On Friday, MLB slate is loaded DraftKings, but since the opening day was yesterday, planned holidays have been built in as a backup for postponements, which has created an unusually light Friday slate.
The idea of this fantasy baseball ranking page is to rank the top DraftKings options in each salary range, and helps you make quick decisions when discussing which players to list for the upcoming principal DraftKings MLB slate. Players are sorted from top to bottom in order of preference.
The players listed in the tables below are players I am considering playing based on price and matchup. If a player is not listed on these ranks, but is in the lineup, it just means that I am not focused on paying for this player today due to the combination of match and price. They can still be a viable alternative – a wise sage once said, “You know, you just can not predict baseball, Suzyn” – but I want to use my DraftKings capital elsewhere today.
One of the best ways to find hitter value DraftKings MLB competitions take place through slot machine upgrades after prizes have been set. These slot machine upgrades often do not happen until teams release lineups a few hours before the game is locked. Please come back before locking to see potential rankings updates.
|Blake fast||SP||TO RIDE||$ 9,700|
|Trevor Bauer||SP||NECKLACE||$ 10,500|
|Yusei Kikuchi||SP||SF||$ 6000|
|Andrew Heaney||SP||CWS||$ 7,600|
|Pablo Lopez||SP||TB||$ 7,000|
|Dallas cuddle||SP||LAA||$ 8,700|
|Merrill Kelly||SP||SD||$ 6,700|
|Ryan yarbrough||SP||MIA||$ 8,300|
Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers ($ 10,500)
Bauer had an increase in production last season in part due to a huge increase in backspin on the fastball. Bauer’s average spin speed rose to just under 2800 RPM in 2020, a giant peak from about 2300 RPM in 2018 and 2400 RPM in 2019. The difference of 400-500 RPM in backspin on a fastball can be the difference between a turn and a miss or contact , or the difference between a safe flight out and home driving.
Why is this known for today’s slate? MLB is apparently going to test the baseballs carefully this season to see if foreign substances are used to increase spin, and send the baseballs to independent laboratories for inspection. Bauer wrote an essay in The Players’ Tribune before the 2020 season and asked for most of the league to use foreign substances to increase the spin and estimates that 70% of the pitchers use some kind of technically illegal substance on the ball. This is what he wrote in Players Tribune:
“I have been chasing the spin frequency since 2012. For eight years I have been trying to figure out how to increase the spin on my fastball because I had identified it at the time as such a huge advantage. I knew that if I could learn to increase it through training and technique, it would be huge. But eight years later, I have found no other way but to use foreign substances. ”
Bauer’s sudden and dramatic increase in spin frequency has led to speculation that he was frustrated that the league does not enforce this rule and decided to take advantage of the loophole. If Bauer used foreign substances to increase performance in 2020 and can not use the same substances in 2021, there is a good chance that fantasy production will decline. We have to wait and see how this unfolds by monitoring Bauer’s spin speed via MLB’s tracking system, and since this information is not public for spring training, we will not have a clear picture until Bauer’s first start of the regular season.
As far as today’s matchup goes, Bauer is in a brutal spot on Coors Field, baseball’s hardest park to hit. I do not really want to pay for Bauer today given the park and uncertainty with his skills, but there are a very limited number study options given the little slate, and if Bauer’s skills stay in step from 2020, he’s up.
Blake Snell, San Diego Padres ($ 9,700)
The Rays are notoriously aggressive when shouting starting pitchers early to prevent opposing players from seeing them three or four times in the same game. This was most notoriously exhibited in the World Series when the Rays snatched Snell under a pearl, so that he could only throw 73 lanes despite the fact that only two of the 18 batters he encountered could reach the base. Snell failed to complete six full innings in any start in 2020, cracking 90 courses in just one of his six postseason starts.
If Snell has been freed from a quick hook in his new home in San Diego, he can throw deeper into games, which will give him more opportunities to generate fantasy volume. Snell also gets a park and league upgrade at Petco in the National League, where he does not have to face the designated hitter. Petco is also one of the best parks for race prevention.
Snell is one of baseball’s best at missing bats, generating a fluctuating strike percentage of 15% in each of the last three seasons. Snell’s fluctuating strike rate of 16% since the start of 2018 is the third best among all starting pitchers, and his strike rate of 32% is the sixth best.
Friday’s showdown against the Diamondbacks is strong. Arizona is estimated to be a bottom third, and the soft pitching environment combined with Snell’s lack of bat ability makes him my favorite stud that I can pay for on this slate.
Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners ($ 6000)
Kikuchi is the cheapest jug on this slate, and he is someone who stands out to me for having excellent value per dollar. Kikuchi’s 5.17 ERA was ugly in 2020, but his peripheral statistics show that he probably has better days ahead.
Kikuchi limited batteries to an expected WOBA of .283 based on exit speeds and angles of their hit balls, much better than the league average of .322. Kikuchi stranded only 60% of base runners, which is unbearably low – the league average is about 72%, and Kikuchi’s string rate in 2019 was 71%. A low string rate suggests that Kikuchi had bad luck with sequencing, especially considering his strong contact quality measurements. Kikuchi’s 3.37 FIP from 2020 is also excellent, and it is driven by a better impact rate than the average of 24% and strong home prevention.
Kikuchi is enjoying a soft matchup today against a bad Giants offense that is expected to be one of the worst in baseball, and Seattle’s home park is a good pitching environment. Kikuchi can easily turn into a strong outing and provide great fantasy value on Friday. I like the idea of pairing him with Snell, which creates some respite to pay to hit.
Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks ($ 6,700)
Many of Kelly’s peripheral stats from last season were better than average, including a contact quality derived from expected wOBA allowed at .301, a 3.85 FIP and a 19% strike minus walking frequency. His matchup is not good against a Padres offense that is expected to be good, and Arizona will probably struggle to score against Blake Snell, but playing at pot-friendly Petco Park gives Kelly a good park environment at a cheap price. One thing to note is that Kelly comes from surgery for thoracic withdrawal syndrome, which can often be a terrible injury to recover from, so there is some uncertainty as to whether he will return to shape before the injury.
Studs ($ 5000+)
|Mookie bets||OF||NECKLACE||$ 6200|
|Mike the trout||OF||CWS||$ 5900|
|Corey seager||SS||NECKLACE||$ 5800|
|Cody bellinger||OF||NECKLACE||$ 5700|
|Max Muncy||1B||NECKLACE||$ 5,300|
|Justin turner||3B||NECKLACE||$ 5,300|
|Will Smith||US||NECKLACE||$ 5200|
|Charlie blackmon||OF||THE D||$ 5200|
|Trevor Story||SS||THE D||$ 5,300|
|Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||TO RIDE||$ 6000|
|Randy Arozarena||OF||MIA||$ 5400|
|Manny Machado||3B||TO RIDE||$ 5700|
|Jose Abreu||1B||LAA||$ 5800|
Midrange ($ 4000- $ 4900)
|Gavin Lux||2B||NECKLACE||4100 dollars|
|Chris Taylor||OF / SS||NECKLACE||$ 4500|
|Austin narrow||OF||MIA||4100 dollars|
Wage relief ($ 3,900 and under)
|Raimel Tapia||OF||THE D||$ 3200|
|CJ Cron||1B||THE D||$ 3,500|
|Ryan mcmahon||2B / 3B||THE D||$ 3600|
|Tommy pham||OF||TO RIDE||$ 3200|
|Wilmer Flores||1B / 2B||OCEAN||$ 3700|
|Yoshi Tsutsugo||1B||MIA||$ 3200|
|Elias Diaz||US||THE D||$ 2600|
|Adam duvall||OF||TB||$ 3,500|
Los Angeles Dodgers stack
The Dodgers are an obvious hit in Coors Field, the largest environment on earth. Rockies SP Antonio Senzatela does not miss many bats, so we can expect many balls to be put into play to potentially find grass in Coors Fields spacious field. Mookie Betts ($ 6200), Cody Bellinger ($ 5700) and Corey Seager ($ 5,800) are the best precious options, but some in the Dodgers’ lineup today are worth considering. Gavin Lux ($ 4,100) is an affordable midrange game, and Will Smith ($ 5,200) expected to be in the lineup today after sitting out on the opening day. Choosing Kikuchi at the cheapest price for jugs gives more flexibility to root for Dodger’s bats.
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I’m a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and can sometimes play on my personal account in the games I advise. Although I have expressed my personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the views (es) of DraftKings, and I may also distribute different games and strategies than those I recommend above. I am not employed by DraftKings and do not have access to non-public information.
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