This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We kick off the four-day weekend Friday with 12 MLB games starting at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. You don’t need to focus too much on barbeque preparation just yet, so get a DFS lineup or two (or more!) in for Friday. Maybe you’ll win some cash and upgrade those burgers. Here are my DFS recommendations.
Hunter Brown, HOU at OAK ($9,900): Brown’s had his occasional struggles as a rookie pitcher, which is understandable, but all in all he has a 3.07 FIP, and he’s shown a proclivity to suppress home runs through nine starts in 2023. Oakland’s pitcher-friendly park makes it easier to avoid giving up the long ball, as does facing a team in the bottom five in runs scored.
George Kirby, SEA vs. PIT ($9,300): After a bad first start of the season, Kirby has looked just like the guy who showed a ton of promise as a rookie. To be this deep into your sophomore campaign and still have a career 2.84 FIP is highly encouraging. The bloom seems to be off the rose with the Pirates, who have been dropping games and dropping on the offensive statistical leaderboards. Pittsburgh is now in the bottom half of MLB in runs scored.
Matthew Liberatore, STL at CLE ($7,100): After starting the season well in Triple-A, Liberatore has gotten a call up to the majors, and he will get his second chance at a start for the Cardinals. His team has certainly picked a nice matchup for him. The Guardians…may be the worst offensive team in MLB. That’s been the case so far, and we’re on the precipice of June. Plus, Liberatore is a lefty, and that is even worse for Cleveland’s already-atrocious offense.
It’s been a remarkable, MVP-caliber season for Ronald Acuna ($6,400). He’s hit .332 with 11 home runs and already has 22 stolen bases. Maybe he will have a 30/30 season, maybe it will be more like a 20/40 season, but no matter what, Acuna has delivered. You can’t say the same for Taijuan Walker, who has a 5.79 ERA in his first season with the Phillies. That includes a 7.43 ERA on the road.
After having 28 homers and 25 stolen bases in his first season with the Rangers, Marcus Semien ($5,700) has eight of the former and seven of the latter in 2023. He’s done that even though he just can’t get it going at his new home park. After having an .836 OPS on the road last year, he has a .960 OPS in away games this season. Grayson Rodriguez is the latest in a long line of top pitching prospects who have struggled once reaching MLB, as he has a 6.21 ERA through nine starts.
I fear Daulton Varsho ($3,800) has landed in a tough spot for himself. Now a Blue Jay, he has a .383 OPS at home, but an .855 OPS on the road. The lefty has still managed seven homers and six stolen bases, though. Fortunately for Varsho, he gets to be on the road Friday. In his career, Louie Varland has a 4.00 ERA, which isn’t good, but his 4.87 FIP is even worse.
So far in his career, which is still under 30 games, Maikel Garcia ($2,400) has been more of a contact hitter with limited power. That is, save for his at-bats against lefties. The 23-year-old has an 1.037 OPS when facing southpaws. Patrick Corbin is a lefty, and even in a “good” year he has a 4.47 ERA. His strikeouts are way down, and righties have still hit .296 against him.
Stacks to Consider
Mets at Rockies (Connor Seabold): Pete Alonso ($5,700), Jeff McNeil ($3,900), Daniel Vogelbach ($2,700)
The Mets get to travel to Coors Field for this weekend, and they also get to face perhaps the most-hittable pitcher in MLB. No, really. In Seabold’s career, righties have hit .344 against him, while lefties have hit .354. Combine that with Coors, and it bodes well for New York.
You’ve got to have Alonso’s elite power in this matchup. He has 19 homers in 2023, not to mention a career .535 slugging percentage. McNeil is more of a guy who hits for average with doubles power, but those kind of bats play well at Coors, too! The lefty is a career .305 hitter with six doubles this year after having a whopping 39 in 2022. If you want power versus a righty, and to save some salary, you go with Vogelbach. He can’t hit southpaws at all, but he has an .832 OPS against right-handed pitchers since 2021.
Astros at Athletics (James Kaprielian): Yordan Alvarez ($6,000), Kyle Tucker ($5,600), Corey Julks ($2,600)
The A’s may have a pitcher-friendly ballpark, but you know what counterbalances that? Facing a pitcher with an 8.68 ERA this season. That would be Kaprielian, who has allowed 1.3 home runs per nine innings at home in his career. The Astros’ two best hitters happen to be lefties, and this year two left handers have hit .309 against Kaprielian.
Alvarez has an 1.003 OPS this season, which isn’t surprising. He had an 1.019 OPS last year with 37 homers, and he already has 12 home runs this year. Tucker’s average dipped last year, but he still put up 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases. This year he has a .276 average to go with his seven homers and seven swiped bags. Julks has debuted in MLB a little late, but he has hit .262 with three homers and five stolen bases, and has a starting role in the outfield. So far he’s been a bit better on the road as well, posting a .724 OPS in away games.
Red Sox at Diamondbacks (Brandon Pfaadt): Rafael Devers ($5,800), Masataka Yoshida ($5,600), Justin Turner ($3,800)
Pfaadt doesn’t seem ready for MLB yet. He’s made four starts, and has a 7.62 FIP and has allowed 3.15 home runs per nine innings. Lefties have hit .310 against the rookie, so I have two lefties in my stack. I was good with including a righty, though, as right handers have hit .270 against him as well.
Devers’ .513 slugging percentage is right in line with his career .512 number. The southpaw also has a .925 OPS versus right-handed pitchers since 2021. Yoshida’s rookie season is going better than Pfaadt’s, that’s for sure. He’s slashed .299/.373/.482 with an .866 OPS against righties and an .871 OPS on the road. Turner has hit .263 with a .361 OBP, and with his career .288 average there is room for improvement. While he’s been better at home, this is his first season with Boston and he has a .776 OPS in away games since 2021, so I think he’ll be fine away from Fenway in time.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it’s possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.