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  • The Red Sox are piping hot, which means Rick Porcello is a good starting option for your DFS lineup.
By Mike Barner
July 13, 2018

Thursday brought a light slate of action across the majors, but it was loaded with elite starting pitchers. We’ve got the opposite Friday with a full schedule consisting of 15 games that is very light on top-tier pitching. The good news is there are some great stacking options as a result. Consider using the picks below and plugging them into our MLB Lineup Optimizer to help complete the rest of your lineup.

Starting Pitchers

Rick Porcello, vs. Blue Jays (FD: $9,600, DK: $9,800)

Porcello already has 11 wins for the Red Sox, matching his total from all of 2017. He does get the benefit of the Red Sox potent lineup backing him up, but he’s also made significant improvements. He was hampered by a 1.40 WHIP and a 1.7 HR/9 last year, but this season he has a 1.17 WHIP and a 0.9 HR/9. His 3.58 ERA is supported by a 3.48 FIP and a career-high 22.7% strikeout rate. He also pitches deep into games, logging at least six innings in all but four of his starts. The Blue Jays have a .749 OPS at home this year, but struggle on the road with a .703 OPS. Porcello has already faced them twice this season as well, allowing six runs—five earned—and recording 14 strikeouts across 13 2/3 innings.

Carlos Martinez, vs. Reds (FD: $8,800, DK: $8,100)

Martinez had a 1.62 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP through his first eight starts of the season before winding up on the DL with a lat injury. He pitched poorly in his first four outings once he returned, mainly because he issued 20 walks in 16 2/3 innings. However, he’s settled down to allow two runs or fewer in three straight starts. He threw at least six innings in each outing and recorded 18 strikeouts compared to just three walks. He’s not normally priced this cheap, so look to take advantage of the opportunity while you still can.

Brad Keller, at White Sox (FD: $6,100, DK: $6,400)

Not much has gone right for the Royals pitching staff this season as their 5.35 team ERA is worst in the majors. Keller has been one of their few bright spots, though, compiling a 2.52 ERA, 3.38 FIP and a 1.25 WHIP in 28 appearances, seven of which were starts. He doesn’t have a lot of strikeout upside with a 5.2 K/9, but he’s only allowed one home run in 60 2/3 innings. He allowed 0.5 HR/9 during his career in the minors, so he’s historically done a good job keeping batters inside the ball park. The White Sox have scored the sixth-fewest runs (365) in baseball and lost one of their hottest hitters to injury in Avisail Garcia, leaving Keller as a cheap option to consider in tournament play.

Offensive Stacks

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Wei-Yin Chen, Miami Marlins
Stadium — Marlins Park

Chen was hammered in his last start against the Nationals, allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings. It marked the third time this season Chen has allowed at least seven runs in a game, one of the main reasons why he has a bloated 6.14 ERA. His FIP is a little better at 5.09, but it’s still the highest of his career. He hasn’t been able to keep runners off base with a 1.55 WHIP and has already allowed 11 homers in 66 innings. Strikeouts have been hard to come by for him as well with a 6.7 K/9. The Phillies have been middle of the pack in terms of runs scored this season, but they could have one of their better scoring performances of the season Friday.

Texas Rangers vs. Alex Cobb, Baltimore Orioles
Stadium — Oriole Park at Camden Yards

The Orioles seem to be cursed when it comes to starting pitchers. Cobb was coming off a solid 2017 campaign where he posted a 3.66 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP as a member of the Rays, but the wheels have come off since he joined the Orioles. He has allowed at least five runs in eight of his 16 starts, resulting in a 6.67 ERA. He has a 1.62 WHIP and has allowed 1.7 HR/9, both of which are significantly higher than his career marks. The Rangers have been terrible in terms of wins and losses, but they are in the top half of baseball in terms of runs scored and home runs. Don’t be surprised if they hang a crooked number on Cobb.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Nick Kingham, Pittsburgh Pirates
Stadium — PNC Park

Kingham finally made it to the majors this season after spending eight years in the minor leagues. He has a 3.37 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP for his career in the minors, but hasn’t shown great strikeout upside with a 7.7 K/9. He’s had a few good outings with the Pirates, but has been very average overall with a 4.26 ERA and a 4.53 FIP across eight starts. If not for his 1.16 WHIP, his numbers could be far worse considering he has allowed eight home runs in only 44 1/3 innings. In his first outing against the Brewers, he allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings. The Brewers have a .737 OPS against right-handed pitchers compared to just a .683 OPS against lefties, putting Kingham in a tough spot Friday.

Cleveland Indians vs. Domingo German, New York Yankees
Stadium — Progressive Field

German has provided a ton of strikeouts for the Yankees this season with a 10.4 K/9. His WHIP isn’t bad either at 1.25, but he’s allowed 14 home runs in 74 2/3 innings. He’s been a little better pitching at Yankees Stadium with a 4.79 ERA and an 11.5 K/9, but he has a 5.40 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 on the road. The Indians not only have the fifth-highest OPS against right-handed pitchers (.766) in baseball, but they also have second-highest OPS at home (.833). It’s a little risky stacking against a pitcher who can be so dominant in the strikeout department, but German’s issues with homers could lead to plenty of runs for the Indians.

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