FanDuel MLB: Friday Targets

FanDuel MLB: Friday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Twelve games await Friday evening, going off at a traditional 7:05 p.m. EDT, and boy is it a doozy on the bump. For starters, the top seven arms in terms of price are all left-handed. All teams have listed starters, and 13 of the 24 are southpaws! I've never seen that before, and it obviously creates incredible opportunities on both the offensive and defensive side. There are also ample names in continued poor form that are priced enticingly. 

Pitching

Nestor Cortes ($10,200) gets the nod as my preferred pay up option. He's fanning 11.0 per nine, the 1.35 ERA pairs well enough with a 2.78 xFIP, and the matchup against Baltimore is terrific. The Orioles whiff at a 27.9 percent rate and have a meager .096 ISO. Cortes fanned 12 O's across five innings in an earlier meeting, resulting in 51 FDP. Just keep an eye on potential rain here.

If targeting a low-used option, I'd think Robbie Ray ($9,100) gets seriously overlooked. He derives most of his value from big strikeouts, something the Red Sox don't do often (23.4 percent), but they aren't a good offense against left-handers, ranking 26th with a .280 wOBA and .086 ISO. That likely is a surprise to many, and suggests Ray can limit damage.

I'm not confident we can trust Hyun Jin Ryu ($6,400) to work deep and pile up points, but it's difficult to ignore the matchup in front of him. The Reds rank dead last with a .265 wOBA, 65 wRC+,  and .086 ISO against lefties while striking out 26.5 percent of the time. He looked much better in his last start following a month off, and the price paired with the matchup ooze potential. He's the differentiator to what figures to be a hugely chalky pay down in Chase Silseth ($6,400) against the lowly Athletics.

Top Targets

Pencilling in Aaron Judge ($4,500) against lefties (.421 wOBA, .378 ISO) is pretty much standard at this point. The price point means he needs a long ball, or multiple knocks and RBI, something he's never done against Dallas Keuchel. That's not enough for me to fade him however.

Jose Altuve ($4,200) is sizzling right now, riding a six-game hit streak featuring 10 hits in 26 ABs, including two homers and three doubles. Pair that with a .424 wOBA and .409 ISO against lefties, and the appeal is obvious.

Trea Turner ($3,800) seems discounted thanks to his inability to find a power stroke. But we know he is historically terrific against lefties, and is riding an 11-game hitting streak coming into Friday. He has only five extra-base hits in that span, so there isn't huge upside, but he's a cheaper in to a lineup that hits southpaws well as a unit, and remains a threat to run, score and drive guys in, giving multiple angles for a stable return.

Value Plays

Sign me up for the discount on slumping Wander Franco ($3,300). His numbers against righties aren't terrific, but he only strikes out 10.0 percent of the time and has just a 12.6 percent soft-contact rate. His .250 BABIP is low given the rate he's putting medium and hard hit balls into play. Maybe it's a name recognition play, but he's too talented to slump for too long, and a nice bargain until he breaks out.

There could be a few surprising values in the Rockies-Mets matchup, if your build doesn't already include Pete Alonso ($4,600). If we're trusting early-season splits, Rockies' starter German Marquez is getting pummeled by lefties. Luis Guillorme ($2,500) has a team-leading .401 wOBA against righties and is intriguing if in the lineup. Jeff McNeil ($3,400) is never sexy, but a stable lineup presence with a field boost here. And Eduardo Escobar ($3,000) is 12-of-23 with a 1.326 OPS against Marquez. Keep an eye on weather here as well.

MJ Melendez ($2,300) is becoming one of my favorite daily values. As a catcher, there's risk he isn't always in the lineup, but the Royals gain nothing by not getting him regular at bats. His splits aren't worth mentioning, having only 13 ABs against lefties to date, but they are positive. We know he has tremendous power, something you can't find at this price normally. He's homered in two of his last three games, while hitting safely in four straight.

Stacks to Consider

Phillies vs. Dodgers (Julio Urias): Bryce Harper ($4,600), Nick Castellanos ($3,600), Rhys Hoskins ($3,600)

This isn't cheap, so we'll need ample value elsewhere, or to switch out a player here possibly to make this work. But the Phillies are terrific against left-handed pitching, led by this trio. Castellanos leads the way with a  .436 wOBA, 183 wRC+ but just a .189 ISO. We'll obviously need confirmation Harper is in the lineup, but he sits at .426/176/.341 and Hoskins at .391/153/.343. The team took Urias deep four times in their last meeting, including bombs by Hoskins and Harper, ambushing him early in the count. It will be interesting to see how each side changes their attack plan. Jean Segura ($4,100)  is an okay pivot if Harper is unavailable, and Alec Bohm ($2,900) or Johan Camargo ($2,100) could offer value.

Twins vs. Royals (Daniel Lynch): Byron Buxton ($4,200), Carlos Correa ($3,200), Max Kepler ($2,900)

Lynch is due some regression, as he sports a 3.30 ERA but a 4.69 xFIP. He's also only faced 10 left-handed hitters all year, so it will be interesting to see how the Twins construct their lineup. Buxton is an obvious target, carrying a huge .521 wOBA, 254 wRC+ and .552 ISO into Friday night. Correa is a nice stand-alone value given his price hasn't returned to a higher level early in his return from injury. I prefer those two as a mini-stack, but if forced to choose a third, Kepler gets the nod. His stats are similar to Correa's against lefties, and he offers nice pop for a sub 3k tag. If really looking to get cheap, Kyle Garlick ($2,000) could slot into the upper portion of the lineup and give a third right-handed bat against Lynch.

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. Chris Bennett plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: k30kittles, DraftKings: k30kittles.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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