FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

FanDuel MLB: Friday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.

Fan Duel has a full 15-game MLB slate Friday. There are a few interesting games to look at, as there are six pitchers who are -130 favorites or better according to Vegas. That means we have clear chalk in only two-fifths of the scheduled games. We also have only four games with a run total under 7.5, so 1 of these matchups are expected to yield a good amount of runs. Here are some of the plays to keep an eye on for Friday:

Starting Pitcher
Francisco Liriano ($8,600)
Liriano has been stellar so far this season, posting a 1.95 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 32 innings. He pitches at his pitcher-friendly home park Friday against a Cardinals team that struggles with left-handed pitching. The Cards are in the lower third of the league vs. left-handers and have one of the worst strikeout rates at 24.4 percent. Liriano opened as a -120 favorite in a game with only 6.5 runs expected. It is close between him and Gio Gonzalez, but Liriano's starts have a smaller standard deviation, so he has been more consistent for cash games.

Russell Martin ($3,900)
Martin is making people money this week. Here are his last five daily scores: 9.5, 7.25, 4.0, 9.75 and 8.75. He has bounced between the second and fifth spot in the order and has been collecting hits, knocking in runs and hitting for power. He gets a matchup in his hitter-friendly home park against a lefty in Wade Miley, who struggles against right-handed bats (and left-handed bats more for that matter), while also giving up a lot of home runs. Vegas expects a lot of runs in this one and Martin should be in the thick of it again.

First Base
Prince Fielder ($3,300)
Fielder's resurgence has helped carry the surging Rangers. Would you believe me if I told you he was now batting .342? The Rangers may still get the better end of that straight up swap for Ian Kinsler after all. Fielder has a seven-game hitting streak and has gone 10 for his lat 27. He is in the three hole for Texas and gets to go up against Nathan Karns, who currently leads the league in both walks and wild pitches. Karns has given up 13 home runs over the 57 innings in the majors since 2013. Fielder not only has a chance to get a few hits and drive in a few runs, but his profile suggests he has a good matchup to get a home run as well.

Second Base
Jimmy Paredes ($2,900)
Paredes has cooled off since he was putting up double-digit scores nightly for a whole week in late April, but now that he has left Citi Field in the rear-view mirror, he seems to be heating up again. Even when he was not red hot, he still managed to put up five positive scores at a low price at a tough to fill position. He gets a matchup with Adam Warren and he has raked since last season vs. right-handed pitching. The game is in Yankee Stadium, which is a hitter's park, and Paredes will likely be in the two hole again with hitters like Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Chris Davis around him. Warren has limited MLB experience, but does struggle with left-handed bats some. Paredes' price is too cheap, matchup too good, and he is too smart a play for salary relief and positional scarcity to overlook.

Troy Tulowitzki ($5,100)
Tulowitzki faces a left-handed pitcher in Coors Field and it is not Clayton Kershaw. Therefore Troy Tulowitzki needs to be in your lineups. What are you waiting for? He hit .318 against lefties in 2013 and .397 last season. This year he is 7-for-14 with a home run and 1.286 OPS. That is down from the 1.384 OPS he had last season and the 1.008 in 2013. That means you are statistically better off walking him every time he comes up as opposed to taking your chances and trying to get him out. $5,100 is a small price to pay for the damage he can do in a perfect matchup.

Third Base
Josh Donaldson ($3,600)
Donaldson is very good against left-handed pitching. He hit .335 with a home run every 16 at-bats in 2013, .275 with a home run every 11 at-bats in 2014, and is 7-for-18 (.389) to start this season. He gets Wade Miley, who has allowed 18 home runs to right-handed bats in both of the last two seasons. Donaldson has been hitting in the two hole behind Devon Travis and in front of the big bats of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He should be able to do some damage in this one in his home run-friendly home park.

Kevin Kiermaier ($2,200)
The Rays' leadoff man is dirt cheap and coming off a home run game. He gets a matchup with Yovani Gallardo, who is an equal opportunity homerun allower to both sides of the plate. Kiermaier is a lefty who hits better against right-handed pitching and Gallardo struggles more against left-handed bats, so this is the perfect storm. In order to fit a guy like Tulo, you will need some cheap bats. As long as Kiermaier keeps leading off, this price is a steal.

Kyle Blanks ($2,900)
Blanks has 34.5 fantasy points in his last seven games. That is good for just shy of five points per contest. He is hitting fifth in the red-hot Texas lineup and should be in line to keep that rolling. He gets the matchup with Karns and his league-leading walk rate. Karns is also the guy who has allowed 13 home runs in 57 innings, with eight of those coming from right-handed batters. I expect the Rangers to knock Karns around, and Blanks is still far enough under most people's radars to give you a lower owned salary saver with huge upside.

Joc Pederson ($4,800)
All this guy does is hit home runs. Fortunately, that is fine with the daily fantasy players that roster Pederson. The lefty lead off man for the Dodgers has now smacked seven home runs in his last ten games. He gets a park bump Friday as his team travels to Coors Field, and he gets to hit against Eddie Butler, who allowed a .319 batting average to left-handed hitters last year and is allowing them to hit .423 so far this season. $4,800 is not cheap, but he has scored at least five fantasy points in eight of his last 10 and is averaging over 5.5 during this stretch, so it is reasonable based on recent statistics and his matchup.

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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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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