Only one game comes with an early start time Friday, leaving us with a heavy dose of options to choose from on Yahoo. Not only are there some elite starters set to take the mound, but several teams are also set up favorably for an offensive explosion. Let's break down the matchups and highlight some of the better options to consider.
Of all the aces set to take the mound, the best one to target might be Clayton Kershaw ($52). He's managed to stay healthy and has pitched well, registering a 3.20 ERA that is supported by a 3.52 FIP. His WHIP is outstanding at 1.05, which has been helped by his miniscule 3.9 percent walk rate. It doesn't get much better than a matchup against the Giants, so look for Kershaw to take advantage with another valuable performance.
Andrew Heaney ($41) started out the season on the IL with an elbow injury, which is always a scary sign for a pitcher. Luckily for the Angels, he's made his way back onto the mound, providing a much needed boost to their starting rotation. It is a bit concerning that he's already allowed four home runs in two starts, but he did register 18 strikeouts, including 10 in his last start against the Mariners. They will meet again in this game and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Heaney provide similar results since the Mariners have struck out the most times in baseball (650).
For those who like to live on the edge in tournament play, rolling with Jose Urena ($31) against the Braves might not be a crazy idea. While he's still not recording many strikeouts, he's allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine games. The only time he didn't during that stretch was when he gave up five runs in six innings to these same Braves. He's far from a sure thing, but the price is right if you want to load up on bats.
Tyler Mahle's overall numbers don't look bad with his 4.09 FIP and 1.26 WHIP. However, he's allowed 11 home runs in 61.1 innings and left-handed hitters have handled him to the tune of a .402 wOBA during his career. With a matchup on tap versus the Phillies, Bryce Harper ($19) and Jay Bruce ($20) could be in line for productive evenings.
Homer Bailey had a brief stretch in which he pitched well, but the wheels have come off again with him allowing 16 runs (15 earned) across 14 innings over his last four starts. Right-handed hitters have performed particularly well against him this year, resulting in a .356 wOBA. That could lead to Jose Abreu ($16) and Tim Anderson ($17) being popular options.
Staying in that same game, the Royals could also be popular against Ivan Nova. In particular, he's allowed a .409 wOBA to left-handed hitters this year. That makes Adalberto Mondesi ($22) and Alex Gordon ($19) two of the top players on the team to target.
Even though Bellinger doesn't have the platoon advantage here, it's hard to pass on him for a Dodgers stack based on his upside and Pomeranz's unsightly 1.87 WHIP. Turner entered this season having recorded at least a 179 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers in back-to-back seasons, making him one of the top targets for maybe this entire slate. Hernandez hasn't had nearly that level of success, but he does have a career 129 wRC+ against lefties.
This has disaster written all over it for the Pirates. The Brewers love hitting at Miller Park, posting the seventh-highest wOBA at home (.337) in the league. For comparison, they have a .320 wOBA on the road. Davis started out the season by posting a 5.42 FIP across seven starts at Triple-A before joining the Pirates bullpen. Talk about a tough assignment for your first start of the year in the majors. Yelich and Moustakas are elite options for this slate while Thames is a cheaper target with power upside who can help with your budget.
Despite missing several key hitters, the Astros are still in a prime spot to thrive against the Orioles porous pitching staff. Ynoa made his first nine appearances this season out of the bullpen, then joined the starting rotation for his next two outings. He couldn't take advantage of great matchups against the Tigers and Giants, allowing six runs (four earned) over nine innings. This is a matchup to exploit with Bregman and Brantley providing tremendous potential. Fisher has also flashed some power while filling in for injuries, hitting two doubles, a triple and a home run across his last 10 games.