Friday offers up a 13-game MLB main slate on both FanDuel and DraftKings, beginning at 7:05 p.m. ET. Using the FantasyLabs tools and models, I’ll try to find value.
With few elite pitching options, there are just two hurlers who have a salary over $9,000 on FanDuel:
- Trevor Bauer (R), $11,400, CIN @ MIL
- Aaron Civale (R), $9,300, CLE @ CWS
Bauer has enjoyed a strong start to the season thus far, as he comes into this divisional matchup looking to right the ship for the under-performing Reds. Bauer is the fifth highest rated pitcher on the slate, according to the Bales Model. The implied total for the Milwaukee Brewers is 3.9 runs and Bauer is projected for 7.2 strikeouts due to his strong 11.6 K/9.
Bauer is going to get his strikeouts, which keeps his floor higher than most. The question is whether or not the Reds win the game. With the price tag tonight, Bauer is in the discussion, but certainly not a lock for my lineups.
Civale has been a bright spot for a Cleveland Indians team that has struggled on offense. The implied total for the White Sox sits at 4.2 runs against him on Friday.
Civale has already seen the White Sox this year, on July 28, when he got the win while throwing six innings of two-run baseball. He owns a sparkling 18:1 K:BB count for the season. Civale is actually in the bottom half of pitchers for the Bales Model, as the White Sox look to get to him the second time around.
With the limited elite options, the key for tonight is finding the right value play.
The highest-rated pitcher from the Bales Model tonight is Dylan Cease, which is surprising as he faces the Indians. Cease has struggled out of the gate and is not favored over Civale. The Indians have been an excellent under team so far, but exploded for 13 runs Thursday night.
A positive for both Civale and Cease is that the wind should be blowing in at about 10 mph. Cease may be worth a dart throw in a GPP, if you think the Indians continue to play low-scoring games.
A name worth turning to tonight: Griffin Canning. With a matchup against the Texas Rangers, Canning will look to keep the ball in the yard at Globe Life Park. Canning’s price of $7,200 offers decent value and the Angels are -162 favorites at DraftKings, which is the second biggest favorite on the slate. Canning has a K/9 of 9.138, but the Rangers have a wOBA of just .291, with an implied run total of 4.2.
The wind should be blowing from right to left and Canning will look to keep the ball on the ground with his curve and slider that both have 12-6 action on them, as the Texas heat (96 degrees forecasted for tonight) can cause the ball to travel well through the air.
A possible negative for Canning is that Dylan Bundy threw an absolute gem last night with a complete game. This means that the bullpen is a rested as it can be in this shortened season and Joe Madden may have a tighter leash, if Canning finds trouble in the fourth of fifth inning.
The heaviest favorite of the slate is the Los Angeles Dodgers facing the San Francisco Giants (-265 at FanDuel) with Julio Urias on the mound. Urias ($8,100) is the third highest-rated pitcher in the Bales Model.
The Giants have the lowest implied run total of the slate at 3.5 runs and Jeff Samardzija offers little resistance for the Dodgers’ lineup. The key with Urias is whether or not he stays around to get a win or quality start. In his first start of the season, Urias faced the Giants, and lasted five innings, giving up one earned run.
The Giants have a low .257 wOBA and Urias could force Brandon Belt or Mike Yastrzemski to the bench, as Gabe Kapler tries to get lefties out of the lineup against lefties. The Dodgers are coming off an off day, which may lead to a shorter outing for Urias.
The Giants have outperformed their projections out of the gate, splitting their opening series with the Dodgers. The Dodgers could be looking to get their punches in on their NL West rivals.
If you’re playing multiple lineups, look to mix in a combination of Urias, Bauer, and Canning in that order.
The favorite 4-man stack today comes courtesy of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their strong 5.7 implied runs.
- 2. Max Muncy (L)
- 3. Justin Turner (R)
- 1. Mookie Betts (R)
- 4. Cody Bellinger (L)
Total Salary: $15,600
This squad of four is projected for 52.1 FanDuel points according to the Bales Model. Again, Samardzija will not have a fun time on the hill tonight — he is by far the lowest-rated pitcher by the Bales Model.
Betts is questionable for tonight’s game, so keep an eye on confirmed lineups when they come out.
The other notable stack comes from the Angels, as they face-off against Jordan Lyles at an implied run total of 5.4.
- 3. Anthony Rendon (R)
- 1. David Fletcher (R)
- 2. Mike Trout (R)
- 4. Shohei Ohtani (L)
Total Salary: $15,000
The ability to save off of the Dodgers stack may come in handy at the other hitting positions. With three of the four best hitters on the Angels being right-handed, it could cause some issues for Lyles. This group of four is projected for 51.2 FanDuel points, according to the Bales Model.
Mitch Garver keeps popping up on the Bargain Rating within the Bales Model. His salary is just too low at $2,400 while residing in the sixth or seventh slot of the Minnesota Twins’ vaunted lineup. Garver gets to enjoy a meeting with lefty Danny Duffy, sporting a .460 wOBA vs. LHP. Also, if (and its a pretty big if) he plays, the model eyes success for Josh Donaldson at only $2,800.
The Bargain Rating also likes Corey Dickerson and Jon Berti of the Miami Marlins. Citi Field does not help their production tonight, but these two are top of the lineup bats that are priced at $2,500 and $2,200 respectively. They get Michael Wacha, too, not a Mets’ ace.
Dickerson had Thursday night off (he did pinch hit) and either of them could be worth a pivot off the more expensive hitters, if you start your pitching with Bauer.