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Should you ride Kyle Schwarber’s hot streak Friday night in MLB DFS?

The Nationals leadoff hitter has 12 HRs in his past 13 games and 8 HRs in the past 5. Should you be riding him on DraftKings and in the betting markets? We break it down.

Kyle Schwarber of the Washington Nationals rounds the bases on his solo home run in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on June 24, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

There are a lot of exciting superstars in Major League Baseball right now. Shohei Ohtani. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Fernando Tatis Jr. Ronald Acuna Jr. Kyle Schwarber. Wait, what? Yes, the Washington Nationals outfielder and leadoff hitter is perhaps the hottest player on the planet right now.

Schwarber just can’t stop hitting dingers. He’s got 12 HRs in his past 13 games and 8 HRs over his past 5 for the Nats, who have won 12 of their past 14 games to move into second place in the NL East. In the month of June, Schwarber has .276/.352/.750 batting splits with a 1.102 OPS over 76 ABs. He enters Friday against the Miami Marlins alone in 4th place in MLB with 21 HRs on the season.

Schwarber’s hot streak in June has him positioned nicely to make the All-Star team in the National League, which will be very tough with how competitive the outfield is looking. Schwarber has over half of his RBI on the season in June (26 of 49). He’s the first player in MLB history to homer 11 times in 13 games in the leadoff spot in the lineup, per STATS, and is the fourth player to compile 8 HRs and 15 RBI over a 5-game span, joining Manny Ramirez, Shawn Green and Frank Howard.

Should you play Kyle Schwarber in fantasy baseball on DraftKings?

This isn’t an easy matchup against Marlins SP Pablo Lopez, but fortunately Lopez is a right-handed pitcher. Schwarber has done almost all of his damage this season against RHPs, with 20 HRs and 44 RBI with a .962 OPS. Considering how hot Schwarber is, I’m willing to ignore the matchup and some road splits. He’s $4,500 on DK for Friday night’s slate and that seems pretty cheap considering the type of production Schwarber has been putting up.

The issue comes down to ownership. Schwarber may be more owned in tournaments than he’s accustom to. That’s fine, because it’s a very deep main slate, so ownership should be spread out a bit. It also doesn’t seem like the Nats will be a popular stacking option. Schwarber makes some sense as a one-off play in tournament lineups surrounded by a contrarian stack. You get an affordable bat in the leadoff spot (optimal ABs) with a very high ceiling given his recent production.