Here are my favorite DFS plays for Friday’s full DraftKings MLB main slate.
For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.
Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels ($9,800) – The Braves just took it to Ray, but that tends to happen with most left-handed pitchers vs. Atlanta. Plus, the Angels aren’t exactly the Braves. Sure, L.A. has a .220 ISO against lefties over the last month of games, but they also have a 25.3% strikeout rate during that span.
Additionally, Mike Trout ($6,100) and Shohei Ohtani ($6,400) have combined for seven strikeouts in their 10 at-bats against Ray. If he can handle them, he can maintain the success he’s had vs. the Angels this season (28-plus DKFP in all three meetings).
Corey Kluber, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers ($7,400) – Kluber was seeing ghosts last time out. After getting the best of the Yankees for most of the season, they smoked him for six runs on eight hits in just 2/3 of an inning. Kluber has had some rough days this season, but that was next-level. Maybe it helps deter some from rostering him Friday.
Funnily enough, part of what makes him appealing is the fact he struggled last time out. He’d gone for single digit DKFP or worse seven times before his last outing. Of the seven outings that ensued those nightmares, he went for 19.7 DKFP or more six times. He could very well do that again vs. Texas, who has a 24.8% K rate against righties since mid-August.
J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves ($5,500) – Realmuto isn’t a splits-dependent play, but there’s a lot to like about the way he handles left-handed pitchers — especially this one. Since mid-August, his line-drive and fly-ball rate are both 36.8% against lefties, and he’s got a hard-contact rate of 47.4% during that span. That’s led to a .333 average and .200 ISO.
Against Max Fried ($10,100), Realmuto is 11-for-34 in his career. Of those 11 hits, four have been for extra bases — three being homers.
Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles ($4,700) – He’s not the first Toronto bat you’d think of rostering in this spot, especially at this price. But, he’s a career 7-for-19 with four home runs and one double against Jordan Lyles ($6,600).
While Chapman hasn’t had great results against righties over the last month of games, his 46.7% fly-ball rate and 33.3% hard-contact rate during that span have led to a decent amount of extra-base hits. Also, over his last five starts, right-handed hitters have a 40.7% fly-ball rate against Lyles.
Editor’s Note: Blue Jays RP Trevor Richards will start tonight’s game vs. the Orioles.
Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays ($3,500) – The Baltimore rookie is always a good way to round out your lineup when he’s matched up against a righty, especially because of his positional flexibility. The rookie comes into Friday with a .182 ISO against righties this season despite not making an overwhelming amount of quality contact.
But, he should have no issues building upon his power and quality-of-contact numbers with Thomas Hatch ($5,100) starting things off for Toronto this weekend.
Carlos Santana, Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels ($2,100) – Simply put: You have to consider all lefty bats who are facing Michael Lorenzon ($6,800). Seattle’s lefties don’t have great numbers, but they’re appropriately priced, making them all worth consideration in this matchup.
Santana is my favorite of the bunch because he has a 25.6% line-drive rate, 46.2% fly-ball rate and 40% hard-contact rate against righties since mid-August. That’s led to a .185 ISO during that span. A solid mark, but he’s clearly making better contact than his results indicate.
Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays ($4,800) – As mentioned when discussing Henderson, Hatch got smoke last time out. So while lefties are Santander’s preferred opponent, he’s still in a strong spot here – especially at sub-$5K. And even if Hatch’s outing turns into a bullpen day, Santander is equipped to handle whatever comes out of Toronto’s bullpen.
Against righties specifically, he’s got a .263 ISO this month. That’s been the result of a 59.4% fly-ball rate and 43.8% hard-contact rate.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Milwaukee Brewers ($6,500) – Righty, lefty, doesn’t matter who Judge is facing. He’s always someone you have to consider. For a while now, the question with him has been, “Why shouldn’t I play him?”
Adrian Houser ($6,000) has been good lately, but right-handed bats have gotten a lot of good wood against him in 2022. They’ve posted a 35.7% hard-contact rate and a 24.6% line-drive rate. Doing that against everyone else means he’s likely to run into problems against the most dangerous hitter in the game.
Wil Myers, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,800) – This is 100% all about the batter-vs-pitcher numbers. Myers may not have a great average against Madison Bumgarner ($5,800), but he has a .933 career OPS against him across 70 plate appearances. He’s taken MadBum deep six times and also laced three doubles off of him. At this price, that’s enough to make him a very appealing play Friday.
Gavin Sheets, Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers ($2,600) – The lefty hasn’t crushed Matt Manning ($6,200) in the past, but he does have three hits, including a double, in nine plate appearances. More importantly, Sheets has a .225 ISO against right-handed pitching since mid-August. Manning has been good this season, but he’s also gotten a bit lucky against lefty bats this season, riding a .253 BABIP against them to this point.
TEAM TO STACK
Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics – Adrian Martinez ($6,400) got smoked last time out, and now he has to handle the ever-potent Astros lineup on Friday — in Houston, no less. He’s actually been better on the road than at home, but a 4.87 ERA is far from intimidating.
Yordan Alvarez ($5,900) and Kyle Tucker ($5,600) are instantly in play with the handedness advantage. Jose Altuve’s $6K price tag might deter some, but he’s also an appealing option if Houston’s left-handed hitting outfielders feel too chalky to you.
As for savings, Aledmys Diaz ($3,900) remains a great option against righties or lefties, so long as he continues to be listed at sub-$4K. Trey Mancini ($4,300) is a mid-range bat that could easily get overlooked, but he’s actually been better against righties than lefties in his time with Houston.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is dk-nfriar) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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