DraftKings MLB: Friday WBC Picks

DraftKings MLB: Friday WBC Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.

Pools C and D have (somewhat mercifully) arrived at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, which means we no longer have to stay up until ungodly hours of the morning to receive official lineups, and the caliber of competition is likely to see a marked improvement. Friday will pit the United States against Columbia and Venezuela against Puerto Rico, two matchups that will feature major league pitchers squaring off against some of the best hitters in the game. The slate begins at 6:00 p.m. EST, with the second contest kicking off at 9:00 p.m.. DraftKings still allows for late swaps in MLB, so there should be no concern regarding late information.

PITCHER

Chris Archer, USA vs. COL ($6,500): Archer struggled out of the gate in 2016, but he closed out his season in dominant fashion, logging a 3.25 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk-ratio of better than 5:1 over 91.1 innings. He should have a considerable advantage over the Columbia lineup, as the majority of the players have never taken the field at the major league level.

Felix Hernandez, VEN at PR ($6,600): There is no denying the fact that Hernandez had a rough year in 2016. His strikeout rate declined by nearly five percent, his walk rate rose by three percent and his 3.82 ERA was his highest since 2007. The contrarian in me sees these numbers and wants to pick Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo in a short slate, but I can't trust the 27-year-old to negotiate the lefties in the Venezuela lineup after he logged a 5.31 xFIP against southpaws last season. For all his faults, Hernandez will be facing the weaker squad, still posts hard contact rates of under 30 percent and possesses a changeup that netted a score of 12 runs above average last season.

CATCHER

Victor Martinez, VEN at PR ($4,500): After injuries limited him to just 120 games in 2015, Martinez had a bit of a resurgence last year, as he hit 27 homers while notching a .351 OBP over 610 plate appearances. He could be a prime candidate to take advantage of Lugo's shaky numbers against lefties, as he ended his 2016 campaign with a .196 ISO when hitting left-handed.

FIRST BASE

Paul Goldschmidt, USA vs. COL ($4,800): As good as Columbia's Jose Quintana was last season, he will have his work cut out for him, as the USA lineup is filled with powerful righties. Aside from logging a .224 ISO against his opposite hand last season, Goldschmidt also kept an 8.1 runs above average mark against the curveball, a pitch Quintana threw 25 percent of the time.

SECOND BASE

Daniel Murphy, USA vs. COL ($4,500): A lefty-lefty matchup against Quintana may not sound very appealing, but Murphy actually had a considerable amount of success against same-handed pitchers in 2016, as evidenced by his .219 ISO and .383 wOBA over 173 plate appearances. $4,500 may not seem like much in the way of salary relief, but being on the wrong side of the platoon allows us to afford Murphy while stacking up on other elite talent.

THIRD BASE

Nolan Arenado, USA vs. COL ($5,000): The Colorado All-Star actually did his best work against righties last season, but still managed a .236 ISO and a .360 wOBA against left-handed pitchers. Arenado, who finished 2016 with a 5.0 runs above average mark against the curveball, should find himself right in the middle of the power in the USA lineup.

SHORTSTOP

Freddy Galvis, VEN at PR ($4,000): Galvis showed a surprising amount of power against right-handers last season, slugging 17 home runs and keeping a .175 ISO over 475 plate appearances. Galvis doesn't have the name value of most of the other players listed here, but he could be a nice scarcity option if owners still think of him as the light-hitting infielder from years past.

OUTFIELD

Carlos Gonzalez, VEN at PR ($5,300): Gonzalez's power numbers took a hit last season, but it's worth noting that his hard contact rate (37 percent) reached its highest mark since 2013. The ability to hit the ball hard should pay dividends against a pitcher like Lugo, who surrendered a staggering 38 percent hard contact rate over 17 games (eight starts).

Andrew McCutchen, USA vs. COL ($4,300): McCutchen's abysmal surface numbers against lefties last year will keep his price depressed for the first game of the tournament, but he finished the season with a .183 ISO against left-handed pitching, which is 11 points higher than his mark against righties.

Ender Inciarte, VEN at PR ($4,400): Unlike our other picks, Inciarte doesn't have much power. Instead, the 26-year-old derives his value from his ability to hit for average and draw walks (.291/.351 in 2016). This could allow him to reap the benefits of runs scored if he is able to work his way on to the basepaths.

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. Christopher Olson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Sommerset, FanDuel: Christop, Yahoo: Martins.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Olson
Christopher Olson writes DFS articles and blogs for a variety of sports including MLB, NFL and MMA. Follow him on Twitter @RealChrisOlson
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