Friday night MLB DFS is here, and that means a full slate of games to choose from.
As always, be sure to remember the heavy variance that comes with baseball and to be very aware of your bankroll management. Additionally, the RotoGrinders MLB lineups page and push notifications are the best way to get all team lineups in a timely manner.
Jacob deGrom (vs. Atlanta Braves)
Pitching on this Friday night is very interesting. Typically, when you get 14 games on a slate it produces several good pitching options. Tonight, it is Jacob deGrom and everyone else. He is the clear-cut leader of the pack by a very wide margin and then there is a severe drop-off to mediocrity after him. He is at home facing Atlanta, a big drop-off in park factors for the road team here, and the Braves are sporting a lowly 3.5 team total. The numbers are fantastic yet again for Jacob, as he has a 3.18 xFIP this season to go along with over 11 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s racked up 37 strikeouts over his last four starts while not allowing any more than two earned runs in his last seven outings. He is the clear option on one pitcher sites, the most dominant cash game pitching option tonight and should even be on your radar in tournaments.
Catcher/ First Base
Matt Olson (vs. Los Angeles Angels)
As you would expect with any huge slate, there are a ton of options at the first base position tonight. I like to bypass some of the more expensive plays and get down to the mid-tier to pluck out a guy like Matt Olson. The price tag suits us well at only $4,100 on DraftKings and $3,300 on Fanduel. His first at-bat will see him take on a right-handed reliever who is the designated “opener” for Los Angeles tonight. His next couple of at-bats after that should be against another right-handed pitcher in long relief. Olson is a left-handed hitter that has typically smashed right-handed pitching throughout his career including a .222 ISO and 47.1% hard-hit rate this season alone. I think this is a good price range and a great player to be on for this slate at this position.
Max Muncy (vs. Colorado Rockies)
The truth is you could play any Los Angeles Dodgers tonight and feel comfortable with it. For the sake of this article I’m only going to choose one, and that’s Max Muncy. Watching the games last night and hanging out in the Rotogrinders discord chat talking about baseball (https://discordapp.com/channels/456864351870124032/560132751047524367) someone made a comment that got my attention. They said Max Muncy was built for Coors Field. That struck me as interesting, so I went and looked up his spray charts. Sure enough, you see that most of his flyballs against right-handed pitching actually travel out to the opposite field. For a left-handed hitter that is very advantageous in Colorado. Of course, Muncy went on to crack two home runs last night and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize he’s a power hitter playing in a thin air ballpark, but it’s good to have some data that backs up your theories. Coming off a career year and now returning this season with 19 home runs already before the All-Star break, I will gladly roster this fair price tag my DFS team tonight.
Eugenio Suarez (vs. Chicago Cubs)
There are several left-handers on the mound tonight, so we get some good splits working with some of these hitters. One of them is Eugenio Suarez who takes on left-hander Cole Hamels. Suarez is a player I recognized as a must play when he’s in this split. Last season’s numbers jumped off the charts as he put up a .273 ISO, 14.6% walk rate, massive 54.6% hard-hit rate all while limiting his strikeouts. This season’s not much different in terms of raw numbers. The icing on the cake is the incredible salary were getting on both major sites tonight. Only $3,700 on DraftKings and $2,700 on Fanduel makes him a must play on my teams tonight.
Tim Beckham (vs. Houston Astros)
The Astros have done a good job making Wade Miley an acceptable option in the rotation, but he still Wade Miley and the upside is capped. So, at a relatively thin position like shortstop tonight I have no problems trying to take advantage of this platoon split and play Tim Beckham. He’s a great way to save salary, gets a matchup with an average left-hander and has historically had better numbers against left-handed pitching the right-handed pitching. Throughout the course of his career facing left-handers Beckham has a higher walk rate, higher ISO, higher wOBA and higher wRC+. In a limited sample this year against left-handers, he has seen that strikeout rate go up and that walk rate go down, but he is cracking a .222 ISO versus lefties. For these minuscule price tags on the major sites, I’ll gladly take my chances and punt this shortstop position tonight.
Nelson Cruz (vs. Chicago White Sox)
The numbers for Nelson Cruz in his career against left-handed pitching have been stuff of legends. Now the problem with stats that when you go back that many years it is clear this isn’t the same player it was back then. However, in the case of Cruz it doesn’t appear there’s been much of a fall off over the years. So far in 2019 he’s had 60 plate appearances against left-handed pitching and converted that to a .360 ISO and 69.7% hard-hit rate. The biggest difference is he striking out more against lefties, but I’m okay with that trade-off when it comes to the power. This Minnesota team has been the biggest surprise in baseball this year, specifically their offense which is put up GPP winning performances so many times in the first half of the year. I think Cruz is an integral part of any Minnesota stack tonight.
Jarrod Dyson (vs. San Francisco Giants)
We’ve had a lot of success targeting hitters who have a great chance of stealing bases. I’m going back to the well tonight with Jared Dyson of Arizona. In 233 plate appearances this year Dyson has 19 stolen bases. In 237 plate appearances last season he racked up 16 stolen bases. So, the number is not fraudulent, he is a fast guy and will run when he gets on base. Dyson is a left-handed hitter that gets the benefit of taking on a right-hander tonight, Shaun Anderson. Anderson has made eight starts this season and has given up multiple walks in every start except for one. In fact, in five of his eight starts he is allowed three or more walks. He tends to lose control at times and that is a very good sign for a guy like Dyson who only needs to get on first base to have massive upside in fantasy.