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Top MLB DFS building blocks for Friday's slate

Michael Conforto is swinging a hot bat and has a promising matchup tonight. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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 Joe Kaiser, Eric Karabell and Kyle Soppe.


Hitters to build around

Joe Kaiser -- Michael Conforto, New York Mets

So much to like here. For starters, Conforto continues to swing a powerful bat, with home runs in two of his last four games. On top of that, he faces veteran righty Ricky Nolasco, who has already surrendered 13 long balls this season. Meanwhile, Conforto simply feasts on RHPs, batting .323 with 8 home runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple and a 1.046 OPS.

Eric Karabell -- Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers

Taylor will be in the lineup and possibly leading off against Miami finesse lefty Justin Nicolino, and since Taylor boasts an OPS better than 1.000 against left-handed pitching, this is a good thing. Taylor has certainly been a nice surprise so far, finally able to translate his walk rate to the majors and showing more power than he did in the minors. Even when Logan Forsythe returns from the DL, expect Taylor to find at-bats somewhere.

Kyle Soppe -- Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers

If you're rostering Chris Sale tonight, you are going to need to pinch pennies somewhere, and with Napoli priced outside of the top 15 first basemen on both FanDuel and DraftKings, he makes for a great place to start. This sport of baseball that we love is a numbers game, and simply put, I'm trusting big numbers over small ones. Yes, I understand that Napoli has three times as many strikeouts as hits against southpaws this season, but 29 at-bats tells you as much about a veteran as one day of nice weather on the east coast does: nothing! From 2013-16 (580 at-bats), there were only four players in all of baseball who had a higher wOBA vs LHPs on more at-bats. Only four. Ranked as low as he is in the pecking order of first basemen tonight, Napoli is the hitter I am making sure I have in all of my lineups.

Pitchers to build around

Joe Kaiser -- Taijuan Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks

Walker's strikeout-to-walk ratio hasn't been as good on the road this season, but he's pitched better away from Chase Field. Tonight, the powerful right-hander ventures West to San Diego and spacious Petco Park, which should be the perfect opportunity for him to pitch well. The Padres rank 29th in the majors with a .228 batting average vs. RHPs -- only San Francisco is worse. The one thing Walker has to avoid is giving up the gopher ball. He has been prone to that in the past, and the Padres do have 44 homers vs. RHPs, the seventh most in the majors.

Eric Karabell -- Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

Well, the guy has 15 more strikeouts than any other pitcher and is on pace for a ridiculous 344 whiffs in 32 starts. Even with the hefty price tag, whenever Sale starts, he should be in your DFS lineup. If you want to look for a guy to go with him, and he's not exactly half the price, it's Houston's Charlie Morton. Remember, lofty strikeout totals can overshadow three or four runs allowed.

Kyle Soppe -- Nate Karns, Kansas City Royals

I don't want to say things are too easy tonight ... but this is a very good opportunity for you to have a successful DFS night. I'm locking in Karns as my FanDuel pitcher while pairing him with Sale on DraftKings, and I'm not really thinking twice about it. Everyone knows how good Sale has been, but my guess would be that you'd have a difficult time separating the month of May for Karns (2.08 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 15.1 K/9) and Sale (3.86 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 14.1 K/9) had I presented it in a blind resume. Karns has seen his ground ball percentage spike this season, and if he can do that tonight against the fly ball oriented Twins, he should be able to blend punch outs with efficiency on his way to another strong outing.