Our experts are here to provide the best hitters and pitchers for you to build your daily fantasy baseball lineups around on Friday.
Today’s panel includes ESPN Fantasy’s Eric Karabell, Joe Kaiser and Kyle Soppe.
Hitters to build around
Granderson has slumped a bit over the last 10 days, but he continues to bat second for the Dodgers and gets a big enough matchup boost tonight for me to build my lineup around him. He always comes with power upside against righties, but with both his and Dinelson Lamet‘s fly ball rates trending in the right direction, I like his odds of producing at least one big swing in this spot. Not only is the upside great, the floor is higher than you might assume, as Granderson owns the highest walk percentage of his career and Lamet walked at least three batters in four of his five August starts.
The youngster has homered in consecutive days and I’m just not buying that Boston right-hander Doug Fister, recent performances notwithstanding, is a reliable fantasy option. Bird has legit power from the left side and facing Fister at Yankee Stadium seems like a beautiful thing.
Goldschmidt hits everywhere and he certainly has no troubles in Coors Field, where he is 11-for-24 with four home runs and 12 RBIs this season. Facing the young lefty Kyle Freeland on Friday, Goldy has a chance at another monster game; he is batting .333 with eight homers in 111 at-bats vs. southpaws in 2017.
Pitchers to build around
If you look past the win-loss record, Castillo profiles as an impressive 24-year-old who holds decent value on DraftKings and even more on FanDuel. He struck out more than a batter per inning with a 2.76 ERA in August, a month that included a gem (7 innings, 3 hits, 1 ER, 9 strikeouts) against these very Buccos last Saturday. Obviously that was only one start, but the numbers suggest that a start like that shouldn’t have taken us by surprise. The Pirates own the fourth-lowest wOBA and the third-highest soft contact percentage against righties this season, two trends I’ll gladly take against a pitcher who has been striking out batters from Day 1.
You never really know what this right-hander is going to provide from outing to outing, but there is obvious strikeout upside and the team he faces Friday just dealt away its best hitter and ace and is just waiting for the season to end. The Detroit lineup sans Justin Upton is not impressive, especially since Miguel Cabrera continues to make outs in the middle of it. Clevinger fanned nine Royals in his most recent outing and has already beaten the Tigers twice this summer, allowing one run on five hits in 12 innings.
Snell always had the upside and now the young lefty is putting it together. Since the All-Star break, the 24-year-old has a 3.66 ERA in eight starts, limiting opponents to a .225 batting average. While he still has problems issuing too many walks, Snell is tough to hit, allowing only 39 hits in 46 2/3 innings since the break. Pitching at the bandbox known as Guaranteed Rate Field isn’t ideal, but Snell has surrendered only 12 home runs in 98 2/3 innings this season.