We took some risks with our FanDuel afternoon lineup yesterday, and they mostly paid off. We snuck above the cash line to double-up in our tournament, and we’re hoping to keep the momentum going on a far different type of daily fantasy baseball slate. Friday features 14 games, including a Coors Field matchup that involves a homer-prone Orioles staff and several bona fide aces on the mound. DraftKings pricing is beyond tight, and you’re going to have to hunt for sleepers and make some sacrifices with your lineup picks.
Our lineup is clearly one for tournaments, as we’re fading all the top pitchers, instead opting for two high-upside, lower-priced options. We manage to squeeze in three Coors bats, but the rest of our lineup looks like leftovers from 2016. Rest assured, we didn’t just go for “names” — we have some stat splits in our favor, and we’re hoping that at least a few of our “boring veterans” are low owned and real differentiators.
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On a night like this, there are always more players you want than you can own, and to win in a GPP, you have to take some chances.
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Friday’s FanDuel Lineup Picks
Picks are for a main-slate DraftKings GPP tournament
Starting Pitcher: Joey Lucchesi, Padres @ Blue Jays ($8,900). Lucchesi has disappointed this season, particularly in the strikeout department. But he has lowered his HR rate and BB rate, as well as upped his ground-ball rate. There’s still a lot to like about the 25-year-old lefty, and on Friday night, you can add a highly favorable matchup to the mix. Toronto ranks 28th in wRC+ against lefties and strikes out more than a quarter of the time against southpaws. It’s certainly tough to fade guys like Noah Syndergaard, Chris Sale, Blake Snell, and Robbie Ray (among others), but Lucchesi offers nice savings and plenty of upside.
Starting Pitcher: Pablo Lopez, Marlins @ Nationals ($7,500). Lopez’s past three starts explain perfectly why he’s a GPP-only play: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ERs, 7 Ks vs. Mets; 3 IP, 10 Hs, 10 ERs, 3 Ks @ Mets; 6 IP, 3 Hs, 0 ERs, 6 Ks vs. Braves. His advanced stats (3.52 FIP) are much better than his standard numbers (5.06 ERA), and all his peripherals portend to success (9.2 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9). The Nationals rank 25th in wRC+ vs. righties, striking out over a quarter of the time, and are throwing Kyle McGowin, who figures to give up his share of runs. Lopez is a great value on a night where you’ll likely need some salary relief for bats.
Catcher: Buster Posey, Giants vs. Diamondbacks ($3,400). Posey is a placeholder of sorts until we see who’s catching for the D-backs, but if we wind up sticking with him, we can live with it. He’s traditionally had success against lefties (.300/.391/.438 just last year), though he’s struggling against southpaws this season. That will likely start to normalize soon, and while Robbie Ray isn’t exactly a “hittable lefty”, we don’t need a lot from Posey to return value.
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First Base: Eric Hosmer, Padres @ Blue Jays ($3,900). Hosmer is hitting well against righthanded pitchers this year (.308/.355/.497), and that line is even better on the road (.338/.361/.544). Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton is allowing a .505 SLG to lefties, and even though it’s a very small sample, he’s been absolutely crushed by lefties at home (.451/.487/1.000). All the numbers line up, and Hosmer will likely be overlooked despite an affordable price.
Second Base: Chad Pinder, A’s @ Mariners ($3,800). Pinder is a pure splits play, as he’s hitting .300/.333/.560 vs. lefties this year. Meanwhile, righties have teed off on Wade LeBlanc to the tune of a .344/.400/.668 line. Chances are, most won’t be stacking A’s tonight, but it’s a good opportunity to do so.
Third Base: Todd Frazier, Mets vs. Tigers ($3,600). Frazier has hit well over the past week and change, moving all the way up to third in the batting order. Even though he’s on the decline, he can still hit lefties, which he’s once again doing this year (.385/.385/.462 in very limited at-bats). Tigers southpaw Gregory Soto likely won’t last long, so we’re hoping Frazier gets him early, but he’s still a decent flier who doesn’t figure to have high ownership.
Shortstop: Trevor Story, Rockies vs. Orioles ($5,600). We always take Story at home against a lefty. The one time we didn’t he hit a homer. We learned our lesson. Ultimately, we had to choose between him and Nolan Arenado at the same price against John Means, and Story’s career .746 SLG at home vs. lefties is only a notch below Arenado’s .750 and he has the added bonus of potential stealing a base.
Outfield: Dwight Smith Jr., Orioles @ Rockies ($4,900). Jeff Hoffman actually has worse career splits against righties, but his home splits against lefties also stand out (.327/.389/.562). Smith has a lot of upside at a relatively affordable price for a Coors player.
Outfield: David Dahl, Rockies vs. Orioles ($4,400). We’re hoping Dahl is underowned because of the matchup against a lefty. For his career, he’s hitting .304/.353/.519 at home vs. southpaws — and that’s even better this year (.316/.381/.526) — so we’re not sacrificing anything for a “contrarian” play.
Outfield: Stephen Piscotty, A’s @ Mariners ($3,700). Piscotty has even more upside and has crushed lefties even more than Pinder (.373/.411/.627). He’s a tremendous value given the matchup against LeBlanc.