Friday’s main slate features nine games on FanDuel starting at 8:05 p.m. ET.
There are three pitchers priced at $9,500 or more for tonight:
- Shane Bieber (R), $11,600, @ MIN
- Lucas Giolito (R), $10,800, vs. DET
- Kenta Maeda (R), $9,500, vs. CLE
Shane Bieber has been lights out all season, and would be the undisputed AL Cy Young if the season ended today. He has become remarkably consistent for the Cleveland Indians, with seven wins in nine starts, eight quality starts, and double-digit strikeouts in six of them. His floor for strikeouts on the year is eight, which really boosts his floor for fantasy points.
In two appearances on the year against the Minnesota Twins, Bieber has thrown 14 innings, given up two earned runs, and has 23 strikeouts.
Rostering Bieber is going to make it really difficult to own any higher-priced hitters, so you gotta pick your poison.
Also, this game has the possibility for rain – so it could be dangerous to roster Bieber, Maeda or any hitters from the game.
Lucas Giolito has turned his season around. It started on August 20th against these Detroit Tigers, when Giolito had 13 strikeouts in seven innings.
The Chicago White Sox are heavy favorites at -264 for this game and the Tigers have an implied run total of 3.2 runs. Giolito hits for 8 Pro Trends, which includes the fact that the wind will be blowing in at 11 MPH from left field.
The Tigers have the third-most strikeouts per game in the league, and Giolito has a 12.9 K/9, which is second-best on the slate behind Bieber.
Giolito is a very safe option for tonight.
Kenta Maeda has been able to find his strikeout pitch in his last four starts. In his first four outings, he averaged 5.25 strikeouts per start and has averaged 8.75 in his last four.
The Twins are probably going to be slight underdogs in this game, with a very obvious low over-under. Maeda is going to be a bit contrarian on the night, I would only utilize him in GPPs.
Yusei Kikuchi is a name that does not get talked about much in fantasy circles, but he’s been able to catch lightning in a bottle a couple of times this season.
Three of his six starts this season carry an average of 41.6 FanDuel points. He averaged 12 points in the other three. The good news is two of his best outings came in his last three starts.
The most important thing about Kikuchi tonight is his matchup. He’s facing the Diamondbacks, who have plenty of dead bats in the bottom half of their lineup. Arizona ranks 25th on tonight’s slate with an implied total of 4.11 runs.
For a GPP play at only $7,900, you are catching a pitcher coming off of two strong starts against a bad offense.
If you want to go with Adam Wainwright tonight, it should help get Coors bats into your lineup. He costs $8,700 and, at times, has been his vintage self and currently has a 2.68 ERA (4.07 FIP) this season.
With a 6.9 K/9, the floor is not there for Wainwright as is with Bieber or Giolito, but the Cincinnati Reds probably do not burn him tonight. They rank 29th with 3.84 runs per game.
I could see using Wainwright in cash games if you are married to going with the Coors bats, but I like him a bit more in GPPs.
I considered Brandon Woodruff, but two of his worst starts of the year have come against the Chicago Cubs. In those two starts, he averaged 20 FanDuel points (for the season he is averaging 29 2/3). He went 9 1/3 innings, with nine strikeouts, and five earned runs.
It’s better to look elsewhere tonight.
As is often the case, tonight boils down to if you want Coors hitters or not. If you do, you’re probably looking at a diamond in the rough pitching play. If you don’t, I’d go Giolito.
The top stack of the night belongs to the Colorado Rockies:
- 4. Nolan Arenado (R)
- 2. Trevor Story (R)
- 3. Charlie Blackmon (L)
- 1. David Dahl (L)
This group of four is projected for 56 FanDuel points on $15,900 salary. The Colorado Rockies have an implied run total of 6.4 runs facing Griffin Canning. There is a slight breeze out to right at Coors Field tonight. Oddly enough, Canning has been a reverse split guy – RHB are .277 BAA with a .836 OPS and LHB are .239 BAA with a .784 OPS.
The second-highest scoring stack is the Los Angeles Angels, also playing Coors Field. Their top four hitters are projected for 54.5 FanDuel points on $16,200 salary. That slight increase in salary makes them even harder to roster.
I will highlight the third-highest projected scoring stack:
- 4. Matt Olson (L)
- 1. Tommy La Stella (L)
- 2. Marcus Semien (R)
- 3. Ramon Laureano (R)
These Oakland Athletics are projected for 48.5 FanDuel points on $12,400 salary. They could be an intriguing pivot off of the Coors stacks. They will face Luis Garcia as an opener and then Jordan Lyles of the Texas Rangers. The Athletics have an implied run total of 5.5, which is nearly as high as the Angels’s 5.7.
The Bales Model continues to believe that the White Sox hitters are underpriced. Yasmani Grandal, Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada are all seen as bargains. They are facing the young rookie phenom in Casey Mize. In his first two career starts, Mize has looked pretty rough around the edges. The White Sox have a 5.1 implied run total.
Trent Grisham is on a 12-for-26 stretch as a leadoff hitter for the best offense in baseball. In a matchup with Johnny Cueto tonight, Grisham has a good chance to keep his streak going. The Bales Model sees Grisham as an 86% bargain.