There’s a nice mix of good matchups for pitchers and good matchups for hitters on Friday’s 12-game main slate. Here are the options that stand out most.
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Prior to his last start, San Fran’s left-hander was riding a five-game streak in which he’d failed to log at least 20 DKFP. Now that he’s back on track, Rodon gets a crack at a very favorable matchup. The Pirates are third in strikeout rate and sixth-to-last in wOBA against left-handed pitching. Since May 20, they have a 26.2% strikeout rate against lefties. Quite the opportunity for a pitcher who enters Friday with 83 strikeouts over 65 innings this season.
Jon Gray, Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers ($6,900) – Not typically a starter you’re looking to target, Gray has put together some big performances recently. The Tigers are an appealing matchup for any right-hander, but especially someone who’s trending in the right direction. They’re last in wOBA and ISO against right-handed pitching, and Detroit also has the fifth-highest strikeout rate against righties. Over the last month, the Tigers have the second-highest strikeout rate against right-handed pitching and both the lowest wOBA and ISO.
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($6,100) – He may hit better for contact against right-handed pitchers, but there’s no doubt Machado prefers lefties. On the season, he has a .323 ISO and .410 wOBA against left-handed pitching — despite his .235 BABIP.
His BABIP over the last 44 plate appearances against lefties is only .129, leading to his .184 average during that stretch. Still, he’s turned his 44.1% hard-contact rate and 47.1% fly-ball rate since May 1 into a .289 ISO.
Kyle Freeland ($5,700) has generally kept the ball on the ground at Coors against righties this season, but they’re still getting good wood against him. Also, he’s surrendered five doubles and a .310 average to Machado throughout his career.
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cleveland Guardians ($5,300) – Freeman has been a doubles machine against right-handed pitching, drilling 13 in his last 124 plate appearances against righties. That’s the result of him hitting a healthy amount of line drives (27.2.%) and flies (38%) during that span. He’s also making minimal soft contact (7.6%) right now. He’ll face a right-hander who presents a very favorable matchup for lefties in Zach Plesac ($6,700).
Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Minnesota Twins ($4,100) – Most of his home runs have come against right-handed pitching, but Walker does his best work against left-handed pitching. In his limited 56 plate appearances against lefties this season, he has a .370 ISO and .459 ISO. That’s largely due to him making hard contact (39%) and not hitting it on the ground much (29.3%). Devin Smeltzer ($6,500) has been scuffling lately, making him a prime matchup for Walker.
Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies ($3,300) – Not normally a guy I’m looking at, but Kim has a few things going his way on Friday that make him a good salary saver. He’s hit lefties well all season, posting a .203 ISO and .386 wOBA against them. He also gets under a lot of left-handed offerings (45.3% fly-ball rate), which could play large at Coors Field.
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals ($6,000) – Of the five hitters priced $6K and up, Harper has the best matchup available. Paulo Espino ($4,000) will only pitch so much, but any shot at a less-than-intimidating right-hander is great for Harper. He’s got a .430 wOBA and .330 ISO against them this season. Also, this Washington bullpen has struggled against left-handed hitters this season.
Joc Pederson, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,500) – Pederson Hasn’t done much this past week, but he’s facing a so-so righty on Friday in Zach Thompson ($6,100). Although Thompson has largely been good against lefty hitters, Pederson has thrived against most righties. To this point in the season, he’s posted a 46.3% hard-contact rate while hitting a limited number of grounders. That’s led to a .397 wOBA and .297 ISO against righties.
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cleveland Guardians ($4,000) – Bellinger has a .210 ISO against right-handed pitching across his last 90 plate appearances. He’s made minimal soft contact during that span and gotten a lot of those right-handed offerings airborne. With Plesac on the mound for Cleveland, the Dodgers’ lefty bats are in a spot for a big night.
Brendan Donovan, St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox ($3,200) – The rookie heads into the weekend having posted back-to-back multi hit games and 19-plus DKFP in three of his last four. The lefty has done most of his damage against right-handed pitching, rocking a .410 wOBA to this point in the season. Michael Wacha ($7,400) has limited damage from lefty bats, but he does give a lot of fly balls to them, which could help the rookie add another home run to his ledger.
TEAM TO STACK
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Cleveland Guardians – Any L.A. lefty in the lineup on Friday is a viable option against Plesac. That puts Freeman, Bellinger, Gavin Lux ($3,900) and Max Muncy ($5,100) in play. The last 41 lefties to face Cleveland’s right-hander put together a 33.3% line-drive rate and 38.9% hard-contact rate. That’s led to a .400 wOBA from that group. With the lefties the Dodgers have, those numbers could look worse after Friday.
Other Option - San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
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