Friday’s main slate features a 13-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
After a small slate Thursday night, there are some big name pitchers set for Friday night. There are four pitchers with salaries of $10,000 or more on FanDuel:
- Jacob deGrom (R), $11,200, NYM @ PHI
- Gerrit Cole (R), $11,000, NYY vs. BOS
- Sonny Gray (R), $10,800, CIN vs. PIT
- Clayton Kershaw (L), $10,000, LAD @ LAA
Jacob deGrom has continued to be the New York Mets’ ace this season, but has not been lasting very long in games. He is averaging 5.5 innings pitched per start. He rates out as just average for the Bales Model on tonight’s slate, even with having the second-highest predicted strikeouts.
The Mets are -221 favorites against the Philadelphia Phillies, but as deGrom starts usually go for the Mets this will probably end up being a tight game. As the model suggests, its too costly a price for deGrom tonight.
Gerrit Cole gets his introduction to the New York Yankees/Boston Red Sox rivalry on Friday. The Yankees have won each of the four games that Cole has started, with Cole receiving three wins. Interestingly, Cole noted that he made a change to his delivery that he believed helped with his deception for his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Cole reached a season-high 10 strikeouts, but he left the game after 4.2 innings and gave up three earned runs.
Cole is the fourth-highest rated pitcher on the Bales Model for tonight’s slate, with the highest K Prediction at 8.7. The Yankees are absurd -375 favorites (a lot of that has to do with Red Sox pitching) and the Red Sox have a slate-low 3.2 runs projected. In no way would I think Cole has a bad outing, I just think I avoid the matchup and try to save for bats. (Cole with the Rangers stack only leaves $2,325 per player.)
Sonny Gray has been a standout for the disappointing Cincinnati Reds. Of these four stud pitchers, Gray is averaging the most FanDuel points per game on the short season at 47.25 per game. Gray has found his strikeout pitch this season, averaging 8.75 strikeouts per start.
Gray is the fifth-highest rated pitcher via the Bales Model. The Pirates offer up a low implied run total at 3.5. Right now, there really isn’t a hitter to fear in their lineup outside of maybe Josh Bell and Colin Moran. The Reds are currently -184 Vegas favorites. Out of these four studs, I like Gray the most. (Still, Gray with the Rangers stack leaves $2,375 per player.)
Clayton Kershaw makes just the third start of his season this evening. Last time out, Kershaw labored against the San Francisco Giants. He was only able to complete 4.1 innings, while giving up four earned runs. To this point, Kershaw has been unable to complete six innings in either of his starts, but does own an impressive 12:1 K:BB ratio.
The Angels have an implied run total of 4.0 for tonight, which is average for tonight’s slate. The fear with selecting Kershaw against the Angels is having to deal with the right-handed power hitters in their lineup. Mike Trout is a career 2-for-13 hitter off of Kershaw, while Albert Pujols is 12-for-32 in his career.
In a slate featuring a game at Coors Field, it may be difficult to fit any of the above starters into one’s lineup. Pivoting down into a value play at pitcher allows a Coors stack to become much more feasible.
Frankie Montas is priced too low tonight for my liking. Montas is at $8,800 on FanDuel in a juicy matchup against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have a 3.6 implied run total, with some of their better hitters (Donovan Solano) coming into this game as questionable. Other than his command at times (3,2,4,0 walk totals so far), Montas has been just as reliable as the studs mentioned above this season and is coming at a fairly large discount.
Vegas sees Montas and the Athletics as -193 favorites over Johnny Cueto and the Giants. The Giants feature a laughable .228 wOBA. (Montas makes the Rangers stack easier, with $2,875 left per player.)
There is a discount to be had on Stephen Strasburg tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. Strasburg comes in as the highest-rated pitcher on the Bales Model, as he is projected for 35.69 FanDuel points at a $9,000 salary. The reason that there is a $900 savings on Strasburg is that he is only making his second start of the season.
His first start was against the Orioles too, in which he went only 4.1 innings with five earned runs and two strikeouts. His 6.64 K Prediction for tonight, is third highest on the slate behind deGrom and Cole.
The Washington Nationals are -161 favorites in this game and the Orioles have an implied run total of 4.0. The Orioles’ offense has been a big surprise thus far and have scored at least five runs in the last six games. Odds are, seeing Strasburg at this price may not happen the rest of the year, so the payoff could be big tonight.
Framber Valdez shows up as the sixth-highest rated pitcher on the slate against the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners sport a poor .226 wOBA in their projected lineup. Valdez is only $8,600 as a -202 Vegas favorite. He has shut down the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels his last two times out, both of whom have much stronger offenses than the Mariners. On the season he has a 19:3 K:BB ratio with a 2.04 ERA.
A key for Valdez, is that he has provided more length this season. In eight starts last season, he averaged under four innings per outing. This year’s starts have been 6.1 and 7 innings. Valdez has improved his K/9 to 9.7 this year, reduced his BB/9, reduced his HR/9, and has a 2.18 FIP that supports his 2.04 ERA. If Valdez can squeak out a strikeout per inning, he should hit for value.
Any of these three value plays are viable tonight.
Unsurprisingly, the top stacks of the evening are going to come from Coors Field. The Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies are combining for 12.7 implied runs.
The best four-man stack for FanDuel is from the Rangers:
- 1. Shin-Soo Choo (L)
- 4. Joey Gallo (L)
- 3. Willie Calhoun (L)
- 2. Nick Solak (R)
This squad of four is projected for 56.9 points at a salary of $14,700. They get the benefit of facing Ryan Castellani at Coors. As we’ve seen the last few days, Coors has been giving up a ton of runs.
The second best stack is the Rockies top four hitters. They are projected for 53 points on a salary of $15,500 against Lance Lynn.
To feature a non-Coors stack, the third best four man stack is a little cheaper and comes from the Houston Astros.
- 5. Yuli Gurriel (R)
- 2. Jose Altuve (R)
- 3. Alex Bregman (R)
- 1. George Springer (R)
This stack comes cheaper at $14,300 and are all RHB versus the lefty Yusei Kikuchi. This could be a game stack with Valdez that you could tack on some hitters from Coors too.
Marcus Semien has a 98% Bargain Rating for tonight. Capturing a leadoff hitter, in a solid lineup at $2,800 is a steal. Semien has at least 12 FanDuel points in four of his last five games.
Many of the Yankees’ hitters are seen as bargains tonight, as the Red Sox will have a bullpen game. Aaron Hicks started to heat up in the Yankees’ last series against the Atlanta Braves with 15.6 and 18.7 FanDuel points. The Yankees have an implied run total of six (the same as the Rockies) so getting a portion of their offense into lineups makes sense.