This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
All 30 teams will be in action Friday, so get ready for a packed night of baseball. We've got some great series, including the Yankees and Astros playing at Yankee Stadium. That game also has the potential to be a great pitching matchup between Justin Verlander and Luis Severino. In other noteworthy games, Alek Manoah will take the hill for the Blue Jays when they face the Brewers. Another potentially exciting pitching matchup features Aaron Nola and the Phillies going up against MacKenzie Gore and the Padres. As we try to help you narrow down the options on Yahoo, here are some pitchers and hitters to consider.
Michael Kopech ($48) had a 36.1 percent usage rate while mostly pitching out of the bullpen last season, but that number has dropped to 24.6 percent this season with him being a full-time starter. However, it's difficult to complain too much about a guy with a 2.38 ERA, 3.49 FIP and 0.99 WHIP. He could rack up added punchouts against the Orioles, who have struck out the fourth-most times in baseball.
A bright spot for the Rays' pitching staff this season has been Jeffrey Springs ($44), who has transitioned from the bullpen into the starting rotation. Across 54 total innings, he's posted a 2.00 ERA and a 2.98 FIP. Opponents have just a 35.7 percent hard-hit rate against him, and his WHIP checks in at 0.98. Up next is a great matchup versus the Pirates, who have scored the third-fewest runs in baseball.
Merrill Kelly ($39) bounced back from a bad start versus the Reds to hold the Twins to one run across seven innings in his last start. He's reduced his ERA to 3.46 this season, thanks in large part to him only allowing 0.5 HR/9. Considering that the Tigers have hit the fewest home runs in baseball, more success could be upcoming for Kelly.
Shohei Ohtani ($20) is a great option most nights, regardless of his matchup. However, he really stands out with Chris Flexen ($32) expected to start for the Mariners. Not only does Flexen have just a 16.6 percent strikeout rate, but he has a 1.42 WHIP.
Kyle Hendricks ($26) is having his second straight disappointing season, registering a 5.43 ERA and a 5.19 FIP across 13 starts. He's been done in by the long ball, allowing 1.7 HR/9. With a matchup against the Cardinals on tap, Paul Goldschmidt ($28) stands out as a top option for this slate. He's been as good as it gets with his .446 wOBA and 191 wRC+.
An injury to Tyler O'Neill (hamstring) has opened up regular playing time for Juan Yepez ($13) again. He's had a wOBA of over .400 at Triple-A since 2021, while also hitting for plenty of power. He, too, could exploit this matchup against the struggling Hendricks.
Yes, a matchup against Verlander is no walk in the park. However, he has allowed 10 home runs over 82.1 innings. It's not often that you see Giancarlo Stanton ($12) with such a low salary. With his power upside and Verlander's home runs issues, Stanton could be worth the risk.
Stacks to Consider
It's been a rough stretch for Houser, who has allowed 21 runs (18 earned) across 25.2 innings in his last five starts. He had a 1.68 WHIP during that stretch, elevating his mark for the season to 1.43. If he can't get that under control, he could get torched by a Blue Jays team that has the fourth-highest OPS in baseball. Kirk has been one of the most productive catchers in the league with his .384 wOBA.
Espino began the season as a member of the bullpen for the Nationals, but he's now started back-to-back games. During his first extended stint in the majors last season, he was anything but special with his 4.27 ERA and 4.46 FIP. Just as concerning was that he allowed 1.6 HR/9. This could be an opportune time to take a chance on a Rangers' stack, especially if Semien is included in it. Over his last 16 games, he is 22-for-64 (.344) with five home runs and four steals.
It's been a rough beginning to his career for Garcia, who has a 5.89 ERA and 5.61 FIP across 62.2 innings in the majors. The Diamondbacks don't have the deepest of lineups, but this trio can still do damage in the right matchup. Thomas has made an immediate impact since being recalled from Triple-A, recording a .344 wOBA and just a 17.8 percent strikeout rate.