There are several top-notch pitching options in Friday's slate of games with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Michael Pineda, Bartolo Colon and Dallas Keuchel all scheduled to start.
But the starter that may give you the most bang for your buck is White Sox rookie Carlos Rodon, who impressed in his first major league start against the Cincinnati Reds, striking out eight while allowing just four runs on two hits. Rodon should find success with a high strikeout total against a lefty-heavy Oakland Athletics lineup at the O.co Coliseum.
Find out who else we like tonight in our lineups below and feel free to tweet us questions @CSNFantasy:
John "The Professor" Paschall
I’m in a gambling mood so I took a chance with my pitcher for tonight’s slate of games. But Rodon has the upside to do well in his second start because of his high strikeout total. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of a leash on Rodon so I’m not worried about an innings limit either for this game. The A’s offense isn’t overwhelming, though they can sneak up on you at any point.
Because Rodon was so cheap, that allowed me to select an All-Star lineup of hitters.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Ramirez has been on fire for the White Sox lately, coming in on an eight-game hitting streak, and will face Jesse Hahn, who has been roughed up in his last two starts. Beltre has had better success this year against lefties and has started to find his stroke after a slow start to the season. Cabrera and Kinsler’s power this year has come against righties, making their matchup against Carlos Martinez seem enticing. Martin, on the other hand, may not have the power against lefties like he does righties, but he’s hitting .444 against southpaws compared to .256.
I’m still waiting for Stanton’s home run against the Dodgers to fall from the sky. Did I mention he’s also crushing right-handed pitching with all eight of his home runs this year against them? Watch out, Julio Tehran.
Nothing is more important in baseball than pitching, both good and bad. There are several top shelf options for starters today, like Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel, but with so many poor starting pitchers tonight I wanted to save my salary for offense. With that in mind I went with a mid-tier option in Bartolo Colon. Colon is still somehow getting it done with a 6-1 record, to go with a 3.30 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 46 innings, and he is a solid favorite to get the win tonight against a Milwaukee team that strikes out the 3rd most in the majors. Now looking at offense, there are 3 or 4 starting pitchers who I want to target with my position players. Chad Billingsley and Bruce Chen are both past their prime and are making their 3rd and 2nd starts of the season respectively. Both pitchers have an ERA over 9.00 so far, so there should be plenty of opportunities for both the Diamondbacks and Rangers. After a slow start Adrian Beltre has been heating up over the last week, and at $3,100 I think will be the best value play of the day with the potential to be the day’s top offensive player. I also wanted to stack Dodgers hitters, so I went with Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. Don’t let the low over/under of this game prevent you from using as many Dodgers as you like, as the number is more a reflection of Clayton Kershaw’s ability to shut down the Rockies. The Dodgers have scored the most runs in the National League and Eddie Butler is not a good Major League pitcher.
I made the cardinal sin of putting in two hitters against my batters, but my Russell Westbrook Picks of the Week are still Dee Gordon and now Giancarlo Stanton. Teheran was the best value I could get while still rounding out my potential power numbers nicely with Norris, Fielder and Cain. As always I love speed in my outfield, which is why Cain and Hamilton are again in my lineup. Moustakas has slowed some but is still pretty nice value here, even if he's facing a 5-0 Michael Pineda. The big ones here are Gordon and Stanton. If you can start with those two and fill in around them, you'll be looking at a payday.