Friday features a 12-game slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
- Luis Castillo (R), $10,100, CIN @ DET
- Mike Clevinger (R), $9,800, CLE @ MIN
- Blake Snell (L), $9,500, TB @ BAL
- Yu Darvish (R), $9,100, CHC vs. PIT
Luis Castillo was dominant in his first start of the season, racking up 11 strikeouts over six innings of one-run baseball against the Detroit Tigers. Tonight, he takes on the same Tigers squad that he dominated just a week ago. While his price tag is high, his 52 FanDuel points from his previous start would still yield over 5x his salary tonight.
It would be foolish to project another 11 strikeouts, but he certainly has the upside to outproduce his 4.03 K prediction. Castillo produced a strong 10.64 K/9 in 2019 and this Detroit Tigers team is currently striking out in 27.4% of their at-bats this season. He can be started with confidence on Friday and should be a key cog in most cash-game lineups.
Mike Clevinger also found success in his season debut, recording six strikeouts in seven innings while giving up just two earned runs. His matchup on Friday is a bit tougher, though, as he takes on a powerful Minnesota Twins lineup that has averaged six runs over their first five games.
The .365 wOBA of the projected Twins lineup is also amongst the highest on the slate. That said, his 12.1 K/9 from 2019 was elite and his 7.48 K prediction is highest on the slate. He’ll likely be low owned at his $9,800 price tag on FanDuel.
Throwing only two innings in his first start of 2020, Blake Snell will look to build up his pitch count on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. While the matchup on paper is strong, Snell will once again only receive a partial workload. He threw only 47 pitches on Sunday, so it’s likely he doesn’t throw more than 65-70 tonight. His elevated salary makes him a full fade on Friday’s slate.
Yu Darvish struggled in his season debut, allowing six hits and three earned runs in just four innings pitched. He should find a bit more success on Friday against a Pittsburgh Pirates team that is struggling to the tune of a .282 wOBA thus far. Darvish had a strong 11.54 K/9 in 2019, so there is upside to outproduce his 6.35 K prediction against a Pirates team currently striking out 24% of the time. He’s the top-rated pitcher in the Bales Model.
Sean Manaea is in a good spot on Friday against a projected Seattle Mariners lineup that is striking out at a 28.8% clip and struggling to the tune of a 232 wOBA thus far. He struggled a bit in his first start against the Angels, but should find more success here tonight. His $7,500 price tag on FanDuel is a strong bargain and he’s projected at just 9-12% ownership.
Mike Minor doesn’t bring a ton of upside, but he finds himself in a solid spot here against the San Francisco Giants. Minor’s 8.64 K/9 and 4.25 FIP from a year ago were about league-average, but the matchup on Friday should help. He takes on a Giants team currently striking out 28.2% of the time and hitting to a mere .252 wOBA. He has one of the better on-paper matchups, but his $8,700 price tag on FanDuel comes in at just 6th highest on the slate.
Lance McCullers Jr. labored a bit in his first start, allowing five hits, three walks and two earned runs over six innings. He did record a win and quality start, though, which resulted in a solid fantasy line of 40 FanDuel points. Tonight, he takes on a Los Angeles Angels offense that will likely be without star Mike Trout (paternity list).
The Angels have come on a bit of late (7.3 runs/game over their last three), but have also struck out 27.2% of the time this season. McCullers had a solid 9.96 K/9 during his last full season in 2018, so the upside is there in this matchup. His 6.31 K prediction is third best amongst all starting pitching options tonight.
Zac Gallen was solid in his season debut, notching six strikeouts and allowing just two hits over four innings. Tonight, he takes on a projected Los Angeles Dodgers lineup that has hit to a strong .363 wOBA thus far. His $8,000 price tag may sound enticing, but he should be avoided in this difficult matchup.
• 1. David Dahl (L)
• 2. Trevor Story (R)
• 3. Charlie Blackmon (L)
• 4. Nolan Arenado (R)
• 5. Daniel Murphy (L)
Total Salary: $26,000
The Colorado Rockies are at home in Coors Field on Friday facing off against righty Garrett Richards. Richards allowed 2.08 HR/9 and pitched to a 5.75 FIP in 2019, so all signs point to a huge night for this Rockies offense.
They are expensive and will undoubtedly be chalky, but they are in an excellent spot at home on Friday. Nolan Arenado (.382 wOBA and .258 ISO) and Charlie Blackmon (.387 wOBA and .255 ISO) led the pack with strong numbers versus righties in 2019.
The New York Yankees also rank highly as a four-man stack on FanDuel (per the Bales Model):
• 1. DJ LeMahieu (R)
• 2. Aaron Judge (R)
• 3 Gleyber Torres (R)
• 4. Aaron Hicks (S)
Total Salary: $14,300
The Yankees are in another strong spot on Friday night as they take on righty Ryan Weber and the Boston Red Sox. Weber struggled mightily in his first start of the season, allowing six hits and six earned runs (including two home runs) in just 3.1 innings pitched. The Yankees, meanwhile, have been on fire, scoring 17 runs over their past two games.
DJ Lemahieu has been scorching to start the season and is a strong value at $3,700 on FanDuel. He has five hits in his last ten at-bats, including a home run. Aaron Judge has also been great thus far, hitting to a .368 wOBA and .310 ISO against right-handed pitching thus far. His $4,200 price tag is a bit more expensive, but he must be included in any Yankees stack.
Ronald Acuna Jr. has struggled to start the season, collecting just four hits and hitting to a .143 batting average over the first seven games. He’ll have a great opportunity to turn that around on Friday against Rick Porcello. Porcello was lit up to the tune of six earned runs in just two innings against these same Braves on July 26.
Acuna Jr. was excellent against righties in 2019, collecting a .368 wOBA and .230 ISO while hitting 31 home runs against them. He’s expected to lead off and commands a manageable $3,900 price tag on FanDuel.
Freddie Freeman also grades out well in that same matchup. Freeman has been heating up as of late, collecting four hits – including a home run – in his last nine at-bats. He was one of the best in baseball against righties last season, hitting a whopping .412 wOBA and .280 ISO against them in 2019. His $4,000 salary on FanDuel is tops amongst all first basemen, but for good reason.
Tim Anderson is expected to lead off on Friday against Kris Bubic, a left-handed pitcher making his major league debut. Bubic has never thrown above Class A ball and Anderson was exceptional against southpaws last year, producing a .369 wOBA and .375 BABIP in 144 at-bats against them. He’s a bargain at his $3,100 salary on FanDuel.