Daily Dime: Throwing Jon Lester and hunting for hitting bargains

Daily Dime: Throwing Jon Lester and hunting for hitting bargains

Here’s a look at some DFS options for Friday, but be sure to double-check the weather and lineups as first pitch approaches.

Jon Lester, vs. Mil (Peralta), $8700 at FanDuel: It’s a tough day for starting pitching, as the two obvious choices (Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer) face each other in a game that’s essentially a pick ‘em. The second biggest favorite Friday features Tom Koehler, who has a 12:8 K:BB ratio over 22.0 innings. The Cubs are the biggest favorites, and despite the ugly ERA, Lester has a 24:5 K:BB ratio over 21.2 innings. Moreover, the Brewers have an MLB-low .488 OPS against LHP this year, which is 52 points lower than the next worst team. But to use Lester you’ll have to be ready to play the lineup guessing game, as the Cubs play in Friday’s lone early contest.

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Mike Napoli, 1B, vs. NYY (Sabathia), $2500: He’s off to a sluggish start but has hit lefties well (1.143 OPS, 5:6 K:BB ratio), should benefit from a hitter’s park and is facing a pitcher who’s a shell of his former self who’s yielded a .345 BAA to right-handed batters. The Red Sox/Yankees game is tied for the highest over/under on Friday’s slate.

Evan Gattis, C, vs. Sea (Elias), $2700: It’s been ugly so far for Gattis, who’s rocking a 31.9 K%. But he remains in the cleanup spot and is one year removed from hitting .343/.356/.614 against left-handers. He’s not one of the 15th costliest catchers on FD.

Ryan Raburn, OF, vs. Tor (Buehrle), $2300: He’s slugging .710 against lefties this season and is facing a pitcher who’s allowed a .346 BAA and four homers over 20.0 innings versus right-handed batters. Raburn is dirt-cheap too.

Melky Cabrera, OF, at Min (Gibson), $2500: His price reflects Cabrera’s lackluster start at the plate, but the switch-hitter is batting .377 against RHP. It also helps he’s hitting third in the lineup, directly in front of Jose Abreu.

Brad Miller, SS, at Hou (Deduno), $2200: He hits low in the lineup, but this price is awfully cheap for someone who’s hitting .348/.404/.500 against southpaws. Miller has three steals over those 45 at-bats, so he’s a solid cheap option at a thin SS position.

Joc Pederson, OF, vs. Ari (De La Rosa), $3600: His price is rising, but the rookie is still a value as he’s still not being treated as a top-15 outfielder. Pederson has a 1.103 OPS with four home runs over 50 at-bats against righties this season and is now batting leadoff on a potent Dodgers lineup.

Justin Maxwell, OF, vs. LAA (Wilson), $2800: He’s worked himself into San Francisco’s everyday lineup, typically hitting fifth (and directly behind Buster Posey) when facing a LHP.

Jose Altuve, 2B, vs. Sea (Elias), $4500: We went over plenty of bargain options, so let’s take a look at a couple of higher priced players worth paying up for Friday. Altuve is riding a nine-game hitting streak (including multi-hits in his past eight), a span in which he’s raised his OPS nearly 200 points while scoring 10 runs and recording 11 RBI with five steals. He also sports a passable .560/.593/.760 line against southpaws on the year and fills in a relatively shallow 2B position.

Hanley Ramirez, OF, vs. NYY (Sabathia), $4400: The price isn’t that crazy (there are seven hitters costlier) considering Ramirez is tied for the major league lead in homers and hitting cleanup in Fenway Park. And if you thought Altuve’s slash line was impressive against southpaws, check out Ramirez’s: .467/.579/1.267 (that’s an 1.846 OPS). He’s going to regress, but I’ll happily pay this price Friday.

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