- There is no shortage of aces or desirable offenses to stack on Friday's 15-game MLB slate.
Friday brings the normal 15-game slate in baseball, highlighted by several aces taking the mound, including Corey Kluber, Stephen Strasburg, Jacob deGrom and Luis Severino. That might make offense hard to afford in some spots, but doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be grasping at straws with our bats. Consider using the picks below and plugging them into our MLB Lineup Optimizer to help round out the rest of your lineup.
Jacob deGrom, at Padres (FD: $10,600, DK: $12,400)
DeGrom was one of the few Mets starters to stay healthy last year, logging a career-high 201 1/3 innings. He made major strides in the strikeout department, finishing with a 10.7 K/9 that was a full strikeout higher than his previous career best. He’s continued his torrid pace this season with an 11.3 K/9 through five starts. Not only does he have excellent control with a career 2.3 BB/9, but he doesn’t allow many baserunners in general with a career 1.12 WHIP. The Padres have by far the most strikeouts (273) in baseball this season and have the sixth-lowest batting average against right-handed pitchers (.223), leaving deGrom as someone to target for your entry Friday.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, at Giants (FD: $7,800, DK: $11,100)
The Dodgers couldn’t have asked for a better start from Ryu, who is 3-0 in four starts with a 1.99 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 10.7 K/9. He has held opponents to a .200 BABIP, so he has had a bit of luck on his side. On the positive side, his 31.4% hard-hit rate allowed is almost right on par with his career mark. He’s had some tough matchups already, facing the Diamondbacks, Athletics and Nationals, and he held those teams to a combined five earned runs in 16 2/3 innings. The Giants have scored the second-fewest runs (76) in baseball, leaving Ryu with significant upside. His low price on FanDuel specifically could make him a strong value play if you are playing on that site.
Miles Mikolas, at Pirates (FD: $6,700, DK: $7,600)
Mikolas is pitching in the majors for the first time since 2014 after spending the last three years in Japan. The transition has gone smoothly so far, with Mikolas owning a 3.46 ERA and 3.89 FIP across four starts. He’s done a great job limiting base runners with a 1.00 WHIP and has shown impeccable control with a 0.7 BB/9. His strikeout upside isn’t huge, but he can continue to pitch to a low ERA with how few batters he walks. If you are looking to go really cheap in tournament play, he has the potential to at least throw a quality start.
New York Yankees vs. Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels
Stadium – Angel Stadium
Injuries have put a damper on Heaney’s career, limiting him to 27 2/3 innings combined in the last two seasons. He’s made two starts so far this season and hasn’t fared well, allowing 10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings. His last start was particularly concerning because he gave up seven earned runs against the Giants, which isn’t exactly have a potent lineup. He’ll face a much tougher opponent in the Yankees on Friday, a group loaded with excellent right-handed hitters and tied for the second-highest OPS (.843) against lefties this season. This could be another rough outing for Heaney.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Derek Holland, San Francisco Giants
Stadium – AT&T Park
Holland isn’t much more than a journeyman starter at this point in his career and enters Friday with a 4.98 ERA through four starts. His 1.06 WHIP is encouraging, but he’s been extremely lucky with opponents having just a .218 BABIP. He’s also given up a lot of solid contact with a 39% hard-hit rate. He already faced the Dodgers once this season, allowing five runs—three earned—in five innings. Righties hit him well last year with a .408 wOBA, making hitters including Matt Kemp, Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez all viable options to consider for your entry.
Colorado Rockies vs. Jose Ureña, Miami Marlins
Stadium – Marlins Park
After the Marlins stripped down their roster over the winter, it’s not surprising that they have a 5.29 team ERA, the third-worst mark in baseball. Ureña has been no exception, posting a 5.88 ERA and 1.39 WHIP across five starts. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, evidenced by his 7.3 K/9 and 42% hard-hit rate allowed this season. This would be an even juicer matchup for the Rockies if this game was being played in Coors Field, but they still provide an excellent stacking opportunity.
Detroit Tigers vs. Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles
Stadium – Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Tillman was terrible last year and has struggled out of the gate this season, recording a 9.87 ERA and 2.37 WHIP through four starts. Not only is he walking far too many batters with a 5.7 BB/9, but he’s not striking anyone out either with a 4.2 K/9. It’s hard to miss so few bats, but his 6.7 career K/9 doesn’t indicate that he is going to see significant improvement in that area anytime soon. He hasn’t been able to keep many hitters in the park, either, with a 2.6 HR/9. The Tigers offense has been middle of the pack this season in terms of runs scored, but they could be in line for one of their best performances of the season Friday.