We have a 14-game main slate for Friday with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. ET. The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are off after their wild one in Iowa last night.
Zack Wheeler will be a great play again tonight. He has shined this season and shown that he is one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball.
He is coming off of a complete game shutout of the New York Mets and faces the Cincinnati Reds tonight. The Reds are one of the better offenses in the league, but great pitching generally neutralizes great hitting.
I would give a look to Julio Urias tonight, too. I think he has had a better season than some might expect. The problem with him is that he still does not usually last long into games. It has gotten better this season than last, but still something that can limit his upside.
Tonight, he gets the Mets – and I like that he gets the favorable splits match-up against a few of their hitters (Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith) or they are going to be forced out of the lineup. It is also beneficial for him that this game will take place in Citi Field, a clear pitchers’ park.
Urias has given up more than two earned runs in one start since June 22nd. He generally has a floor of about five strikeouts with the upside to reach into the double digits.
I like the match-up for him tonight.
Anthony DeSclafani works for tonight, too. He has the second best rating on the Bales Model on FanDuel. He gets the great match-up of facing the Colorado Rockies outside of Coors Field.
There is some wind blowing out in San Francisco, but the same thing was occurring last night and the Rockies did not score.
DeSclafani is a reason why the San Francisco Giants have been able to maintain first place in the NL West for much of the year. At times throughout the season, he has been downright dominant.
He has only made two starts against these Rockies so far, with both coming at home. He has combined in those starts for 15 innings pitched, zero earned runs, and 17 strikeouts. You could say he has enjoyed seeing them. Both of those starts occurred in April, however.
He has struggled a little bit since the beginning of July, but it should be related to any “sticky stuff” situation because his June was dominant. He has been snakebitten a bit by the home run ball – as he has about thirty more fly ball outs than ground ball outs.
Against the Seattle Mariners, Robbie Ray makes a lot of sense too.
The Mariners have continued to be one of the most strikeout prone teams in the league and Ray has been strong with 159 K’s in 130 1/3 innings.
Ray has been making a little bit of a push for the AL Cy Young and the Toronto Blue Jays have been a great team of late.
Ray already faced the Mariners once. He went six innings, giving up three earned runs, with ten strikeouts. He has had some lower strikeout totals in his last two starts, but still pitched very effectively. Since the start of July, Ray has given up a combined nine earned runs. In three starts in that time frame, he has not given up a single earned run.
This game being in Seattle benefits Ray as well, as compared to Toronto.
This is a big series for both teams’ playoff hopes. Even with home-field advantage going to the Mariners, I like where the Blue Jays are headed more.
I’m still not trusting Blake Snell. He has been better of late than the beginning of the season and just dismantled this Arizona Diamondbacks team his last time out.
At the same time, he is three starts removed from giving up seven earned runs. I just do not trust him yet, and I do not think the San Diego Padres do either.
The top stack of the night belongs to the Boston Red Sox:
- 4. Rafael Devers (L – 26-30%)
- 3. Xander Bogaerts (R – 17-20%)
- 5 J.D. Martinez (R – 13-16%)
- 6. Hunter Renfroe (R – 5-8%)
This group is projected for 52.6 FanDuel points on a salary of $15,300. You can swap in Jarren Duran here as well and actually save a little bit of cost – assuming he hits in the 2-hole. The Red Sox have an absurd 6.8 implied runs. That is usually only withheld for Coors Field games. They should be a very popular stack going up against Spenser Watkins. Watkins has given up four earned runs in each of his last three starts. He is well below a strikeout an inning in the major leagues, which could lead to some issues in hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers may very well be the other popular stack tonight. They just torched the Chicago Cubs for 17 runs yesterday and get to see Mitch Keller tonight. The big key here may be that the game may not happen, with rain in the forecast for Pittsburgh. Eduardo Escobar, Willy Adames, and Christian Yelich all make for some nice plays if the game does look like it will happen. Escobar and Adames have loved their change of scenery.
I like Myles Straw tonight, presuming he hits in the lead-off spot for the Cleveland Indians. He just ended a six-game hitting streak yesterday and is currently hitting .304 in August. He does not offer much pop, but has 19 stolen bases on the year. The Indians have an implied 4.7 runs while facing off in Detroit against Tyler Alexander.
Madison Bumgarner has been excellent since returning from the IL. I would say most are not buying it and are looking more at his early season performance. He gets the San Diego Padres again, after giving up two earned in seven innings last time out. The Lineup Optimizer includes Tommy Pham, Adam Frazier, and Austin Nola. They might be a little less-owned than normal due to the success that Bumgarner just had against them last time out. The Padres do have an implied run total of 4.9.
Pictured above: Anthony DeSclafani
Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images