There are 14 MLB games on FanDuel's Friday slate . The first games begin at 7:05pm with the last one beginning at 10:10pm eastern. Please be sure to check your lineups and of course check the weather to make sure your players are actually playing tonight.
There are plenty of opportunities on Friday's slate and here's what I'm thinking about.
There are a bunch of really good pitchers throwing tonight like Joe Fernandez, Max Scherzer, Masihiro Tanaka, Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale and Zack Greinke to take up a good chunk of your payroll.
There are also pitchers like Drew Smyly, Andrew Heaney, Johnny Cueto, Justin Verlander at fairly decent prices.
In order to get tremendous value with all this good pitching what we really need is the extra 4 points that a win will produce. We also want strikeouts and the least earned runs and we also need our pitcher to go deep into ballgames. Those are the three things we absolutely need tonight so let's find one.
Jose Fernandez ($10,800) is electrifying and is always good for strikeouts (11.25 per nine) and ERA (2.06) but he's only lasted past the 6th inning twice this season and since his return he's not gone more than 5 innings. He's also going up against the Nationals and Max Scherzer on Friday. The Nationals have been one of the best hitting teams in all of baseball over the month of September but they also strike out 23 percent of the time. You'll get your strikeouts but that's probably all you'll get for your money on Friday.
Speaking of Scherzer: ($11,000) Over his last 5 starts he's had the strikeouts (10.00 per nine) and the ERA at 3.67 has been a bit shaky in his last start he went 8 innings and struck out 6 against the very Marlins he'll be facing tonight. He's also 4-6 at home this season with 12 bombs allowed in just 88 innings pitched so keep that in mind before you spend the big bucks tonight.
Chris Sale ($12,500) got shelled his last time out and he'll be facing the Indians who by the way hit lefties extremely well with a .317 wOBA and wRC+ of 101 they just don't hit Sale very well as the current Indians roster slashes a .250/.297/.384/.682 career line. Over his past 5 starts Sale is striking out just over 12 per nine with a very tidy 2.38 xFIP and he's pitched into the 7th inning 3 of his last 5 starts. Sale might be a good one to go with on Friday.
Madison Bumgarner ($12,800) has been as good as it gets striking out nearly 10 hitters per nine, allowing less than 3 runs and going 6 or more innings in each of his last 5 starts. The Diamondbacks generally hit lefties well with a .322 wOBA and wRC+ of 98 and they seem to hit Bumgarner well as the current Diamondbacks slash a .265/.326/.429 career line with 6 bombs (Goldschmidt has 2) and a 20 percent strikeout rate. The current Giants roster slashes a career .364/.432/.636/1.068 line against the Diamondbacks starter Rubby De La Rosa so it looks like all the components are there for Bumgarner on Friday.
Zack Greinke ($12,200) has been solid over his last 5 starts striking out just over 8 hitters per nine innings while allowing just 7 earned runs over his last 35.1 innings pitched and has lasted 6 innings or more in each of these starts. He's also been solid over his career against the current Pirates who slash a .241/.277/.418/.695 line with 6 bombs (Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker each has 2) and a 21 percent strikeout rate. The Dodgers haven't fared very well against the Pirates Jeff Locke either; they are slashing a career .180/.212/.260/.472 line with zero bombs and a 22 percent strikeout rate against Locke. This one could be dicey to get a win for Greinke.
Masihiro Tanaka ($9,600) has also been solid over his past 34.1 innings pitched with 8.39 strikeouts and 11 earned runs while pitching more than 6 innings in each of his last 5 starts. He's facing a Mets team that Tanaka has basically owned over their careers but over the month of September have a 17 percent strikeout rate with a wOBA of .362 and wRC+ of 135. His mound opponent Steven Matz of the Mets but righties have a .323 wOBA so this one might be better left alone if you want that extra 4 points a win would provide.
I like the Rays Drew Smyly ($7,700) a LOT and over his last couple of starts since coming off the DL is averaging nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings and allowing 12 earned runs over his last 32 innings pitched. The problem is he's only lasted over 6 innings twice but if you are looking for strikeouts and value the Orioles have a strikeout rate of 23 percent against lefties with a wOBA of .295 and wRC+ of 85. The other thing in Smyly's favor is the Rays wOBA of .324 and wRC+ of 109 against lefties like the one they are facing Sunday in Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. Current Rays have slashed a .295/.340/.545/.886 against Chen with a strikeout rate of 15 percent. This might be a tremendous play on Friday night.
Andrew Heaney ($7,000) is someone you might consider on Friday. The price is decent and the 7.54 strikeouts per nine over his last 5 starts is also nice to see especially against a Twins team with a 20 percent strikeout rate against lefties and a wOBA of .315 and wRC+ of 98. The problem with Heaney is over his last 5 starts he's made it past the 5th inning just twice but he does have a decent matchup against Mike Pelfrey and the Twins aren't hitting very well so Heaney might be a good play on Friday.
I'm going to pass on Cueto ($10,200) and Verlander ($8,800) tonight. While I have been impressed with Verlander lately he did get shelled by the Indians in his last start and Cueto has been less than spectacular lately so no thanks on Friday.
Stacking Opportunities for Friday
Tampa Bay Rays right-handed bats against the lefty Wie-Chen might be a good and economical stack on Friday night and right-handed Texas Rangers against Mariners lefty James Paxton might also provide good stacking production.
Value Picks for Friday
Adam Jones ($2,700) hits lefties to the tune of a .210 ISO, wOBA of .335 and a wRC+ of 110 and has a nice matchup on Friday against the Rays leftie Drew Smyly. It's hard not to roster Jones at this absurdly low price on Friday.
Chris Young ($2,800) has been hitting lefties on the road like he owns them with a .229 ISO, .337 wOBA and wRC+ of 114 and has an interesting matchup with the Mets Steven Matz on Friday. Righties have been slugging .524 with a wOBA of .323 against Matz at Citi Field and this might be a good matchup to take advantage of on Friday.
The Dodgers Scott Van Slyke ($2,300) has been nursing a hand injury but if he plays on Friday he has a favorable matchup against the Pirates Jeff Locke. Van Slyke has been raking at home against lefties with a .175 ISO, .370 wOBA and wRC+ of 139. At this price he's hard to pass up on Friday.
Good luck tonight Fantasy Baseball owner!!
On this edition of Phil's Fantasy Sports Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker and host Phil Naessens share their FanDuel and Draft Kings Fantasy Football picks for week 2, RotoExperts writer and Fantasy Baseball expert Andrea Lamont joins Phil to discuss women in Fantasy Sports, Rotowire NHL and Fantasy Hockey expert Brian Rutherford joins Phil to talk top Fantasy Hockey forwards and Rotowire NBA and Fantasy Basketball expert Alex Rikleen joins Phil and the guys discuss the top centers in this year's Fantasy Basketball drafts and much more on this week's Phil's Fantasy Sports. You can download the show from my site or listen below.
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