This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
A full 30-team slate awaits Friday, and weather is turning warm, which could/should lead to a little extra carry off the bat.
A very top-heavy slate is led by Jacob deGrom ($11,400) against lowly Miami. He's going to be a cash game must given the matchup, and given the upside in this spot, he may not be someone to shy away from in GPPs. He put up a monstrous 45.4 DKP in an earlier start against the Marlins. The only fade is that it's far too obvious.
Max Scherzer ($11,100 vs. CHC) and Gerrit Cole ($10,700 at BOS) are the other five-figure options. Cole has only two games with fewer than 21.3 DKP and a robust 13.9 K/9 rate while boasting a 2.92 FIP, but he's allowed 10 runs and four long balls over the last three seasons against Boston, spanning 18 innings. Mix in the RedSox 20.3 K rate against righties, and the upside is limited. He's far too expensive and volatile for cash lineups, but the name recognition is real, and there could be lightning caught in a bottle for GPPs. Scherzer appears held in the same vein; Chicago ranks fifth with a .342 wOBA while fanning just 22.5 percent of the time against righties, but Scherzer has fanned 46 Cubs in his last 34 innings against. The matchup makes the price a bit too high for me for cash, and the upside appears too limited for GPP. It seems like deGrom or bust for SP1.
Top left-handers Max Fried ($8,300 vs. MIL) and Rich Hill ($9,000 vs. CIN) don't present well, as both offenses fan 21.9 percent of the time or less and rank in the top 11 in wOBA against southpaws. Cole Hamels ($9,700) is an interesting case, as the Nationals are surging (as best as they've shown) and rank fourth with a .342 wOBA against lefties but fan 26.5 percent of the time.
Jefry Rodriguez ($6,800 vs. BAL) is my chalky and preferred cheap second option. He's put up between 11.8 and 16.1 DKP in his last four starts and faces a lineup that has just a .299 wOBA against righties. If you have a few extra bucks, Miami's Trevor Richards ($7,200) may be able to work his way into a pitcher's duel against the aforementioned deGrom. Richards was worth 16.7 DKP in an earlier meeting with New York, fanning seven in 6.0 innings. He'll face a lineup that has a modest .312 wOBA against righties, and he's been worth double-digit points in five of eight starts. Arizona's Merrill Kelly ($6,700) is worth a look for GPPs, carrying a 3.78 xFIP at home against a light-hitting Giants offense. Finally, and somewhat curiously, San Diego-Pittsburgh comes with a very low total of seven, suggesting Joey Lucchesi ($8,200) and Jordan Lyles ($8,100) are both worth considering.
A bit of a different slate for me, as the Rockies are in Philadelphia, while Boston and Houston play each other with Cole facing the Sox. My three usual anchors aren't as chalky as usual, and while the pricing doesn't scream value either, none of these top offenses should be completely ignored. Mookie Betts ($4,400) seems underpriced despite the matchup, while Nolan Arenado ($5,400) gets to face lefty Cole Irvin ($7,000). Rick Porcello is allowing a .405 wOBA to lefties, which points to a solid matchup for Michael Brantley ($5,200).
No game comes with a double-digit run total, so there aren't really obvious targets. Boston-Houston does come in at 9.5, further pushing me away from Cole. Kansas City-LA Angels and Toronto-Chicago White Sox also have a total of 9.5. Ivan Nova ($6,200) looks the most vulnerable, but the Jays' offense remains anemic. Nova has allowed a .418 wOBA to lefties, putting Eric Sogard ($4,400) , Freddie Galvis ($4,000), Justin Smoak ($4,000) and Rowdy Tellez ($3,700) on radars. We'll hit on the Royals more later, but small shares of the Angels against Brad Keller ($6,000) make sense. Mike Trout ($5,600) is always an option, and riding a hot Tommy La Stella ($4,900) works as well.
Cardinals bats were cold in two of three in Atlanta, but are in a nice spot to rebound during a weekend series against the Rangers, who will trot out Jose Leclerc ($5,400) as their opener before bringing in Adrian Sampson ($5,200), who has a 5.67 xFIP while allowing a .436 wOBA to righties at home. Marcell Ozuna ($4,900) is the GPP power target (.299 ISO), while Paul DeJong ($5,100) offers more stability. Dexter Fowler ($3,900) is second amongst Cardinal regulars with a .378 wOBA and offers a bit of value.
Stand-alone rookies are well work considering. Atlanta's Austin Riley (OF - $3,900) hasn't missed a beat since being promoted and will get soft-tossing Jhoulys Chacin ($6,600), whose one out of five hits allowed to righties have cleared the fence. Keston Hiura ($3,800) fanned four times Thursday and isn't adjusting as well, but his contact potential at a bad position makes him worth a GPP consideration, while the Rockies Brendan Rodgers wasn't in the player pool as of submission.
Indians vs. Dylan Bundy (Orioles)
Bundy has allowed at least three runs in six of eight starts, and saw a noticeable velocity dip in his last start against the Angels. This stack is far from sexy on the name side, but offers some savings while also filling some middle-infield spots without sweat. Lindor is the anchor, while Martin is second amongst Tribe regulars with a .340 wOBA against righties. Kipnis has five hits in his last three games and faces a pitcher that allowed a .399 wOBA to lefties a year ago, and plays a position we're used to punting.
Rangers vs. Miles Mikolas (Cardinals)
Mikolas has settled down but has still allowed eight homers in 10 starts, twice allowing three in one outing. He allowed a .80 higher wOBA to lefties than righties last year, a trend that has continued from last season, and is in a tough spot at Globe Life Park. Gallo always has the boom or bust splits, but brings a .371 ISO to go along with a .412 wOBA and 155 wRC+. Pence feels a little over-valued given his age, but his current form comes with a .432 wOBA, .358 ISO and 168 wRC+. Calhoun balances out this stack price and position, as he enjoys starting stability with Elvis Andrus' injury. He was hot at Triple-A and carried that over to Thursday, and may be a forgotten name amongst all the recent minor-league promotions in a favorable spot.
Royals vs. Matt Harvey (Angels)
Harvey is allowing a .453 wOBA to lefties at home, and a .383 to righties, putting all Royals in play. Dozier is leading the way with a .462 wOBA, 193 wRC+ and .352 ISO and is very fairly priced with some position flexibility. Gordon brings the favorable LvR matchup, and a .392 wOBA and .273 ISO in this matchup, while Soler offers some savings and upside with a .280 ISO. Whit Merrifield ($5,100) is certainly an option where cost isn't an issue.