Tonight’s MLB slate features a 14-game slate with the best pitcher in all of baseball, Clayton Kershaw, toeing the rubber. In addition to Kershaw pitching, we have a few offenses that are in prime spots to succeed. Let’s take and look at some of my favorite FanDuel plays for Friday.
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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers, $11,000 – Certain situations in DFS can be difficult to sort out, while others can be straightforward. This is a straightforward situation; Clayton Kershaw will be pitching at home against one of the worst road teams versus LHP in the Colorado Rockies. Kershaw is coming into this game as a -300 favorite with a low total of 6.5 on the MLB odds board. If you are spending up at pitcher today, there’s no need to look elsewhere.
J.A. Happ, Seattle Mariners, $7,300 – J.A. Happ is a rather intriguing option tonight for a few reasons. First off, he has been pitching great this season with at least six innings pitched in all but one start. Secondly, he will be facing off against a team that struggles to score runs away from home in the Boston Red Sox. And lastly, he will have the benefit of pitching in the spacious Safeco Field.
Evan Gattis, Houston Astros, $3,200 – The price on Gattis is finally starting to adjust downwards after it spiked due to a recent hot streak. Gattis is a guy that I really like today at the catcher position due to his price and matchup. The matchup with Dickey is solid in the fact that when he is off his game, the ball is leaving the yard. Gattis is a hitter that does not get cheated at the plate, so if he gets ahold of a Dickey knuckleball, the probability of it going over the fences is high.
Jason Castro, Houston Astros, $2,400 – For many of the reasons mentioned in the Gattis write-up, I believe Castro is a solid catcher option as well. The price on Castro is much cheaper, so you can get the home run upside at much cheaper rate, if roster construction requires such a downgrade in price. The negative in regards to Castro is a poor lineup spot (usually sixth), however this is offset by his close to bare minimum salary.
Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,300 – The Dodgers bats disappointed as a whole last night against Chad Bettis. Tonight they land a similar matchup against Eddie Butler. I do not expect the best offense in baseball to allow a free pass to a below average RHP on back-to-back nights. Gonzalez has a fair FD price of $4,300 and is in contention for the top overall play at the position.
Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox, $2,500 – I mentioned J.A Happ is a value pitching option and I still stand by that recommendation. However, Napoli is too cheap to ignore in this matchup. He is a player that has historically been very good against LHP, and he is sitting with a FD price that is $300 above the minimum. In addition to the bargain price, Napoli will likely hit fourth or fifth in the Red Sox lineup today, making him an intriguing value/punt option.
Jimmy Paredes, Baltimore Orioles, $3,500 – Quick question: which FD-eligible second baseman is averaging the most fantasy points per game? Jose Altuve? No. Jason Kipnis? No. The correct answer is Jimmy Paredes. The guy is getting done for the Orioles this season. He should continue to draw an elite lineup spot (second or third) and draws a great matchup with the declining arsenal of Jered Weaver.
Cory Spangenberg, San Diego Padres, $2,600 – Here is another relatively unknown guy that is getting it done. Spangenberg is coming off a two-homer game last night and continues to carry a bargain price of $2,600. As long as he continues to hit at the top of the order against RHP, Spangenberg will remain a solid value option.
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers, $3,100 – Adrian Beltre is off to a slow start this season, which might be a sign that his age is starting to take over. However, the situation he finds himself in on Friday is tough to ignore. In previous seasons, Beltre would be an absolute lock in this matchup against lefty Bruce Chen, even at a $4K+ price tag. Tonight his price is sitting at $3,100, so I’m willing to overlook the slow start to the season for Beltre.
Martin Prado, Miami Marlins, $2,600 – The low end of the third base price tier does not offer many appealing options. Therefore, if you need some additional savings, a guy like Marti Prado is somewhat interesting due to his lineup spot. Prado typically hits towards the top of the Marlins order and has the benefit of hitting around Stanton, which is a huge bonus.
Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals, $2,900 – Shortstop is another position that is somewhat difficult to figure out today. The top is void of many standout options and Tulo is facing Kershaw, which is a situation to avoid. Peralta has a fair price and will be facing a struggling pitcher in Shane Greene. The Cardinals offense is dangerous at Busch Stadium and Peralta will hit somewhere in the middle of the order.
Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels, $2,400 – Aybar is a fine punt option at the shortstop positon. He has been locked into the five hole for the Angels as of late. The Angels will be experiencing a positive park shift tonight when they travel to Baltimore to take on the Orioles. The key here is lineup positioning.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels, $5,200 – Mike Trout is the top overall hitter on tonight’s slate. For one, the guy has smashed LHP (and RHP) throughout his career. But, the key factor is the positive park shift. As mentioned in the Aybar write-up, the Angels will be experiencing a positive park shift in Baltimore. If you can fit the high salary into your lineup, Trout is an excellent option.
Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, $4,300 – A short memory is one of the most important skills in DFS. If you are like me and got burned by Pederson’s 0-for-5 performance last night, it might be tough to go back to the well tonight. That being said, Pederson lands in a phenomenal spot again tonight at home versus Eddie Butler. Forget about last night and look Pederson’s way again.
Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres, $2,900 – Matt Kemp is not a $2,900 player, but due to a recent slump, his priced has fallen to this bargain level. Kemp had a solid game last night with two hits and two runs. At $2,900, I think Kemp is worth a shot to have a second consecutive solid game.