This is an interesting slate, which I hope you’ll all enjoy. There’s a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous. There are three aces and I recommend paying up for one. There’s Mike Trout against Lance Lynn and Charlie Blackmon at home and more. Join me for my research and analysis, won’t you?
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Max Scherzer, WAS, SP: $11,700 — Tanner Roark had no trouble holding the Diamondbacks’ offense down Thursday night, so it really shouldn’t be an issue for Scherzer, who is fourth in all of baseball in ERA with 1.74. His last start saw him rack up 65 FanDuel points, which was the second time this season he’s had at least 65 FanDuel points in a start. Scherzer has failed to reach 50 FanDuel points only twice in eight starts this year. The Nationals are big favorites at -190 and the over/under is only 7.5.
Justin Verlander, HOU, SP: $11,300 — Verlander’s ERA (1.17) and WHIP (0.72) are better than Scherzer’s, but you get a $400 discount for taking him. He’ll get to face the Rangers’ lineup at home. Verlander has posted more than 50 FanDuel points in four of his eight starts this year. The Astros are big favorites at -260 and the game has an over/under of eight.
Chris Sale, BOS, SP: $11,200 — Sale is coming off his best game of the season, as he had 64 FanDuel points in his last outing at Texas. He struck out 12 in that start, just the second time this season that he’s recorded double-digit strikeouts. The Red Sox are big favorites at -190 and the game has an over/under of eight. It’s not every time that you see Sale as the third highest-priced starter, but here we are on this Friday, so it’s time to take advantage at a possibly reduced ownership.
Matthew Boyd, DET, SP: $7,200 — Sure, you might roll your eyes at seeing Boyd’s name, but he’s had at least 34 FanDuel points in three of his last five starts, including a 46-point performance the last time he took the mound at home. He wasn’t great last year, but he was better at home then, too. Boyd is only for use in tournaments and he’ll likely have a low ownership percentage.
Mike Trout, OF, $5,500 — Trout has had at least 12 FanDuel points in eight straight games and here he’ll be facing the Twins’ Lance Lynn, who has a 7.28 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in 29.2 innings this season. Love to roster Trout when he’s hot and you get the bonus of a good match-up.
Kris Bryant, 3B, $5,100 — Don’t look now but the Cubs are starting to heat up and Bryant has been a big part of it, with at least 12.4 FanDuel points in four straight games. Bryant has homered in three of the last four games.
Charlie Blackmon, OF, $5,000 — Blackmon has actually been a better hitter on the road than at home this season, but last year he hit .391/.466/.773 with 24 home runs in 350 plate appearances at home. So we have to like him at home at Coors Field in a game where I assume the Rockies are favored, but there isn’t a line on the game at the time of this writing.
Francisco Lindor, SS, $4,800 — Lindor has been on fire lately, as he has posted at least nine FanDuel points in 14 of his last 15 starts. He’s also homered in three of his last four games. Lindor has 10 home runs already this season and last year against right-handed pitching he hit .257/.324/.493 with 22 home runs. The Indians are heavy favorites at -240 against the Royals’ Jason Hammel and the game’s over/under is 8.5.
George Springer, OF, $4,600 — Springer is off to a good start this year as he’s hitting .296 with nine home runs and 26 RBI. He hit .301/.423/.549 with nine home runs in 164 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last year. Tonight he and the Astros take on Cole Hamels and the Rangers in Houston as big favorites at -260.
Nick Markakis, OF, $3,800 — Markakis has posted at least 9.5 FanDuel points in nine of his last 11 games. He’s hitting .340 with seven home runs and 28 RBI on the season. What is happening? Nick Markakis is living his best life is apparently what’s happening.
Tommy Pham, OF, $3,700 — Pham hit .292/.412/.552 with seven home runs in 119 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last year. Here he’ll face the Padres’ Eric Lauer, a rookie with a 5.79 ERA in 14 innings so far this season. Collision course.
Chris Taylor, OF, $3,700 — Taylor has perked up lately, as he’s had at least 22 FanDuel points in three of his last five games. Here he gets to face Matt Harvey in his Reds debut. Harvey had a 7.00 ERA in 27 innings with the Mets before he was traded.
Yasiel Puig, OF, $2,700 — A cheaper option, also facing Harvey, is Puig, who’s had at least 15.4 FanDuel points in two of his last three games.
Matt Olson, OF, $2,600 — Olson has only four home runs on the season and he’s hitting .233, but going to Yankees Stadium and facing Sonny Gray might make him worth a shot. Gray has allowed three home runs and a .191 ISO in four home starts this season.
Neil Walker, 1B, $2,600 — It sounds like Kendall Graveman is starting for Oakland in this game, and given he’s a right-handed pitcher, Walker should be in the lineup. He’s starting to wake up as of late, as he’s had at least six FanDuel points in six straight games entering Thursday. Walker still hasn’t hit a home run yet this season, but if he’s going to do it, it’ll probably happen at home.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
There are zero games likely to be impacted by rain today.
Doing Lines in Vegas