Full slate time! Well, almost. Sure feels like a long time since we’ve had a slate with more than eight games. This third Friday of the season features 12 of them. Not a full 15 because the Cubs host the Angels earlier in the day, the Twins-Tigers game has already been postponed and the Cardinals and Reds take a trip down to Monterrey, Mexico for a two-game series this weekend.
We do have some trouble spots weather wise which we should have clarity on during the day. One of them is in New York where the Yankees host the White Sox and the other is in DC where the Pirates visit the Nationals. Our highest team total is a whopper – about 6.3 for the Red Sox as they’ll be home to host David Hessand the Orioles. Only three other teams are projected for 5 or more runs (Yankees and A’s/Rangers who face each other).
Popular Stacks: YANKEES, RED SOX, ATHLETICS, ASTROS, RANGERS
Sneaky/Contrarian Stacks: RAYS, GIANTS, METS, MARINERS, PADRES
My Favorite Stacks: RANGERS, ATHLETICS, RAYS, RED SOX
CASH: Gary Sanchez (Sanchez is on the 10-day IL) RH/NYY (Austin Romine if Sanchez out), Wilson Ramos RH/NYM
GPP: Robinson Chirinos RH/HOU, Austin Hedges RH/SDP, Tom Murphy RH/SEA
The catcher position is rather unattractive today as it is most days. Two guys not on the list (Yasmani Grandal and Jorge Alfaro) lead the position in hard-hit rate – Grandal 77%, Alfaro 70% – but this should of course normalize to the mid-30’s, high-40’s as the season moves along. I don’t typically target Grandal against lefties as his power comes against righties, and it’s Julio Urias on the mound. But maybe he’ll have something special in store against for his homecoming to Los Angeles.
Sanchez may actually sit another game after being dinged up. Either way, he’s pricey and this game has weather issues. Listed for cash but I might look to punt the position today. Hedges hit a monster bomb yesterday and is in play in all formats against a very ordinary Luke Weaver. Not sure if Murphy gets the start for the second day in a row, but I’ve listed him since he’s the right-handed catcher (Narvaez the lefty) and they face left-hander Wade Miley. Chirinos is 1-for-7 lifetime against Wade LeBlanc but I’ve listed him here as he popped out to me. Only time I’ve played him this year, he ended up going deep.
CASH: Mitch Moreland LH/BOS, Luke Voit RH/NYY, Pete Alonso RH/NYM, Edwin Encarnacion RH/SEA
GPP: Ji-Man Choi LH/TBR, Mark Canha RH/OAK, Freddie Freeman LH/ATL, Greg Bird LH/NYY
Moreland hit a big shot on Thursday and should grab the start as the #3 or #4 hitter today with that lovely matchup against Hess and a ragged bullpen. Hess had a great first start this season but in 2018, served up plentifully to lefty bats (15 HR in 53 IP) and posted a pathetic 13.9% walk rate against them. Righties in play too of course as he served up less homers to them but his walk rate there was even more tragic (18.8%).
Voit and Bird are listed if the weather holds up as it could be a rough outing for Lucas Giolito in Yankee Stadium. Encarnacion has had a nice week so far (3 HR, 8 RBI) and he is 7-for-16 lifetime against Miley with three dingers.
Freeman has just one homer this year, but is batting a cool .378 and faces Zack Wheeler, against whom he has a nice history (10-for-19 and 10 BB). Much of that came prior to last season’s dominant season. Canha faces a flyball lefty (Drew Smyly) in a nice hitter’s park (Arlington) and Choi usually is the cleanup man for Tampa when a righty is on the mound (in this case, it’s rookie Tyler Thornton who is playing above his head, in my opinion).
CASH: Jose Altuve RH/HOU, Chad Pinder RH/OAK, Jurickson Profar SW/OAK,
GPP: Garrett Hampson RH/COL, Robinson Cano LH/NYM, Brandon Lowe LH/TBR
Altuve deserves top billing at the position since he has five two-hit games in his last seven and has crushed four homers in his last three games. The priciest 2B on DraftKings but worth the price of admission today. My boy Pinder is hitting .333 on the young season and batted an even .500 in the Baltimore series (7-for-14). His price has been climbing on both sites but still very affordable on FD ($3,200) where he qualifies in the OF tomorrow (he was 3B on Thursday).
Profar is swinging a hot bat lately and has been peppered throughout EliteFantasy articles all week by just about all of us. Let’s keep running him out there as long as the environment is good (this time, another lefty in a great hitters’ park).
Really digging the GPP options today. No one is going to play Hampson, but I might use him to punt on both DK and FD at the position. He’s going to start running soon and Pomeranz is a very beatable pitcher these days. Lowe has been crushing from the middle of the Rays’ lineup and may be a force to be reckoned with all year long.
CASH: Anthony Rendon RH/WAS, Matt Chapman RH/OAK, Rafael Devers LH/BOS
GPP: Jeff McNeil LH/NYM, DJ LeMahieu RH/NYY, Evan Longoria RH/SFG
Rendon has been a machine, hitting .429 with a .459 ISO. Opposing starter Trevor Williams poses no threat for a man with this hot of a bat. Chapman had the day off Thursday and should get back to his mashing ways against the southpaw Smyly. Devers has disappointed so far as he’s hit no homers this year and finally drove in his first two runs of the season yesterday. Don’t forget this kid is only 22 years old and has a very bright future. We’re only about two weeks into the season.
LeMahieu is someone I’d like to include in my Yankees stacks if the weather holds up. No one is going to play him as a 3B since he lacks power, but he’s a very solid contact hitter and the matchup is perfect. Third base isn’t very shallow so he’s very much in the mix for us. Very rarely do I roster Giants in DFS let alone Longoria, who I’ve faded for years. But there’s a time and place for everything in our silly little game, and that’s certainly today with Chad Bettis on the mound. Granted this isn’t Coors Field but Bettis is one of the most beatable pitchers on the slate. He’s allowed 11 runs in 11 innings already. Note I didn’t write him up earlier, but consider Brandon Belt (1B) as well today.
CASH: Carlos Correa RH/HOU, Marcus Semien RH/OAK, Xander Bogaerts RH/BOS, Elvis Andrus RH/TEX
GPP: Tim Anderson RH/CHW, Gleyber Torres RH/NYY, Brandon Crawford LH/SFG
A very loaded position led by Correa. Still extremely affordable (4.3k on DK, 4k on FD) and he dropped 30 DKP on Wednesday. They’re on the road for a nice series with Seattle which may end up high scoring. Two of the league’s hottest offenses over the past week. Semien crushed the ball in Baltimore – seven hits in those four games, two of which were longballs. Now we have another lefty in a great hitting environment. Load up your right-handed A’s bats.
Lo and behold, the league’s top hitter (at least batting average wise) is Anderson, who is up to .514 on the young season and has already swiped four bags to go along with two homers. He never takes a free pass (2.6% BB this year, career 3.4% rate) and does most of his damage against righties (JA Happ is a lefty), hence why he’s listed as a GPP play. Torres can work for cash, but he’s expensive. Crawford is just one of those gut feels despite the fact I rarely roster Giants. I just like to pick on Bettis.
CASH: Andrew Benintendi LH, Mookie Betts RH, JD Martinez RH, BOS, Aaron Judge RH/NYY, Domingo Santana RH/SEA, Mitch Haniger RH/SEA, George Springer RH/HOU, Juan Soto LH/WAS, Tommy Pham RH/TBR, Khris Davis RH/OAK
So many ways to go. It will be tough to fit that Boston trio in unless you punt pitching and I’d be lying if I told you I had a strong feel as to which of the three was the best bet. Gun to ze head, I’d say Betts today. Davis listed last here but that isn’t by design, there’s no specific order here. Davis does most of his damage over the course of his career against right-handed pitchers, but already has three dingers against lefties this year and Smyly is very susceptible today. Love the Mariners’ outfielders and think they’ll be underowned. Pham has already stolen five bases this season and though he isn’t hitting for much power (.122 ISO) he’s on base almost always. A 17.7% walk rate and he’s found his way on base in every game this season.
GPP: Shin Soo Choo LH/TEX, Manuel Margot LH/SDP, Ryan Braun RH/MLW, Austin Meadows LH/TBR, Michael Conforto LH/NYM, Robbie Grossman SW/OAK, Curtis Granderson LH/MIA, Cody Bellinger LH/LAD
Meadows may as well be on the cash side of things but I’ve got him listed here since he won’t be high owned anyways given how big this slate is. He’s started off the year on fire with a .659 SLG, 4 HR and 13 RBI. Should be leading off in a nice LvR matchup. Margot is my sneaky play today with a hit in six straight and a pinch-hit homer last night. Conforto should work teeing off today against a right-handed rookie pitcher (Kyle Wright) in a ballpark built for left-handed power (SunTrust). Granderson listed here on pure gut speculation that he hits one to the seats today off Jake Arrieta.