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FanDuel MLB: Friday Targets

A monstrous 13-game slate is on tap Friday evening. Atlanta and Tampa haven't made their pitching plans public, but that doesn't leave us with any shortage of arms to sort through. There are a plethora of big names available on the bump Friday, four of which are priced at 10k-plus, and six more at at least $8,900. Maybe the correct build here is starting with bats, and seeing which of the many arms slot in as a result...

Pitching

Breaking down the upper tier is seemingly frivolous; all are terrific options in budding to great form, while none have plus matchups, with the top three names facing top seven offenses against righties, none of which fan more than 22.8 percent of the time. Gerrit Cole ($10,000) seems like the preferred outlier. Texas doesn't swing and miss often (21.3 percent) but rank last in the league with a .260 wOBA, 72 wRC+ and .089 ISO. Cole has righted his ship, going for 103 FDP in his last two after just 46 in his first three.

Milwaukee's Eric Lauer ($9,500) is in a tier to himself. He's fanned 24 over his last 13.0 innings and gets a Braves' side that I've been making solid returns betting the over on opposing pitcher K totals nightly; they fan 25.5 percent of the time against lefties entering Friday. But he's due some regression over career norms. Consider him a low-used GPP option where continued form could win big time.

I'd expect Luis Garcia ($8,500) to be a popular pay down, as his adversary in Detroit strikes out 25.0 percent of the time, but he comes with only a 7.9 K/9 rate. You may be able to squeeze more value with lower usage from Alex Cobb ($8,200) against a St. Louis lineup with only a .286 wOBA against righties, or Michael Lorenzen ($7,900) against a Nationals' side that has no pop, sitting at a .109 ISO.

Finally, if paying down is your strategy, I'd take a chance on Josh Winder ($6,500). He went for 49 FDP in his last outing, fanning seven across six innings, allowing two hits against Tampa, and gets light hitting, heavy fanning Oakland, who bring a .262 wOBA, .112 ISO and 25.6 percent strikeout rate into Friday. Top Targets Taylor Ward ($4,000) and Mike Trout ($4,300) are hitting the ball really well regardless of matchup, but perhaps we can sneak Shohei Ohtani ($4,200) into our lineup at low usage in a plus spot. He's not in great form, but Nationals' starter Joan Adon is allowing lefties to post a .416 wOBA and 5.14 xFIP against him, while striking out only 15.7 percent of those he faces. Xander Bogaerts ($3,600) is priced so low in this loaded slate he may be considered a bargain more than a top target. He's not showing much power, but a .423 wOBA, 181 wRC+ and decent 37.0 hard-hit rate against righties plays really nicely against the .520 wOBA and 42.9 percent hard-hit rate that White Sox' Vince Velasquez is allowing. Value Bats Eric Hosmer ($3,300) seems too hot to omit from this column. He's hitting .376 with 17 RBI, resulting in a .432 wOBA against righties. Jeff McNeil ($2,800) is the type of player that can round out your builds. He's not flashy, doesn't have much pop, but he's hitting .348 with a .410 wOBA and 175 wRC+ against righties. Low upside, but a stable floor at a sub 3k price allows for spending elsewhere. There are so many names priced down due to slow starts, but don't be afraid to take a chance on one or two of Matt Olsen ($3,300) who has positive LvL splits historically, Trevor Story ($3,200) or Luis Robert ($3,200), who multiple hits in five of his last seven. But buried amidst these names is Yadiel Hernandez ($3,100), who just keeps on hitting. He's sitting at a .371 batting average with a.381 wOBA (he never walks), and 14 RBI across 52 plate appearances against righties. BvP guys may want to consider Marcell Ozuna ($2,800), especially if you're not buying what Lauer is throwing. Ozuna is 6-of-9 with three homers against Lauer, and while he hasn't gotten going this year and was out most of last, he posted a robust .527 wOBA, 233 wRC+, .511 ISO and 50.0 percent hard-hit rate against lefties in 2020. Stacks to Consider Astros vs. Tigers (Beau Brieske): Yordan Alvarez ($4,300), Alex Bregman ($3,600), Kyle Tucker($3,600) Brieske has been more lucky than good, as his 3.60 ERA isn't supported by a 6.99 FIP, nor is his .111 BABIP sustainable. He's allowing a whopping 60.0 percent fly ball rate, and 2.7 HR/9. He's been more vulnerable to righties than lefties, but with just 10 total innings thrown, we'll trust the Astros' splits in this spot more than Brieske's. Alvarez is mashing righties to the tune of a .497 wOBA, .500 ISO, 240 wRC+ and 45.9 percent hard-hit rate. Tucker seems to be warming after a slow start and boasts a similar 43.5 percent hard-hit rate to go with a rising .369 wOBA and 150 wRC+. Bregman doesn't strike out, doing so only 9.7 percent of the time, giving ample chance for his .381 wOBA and 158 wRC+ to produce. Orioles vs. Royals (Carlos Hernandez): Cedric Mullins ($3,200), Anthony Santander ($3,100), Austin Hays ($2,900) Our clear value stack of the day, as Hernandez is someone we want to target bats against, allowing a .441 wOBA to righties and .370 to lefties. Mullins appears to be warming up, having homered in consecutive games while hitting safely in six straight. Santander and Hays are the team's leading regulars against righties, posting a .368 and .384 wOBA, respectively. All three strike out less than 20 percent of the time and should hit in the top portion of the lineup, giving them a good chance at four plate appearances, balls in play and production in a plus matchup.

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