May the FanDuel be with you. What were you expecting a Star Wars pun? I’m more of a TV guy, anyway. ANYWAY, we’re without day games on this Friday so you’ll have all afternoon to research and create lineups, but first come check out my recommended plays below. Oh, and use the force!
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Gerrit Cole, SP: $11,000 – Cole has posted at least 43 FanDuel points in all six of his starts this season, which gives him a solid floor. He’s had 61 and 46 FanDuel points in his two road starts with the Astros. He’ll go to Arizona, where the Astros are sizable favorites at -190. Cole has been lights out this year with a 1.73 ERA, 1.88 FIP, 39% strikeout percentage and 0.79 WHIP in 41.2 innings. He’s clearly the top pitcher on the slate. Moving on.
JA Happ, SP: $9,500 – No pitcher on this slate approaches the dominance Cole has displayed this season, but Happ hasn’t been half bad. While he’s a little fortunate that his left on base percentage is 79.1% and he’s allowed six home runs in 36 innings, he’s sporting a 3.50 ERA backed up by a 3.38 FIP (and 2.53 xFIP, if you’re into that). Happ looks more like the pitcher who won 20 games in 2016 than the one who won 10 games last year. A road date with the Rays in Tampa, where the Blue Jays are favored at -145 and the over/under is eight, is a good spot for him.
Rick Porcello, SP: $9,000 – Porcello changed his pitch mix this season and now relies on his slider as his primary breaking pitch. He’s not only been good, but also continues to pitch deep into games this year as he’s completed seven innings in four of his six starts. He’s posted at least 43 FanDuel points in four of his six starts this year, which gives him a solid floor. Facing a Rangers lineup that ranks 21st in all of baseball this season with a .308 wOBA and with Bartolo Colon on the mound of Texas, Porcello and the Red Sox are big favorites at -180.
Jose Berrios, SP: $8,400 – While Berrios was rocked by the Reds of all teams for four earned runs in just three innings as he finished with -3 FanDuel points in his last start, you pretty much have to like him for a bounce back game here. He’s facing the White Sox, the same team he posted 64 FanDuel points against back in April, and the Twins are huge favorites at -169 (nice!). The White Sox are starting Carson Fulmer, who has a 4.32 ERA, 18 strikeouts, and 1.48 WHIP in 25 innings this year. It’s a good bounce back spot for Berrios and a good price.
Nick Kingham, SP: $8,000 – King me! We’re all dying to see what Kingham does in his next start after throwing seven one-hit innings with nine strikeouts on his way to 58 FanDuel points in his first start against St. Louis. He made the most of his opportunity in that first start and the Pirates are buying in by giving him another start while FanDuel is also buying in with his price listing on the road against Milwaukee here. He’s an exciting tournament play.
CC Sabathia, SP: $6,300 – Sabathia has posted 40 FanDuel points in his last two starts and appears ready to go on a roll as the Yankees continue to ascend. The Indians lineup has been heating up recently, though, and Sabathia isn’t generally a good bet to go deep into games at this point of his career. I’d have to be making multiple tournament lineups to play Sabathia, but it could work if the Yankees continue to foil their playoff rivals from last year during the regular season.
Mike Trout, OF, $5,500 – Last year Trout hit .313/.441/.672 with 30 home runs in 401 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. On Friday, he’ll face Mike Leake, a solid veteran starter who’s off to a bad start this season as he has a 6.48 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, and only 22 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. Collision course.
Mookie Betts, OF, $5,100 – Betts is red hot and now has 12 home runs on the season after hitting four home runs in his last two games. His slash line on the season is an absolutely comical .370/.449/.850. Those are video game numbers, only you aren’t that good at video games. Mookie is, though. He’s gets to hit Bartolo Colon and a bunch of slow fastballs in Texas tonight.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, $4,900 – The Yankees come home from their road trip to face Josh Tomlin, who has 9.16 ERA and has allowed 10 home runs in 18.1 innings this season. I could list the entire New York lineup here, but I’ll spare you. Stanton homered twice against Dallas Keuchel in Houston Wednesday, which should earn him some cheers from the fans in the Bronx. The Yankees are the biggest favorites on the slate at -200 and this game carries the highest over/under on the slate at 10.
Didi Gregorius, SS, $4,400 – Last year, Gregorius hit .295/.325/.523 with 22 of his 25 home runs against right-handed pitching and he continues to mash this season. The Yankees come home from their road trip Friday so the short porch will be back in play for Didi. He’s also facing Josh Tomlin, so, yeah.
Tommy Pham, OF, $4,300 – Pham hit .292/.412/.552 with seven home runs in 119 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last year and is crushing lefties again in a small sample this year. He’s posted at least 9.5 FanDuel points in 12 of his last 14 starts. Pham and the Cardinals are at home facing Jose Quintana (5.74 ERA 1.46 WHIP in 26.2 innings) and the Cubs in a game with an over/under of 8.5.
Carlos Correa, SS, $3,900 – The Astros are facing Kris Medlen in Arizona so of course Correa has to be considered here at this price. He’s listed below the Twins’ Eduardo Escobar, which seems absurd. I wasn’t even aware that Medlen is still in the majors and he’s making his 2018 debut here. The Astros are understandably big favorites at -190.
Mitch Haniger, OF, $3,900 – Garrett Richards completely lost his control in his last start against the Yankees as he was unable to finish the second inning and allowed five earned runs and three walks. While the Angels are favored here at -123, the Mariners have a good lineup and are at home. If Richards struggles early, it could end up being a big day for the Seattle offense. Los Angeles recently lost its closer to injury so the bullpen isn’t well equipped to pick up the slack.
Dee Gordon, OF, $3,800 – Everything in the above Haniger comment applies here. While I think Haniger is the most reasonably priced Mariner on the slate, I also like Gordon as a speed threat at the top of the order.
Salvador Perez, C, $3,100 – After hitting his second home run yesterday, Perez is hitting .304/.340/.500 in 50 plate appearances since coming off the disabled list. He hit .257/.288/.500 with 10 home runs in 146 plate appearances against left-handed pitching last year. A streaking hitter at home with the platoon advantage against a pitcher due for regression in Francisco Liriano? Sign me up.
Aaron Altherr, OF, $2,700 – Altherr hit .239/.325/.505 with eight home runs in 123 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers last season, which means he’s a guy we can look to when the Phillies are facing a lefty starter. While Washington is a home favorite at -135 with Gio Gonzalez on the mound, Nationals Park is a good place to hit when the weather is nice.
Lucas Duda, 1B, $2,200 – Duda’s price is near the minimum with Tigers left-hander Francisco Liriano on the mound Friday. I think Liriano is currently pitching over his head and due for regression and Vegas agrees as the Royals are favored at -135 over the Tigers. Playing Duda against a lefty isn’t something you should make a habit of, but unless Liriano works deep into the game then he’ll have a chance against the Detroit bullpen. Coming off a 23 FanDuel point performance Thursday, Duda is an interesting tournament play.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Small chance of rain in New York, where there are two games, and Cincinnati early and likely some rain in San Diego later.
Doing Lines In Vegas