DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks

DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

PITCHER

Mike Fiers, HOU vs. TB ($8,000): Fiers will be hoping that his third straight start against the AL East looks much more like his dominant effort against the Orioles than the beating he took at the hands of the Blue Jays two turns ago. Since he'll be at home against the pathetic Rays offense, chances are the right-hander will manage a second consecutive strong outing. Fiers has been much better at Minute Maid Park this season, limiting opponents to a .306 wOBA while posting a 4.38 K/BB en route to a 3.36 ERA. Those numbers should look even more impressive by the time he's done dealing with a lineup that ranks among the bottom 10 in runs scored while striking out more than all but three other teams.

David Phelps, MIA vs. SD ($8,700): Phelps is often written off due to an inability to work deep into games, but his consistent excellence since re-joining the rotation is making the former Yankee impossible to ignore any longer. In four appearances as a starter, he has allowed just three runs in 20.2 innings (1.31 ERA) while racking up 26 strikeouts. All four offenses Phelps faced in that span rank above San Diego's 20th-ranked outfit, meaning there's little reason to believe he won't post another similar result. Five to six innings of elite-level pitching is well worth $8,700.

CATCHER

Welington Castillo, ARI vs. CIN ($4,900): Castillo's success against lefties and recent production make him well worth his hefty price in this matchup with Reds starter Brandon Finnegan (.344 wOBA allowed to right-handed hitters). The catcher has posted a robust .413 wOBA in his favorable split this season, and also comes in red-hot after producing 17 hits and 13 RBI in his last 10 games. Expect his first full season with the Diamondbacks to get even stronger with another favorable situation at the hitter-friendly Chase Field on tap.

FIRST BASE

Xavier Scruggs, MIA vs. SD ($2,600): Scruggs offers similar upside to some of the elite options at his position at half the price. The 28-year-old first baseman was tearing up Triple-A pitching with a .290/.408/.565 line through 93 games, and has already launched a homer since making his Marlins debut Aug. 19. The team will be well aware that former Miami starter Jarred Cosart actually struggles more with right-handed bats despite being a right-hander himself, and his .384 wOBA allowed to them should remind Scruggs of the minor-league starters he's been pummeling all year. It's tough to turn down the lineup flexibility offered by utilizing the Marlins first baseman in this matchup.

SECOND BASE

Daniel Murphy, WAS vs. COL ($5,300): Murphy has punished right-handers to the tune of a .427 wOBA, and he won't face one much less-prepared to take him on than Jeff Hoffman in his second big-league start. Hoffman was hammered for seven runs over four innings in his debut, so runs should be plentiful for the Nationals in this one. Washington's three-hole hitter is as likely a candidate as any to drive in those runs, as demonstrated by the eight RBI he has in the last five games.

THIRD BASE

Wilmer Flores, NYM vs. PHI ($4,200): Flores is just another light-hitting infielder against right-handers, but he turns into an absolute beast against southpaws like Phillies starter Adam Morgan. The fourth-year Met has a .447 wOBA against lefties, while Morgan has allowed a.396 wOBA to right-handed batters. With such a proficient hitter facing such an underwhelming pitcher, it's tough to imagine this game ending in anything but success for Flores.

SHORTSTOP

Manny Machado, BAL at NYY ($4,800): Yankees right-hander Luis Cessa pitched an outstanding major-league debut against the 19th-ranked Angels offense, but a repeat effort against Machado and a top-10 Orioles lineup is unlikely. Baltimore's shortstop-turned-third baseman actually prefers the righty-on-righty matchup (.385 wOBA), and he has been pummeling all comers with three homers and nine RBI during his current seven-game hitting streak. Playing at the hitter-friendly Yankee stadium only enhances the already-high chances of yet another strong performance from the 2010 third overall pick.

OUTFIELD

Brett Gardner, NYY vs. BAL ($4,000): Gardner's multi-faceted offensive game is likely to be on full display against wild right-hander Yovani Gallardo. New York's leadoff man is a strong source of runs and is in good position to score in his preferable split facing a pitcher with an astronomical 4.88 BB/9 and 5.08 ERA. His high likelihood of getting on base should also allow Gardner to flash the speed that has him in the running for a seventh 20-steal campaign in the last eight years.

Miguel Sano, MIN at TOR ($3,600): Sano has proven to be quite proficient against southpaws in his short career, backing up last year's .379 wOBA with a similar .370 mark this season. He'll have a good opportunity to erase that minor decrease when he faces Francisco Liriano, who has struggled to a 5.21 ERA due to an astronomical 5.14 BB/9 and a 1.44 HR/9. Given Sano's propensity for working walks and launching long balls, this is the ideal matchup.

Robbie Grossman, MIN at TOR ($3,700): Grossman will enjoy all the same advantages as Sano, facing the subpar Liriano at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. The switch-hitting left fielder has been moved around the lineup quite a bit of late, but that hasn't stopped him from putting together a tremendous .423 wOBA against lefties. While Sano is a slightly greater threat to hit one out of the park, Grossman is still hitting at a 20-homer pace when translated to a full 162-game season, and he also possesses an excellent walk rate. The way Liriano has been pitching, both Twins batters should find success.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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