Mike Trout has struggled in 2016, but Friday could play to his advantage as he has had plenty of success against opposing pitcher, Felix Hernandez
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P- Aaron Nola (vs. Milwaukee Brewers) $8,300. Rather than picking an elite pitcher and a low/mid tier guy (which I typically do), I’m sticking with two very solid mid-tier options. Aaron Nola has been very impressive this year despite his high ERA. In 19 innings pitched, he has 23 strikeouts, a 5.68 ERA, but he owns a 3.14 FIP. His low FIP shows that his ERA is very inflated and shouldn’t reflect his performance early in the season. He has a great strikeout rate and he is facing a very weak Milwaukee Brewers offense. The Brewers have the 5th most strikeouts in Major League Baseball, so there is a great chance Nola will capitalize on the swing and misses of the Brewers on Friday.
P- Aaron Sanchez (vs. Oakland A’s): $7,200. Sanchez has started 2016 on a very impressive hot streak. In 20 innings pitched, he has a 1.35 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and 7 walks. His walk rate could hurt you a little bit, but at this price, I think he is worth it. He is facing the 25th worst offense in baseball on Friday. While the Oakland A’s don’t strikeout much (113 strikeouts, which is 11th best in the MLB), they do struggle to take a walk (only 37 walks, which ranks as the 5th worst rate in the MLB). Since Sanchez’s kryptonite has been his walk rate in his career, this statistic could work to his favor on Friday. If he can limit the walks, he could be a very solid daily fantasy option.
C- Jarrod Saltalamacchia (vs. Josh Tomlin): $3,300. Saltalamacchia is by far the hottest catcher in Major League Baseball recently. In the past 7 days, he is hitting .320 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI’s. Throughout 2016, he is hitting .313 with 5 home runs, 14 RBI’s, 7 runs, and a .405 OBP. Continue to ride Saltalamacchia while he is hot considering there aren’t many other catchers who are hitting the baseball well right now. In 5 career at bats against Tomlin, Saltalamacchia is hitting .800 with 1 home run, 4 RBI’s, and 1 double. This is a very small sample size, but considering he is so hot recently, this doesn’t hurt his chances for a great game.
NOTE: Jarrod Saltalamacchia is sitting on Friday, so I am starting Matt Wieters ($400; vs. Chris Young) in his place.
1B- Adrian Gonzalez (vs. Jon Gray): $4,600. I am going to go with the crafty veteran against a young and inconsistent pitcher on Friday. Gray will be making his first start of 2016 on Friday and unfortunately for him, he is pitching at home, which means baseballs are going to be flying all over the ballpark. When throwing at home, Gray is giving up a .391 opposing batting average and a 8.57 ERA in 5 career starts. Gonzalez is having a very promising start to 2016. He is hitting .328 with 2 home runs, 10 RBI’s, 8 runs, and a .385 OBP through 15 games. In 75 games played at Coors Field, Gonzalez is hitting .310 with 18 home runs, and a .382 OBP. This could be a special night for the veteran.
2B- Neil Walker (vs. Bud Norris): $3,900. Walker has averaged 9.5 points per game on Draft Kings during the 2016 season. He also has very favorable match-up on Friday against the Atlanta Braves and pitcher, Bud Norris. In 23 career at bats against Norris, Walker is hitting .391 with 1 home run, 2 XBH, 1 RBI, 5 walks, and a .517 OBP. Clearly he doesn’t struggle to get on base against Norris, so this could he could be a very good option for daily fantasy on Friday.
3B- Manny Machado (vs. Chris Young): $4,900. Once again, I’m going with a very hot bat. According to MLB.com, Machado is the hottest 3rd baseman over the past 7 days. During that time period, he is hitting .367 with 2 home runs, and 3 RBI’s. He will be facing Chris Young on Friday, who is not overwhelming by any means. On the surface, this looks like a great match-up for Machado. Over 60 plate appearances in 2016, he is hitting .407 with 5 home runs, 7 RBI’s, 13 runs, and a .467 OBP.
SS- Xander Bogaerts (vs. Collin McHugh): $3,700. Bogaerts will be facing Collin McHugh on Friday, whom has struggled in 2016 at times. He will also be hitting in Houston’s home stadium, which is known as a great hitters park for righties. He has been dealing with a strained quad recently, so pay attention to the posted lineup as there is a chance he doesn’t start if the quad is acting up.
OF- Mike Trout (vs. Felix Hernandez): Trout has really struggled (up to his standards) at the start of 2016, but Friday could be a great night for him. He will be facing Felix Hernandez, whom he has plenty of success against. In 65 career at bats against Hernandez, he is hitting .354 with 4 home runs, 13 RBI’s, 9 XBH, and a .389 OBP. Since he is facing an elite pitcher, his price has dropped quite a bit, which makes him a bargain.
OF- Bryce Harper (vs. Kyle Gibson): $5,400. I have started Harper for 4 straight days now and I don’t regret it one bit. This guy is on fire and there is no reason to sit him in your daily fantasy lineup. His price has risen a bit, but he is worth it. He is averaging 14.4 points per game in Draft Kings this season. In Harper’s last 7 games, he is hitting .400 with 5 home runs, and 16 RBI’s. Put it this way, Bryce Harper is really, really good.
OF- Christian Yelich (vs. Jeff Samardzija): $3,800. How this kid is only $3,800, I have no idea. He is absolutely killing the ball in 2016. In 58 plate appearances, he is hitting .372 with 1 home run, 5 RBI’s, 7 runs, and a .517 OBP. You read that correctly, a .517 OBP. He has reached base in all 13 games this season. Clearly this is a great sign for daily fantasy considering getting on base means points. Yelich will be playing in the Giant’s home stadium, which has a very big outfield, and could play to Yelich’s advantage since he plays the gaps very well. He is averaging 9.1 points per game on Draft Kings this season.
Available Cash: $100
Other Hot Options: Logan Forsythe, Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria, Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, Gio Gonzalez
Avoid: Jason Kipnis, Giancarlo Stanton, CC Sabathia, Jon Gray, Josh Tomlin