This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Friday is a robust slate of games on FanDuel, but we are only going to concentrate on the 7PM slate most Fridays, as that is where most of the bigger tournaments reside. There are 10 games included in the 7PM start, so we have a lot of options to mull over and talk about here. As far as value goes, here are my favorites:
Drew Pomeranz, OAK, $6800 - I normally pay up for pitching and believe that is solid advice for any new DFS player to follow, but if you do want to be adventurous and look for value at starting pitcher, my favorite guy Friday is Pomeranz. He burst onto the scene late last season and strung together a few really solid starts. In 69 Innings of work, he finished with 64 strikeouts, a 1.11 WHIP and 2.34 ERA. Those are all-star quality numbers if he pitches for an entire season at that level. Pomeranz is a -112 favorite in one of the three games with the lowest expected run total (seven) on the day. The kicker is that he is a left-handed pitcher and the Mariners historically struggle against southpaws. Starting left handers against the Mariners was in fashion last year in daily fantasy and judging by the performance of lefty CJ Wilson a few days ago, I would say the trend could still be strong here. Throw in a low price and the probability of a win for Pomeranz and he makes sense as a viable cheap option.
Jonathon Lucroy, MIL, $3500 - Milwaukee's backstop gets a good matchup against a weak Lefty in Jeff Locke. Lucroy gets that matchup in his home hitter's park and has a really nice lineup placement and protection as well. Lucroy has been hitting second in that Brewers order, sandwiched between Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun. That means he should have some chances to drive in Gomez and will likely be on base a few times when Braun gets up. He has a chance for multiple hits and the possibility of either driving in runs or being driven in himself. At only $3500 with all those boxes checked off, I think he is a steal.
Matt Adams, STL, $3400 - The Cardinals lefty clean-up hitter gets an excellent matchup in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Adams mashes against right-handed pitching and gets to face Jason Marquis, who is a low strikeout, high WHIP right-handed gas can. I think Marquis struggles to get through the sixth inning and that likely means three at-bats for Adams against a guy who should be easy for him to tag.
Dee Gordon, MIA, $3500 - The Marlins new leadoff man has a plus matchup against Steve Geltz, who is better suited to be a relief pitcher. It's very likely the Fish get to Geltz at some point and Gordon should be in the middle of any rallies. He bats in front of Christian Yellich and Giancarlo Stanton -- the two biggest bats in that Marlins order -- so Gordon should have some chances to be cross the dish. I like him to get on base against the Rays replacement starter and the speedster should be off to the races at that point. A walk/hit with a stolen base and a run scored is enough to make him a solid part of any lineup and there's a good chance he does that by his second at-bat of the game.
Matt Carpenter, STL, $3800 - Carpenter isn't cheap, but he should produce a nice fantasy number Friday. The same arguments made for Adams facing Marquis apply here as well. Marquis is a low strikeout guy with a high WHIP, so Carpenter's downside is limited. Carpenter is always a threat to score runs when he gets on base, as he has a solid core hitting behind him. Vegas expects the Cards to put some runs on the board Friday and their leadoff man is in a good splits matchup against a guy who likes to give up walks/hits to lefties. With a few other left-handed batters hitting behind him, there's a great chance for him to reach and exceed value on the day.
Ian Desmond, WAS, $3900 - Why is the top priced shortstop on the day in the value section? Well he is my best bet at the position to return value despite the higher price. Philly is a hitter-friendly ballpark, and Desmond hits right-handed pitching for some power. I do not believe in the reincarnation of Jerome Williams, and I think Desmond can take him yard in that bandbox. In fact, I expect an explosion from the Nationals bats Friday and would not be surprised if they hang a large number on the home team.
Bryce Harper, WAS, $4300 - I swear I understand the meaning of VALUE PLAYS, and I still think Harper can return good value, even at $4300. Harper gets a dream matchup: He's in the perfect park for left-handed power hitters against a vulnerable right-handed pitcher. Harper has started off hot with two multi-hit games in his first three appearances this season. He has already gone yard once and he is my best bet to go deep Friday as well.
Christian Yellich, MIA, $3400 - A quality left-handed bat who gets a journeyman middle reliever making a spot start tomorrow. After a solid rookie season, I am expecting Yellich to grow in his sophomore campaign. Hitting in front of Stanton will ensure Yelich isn't pitched around, and he is a threat to steal and score runs anytime he reaches base. I like the Marlins to score some runs and plan on using the trio of Yelich, Gordon and Stanton if I can afford him.
Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, $4700 - If you want to mess around with cheap outfielders than be my guest. I think it's silly to spend down when the studs are in good spots. Not to beat a dead horse here, but Stanton has two good hitters in front of him, and he's facing an overmatched middle reliever making a spot start. The Marlins are a huge favorite and expected to score some runs. Stanton has been pitched around so far this season, but with the two table setters having their preferred splits matchup, Stanton will see some pitches to hit with ducks on the pond. He has yet to go yard this season, so it's only a matter of time. I already gave you the reason to go with a cheap starter and who to use. If you want to fit some of these guys in, then this is how you do it.