Here are my favorite DFS plays for Friday’s MLB main slate.
For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels ($9,400) – Whether or not Mike Trout ($5,400; back) is in the lineup Friday, now is the time to pick on the Angels. They’re striking out at an absurd rate, regardless of the handedness of the opposing pitcher. Framber Valdez, who’s not a strikeout pitcher, logged six over six innings on Thursday, so Kershaw could very well go off Friday. The L.A. left-hander has logged over one strikeout per inning in three of his last four outings, which led to 24-plus DKFP points in each of those three outings. Additionally, the Angels have an abysmal .049 ISO against left-handed pitching this month.
Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals ($7,500) – Slim pickings when it comes to cheap pitching options. Backing an up-and-down rookie on the road in St. Louis may not seem ideal, but Greene has already handled the Cardinals at Busch Stadium this season. Last time he did that, the Cincy rookie was coming off a strong start, as is the case on Friday.
Greene also presents the greatest strikeout potential of any value pitching option on the slate, even though St. Louis is only 12th in strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this month. What should also help him is the Cardinals only have a .144 ISO and .290 wOBA against righties in July, which is in part thanks to the fact they’re dead-last in hard-contact rate and only have an 18.8% line-drive rate against right-handers this month.
Other Option - Tyler Wells ($7,400)
Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals ($5,500) – Riley’s numbers against left-handed pitching are viscous. Over his last 43 plate appearances against them, he’s put together a .405 ISO, 29.6% line-drive rate, 44.4% fly-ball rate and 44.4% hard-contact rate. Have to consider him whenever he’s facing a lefty, never mind when it’s Patrick Corbin ($6,400) — who Riley has three doubles and a home run against in 24 at-bats.
Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals ($4,700) – The All-Star catcher hasn’t logged double-digit DKFP since June 26. He’s logged 45 plate appearances against right-handed pitching since that strong showing, and he only has three extra-base hits (all doubles) to show for. However, Kirk has posted a 45.7% hard-contact rate against right-handers during that span. A lot of that contact has been on the ground, but he’ll face a right-handed pitcher on Friday who’s letting righties elevate the ball lately.
Daniel Vogelbach, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies ($3,400) – Although German Marquez ($6,900) can spin a gem every once in a while, I don’t think I could like this matchup more for Vogelbach. Marquez generates a healthy amount of grounders from lefties, but a lot of that contact is still hard. Over his last 57 plate appearances against righties, Vogelbach has posted a 48.4% hard-contact rate and just a 32.3% ground-ball rate. That’s all led to a .364 ISO and .500 wOBA over that stretch.
Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals ($3,200) – India has posted double-digit DKFP in each of the last four games, logging either an extra-base hit or multiple hits (or both in one case) in each of those games. He doesn’t have glowing numbers against right-handed pitching this month, but his 24% line-drive rate against righties across his last 40 plate appearances combined with his recent form make him one of my favorite salary savers. Right-handed hitters also have an above-average line-drive rate against Andre Pallante ($5,700) since he moved into St. Louis’ starting rotation, which could play large for Cincy’s second baseman.
Other Option - Jose Iglesias ($3,700)
Teoscar Hernandez, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals ($4,300) – Hernandez is destroying right-handed pitching right now. Over his last 44 plate appearances against righties, he has a .282 ISO, 32% line-drive rate and 40% hard-contact rate. Although he hasn’t given up a ton of hard contact to right-handed hitters, Zack Greinke ($6,300) has allowed the last 54 righties he’s seen to post a 35.7% line-drive rate and 38.1% fly-ball rate.
Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($5,600) – Robert is pulverizing left-handed pitching this season, and he’s in a groove right now. He has nine hits in his last three games, and four of them have been for extra bases. Throughout 2022, Robert has posted a 29.8% line-drive rate and 34% hard-contact rate against left-handers. The last 87 right-handed hitters that’ve faced Devin Smeltzer ($6,500) have posted a 51.5% fly-ball rate, which could be very problematic for the Twins on Friday.
Other Option - Kris Bryant ($5,700)
Adam Duvall, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals ($3,400) – The only detractor with Duvall on Friday is how popular he might be. Quite a few suspect starting pitchers are taking the mound, though, so we should be OK.
Of course, the reason his rostership could be elevated is he’ll see Corbin Friday. Duvall has a .348 ISO against left-handed pitching this year, which is the result of a 42.6% hard-contact rate and a measly 23.4% ground-ball rate. Also, Duvall is 11-for-32 with four doubles and two home runs against Corbin.
Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners ($2,300) – He’s got a tough matchup, but Taveras has been doing a lot for Texas recently. He’s driven in a run in six of his last seven games played and logged multiple hits in five of those seven. His two hits and one RBI on Thursday only led to 8 DKFP, but he’d logged double-digit DKFP in five of his previous six. The power upside isn’t there, but Taveras is doing everything else, providing a quality option at a near-minimum salary.
TEAM TO STACK
Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Across his last eight starts, right-handed hitters have posted a 25.9% line-drive rate and a sub-40% ground-ball rate against Jose Quintana ($7,000). That’s asking for trouble coming into Coors Field.
Kris Bryant ($5,700) is the highest-priced right-handed bat of the bunch, and rightfully so. He has a .208 ISO and 34.1% hard-contact rate, while posting a minuscule 31.7% ground-ball rate, against lefties across his last 52 plate appearances. Randal Grichuk ($4,200) has made a lot of hard contact against lefties this month and just logged three multi-hit games in Colorado’s four-game series against San Diego. Jose Iglesias ($3,700) had an even better series against the Padres. He’s done well against lefties throughout the season, but he’s off to a slow start against them this month. But, that’s been the result of some bad luck. He has a .182 BABIP against lefties in July despite his 25% line-drive rate and 33.3% hard-contact rate against them.
Other Option - Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
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