idea to go with Devers when he's facing a righty. The southpaw has a .940 OPS against lefties since 2020. He also hit 38 homers last year. Over the last four seasons Bogaerts has slashed .306/.378/.522. He's proven himself to be one of the most-reliable hitters at the shortstop position. Verdugo is off to a slow start, but he's a career .285 hitter, so I bet he puts it behind him. Especially since he has an .866 OPS versus right-handed pitchers since 2020.
Who is Otto as a pitcher? Last season he had a woeful 9.26 ERA in six starts, but with a .423 BABIP. This year he has a 2.89 ERA but with a .217 BABIP. He hasn't allowed many homers, but he has allowed lefties to hit .340 against him, admittedly against only 52 batters. Ultimately, I'm comfortable stacking these three Yankees, especially since I'm including two lefties. Rizzo is a lefty, and he's shown a ton of power. He's hit nine homers and slugged .582. Also, he has an 1.214 OPS at home. LeMahieu has also enjoyed being at home. He has a .925 OPS at Yankee Stadium in 2022 and an .820 OPS since 2020. Gallo will be squaring off with his former team. He's a guy who can hit .199 and still pop 38 homers, which is what he did last season. Also, he's getting to face a righty, which always helps the southpaw.