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MLB DFS Plays: Friday

by David “headChopper” Kaplen
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:08 pm ET

Baseball is winding down and we don’t have much longer left in the regular season. Before football cranks up this weekend, let’s dig in and see if we can find some studs and sleepers to fill out our roster and win some big money on FanDuel and DraftKings.

 

Pitcher

 

Rich Hill (vs. San Diego Padres) 

 

The current team with the lowest implied run total tonight? The San Diego Padres. The opposing pitcher? Rich Hill. San Diego sits at a paltry 2.7 implied run total against the Dodgers' left hander. The top hitters in this Padres lineup are right handers (Myers, Renfroe, Reyes…), and it just so happens Hill is better vs righties than lefties, as he has a very solid 29.6% K Rate vs right handers this season. His wOBA, ISO and walk rate are all lower vs right handers, too. Hill makes for a great option on your DFS team, sitting just outside that top range of pricing for pitchers.              

              

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Others to Consider: Jose Berrios, Luis Castillo

               

Catcher

               

Austin Barnes (vs. San Diego Padres)     

 

Barnes allows me to save money at catcher and actually have a solid chance at some return of fantasy points. He faces off against a left hander tonight, and Barnes has been good against lefties in his three-year career. The wOBA is .335, his ISO sits at .158 and his strikeout rate drops over 4% against southpaws. I think he is well worth the low salary and opens up the opportunity to grab some stud bats that we will talk about later.

               

Others to Consider: Salvador Perez, Gary Sanchez

 

First Base           

               

Freddie Freeman (vs. Philadelphia Phillies)         

 

Considering this is a 14-game main slate, this first base position is tough to figure out tonight. There are not a lot of loveable options, so I am rolling with one of the best in the game, Freddie Freeman. A 45.6% hard hit rate vs right-handed pitching this year, combined with Nick Pivetta struggling against lefties (18% K Rate, 41.2% hard hit rate), makes Freeman pop off the page at a position I found to be weak tonight.         

               

Others to Consider: Jesus Aguilar, Justin Smoak

               

Second Base     

               

Travis Shaw (vs. Pittsburgh Pirates)        

 

I love that I can get a power hitter like Shaw eligible at second base now. So, I am going to take advantage of it, because all the numbers are there. He's a power bat against a right-handed pitcher that is bad against left-handed hitters. What swings things over the top are the 19 at-bats Shaw has logged against Nova that he's converted to 12 hits (.632 avg) and three home runs (.579 ISO). The BvP numbers confirm what the splits tell us.               

               

Others to Consider: Jose Altuve, Rougned Odor

               

Third Base          

               

Eugenio Suarez (vs. Miami Marlins)        

 

Suarez has been a breakthrough hitter this year, and his numbers versus left-handed pitching are hard to fathom. A sick 81.1% contact rate for a power hitter is very good, and the 55.4% hart hit rate is approaching a video game number. Even better for Suarez tonight is a matchup against Wei-Yin Chen, a lefty that gets destroyed by righties on an annual basis. This year has been no different, as the .193 ISO and lowly 17.1% K Rate tells us. Fire up Suarez with confidence.                       

               

Others to Consider: Justin Turner, Kyle Seager

 

Shortstop           

               

Manny Machado (vs. San Diego Padres)               

 

I originally had several Dodgers on the list because I think they absolutely have their way with left hander Eric Lauer tonight. I like Justin Turner, but there are great options at third base tonight already. I could get behind Chris Taylor, but outfield is crowded. So, I will limit some of that Dodgers enthusiasm and punt my catcher with a Dodger and play Machado at a thin shortstop spot. The formula is simple for one of the best hitters in the game. He has an 84.9% contact rate vs lefties this season, so he hits the ball and gives you an opportunity for fantasy points. Additionally, when he does hit it, he hits it hard, as he has a 40.3% hard hit rate vs righties. It’s a fantastic combination, so Machado is my favorite shortstop on the slate.

               

Others to Consider: Elvis Andrus, Carlos Correa

               

Outfield              

               

Andrew McCutchen (vs. Baltimore Orioles)        

 

The Yankees have the highest team total (5.91 runs) on the board tonight, by a wide margin. You could play several of these hitters and feel good about it, but I am going to choose my favorite, Andrew McCutchen, who has been very good since he joined this lineup earlier this month. He has primarily been the leadoff man for the Yankees, so we are getting maximum at-bats in a game that could see the top of the order bat 5+ times tonight. McCutchen has a higher walk rate than strikeout rate with the Yankees and added on a .278 ISO (four home runs in pinstripes) for some power. He is just a solid all-around fantasy option with his new team and he is going to be in any Yankees stack I make tonight.        

        

Nick Castellanos (vs. Kansas City Royals)               

 

Castellanos has had a season that could get him considered for the “Most Improved” award. He has always been solid, but he played backup singer for many years to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Now, he is a solo vocalist that is crushing it on his own. Against right handers this season he sports a .202 ISO, 27.7% line drive rate, and 47.1% hart hit rate. He is the best hitter on a team that is at home taking on a homer-prone right hander, Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has struggled against right handed hitters this year, failing to get strikeouts (17.8%) and giving up hard hits (.210 ISO). Castellanos will be an overlooked option on a crowded slate tonight.               

               

Others to Consider: Nelson Cruz, Joey Gallo

David “headChopper” Kaplen
David “headChopper” Kaplen is one of the godfathers of Daily Fantasy, having been near the top of the rankings since DFS emerged in 2010. Nearing double-digit live final qualifiers, David’s crowning achievement is winning the 2013 FanDuel Basketball Champion in Las Vegas. HeadChopper can be found on twitter @headChopper.