Friday night MLB DFS is here, and that means a full slate of games to choose from.
As always, be sure to remember the heavy variance that comes with baseball and to be very aware of your bankroll management. Additionally, the RotoGrinders MLB lineups page and push notifications are the best way to get all team lineups in a timely manner.
Brenden McKay was drafted with high expectations, chosen as the number four overall pick just two years ago and hasn’t disappointed anywhere along the way. He’s made three starts in the major leagues. He gave up three runs in five innings against the New York Yankees, not a bad outing at all considering the strength of that offense. His other two starts are a combined 11 innings pitched with zero earned runs allowed. There are three stars on the slate, and they are all priced appropriately in the high range. But once you get past those three studs, McKay has the next lowest team total against him (3.33) and is a -260 favorite. Factor in that he saves a ton of salary compared to the studs on the slate and this is the pitcher I’m starting my rosters off with for Friday night.
Catcher/ First Base
I want one of the Yankees first baseman on my roster at this position tonight. They’re both great options but I’m going to lean towards Luke Voit because he saves a few dollars in comparison to Edwin. The Yankees are at home tonight in a hitter’s ballpark and a powerful lineup taking on a soft tossing left-handed pitcher. Kyle Freeland is allowing a 42% hard-hit rate to right-handers this year and this is not the lineup to play around with. Any hitter from one through seven is a serious threat tonight to be a GPP winning player but the salaries make it difficult to stack this team as a whole. So, I’ll lean towards Voit and that middle of the lineup spot he’s going to draw tonight that should be able to rack him up plenty of RBIs.
Derek Dietrich (vs. St. Louis Cardinals)
Second base is a great spot to save some salary tonight. I’m leaning towards Derek Dietrich with that $3,700 price tag on DraftKings and $2,900 price tag on Fanduel. Cincinnati has an implied run total of five runs tonight against Adam Wainwright and I would expect the Reds second baseman to come up with guys on base considering his position in the batting order and strength of the opposing pitcher. If he doesn’t make the batting order tonight, then it’s an easy pivot to Scooter Gennett at an even cheaper price tag.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.(vs. Detroit Tigers)
You guys have heard me talk up Nolan Arenado so much in this article when he faces left-handers that is very difficult for me not to put him in this spot tonight. But that’s an easy play and if you can afford Arenado against the Yankee left-hander then you go for it. But if you’re looking to save a little money then Vladimir Guerrero is the guy to take a shot with. This is a great matchup against Jordan Zimmerman, a pitcher that strikes out only 14.5% of the batters he faces. Guerrero only strikes out 18.8% of the time against right-handers himself, so I can envision all of his plate appearances tonight resulting in contact at the end of them. Guerrero has put up a 39.6% hard-hit rate against right-handed pitching this season and 191 plate appearances, and we saw in the homerun derby he clearly has power. For this low-price tag on both major sites, I think Guerrero makes for a fantastic pivot off of the studs at this position.
Trevor Story (vs. New York Yankees)
Sitting back to back in that Colorado Rockies batting order is a phenomenal duo against left-handed pitching. I’ve already touched on how good Nolan Arenado is, but Trevor Story has been equally as impressive over the last couple of the seasons. Since the beginning of 2018, Trevor Story has racked up a .301 ISO and 49% hard-hit rate against left-handed pitching. So, we already have an All-Star second baseman in a great split matchup tonight against an average left-handed pitcher. What pushes Story over the top for me is that he is starting to heat up at the plate recently. Over the last two weeks Story has five home runs to his name and put up a .450 ISO. Hot streaks are very difficult to assess in DFS performance but when you see a guy clearly hitting the ball better lately than he has all year long then it would behoove you to ride that horse for a little bit. I think it would be very difficult to go lower in the salary range at shortstop and find good production, unlike other positions, so my favorite spend in the high salary range tonight is Trevor Story based on position scarcity.
J.D. Martinez (vs. Baltimore Orioles)
The Boston Red Sox are going to start off taking on left-hander Jon Means in Baltimore. I don’t know how long this kid is going to be on the mound, as I see guys in this lineup were set up very nicely to have big games. One of them is JD Martinez who has been a career smasher against left-handed pitching. This season alone he’s put up a whopping .397 ISO and .500 wOBA against left-handed pitching. This 6.3 implied run total for Boston is the third highest on the slate and it’s hard for me to envision a scenario where they put up a bunch of runs and Martinez doesn’t get a big piece of it.
Justin Upton (vs. Seattle Mariners)
Mike Leake has not been particularly good recently and I think it’s a trend we should take advantage of tonight. He couldn’t even get out of the first inning in his last start, which came against the Angels also, as he allowed seven runs on the board before he left. I want a piece of the Los Angeles Angels lineup if I can get to it, and my initial thought was to put Trout in here. However, that is the low hanging fruit with a high price tag. There are several other options on this team that are set up to do well but the one guy who jumps out is Justin Upton. His numbers against right-handed pitching this year are exceptional. He’s put up a .250 ISO, .458 wOBA and 28.9% line-drive rate so far in 2019. When sifting through 40 outfield options tonight, my tiebreaker is that Upton has seen 33 at-bats against Mike Leake in his career. He’s seen the ball well enough against Leake to rack up a .273 ISO and only four strikeouts. I think you for multi-entering then the Angels are a team that are on your radar as a 4 to 5-man stack, but if you just need one to two pieces of this lineup on your DFS roster then Justin Upton makes a ton of sense.