Diamond Data — 7 Stats to Know for MLB DFS Friday (5/20)


Data in baseball runs deeper and is more comprehensive than any other sport. These are the seven stats I find most relevant to Friday’s DFS slate. 


1. The Detroit Tigers are last in all of baseball with 105 runs scored this season

The Tigers have also struck out 319 times, 16th in baseball. The Tigers have struck out more times than the Yankees, who are fourth in runs. The Tigers offense is one that we like to target and there’s a cheap option here in Aaron Civale at $5,800 on DraftKings. Civale hasn’t been good at all this season as his ERA sits at a ridiculous 9.85. His xFIP is only 4.60, though. Looking at his game log, he’s allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last four starts, but three of those games were against the Twins, Blue Jays and Yankees. Civale’s ugly ERA should keep his rostership down on a big slate like this, but if you can get past it, he’s my favorite value SP2 on this slate. 

2. Chase Silseth’s career ERA is 0.00

Chase Silseth only has one major league start to his name as he was the first player selected in last year’s MLB draft to appear in the big leagues. Silseth had little trouble shutting out the Oakland Athletics in his first start where he went six innings and struck out four while allowing only one hit and two walks. His debut was a walk in the park and now he’ll face that same Athletics lineup only the Angels are at home this time. Oakland’s projected lineup has just one hitter with at least a .200 ISO against right-handed pitching since the beginning of last year and five hitters with at least a 25% K% against right-handed pitching in that time. Silseth is my next favorite pitcher priced below $8,000 here, but at $7,800 he’s a full $2,000 more expensive than Civale. 

3. Daniel Lynch has a 3.30 ERA this season

Daniel Lynch has actually been pretty good this year. He’s completed five innings in five of his six starts and also allowed three earned runs or less in five of his six starts. In his last start, he shutout the Rockies at Coors Field for 5.1 innings while striking out four batters. The Minnesota Twins only have a few players in the lineup that crush left-handed pitching (Byron Buxton and Kyle Garlick), but Lynch is also pitching at home here. At $6,700 on DraftKings, Lynch is yet another cheap pitcher option you can use on this slate. 

4. Sean Manaea struck out 12 batters in his last start

Sean Manaea is the top spend-up option on this slate at $10,200 on DraftKings. Coming off a big-strikeout game in Atlanta his last time out, Manaea now goes to San Francisco for another road start, though at least this time he’ll get a park upgrade. The Giants lineup is also weaker against left-handed pitching as some of their best hitters like Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford aren’t as good against lefties. Six hitters in the projected Giants lineup strike out at least 20% of the time against left-handed pitching since the start of last season. The Giants lineup is also mostly right-handed, but that shouldn’t be an issue for Manaea as he has a 29% K% against right-handed batters this season. 


5. Nestor Cortes Jr. has a 1.35 ERA this season

Nestor Cortes Jr. pitched great against the White Sox in his last start, allowing just one run in eight innings while striking out seven. He’ll face the White Sox again Friday, though this time the Yankees are at home. Chicago will put out a mostly right-handed lineup here, but that shouldn’t be an issue for Cortes as he has a 30% K% and .104 ISO allowed to right-handed hitters this season. Facing Dallas Keuchel on the other side, the Yankees are big favorites here at -200, which should give Cortes a good chance at getting the win as I expect him to pitch deep in the game against the White Sox once again. Manaea is my top spend up option and Cortes is more expensive at $10,600 on DraftKings, but Cortes should carry a significantly lower rostership percentage on this slate.

6. Germán Márquez has a 6.16 ERA this season

Germán Márquez threw a quality start in his last outing as he went six innings and allowed only three earned runs while striking out six against the Royals at home. Still, his ERA pitching at home at Coors Field this year is 6.04. The New York Mets have one of the best lineups in all of baseball as they’re fifth in all of baseball in runs scored. Marquez has struggled against right-handed batters this year allowing a .250 ISO to righties. That’s music to Pete Alonso’s ears as he has a .250 ISO against right-handed pitching this year. The Mets are priced up here, but there are plenty of cheap pitching options on this slate that should allow you to use this stack. 

7. Michael Wacha’s xFIP is 4.99 this season

Michael Wacha has a 1.39 ERA on the season, but that’s due to change soon. He has a 19% K% and 11% BB% this year, neither of which are impressive. Somehow he’s allowed a .000 ISO to right-handed batters this year after allowing a .226 ISO to right-handed batters last year. Don’t overlook the Mariners offense on this slate. Seattle has a healthy 4.5 implied team run total against Wacha at Fenway Park. All the Mariners hitters are fairly cheap on DraftKings as Jesse Winker ($3,100), Ty France ($3,600), Eugenio Suárez ($4,200) and Julio Rodríguez ($3,200) are all below $4,500. Seattle is my favorite value stack on this slate. 

Previous NBA DFS Strategy and Picks for Friday (5/20) Next WNBA DFS picks for Friday, May 20