We have a massive 12-game slate for MLB DFS on Friday, but this is one of the weakest pitching slates of the season. There is really not a ton to love here, but we can always find a few gems on such a large slate.
Carlos Carrasco is the highest-priced pitcher on most sites, and I just would rather play Corbin and Happ. I’m truly not pumped to play either of them either, but Carrasco is too hit or miss for me at that price tag. The Royals offense isn’t intimidating, but they love to play small ball and just generate runs in weird ways. If Carrasco runs into any of his notorious control problems, I think he will really struggle in this spot.
Patrick Corbin is my favorite pitcher on this slate, in terms of just his general game, but this is a tough spot. The Pirates lineup is not good, but they are pesky, and they don’t K at a high-rate. I think Corbin has a really nice outing, but I’m not sure we see his 10K upside here at a really high price tag all over.
Happ has struggled a little in his first two games, but there are no red flags for me in his advanced number, and I think he will be the same pitcher as he was last season. If Happ is low-owned due to his first two starts, I like Happ as a pivot off of the other two mentioned above.
FanDuel has Chris Paddack at $8,100, and that’s too cheap. Paddack isn’t the best prospect in baseball, but he is a really good pitcher, and this is a nice spot. The Diamondbacks lineup doesn’t look like it has in years past and I see a clear path to success for Paddack.
Trent Thornton was my highest-exposed pitcher in both of his first two major league starts, and part of me is tempted to take my 2 great starts and run, but I still like him here. I would expect him to be highly-owned here because of his first two games, but I still like him vs. a below-average Rays lineup. There are a few decent bats like Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham, but the lineup as a whole doesn’t scare me off of a good prospect with really nice stuff.
Wade Miley isn’t a crazy-upside pitcher, but he is supported by a good defense and offense, and he isn’t as bad as people think. This slate lacks star-power at pitcher, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Miley becomes more popular than I’d like, but if we think the ownership is low enough, I think he pitches well enough to keep your night alive.
Okay. Now, please do not kill me. Chad Bettis? Maybe? Eh. Look, I think Chad Bettis is BAD. Probably even worse than you do, but he isn’t as bad as he has been in his first two games. He has a .375 BABIP, a 29% HR/FB rate, and a LOB% under 50%. None of these things will continue over the course of the season, and they make him look worse right now than he is. That being said, this isn’t me saying Chad Bettis is a great pitcher and will be great here. The Giants are REALLY bad, and Oracle Park is REALLY bad for hitters. To be honest, I like all of the trends in Bettis’s advanced stats through two games even though they have been terrible. Bettis has thrown WAY more changeups this season. The changeup is BY FAR his best pitch for his career. I want bats, and I will have WAY more Bettis than one would ever like to admit.
I have a feeling that Lucas Giolito will be the popular low-owned guy just like Dylan Bundy was vs. the Yankees last week. A young, talented arm vs. a K-heavy team at a cheap price tag that lets me spend up, what could possibly go wrong, right? A lot can go wrong, and I think my Bettis and Yankees stacks instead of playing GIolito will be very uncommon.
David Hess is bad, and the Red Sox are good. Is that enough? Hess has increased his velocity significantly since last season, but I still don’t think he is good. The Red Sox bats haven’t shown a ton of life to start the year, and I assume they will have crazy ownership. I like the Red Sox here but do prefer the Yankees if they are lower owned.
Oakland had a nice week vs. the Orioles, and they should be able to continue that vs. Drew Smyly in Texas. I think Oakland is a great spot to look for some power to compliment your main stack or as a full-stack.
If you want to spend up and get a few low owned stacks, I think that both Eduardo Rodriguez and Jake Arrieta are being overvalued as players. This season, Arrieta has a swinging strike % under 5%, which is absolutely horrible. Rodriguez has been unlucky, but he has also been horrible with an xFIP over 6. His velocity is down over 1 MPH on his fastball, and it hasn’t moved on anything else, which is generally problematic. I have seen nothing to suggest this, but E-Rod has struggled with tipping pitches twice in his career, and tipping pitches often leads to statistics that suggest you have been “unlucky.” I am not saying it’s happening, but his first two starts are exactly what would happen if he was somehow tipping pitches again and it wouldn’t hurt to stack against a pitcher that is telling the team what he is throwing if that were the case. I won’t have much of Miami or Baltimore, but I would include a little if I were mass-multi entering.