FanDuel MLB: Friday Picks

FanDuel MLB: Friday Picks

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Fan Duel has a 14-game slate for Major League Baseball on Friday. Weather looks like it may be an issue in some of them, so make sure you check before first pitch. We have two games with run totals under seven and three of the four pitchers in those should be targets that are somewhat pricey. We have six games currently with run lines of at least eight. Some games do not have a total yet, so there may even be more offense in store. Here are some of the plays to keep an eye on for Friday:

Starting Pitcher
Trevor Bauer ($8,600)

Bauer has three straight quality starts yet is still priced a good deal below some of the top options. He has elite strikeout potential and has averaged over 16 FanDuel points in his last three games. He gets a Seattle team in their pitcher-friendly park that has a pretty high strikeout rate (24.1 percent) which plays to his strengths. He is a slight favorite at -110 in a matchup with rookie Taijuan Walker, who has shown some signs of struggle in his recent outings. Bauer is in line to pitch deep, strike out a good number of batters and pick up the win.

Catcher
Derek Norris ($2,700)

Norris finally gets a left-handed pitcher to face, but it's a pretty good one in Francisco Liriano. Still, there are not many good matchups at the catcher spot and Norris is one of the few with positive splits and good lineup placement. Norris hit .311 against left-handed pitching last year, and so far in about 40 at-bats this season he is hitting .438. Liriano struggles more against right-handed bats, though he has solid numbers against both sides of the plate. There are better spots to spend up and Norris at $2,700 makes the most sense of the value options.

First Base
Prince Fielder ($4,500)

Fielder has been the king of power hitters over the past week, hitting five home runs in his last six games. He had a six-game hit streak snapped with an 0-for-4 performance Thursday, but he had four straight three-hit games before that, which was preceded by a 2-for-5 with two home runs. He is 15 for his last 32 with five home runs, 15 RBI and nine runs scored. $4,500 is expensive, but he gets a matchup with Steven Wright, who has allowed 34 hits, 17 runs and three homers to left-handed batters in 33 innings. The match-up is elite for Fielder, in a good hitter's park an against a weak pitcher.

Second Base
Ben Zobrist ($3,000)

Zobrist just came back from injury and was promptly inserted back into the three hole in the lineup against left-handed pitching. Zobrist is a switch hitter, but prefers to bat from the right side. He hit .340 against left-handers in about 140 at-bats last year and is already at .350 against them in 2015. He faces Chris Capuano of the Yankees, who has a long history of struggles with right-handed batters. The ballpark is not ideal, but the splits matchup is heavily in Zobrist's favor. When you add in his lineup placement and the fact that second base is a weak position, it makes a lot of sense at only $3,000 to roll with Zobrist for cash and tournament games today.

Third Base
Trevor Plouffe ($2,900)

Plouffe has been red hot with 12 hits in his last 21 at-bats. He gets his preferred splits matchup against a left-handed pitcher in Mark Buhrle who struggles against right-handed hitter. In fact, Minnesota has the third highest batting average against southpaws this year, so Plouffe should get a chance to drive in some runs as the cleanup hitter in the middle of the order. He has three multi-hit games in his last five, so there is a lot of upside for him in an elite matchup.

Shortstop
Marcus Semien ($2,900)

Semien is another one of the Oakland bats who profiles well against a weak left-handed pitcher. When Oakland plays a left-hander, Semien hits in the two hole. He hit .271 against southpaws last year and has followed that up with a .304 average so far in 2015. Chris Capuano struggles against right-handed batters, as discussed with Zobrist, and pairing these two together should provide a nice return in a great matchup at reasonable prices.

Outfield
Bryce Harper ($6,000)

Harper is the most expensive hitter on the board, but he also has one of the best matchups. He goes up against Anthony DeSclafani, who has allowed left-handed batters to hit .276 with a 1.76 WHIP against him this season. Harper has been on fire with 12 hits in his last 30 at-bats, including five home runs. He has homered in consecutive games and has been crushing right-handed pitching, posting a .351 batting average and 16 homers in 111 at-bats through the first two months. It's not cheap or easy to fit him in, but with the numbers he is putting up, you really do need to try.

Michael Cuddyer ($2,700)
Cuddyer is a little too cheap for the matchup he has Friday. Dan Haren is a reverse splits guy who allowed a .281 batting average with 16 homers to same-handed batters in 2013, and a .277 average with 12 home runs in 2014. In fact, Haren has a big home run problem, giving up 28 and 27 in the last two years, respectively, while already giving up eight this season. Cuddyer homered in Thursday's game and profiles as a guy who should give Haren trouble. He is still batting in the heart of order, and he has eight hits in his last 14 at-bats, including two home runs. Cuddyer is getting hot and profiles as a guy who should be able to do some damage against a pitcher in Haren who has outperformed his numbers so far this year. Regression should be in Haren's future and Cuddyer is the best way to take advantage of that in the Mets' lineup.

Torii Hunter ($3,400)
Old man value is going to be on display in this matchup for Hunter. The Twins' outfielder seems to age like a fine wine. He is nine for his last 27 with eight RBI during his current seven-game hit streak. He gets a matchup with Mark Buehrle, who we mentioned struggles with right-handed bats. Hunter is batting in the two hole for the Twins, behind lefty-masher Brian Dozier, and in front of Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe. His bat against left-handed pitching is a big reason the Twins are so good this year against southpaws. He has 23.5 fantasy points over his last seven and has scored at least 1.5 in each of those games. He has a safe floor and decent upside to make him useable for both cash and tournament play.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Benjamin Ricciardi
Benny is an award-winning sportswriter whose work has been seen all over the daily fantasy landscape. He is the 2014 FSWA winner for best baseball article of the year (web), the co-host of a baseball webcast called "The Curve" (@rotocurve), and a featured writer for DraftKings Playbook and the DFSReport. He believes, as a former athlete and self-proclaimed "NUMBER's GUY", he has the perfect mix of knowledge and know-how to help you win your fantasy matchups. You can follow him on twitter @BennyR11.
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