MLB Friday: Astros bats lead daily fantasy baseball picks
Baseball bounces back from a light slate Thursday with 15 games Friday. That gives us a ton of options to wade through on Yahoo, so let's try to help narrow down the field by highlighting some pitchers and hitters to consider.
In his last start, Joe Ryan ($49) recorded 10 strikeouts over six scoreless innings against the Cubs. It marked his third start of the season with at least 10 strikeouts, and the fifth time that he allowed one or no earned runs. The reason for his success has been him allowing just 35 hits over 50 innings. Facing Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout is no easy task, but with how locked in Ryan is right now, he's still a great option.
Sandy Alcantara ($43) has not pitched as poorly as his 4.91 ERA would lead people to believe. His FIP is much better at 3.65, and his 6.1 percent barrel rate allowed is right in line with his career mark. This could be a favorable bounce-back spot for him against the Giants, who have struck out the third-most times in baseball.
Martin Perez ($33) couldn't exploit a favorable matchup against the Athletics in his last start, allowing four runs over five innings. As bad as he was in that game, he has allowed three or fewer runs in six of his eight starts. Don't be surprised if he provides value against the Rockies, who are missing slugger C.J. Cron (back) and have just a .646 OPS on the road.
After missing all of last season and the start of this year, James Paxton ($34) made his debut for the Red Sox last week. He limited the Cardinals to two runs over five innings, recording nine strikeouts along the way. A follow up performance against the Padres on the road might be difficult. A prime player to consider in DFS is Fernando Tatis Jr. ($19), who has a career .413 wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
After being limited to 98 games because of injury last season, Luis Robert Jr. ($18) has already appeared in 44 games this year. He has been one of the hottest hitters in the league of late, hitting 19-for-46 (.413) with six home runs and five doubles over his last 13 games. An excellent matchup awaits him in Chicago against Zack Greinke ($27), who has a 1.51 WHIP on the road since rejoining the Royals last season.
Going back to the Padres' matchup against Paxton, Xander Bogaerts ($12) is someone to consider at a cheaper salary. He is on a six-game hitting streak that has seen him hit 7-for-21 (.333) with two doubles and a .440 OBP. For his career, he has a .371 wOBA against lefties.
Andrew Benintendi ($12) doesn't bring much power to the plate. He hit five home runs last year and is still looking for his first homer this season. However, he does a good job of making contact, posting just a 15.6 percent strikeout rate this year. That has helped him go 10-for-25 (.400) with five doubles over his last seven games. Greinke doesn't miss a lot of bats and has been bad on the road, so look for Benintendi to remain hot.
Stacks to Consider
Dodgers vs. Steven Matz ($26), Cardinals: Mookie Betts ($20), Will Smith ($23), J.D. Martinez ($18)
Matz has pitched poorly, recording a 5.62 ERA and 4.94 FIP. His WHIP sits at 1.61, which is disastrous when you also factor in that he has allowed 1.5 HR/9. For his career, he has allowed 1.4 HR/9, so he's always had issues limiting homers. One of the top hitters for a Dodgers stack has to be Smith, who has a .267 ISO this season. Also, don't forget about Martinez, who has a career .393 wOBA against left-handed pitchers.
Astros vs. Ken Waldichuk ($29), Athletics: Yordan Alvarez ($24), Alex Bregman ($20), Jose Abreu ($11)
The Athletics hope that Waldichuk will be in their starting rotation for years to come. They also don't have many viable options right now, which means Waldichuk will probably remain in their rotation despite his 7.02 ERA and 7.26 FIP. He has been taken deep 12 times over 41 innings, while recording a 1.83 WHIP. Despite his struggles this season, Abreu is worth targeting for an Astros stack. For his career, he has a .380 wOBA versus lefties.
Rangers vs. Karl Kauffmann ($25), Rockies: Marcus Semien ($23), Jonah Heim ($17), Corey Seager ($18)
The Rockies are running out of healthy starting pitchers. That will force them to give Kauffmann a try, despite his 6.68 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over 101 career innings at Triple-A. The Rangers will certainly be a tough foe for him, given that they have scored the second-most runs in baseball. The Rangers have to be thrilled with the production that they have received some Heim, who has a .381 wOBA and has raised his barrel rate to 11.4 percent.