With no day games on the schedule Friday, we have a bevy of options to choose from across the majors. In particular, there are a lot of appealing hitters to consider. Without further ado, here are some that stand out as excellent targets.
There are a few aces set to take the mound and the one with arguably the best matchup is Gerrit Cole ($58) against the Blue Jays. Despite calling up some of their more promising prospects, the Blue Jays have still scored the fourth-fewest runs (264) in baseball. They've also struck out the 10th-most times (616), which will likely be their downfall against Cole and his outstanding 38.6 percent strikeout rate.
Kyle Gibson ($43) is coming off of a rough start on the road against a bad Tigers lineup, allowing five runs over five innings. That was a rare dud for him considering he had allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his previous eight outings. He's also had some issues on the road, allowing a .353 wOBA compared to just a .255 wOBA allowed at Target Field. Facing another bad lineup in the Royals at home could be just what he needs to get back on track.
As we continue to target inept lineups, it's worth considering Adam Plutko ($32) for his outing against the Tigers. He's made three starts for the Indians so far, one of which was a disaster against the Rays when he allowed seven runs over 5.1 innings. However, he only allowed three runs over 12 innings in his other two starts against the Orioles and Yankees. The Tigers have scored the second-fewest runs (233), so he could provide some cheap production.
The Red Sox will have a chance to feast on the Orioles pitching staff this weekend. Andrew Cashner (finger) was originally slated to start Friday, but now that he won't be able to take the mound, it's still up in the air who the Orioles plan to deploy. Regardless of who they choose, it's not like they have any great pitchers waiting in the wings. If they did, they'd already be up by now.
The Indians lineup has been downright disastrous this year, but they have a chance to put a crooked number on the board against Ryan Carpenter. Injuries have forced the Tigers to keep trotting Carpenter out there despite his unsightly 6.72 FIP. Francisco Lindor ($27) and Carlos Santana ($26) are two great options to target.
The Rockies are likely going to be a popular stack at home, so a nice pivot move in tournament play might be to deploy their opponents. The Padres struggle to score runs, but they do have some powerful hitters in their lineup who will try to take advantage of Jeff Hoffman and his career 5.09 FIP at Coors Field. In particular, Fernando Tatis Jr. ($23) and Manny Machado ($15) could do some serious damage.
Rockies vs. Cal Quantrill (Padres)
The inexperienced Quantrill has a tough task ahead of him at Coors Field. He's allowed four home runs across his last three starts, two of which came against the Blue Jays and Pirates. While Nolan Arenado ($25) and Trevor Story ($24) will likely be in a lot of entries, this trio should also be considered. Blackmon and Dahl have excellent career numbers at home while Murphy has started to catch fire by hitting 29-for-75 (.387) with three home runs and 21 RBI over his last 20 games.
If there is a positive about Keller, it's that he's only allowed 0.4 HR/9 for his career. However, he also has a 1.38 WHIP this season to go along with a paltry 15.6 percent strikeout rate. This is an expensive trio to pursue, but their upside is undeniable. Polanco is particularly hot right now, going 22-for-63 (.349) during his current 14-game hitting streak.
Rangers vs. Tyler Mahle (Reds)
This has the potential to be a match made in heaven. The Rangers are a left-handed heavy lineup and Mahle has allowed a .401 wOBA against lefties for his career. Choo is arguably the Rangers best hitter with Joey Gallo (oblique) out and Mazara is 22-for-71 (.310) over his last 18 games. Mahle has also allowed 1.5 HR/9 for his career, leaving Guzman as a cheaper option to consider.