After Thursday’s annoying layout of MLB action, Friday has a jam-packed main slate as we move into the weekend. Here’s a look at some of my favorite DFS plays for Friday’s action. For additional picks across all MLB games, find me on Twitter @Nick_Friar.
For the latest lineup and injury updates all season long, follow @dklive on Twitter.
Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox @ Minnesota Twins ($8,400) - The White Sox aren’t pushing it with Kopech’s pitch count in the early going, but he’s been fairly economical so far. After averaging 17.25 pitches per inning in his first 2022 outing, he averaged 15 in his second. Had he been allowed to extend to 100 pitches, the pace he was at in both starts would’ve put six innings well within reach. And that’s while walking two hitters in each of his first two starts.
But even if Kopech doesn’t cut down on those walks, he’s throwing well and going up against a Twins lineup that hasn’t done so hot against right-handed pitching in the early going. Minnesota is bottom 10 in OPS and wOBA against right-handers and has a .138 team ISO against righties. The Twins also have the fifth-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching (25.5%).
Other Options – Justin Verlander ($10,500)
Michael Wacha, Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays ($6,600) – Who would’ve thought Wacha would ever play for the team that ruined his remarkable 2013 postseason run? Yet here we are, almost 10 years later, and Boston’s righty has been solid in the early going. His pitch count seems to be limited somewhat, and he’s walked a few too many hitters, but that’s why he’s a value play.
Friday will be Wacha’s first crack at his 2021 team, who have been OK against righties through the first couple weeks. While their top 11 in OPS and wOBA against righties, the Rays only have a .138 team ISO against them. More importantly, Tampa has been punched out a lot by right-handed pitching, rocking a 25.9% strikeout rate (fourth-highest against righties).
Other Options – Antonio Senzatela ($5,800)
Francisco Lindor, New York Mets @ Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,400) – There are a lot of high-priced options at shortstop. Fresh off his dismantling of the Giants, we have to stick with Lindor. He’s rocking a 1.133 OPS against right-handed pitching in the early going, and he’ll face one of those in Zac Gallen ($6,300) on Friday. Chase Field is a big ballpark, so home runs might be hard to come by. But, Lindor could easily turn a double or two into three-base hits at this triple-friendly stadium.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Rockies and the Tigers has been postponed due to inclement weather.
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies @ Detroit Tigers ($5,100) – This dude is in one right now, and no one is doing much to stop him. Be it righties or lefties, Cron is mashing everyone. Historically, he’s done more damage against left-handed pitching, rocking a career .233 ISO against lefties. While Tarik Skubal ($8,600) is coming off a strong start, each of the five extra-base hits he’s given up this season (all doubles) have come off righty bats.
Other Options – Jose Abreu ($5,000), Jose Ramirez ($5,800)
Editor’s Note: Diamondbacks C Carson Kelly is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Mets.
Carson Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets ($3,400) – Kelly and David Peterson ($9,000) are trending in opposite directions. Peterson hasn’t given up a run over 8 1/3 innings. Kelly is hitting .063. But I have no problem fading the Mets lefty and asking the Arizona catcher to mash a left-hander — like he did so often last season.
Editor’s Note: Dodgers 3B Edwin Rios is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Padres.
Edwin Rios, Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres ($2,100) – This is one you’ll have to double check the lineup for, but there are enough games starting later on Friday that this is a safe play to plan for. Rios has played in four of L.A.’s last five and could be a big-time saver with power potential. He has a hit in four of his five 2022 games, the latest being a home run in the Dodgers’ win on Wednesday. With San Diego trotting out a righty on Friday, Rios should get the chance to build on his recent play.
Other Options – Justin Turner ($4,000)
Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($5,400) – Freddy Peralta ($8,900) just got rocked hard by the Cardinals, and now he’s about to see a former NL Central bat that’s given him trouble. Castellanos is 7-for-13 with four doubles and a home run against Peralta. The Philadelphia OF has also been mashing the righties he’s seen this season, posting a .950 OPS against them thanks in part to four doubles and two home runs.
Steven Kwan, Cleveland Guardians vs. New York Yankees ($4,800) – After following his hot start up with a three-game cold spell, Kwan is back on track. He’s hit safely in each of his last three games, doubling twice in the process. This will be Kwan’s first crack at Jameson Taillon ($7,200), who’s been solid through two starts — which means he’s due for a rough outing. The Cleveland OF can absolutely play a part in a rough one for Taillon at the lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium. Especially with the way Kwan has been hitting right-handers, rocking a 1.183 OPS against them to start 2022.
Other Options – Franmil Reyes ($4,700)
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres ($3,100) – After going hitless in his first eight at-bats, Bellinger has been surging. He has six multi-hit games this season and is 12 for his last 35 with three doubles, two homers and a triple. Five of those six extra-base hits have come against right-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size, but Bellinger has a .984 OPS and .303 average against righties through 37 plate appearances. And would you look at that, he’s set to face a mediocre right-hander on Friday in San Diego’s Nick Martinez ($6,100).
Jesus Sanchez, Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves ($3,500) – This price from the four-spot is too good to pass up, especially with the way Sanchez has been performing. Doesn’t matter he’s facing the upward-trending Kyle Wright ($9,300). The left-handed-hitting OF just posted another multi-hit game — the fifth in his last six games. He’s now up to three homers, two triples and a double on the season, all of which have come against right-handed pitching.
Other Options – Trey Mancini ($2,700)
TEAM TO STACK
Cleveland Guardians @ New York Yankees – Taillon was a guy to pick on last year. He may be doing all right in the early going, but it’s going to take a while before I’m sold. So, l’m all about a mini-stack at the top of the order. Kwan is my preferred centerpiece, and pair him with either the red-hot Jose Ramirez ($5,800) or the overdue Franmil Reyes ($4,700) — the latter being the only one of these two Cleveland power bats who’s taken Taillon deep previously.
Other Options – Dodgers @ Padres,
Rockies @ Tigers
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