MLB Friday: Daily fantasy baseball plays for 11-game slate
There are 11 games that will make up Friday's main evening slate on Yahoo. However, there is some rain in the forecast for a few of them, so we might end up with a limited slate. With that in mind, here are some pitchers and hitters to consider.
Facing the Yankees isn't as daunting as in seasons past. The top of their lineup is still excellent, but the bottom is ugly. Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) and Harrison Bader (oblique) are still sidelined, and now Aaron Judge (hip) is expected to miss at least a couple of games. They will certainly face a tough test in Jacob deGrom ($58), who has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. For the season, he has 43 strikeouts over 26.2 innings.
The White Sox's lineup is really struggling without Tim Anderson (knee) and Yoan Moncada (back). They have scored the ninth-fewest runs in baseball, while posting the fourth-worst OPS. Trying to exploit their weaknesses will be Zach Eflin ($37), who limited them to one run over five innings in his last start.
Rich Hill's ($33) 4.85 ERA this season doesn't tell the entire story. Most of that damage came in one outing when he gave up seven runs across four innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his other four starts, one of which came at Coors Field. He has also had some big strikeout performances, recording at least seven of them in a start three times. Look for him to thrive in a matchup against the Nationals, who have scored the fourth-fewest runs in baseball. The only area of concern here is that this is one of the games with the potential for rain in the forecast. If it were to get postponed, another option to pivot to is Dustin May ($38), who will be taking on the Cardinals at home after allowing two or fewer runs in four of his first five starts.
Jose Ramirez ($20) continues to show an excellent eye at the plate, posting a 12.5 percent walk rate and a 10.7 percent strikeout rate. His command of the strike zone could be a problem for Nick Pivetta ($32), who will get the start for the Red Sox against the Guardians. Pivetta has a 10.2 percent walk rate this season, and a 9.1 percent mark for his career.
The Athletics don't have many hitters to be afraid of, but Brent Rooker ($20) has certainly been someone who has stood out amongst their underwhelming options. Not only has he hit for power with a .390 ISO, but his strikeout rate is just 18.1 percent. More success could be coming in a matchup against Luis Cessa ($26), who has a 10.80 ERA and a 6.46 FIP through four starts.
Josh Naylor ($10) has struggled to the tune of a .132 ISO and a .260 wOBA. His 42.2 percent hard-hit rate is right in line with last season, and his strikeout rate has also remained mostly the same. The biggest difference has been his 39.1 percent groundball rate, which is nearly 10 percentage points lower than last season. He is starting to show signs of coming out of his slump, hitting 6-for-17 with a double and a home run over his last five games. At this cheap salary, he's a viable option against the inconsistent Pivetta.
Going back to the Athletics' matchup against Cessa, Conner Capel ($12) is also appealing. He is coming off a productive season at Triple-A in which he hit 10 home runs and had 21 steals over 94 games. He also produced a .875 OPS over 59 plate appearances in the majors. While he is still searching for his first home run this year, he is 10-for-30 with three doubles and a steal over his last 10 games. Considering how bad Cessa has been, Capel is worth considering in tournament play.
Stacks to Consider
Rays vs. Lucas Giolito ($29), White Sox: Randy Arozarena ($20), Brandon Lowe ($16), Josh Lowe ($15)
The Rays continue to destroy opposing pitchers. They scored 14 runs in their win Thursday and lead all of baseball in runs scored. They have a .868 OPS as a team, with the next-closest team being the Cubs with their .794 OPS. They just faced Giolito last week, scoring four runs and hitting two home runs off him over seven innings. One of the best options for a Rays' stack is Arozarena, who has a .938 OPS.
Rangers vs. Clarke Schmidt ($26), Yankees: Marcus Semien ($19), Adolis Garcia ($20), Nathaniel Lowe ($17)
Schmidt has had home runs issues, giving up six of them over 20 innings. Overall, he has a 6.30 ERA and a 5.89 FIP that might not help him remain in the rotation once the Yankees get healthy. This trio all brings plenty of power to the plate, while the lefty Lowe also gets an added bonus. In his career, Schmidt has allowed a .409 wOBA to left-handed hitters.
Rockies vs. Merrill Kelly ($33), Diamondbacks: C.J. Cron ($12), Ryan McMahon ($15), Kris Bryant ($17)
Kelly has been a much better pitcher at home during his career than he has on the road. At home, he has a 3.45 FIP and a 1.17 WHIP. On the road, he has a 4.80 FIP and a 1.30 WHIP. This isn't an ordinary road game, either, being that Kelly will pitch in the hitter's haven that is Coors Field. A prime option for a Rockies stack is McMahon, who has a career .227 ISO at home. On the road, that mark is just .137.