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MLB daily notes: Fantasy rankings for Friday

Friday night is always a busy night for DFS tournaments. With the day's sole true ace, Jake Arrieta, taking the Wrigley Field hill for the traditional Friday afternoon game, pitching will be all over the place under the lights. We've got some pitchers off to a slow start trying to keep the momentum going, rookies looking to keep establishing themselves and even a platoon starter. There's a lot to cover but we have your back, along with some hitters to target in Friday's Daily Notes.


Pitching

Elite

As alluded to in the intro, Arrieta will be off the main DFS docket. It's too bad since it would have been interesting to see his percent ownership for a difficult contest. The Pittsburgh Pirates are the foe in Wrigleyville and they hit right-handers while not offering much strikeout upside. Still, Arrieta is match-up proof if you want to anchor your cash game lineup on an all-day slate.

Hey, look who's back in the elite; the Dark Knight returns! See what I did there? Granted, a great deal of the reason Matt Harvey is back in the top tier is a favorable match-up against the Atlanta Braves in Citi Field. That said, the right-hander has earned the spot has he's pitched his past three outings, tossing 20 frames with 17 whiffs and just three walks, allowing no homers and only two earned runs. It wasn't long ago you didn't want anything to do with Harvey in a DFS cash game. Now he's the top option on the docket.

Solid

Chris Archer is knocking on the door of the elite, falling short largely because he's still inconsistent with his control despite being among the league leaders with 96 punch outs. Archer's other crutch has been an uncharacteristic issue with the long ball as the Tampa Bay Ray's right-hander has surrendered 15 big flies in 80 innings, only four short of his career high 19 from last season - in 212 frames. The opposing San Francisco Giants aren't the ideal opponent since they don't fan a ton, though Archer will get his share of punch outs regardless. Aiding Archer is the Giants are more of a body blow than knockout punch offense so home runs aren't likely to be as much of an issue. Archer is playable in cash as well as being an intriguing option in tournaments, since his higher price will keep ownership relatively low.

Jose Quintana is coming off a curious outing where he fanned ten without a walk in eight innings against the Kansas City Royals, allowing three runs on three homers. Adding to the bizarre nature of the effort was previously, Quintana had only served up two homers all season. The Chicago White Sox southpaw has reached the level of reliability here he's a cash game option unless the match-up is exceedingly difficult. Friday's encounter with the Cleveland Indians does not qualify. While there are better options for tournaments, Quintana is fine for cash play.

Lance McCullers sports a 6.2 BB/9. The Cincinnati Reds are one of the least patient teams in the league. McCullers fans hitters at a huge 11.8 K/9 pace while the Reds whiff at an above average 23 percent clip. It's not a sure thing, but if the Reds maintain their free-swinging ways, this sets up wonderfully to use McCullers in tournaments as he has significant strikeout upside against a team that may not take advantage of his wildness.

Cole Hamels is sporting a near career high groundball rate which is mitigated by an astronomical home run per fly ball rate or 23 percent, twice league average. The move to the American League has some influence though the park move was parallel. Perhaps a trek to a National League park will help Hamels as the Texas Rangers visit Busch Stadium in the opener of an interleague set with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Redbirds lead the Senior Circuit in scoring but their well below in terms of home runs versus lefties. This puts Hamels on the list of GPP options on a night where everyone seems to have some element of risk associated with the choice.

Matt Shoemaker's turnaround continued with his best outing to date as he held the Cleveland Indians scoreless over eight frames, allowing just three knocks with 11 punch outs and one walks. The free pass was the first over the past five efforts, spanning an impressive 38 1/3rd stanzas. Shoemaker's string of solid outings should continue as the Los Angeles Angels travel to O. Co Coliseum for a weekend series with the Oakland Athletics. The hosts don't offer huge strikeout upside making Shoemaker better for cash than GPP, though he's in play for either.

Joe Ross leads the Washington Nationals into Petco Park, taking on the offensively challenged San Diego Padres. Ross' 7.4 K/9 isn't special but the home team's 24 percent strikeout clip versus righties in tandem with a meek 0.284 weighted on base average render Ross viable in all DFS formats.

For those keeping score at home, we haven't skipped a pitcher yet as ranked by projected Game Score. Usually by this time there's someone not relevant for DFS. What this means is no single arm will have exorbitant exposure. Next on the ranks is Jon Gray and he too warrants DFS consideration as the Colorado Rockies head to South Beach for a date with the Miami Marlins. The Fish are ab out league average versus right-handers so this is all about Gray's skills which feature a dominant 10.3 K/9 in concert with a below average 2.6 BB/9.

Next up is Aaron Sanchez, who's a tournament option against the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards. This is another something has to give affair as the Orioles power faces Sanchez extreme groundball rate. That's the risk. The GPP upside comes from an offense fanning 23 percent of the time against righties while Sanchez carries an 8.8 K/9 to the hill.

Why stop now? Trevor Bauer is next on the list and the way the Chicago White Sox are swinging the bats, he's in play for a home affair at Progressive Field. The Cleveland Indians righty makes for a decent cash option since despite their offensive woes, the Pale Hose don't whiff much.

Ok, let's knock off a few more tournament options so we can give the streamers some attention. Jeff Samardzija is in a great spot, albeit on the road, facing the strikeout-prone Tampa Bay Rays. Masahiro Tanaka doesn't have the same punch out upside as the Shark, but he's still the mix with a date in Target Field against the Minnesota Twins. Finally, Robbie Ray is raw but he misses bats and is facing a Philadelphia Phillies club that whiffs at a 24 percent clip against southpaws.

Streamers

Only 10 of the 30 probably starters qualify as spot starters according to our Game Score convention with rookie Julio Urias leading us off. The Los Angeles Dodgers priced prospect won't venture deep into the contest but since he's facing a Milwaukee Brewers squad that's a tick below average versus lefties while offering some strikeout upside, Urias is worth a start then hope the Dodgers relievers can take it home.

The Colorado Rockies road wOBA versus lefties is a paltry 0.282 with a huge 28 percent strikeout rate. This not only makes Miami Marlins southpaw Adam Conley a solid streamer but also a cheap DFS play. Minnesota Twins lefty Pat Dean frustrated the Boston Red Sox last time out, now he draws the New York Yankees in Target Field. Dean has the platoon edge over the Yankees table setters and is thus in play for a spot start.

Platooning position players is commonplace. At least for the short term, the Boston Red Sox are going to play match-ups with their fifth rotation spot. The Seattle Mariners venture to Fenway Park and while their offense is good regardless, they're less effective versus southpaws which gives Roenis Elias the nod. There's some risk to ratios but otherwise Elias is in play for whiffs and maybe a win.

Avoid

Joining Mike Wright and Kendall Graveman whose projected Game Scores are in the automatically avoid range, the Atlanta Braves John Gant is very risky facing a New York Mets offense in Citi Field along with Cincinnati Reds southpaw John Lamb taking the hill in Minute Maid Park against the explosive Houston Astros.


Hitting

Don't look now but the Toronto Blue Jays bats are flying high again, registering a 0.363 wOBA versus righties in June. Now they draw a rather week right-hander in Mike Wright which puts usual suspects Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders and Josh Donaldson front and center.

Early on in his career John Lamb is displaying some reverse splits but the sample is far too small to be actionable. That said, it may drive some off using Houston Astros hitters which is a mistake. Geroge Springer, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis and Carlos Gomez all enjoy the platoon edge on the young southpaw and make a great stack.

As a team, the New York Mets wOBA versus righties isn't as impressive as one may intuit, but they're still dangerous. With John Gant on the Citi Field hill, don't hesitate to use Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, Yoenis Cespedes or even the slumping Michael Conforto.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are among the teams relying on platoons to strengthen their offense, which is bad news for southpaw Adam Morgan as the Snakes can run a parade of righty swingers to the batter's box in Citizens Bank Park. Jean Segura, Brandon Drury, Paul Goldschmidt and Welington Castillo get top billing but don't sleep on Rickie Weeks and Yosmany Tomas.

Finally, the Los Angeles Angels struggle to muster up offense but with Kendall Graveman on the hill, they have a fighting chance. Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout are the best bets to produce.

Most likely to go yard: If there's such thing as a quiet 15 homers, George Springer has hit them. With Adam Morgan on the hill in Minute Maid Park, Springer is in a great spot to make a little noice.

Most likely to swipe a bag: Staying in Houston, Jose Altuve should take advantage of the Phillies' inability to defend the running game.