Happy Friday, my fellow MLB DFS degenerates. There’s a 13-game slate tonight, which means plenty of opportunity to get great values and create balanced lineups. As always, I have identified some of those values that could be the puzzle pieces to put your lineup over the top. After those value picks below, you’ll find a few of the big boppers set to bring fireworks this evening. You might consider some of them to help fill in the remaining holes.
In the interest of full disclosure, bad luck struck me last night. Or rather, bad gambling. I built my value with some huge gambles that did not pay off. Pitcher Martín Pérez, Mookie Betts, and Kiké Hernández all turned out great, but the rest turned in single-digit scores. Only one zero in the lineup (thanks a lot, Corey Seager), but the lineup just wasn’t enough to even sniff a payout. Tonight, we bounce back. This gigantic slate tosses its first pitch at 7:05pm EDT, so get those lineups in before heading out to paint the town red.
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***All prices listed are from DraftKings***
Value on the Hill
Shane Bieber – at Detroit ($9,000)
It’s redemption night for Bieber. Against the worst (by far) offense in baseball, he allowed three runs (two earned) just a week ago and was saddled with the loss. The Tigers are a team that The Biebs should polish off without breaking a sweat. Aside from a clunker against the Toronto Blue Jays three starts ago, his 1-3 record is extremely misleading. He has pitched well overall, and seems to have found his stride of late. Even with the loss against Detroit, Bieber has struck out 17 in his last two starts (13 IP). Aside from his first game of the season (still went five innings) and the Toronto clunker (4 IP), he’s pitched at least six innings in each game. He’ll need the Cleveland offense to back him, and they should against Alex Faedo. Bieber cruises while striking out double-digit batters tonight.
Bailey Ober – vs Kansas City ($8,000)
Great value here for Ober, who returned from injury (groin) and allowed just one run over five innings in his first start since April 28. Who was that return start against? Did you guess the Royals? That was a test, and you did well. His WHIP in that game was just 0.80. Not too shabby for a guy who had missed over three weeks of action. Yet, he looked his normal self, an encouraging sign for his second-straight bout against Kansas City, this time at home. KC averages only 3.70 runs scored/game, and Ober gets them in his den. This season, the Minnesota righty is carrying a 2.55 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts in 24 innings. If not for missing time and being pulled early when he first suffered that injury against Detroit, those numbers would look even better. $8K? Yes, please.
Value in the Field
Jonah Heim, C – at Oakland ($3,500)
When looking for value at the plate, anything sub-$4K from a player that could outperform is a major bonus. Thanks in part to Heim cooling off of late, he’s below that mark and makes for a great play. It was not that long ago that Heim was tearing the cover off the ball, so there is major upside here for the price. Oakland pitcher Cole Irvin led the league last season with 15 losses and allowing 195 total hits. He’s pitched well this season, but against some offensively-challenged ballclubs and has a 1.25 WHIP. Meanwhile, the Texas backstop is slashing .269/.352/.484 (that’s an .836 OPS for those without a calculator). He has five dingers, 15 RBI and 17 runs scored with huge upside.
Gleyber Torres, 2B – at Tampa Bay ($3,900)
Under $4,000, you say? Let’s run it back. Torres smacked two moonshots with the boomstick on Tuesday. It was against the Orioles, so take it with a grain of salt because he’s a Baltimore killer. That said, Torres is having a good year and has seven longballs a season after totaling nine. He’ll step into the box against Jeffrey Springs, who at first blush has excellent numbers. What the stats don’t tell you is that he’s a converted reliever this season and has pitched into the fifth inning just twice. In fact, he has made 12 appearances in 2022, but only has 27.1 innings pitched. Great win against Baltimore, but… it’s Baltimore. The Yankees present an entirely different challenge, and Torres will be there to do plenty of cleaning up somewhere in the middle of the lineup. Great value for the money on a potent offense.
Alex Verdugo, OF – vs Baltimore ($3,300)
Three straight positional picks under four grand is making up for $17K spent on pitchers (even though they were good values). Last night, we had Hernandez representing Boston and he had a good game. We’ll ride this suddenly resurrected offense as long as necessary, and especially against the Orioles’ Kyle Bradish. Bradish is shouldering a 1-3 record for Baltimore, and while he’s just over nine strikeouts per nine innings, his 5.74 ERA and 1.35 WHIP make him an ideal candidate to face with an offense finding its hot hand. Last night Hernandez, tonight Verdugo. We actually could have played both yesterday, as Verdugo went 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Hitting is contagious, and Boston is hitting. Verdugo may be hanging out in the Nos. 6 or 7 hole, but he’ll have plenty of opportunities at home to do damage against a subpar pitcher on Friday night.
These are just a few boppers that could fit your lineups tonight. They should all have plenty of opportunity to lay the lumber on opposing pitchers en masse. Best of luck in all your contests tonight. Get those lineups in on time, go out and have some fun, and wake up to some serious greenbacks on Saturday morning.
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