Friday is finally here and we’ve got lots of action to dig into. Plenty of hitters to target and I even gave you some value pitcher plays to use! Good luck building those lineups and let’s win some cash!
Matchups to Target
As the temps have heated up in 2023 so has Mookie Betts, hitting .242 in April, .269 in May, .309 in June, and .327 thus far in July. He’s got 5 doubles and 5 HR in July, plus 11 runs and 10 RBI, but you know he’s seeing the ball well because his walk-to-K ratio is 11:7. Betts will presumably get a few hacks Friday against the Rangers’ LHP Andrew Heaney who he’s seen quite a bit in his career. He’s got 17 plate appearances against the lefty, going 5-for-14 with 3 walks and ZERO strikeouts. Betts’ slashline against LHP this year is also quite good: .280/.720/1.120. Heaney is allowing an .814 OPS to opposing right-handed hitters.
I reminded you on Wednesday that when Riley gets hot, he really gets hot. He promptly went out and hit a HR. And Thursday? Yes, another HR. That’s now 4 HR in his last 3 games. Friday he faces the Brewers’ Freddy Peralta who he is 3-for-7 off of lifetime plus a walk. Peralta can be downright dominant at times, like he was his last time out (6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K vs the Reds), but he’s got a 4.41 ERA on the season and has given up 16 HR (8 HR to lefty, 8 HR to righty) in 18 starts. The Braves lineup just keeps coming at you with Acuna, Olson, Albies, Murphy, Harris… you can be careful with one or all of them but sooner or later you have to pitch to them, so look for Riley to take advantage.
Anyone have any idea who has the most hits in the entire MLB since the All-Star break? Yep, Edouard Julien with 12 of them (judges would have also accepted Mickey Moniak who also has 12). “So, it’s just 5 games.” Oh, well then let’s go back to prior to the AS break and include all of July: 17-for-32 with 3 doubles, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R, 4 BB (.531/1.094/1.677). June wasn’t too shabby either, going 16-for-54 (.296) with 6 doubles. He’s got an 8-game hit streak going where 6 of the 8 games he had at least 2 hits. Lance Lynn (6.06 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) will try to shut him down Friday, but Lynn is allowing a .337/.649/1.045 slashline to lefty hitters so the task may prove difficult.
As I mentioned above, Julien and Moniak have the most hits since the AS break with 12, but Torres is right behind them with 11. He was hitting prior to the break as well, currently riding a 10-game hit streak that’s seen him go 17-for-43 (.395) and 22-for-67 (.328) for the month of July with 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11 R, 5 BB, and 2 SB. Torres will face off against the Royals’ RHP Alec Marsh who carries the weight of a 5.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP into Yankee Stadium on Friday. Marsh was actually really good his last time out, going 6 strong against the formidable Rays, allowing just 5 hits and 2 earned runs while walking 1 and striking out 11. But this will be the fourth start of his career and will be toeing the rubber for the first time in the hostile Yankee Stadium environment; an environment that is sure to make him a bit nervous and perhaps throw off his game just enough for Torres and the Yankees to capitalize. The Yankees have the fourth-highest implied run total on the board today (5.1), so maybe we’re onto something here.
DFS Stacks to Consider
Dodgers vs Andrew Heaney (4.43 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
This game has one of the higher over/under run totals Friday at 9.5, and why not since both teams feature dynamic offenses. Being a lefty, Heaney has been quite effective against left-handed hitters (.176/.255/.577), but not nearly as such against righties (.255/.487/.814) and has been worse at home. Looking at the Dodgers, we see that RHH Will Smith has the highest BA against lefties (min. 20 plate appearances) and the highest OBP. He’s also top 3 in SLG, OPS, and wOBA. We also notice another right-handed bat come up just outside the top 3 in these categories quite a bit: Chris Taylor. He’s actually got the second-highest ISO too at .358, although his K% is astronomically high (41.3%), so while he might save you some he will likely be a boom-bust option. Of course, you can always use Freddie Freeman, even against lefties, and his name comes up quite a bit when you sort those stats which back up that fact.
Twins vs Lance Lynn (6.06 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Listen, I don’t like this any more than you do. I mean, it’s the Twins for crying out loud. But we’re a bunch of Aaron Boone‘s out here, relying on the analytics to tell us what to do, not gut feelings and hunches. Ok, maybe there is a little of that, but I suppose even Aaron Boone has used his gut now and then. Maybe that’s what this is, too. Lynn has had two really stellar outings in his last five, but those other three were weren’t even quality starts. It’s possible he shows up and shows out because he’s a veteran and knows these divisional games mean more, especially in a tight divisional race, but the analytics tell us he stinks against LHH (see above under Edouard Julien), and the Twins have two pretty hot ones right now — Julien and Alex Kirilloff. Kirilloff went 0-fer on Thursday, but the 4 games prior he was 8-for-17 (.471) and for the month he’s slashing .311/.600/.973 with 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, and 6 R. If you’re looking for power (and that is absolutely ALL you are looking for) you could hold your nose and hope that lefty Joey Gallo comes through; he leads the Twins in HR (17) while batting below the Mendoza Line (.180). Or you could pivot to Max Kepler who has 14 HR and has the third-most RBI on the team (36) and struck out 48 fewer times than Gallo despite having 12 more at-bats. All would be value plays, maybe allowing you to use one of the more expensive pitchers or use funds on big bats at other positions.
Other Games to Consider Stacking
D-backs @ Reds has the highest O/U at 10.5 with Cincy being the favorite. There’s plenty of bats in that lineup, but have been quite a bit more inconsistent than they were earlier in the season. To me, the D-backs have the hotter bats and maybe it’s Carroll/Walker/Marte that is the stack to play.
Giants @ Nationals has the second-highest O/U and features two pitchers with ERAs north of 4.00. The Giants are favored and have an implied run total of almost 5 while the Nats are implied to score 4. Jake Irvin (4.96 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) is going for the Nats and lefties have had more success than righties against him, slashing .280/.470/.823. So you could be thinking Michael Conforto, Mike Yastrzemski, and Patrick Bailey. But also remember that, as GTS’ own Mike Malinowski points out, Wilmer Flores has been hot and has multi-position eligibility, while also costing less than other options.
One mini-stack to consider is Shohei Ohtani and Mickey Moniak. No need to explain Ohtani other than he’s a lefty, but Moniak is tied for the most hits since the AS break (12) and is also a lefty. They take on the Pirates’ RHP Johan Oviedo (4.53 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) who is on the road and has been less effective against left-handed hitters.
DFS Value Pitchers
Scrolling through the list of available pitchers, there are a couple value plays I’d play if not the more expensive options like Ohtani and Valdez:
Ranger Suarez ($8000 on DK): Suarez is a lefty and the bigger bats in the Guardians lineup (Ramirez and Naylor) do not hit lefties well at all. That leaves the likes of Rosario, Kwan, and Gimenez to get the job done.
Clarke Schmidt ($6200 on DK): this isn’t a pitcher that gives you confidence but he does pitch better at home and averages a K per inning (95 K in 94 IP).
Phillies Moneyline : Suarez shuts the Guardians down and the Philly bats (gulp) do enough to win.
Yankees -1.5 : Schmidt holds the Royals’ offense down and Torres & Co do enough damage to win.
Gleyber Torres 2 TB: we outlined Torres above and hitting conditions are great today according to BallparkPal.com.
Giancarlo Stanton HR: hey, I wanted to pick Christian Walker, but +285 to hit a HR? That’s just not fair. Stanton gives you a little more bang for your buck, and like I said, hitting conditions are good today.