Welcome back baseball fans. We have a busy Friday ahead of us with a 14-game slate so let’s jump in and have a look at my core pitchers and teams to stack.
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With that, let’s jump into the picks.
Chris Sale(BOS) vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto was one of the teams that beat up on Sale early in the season but he has turned things around in a big way and easily worth the lofty price tag tonight. Over his last 11 starts, he has held opponents to two or fewer earned runs nine times while also recording double-digit strikeouts nine times. The overall ERA sits at 3.49 but with that recent form, he has moved into third among all qualified starters with a 2.91 xFIP. He now gets one of the best matchups on the slate against the Jays who have been slightly above average over the last 14 days but still rank bottom five in almost all offensive categories overall and also in the split against lefties. Sale is my top pitcher in the top tier tonight.
Trevor Bauer(CLE) vs. Detroit Tigers
It has been a roller coaster ride for Bauer this season giving up four or more earned runs six times but he has also held opponents to two or fewer in the other 10 starts. He is coming off a complete game shutout of these very Tigers where he stuck out eight and walked none and while I don’t expect a repeat performance, he can definitely pay off his salary. The Tigers rank dead last against right-handed pitching with a .282 wOBA, 74 wRC+, and 26% K rate. Bauer comes a bit cheaper if you need the savings and is in play in all formats.
Martin Perez(MIN) vs. Kansas City Royals
In the value range tonight, I am keying in on Martin Perez of the Twins. He has a career ERA over four so the early success he is having(7-3) is a surprise to some. Digging deeper, the biggest change he made analytically is throwing less sinkers and he added a cutter(33%) which has rated out well so far. These changes have helped him add some upside as he is currently running a career-high 22% K rate(14.7% career average). More than anything, he is cheap on both sites and a -155 favorite against a Royals team that has really struggled against lefties with a .284 wOBA, 74 wRC+, and 25% K rate. He is my top SP2 options on DraftKings and an excellent salary relief GPP play on FanDuel as well.
Teams to Target
Texas Rangers vs. Reynaldo Lopez(CWS)
There have been some flashes for Lopez showing his sub 4.00 ERA last season may be for real but overall the season has been a complete disaster. He has given up five or more earned runs in seven of his 15 starts and enters tonight with a 6.31 ERA and equally ugly 5.71 xFIP. The best part about targeting against him is that the runs have been coming in bunches thanks to the long ball as he has already given up 19 on the season(15.4%) including five times giving up multiple in a start. Add to it that the Rangers have been much better against righties and you have yourself the top stack(likely chalk) of the night.
Cash Options: Shin-Soo Choo, Danny Santana, Elvis Andrus
GPP Options: Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun
Los Angeles Angels vs. Michael Wacha(STL)
The Angels offense continues to trend up as they have now scored five or more runs in eight of their last 10 games and are sixth in runs scored over the last 14 days. They now move on to St. Louis and get a terrific matchup against a struggling Michael Wacha. His biggest issue this season has been the ugly 12.5% walk rate which has led to 1.73 WHIP giving teams a ton of opportunities to score against him. And score they have as he has given up four or more earned runs in six of his 11 starts and sits with 6.00 ERA/4.91 xFIP. He doesn’t give up a ton of flyballs(30%) but when he does they have left the ball park(14 home runs for a 25% HR/FB rate). The Angels can be targeted in all formats.
Cash Options: Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Tommy La Stella
Add for a GPP Stack: Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun
For more picks, advanced stats, and analysis be sure to jump into the RotoPros Community Chat and grab a copy of my DFS MLB Cheatsheet.