Welcome back baseball fans. We have another busy Friday in store with a 14-game main slate tonight with some top pitching options and high-upside teams to target for stacks. Let’s jump in and take a look at a couple top pitchers and stacks to targets. Also, don’t forget to grab a copy of my DFS MLB Cheatsheet where I highlight all my top pitchers and list my favorite stacks along with a ton of advanced stats.
Gerrit Cole(DK - $12,500 FD - $10,500)
The Mariners got to Justin Verlander early and often last night with three home runs and six total earned runs limiting him to just two innings of work. Don’t let that distract you from the fact the M’s have been one of the worst teams in baseball in the second half scoring just 73 runs. Gerrit Cole, on the other hand, has been a stud in his first season with the Astros and through 23 starts has posted a 2.64 ERA that is backed up by a 3.04 xFIP and 2.90 SIERA, all ranking inside the Top 10 among all pitchers. He has also seen a huge boost in upside this season striking out 12.42 batters per nine with a 13.7% swinging strike rate. The Astros are huge -230 favorites tonight at home in the confines of the top pitchers park in the league. Even with a big price tag, Cole is in play in all formats.
Zack Wheeler(DK - $10,100 FD - $9,400)
Speaking of bad offenses to target against, we have the Miami Marlins. They rank 29th in runs scored in the second half and 28th overall for the entire season while striking out over 22% of the time. The Mets haven’t really given Wheeler or anyone on the staff a shot at wins with their own lack of offense but Wheeler has been rolling since the All-Star break. He has won three straight starts and picked up 16 strikeouts in his last two while holding the Pirates and Braves to just eight total hits and zero earned runs. He and the Mets are small -112 road favorites tonight and while I prefer paying up for Cole in cash games, I think Wheeler makes an excellent GPP pivot that helps you load up on bats.
Also consider Nathan Eovaldi(BOS) who is coming off a terrific first start with the Red Sox as he shutout the Yankees over eight innings and now gets a much better matchup against the Orioles who are now without Schoop and Machado.
Boston Red Sox vs. Dylan Bundy(BAL)
I am not totally thrilled about the matchup in Coors tonight with two good pitchers in Gray going up against Maeda. For that reason, I will make the pivot off the likely chalk and turn to the Red Sox as my top stack tonight. They should also be higher owned tonight as they are the #1 offense in baseball overall and against right-handed pitching. They also get a much better matchup against Dylan Bundy who has flashed upside at times but overall has struggled to a 4.38 ERA and has given up nine home runs in his last five starts(17.5% HR/FB rate for the season). The Red Sox are very expensive at the top but do present other options throughout the lineup depending on what pitching option you choose.
Top hitters to target: Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, J.D. Martinez
Value Options: Rafael Devers, Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Jackie Bradley Jr.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Anthony DeSclafani(CIN)
The next team I am looking at targeting heavily tonight at a discount from the Red Sox and Coors matchup is the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also get a plus matchup against Anthony DeSclafani who has now made 11 starts in 2018 and sits with a 4.98 ERA. While he only allowed one earned run in his last start in Washington, he only struck out two and before that had allowed at least one home run in eight straight starts and has a 20.5% HR/FB rate on the season. Looking at his splits, I will be looking at getting as many lefties in my stack as possible as he has given up a .410 wOBA and .643 Slugging % in the split but don’t scroll over the righties as he has given up 40%+ hard contact to both sides of the plate.
Top hitters to target: Paul Goldschmidt, David Peralta,, A.J. Pollock, Eduardo Escobar
Value Targets: Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Ketel Marte