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Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Friday's MLB Games
By Todd Zola
With the Washington Nationals moving their Saturday game with the Philadelphia Phillies in advance of Hurricane Ian landing in the nation's capital, 16 games now comprise Friday's slate. The opener of the day-night doubleheader opens the festivities, putting the spotlight on batters with a chance to play two games. With the Phillies still battling for a wild card berth, their hitters are more likely to see double duty. The Nationals are sending a lefty (Patrick Corbin) and a righty (Erick Fedde) to the hill, so if the play both ends, Alec Bohm (54% rostered in ESPN leagues), Brandon Marsh (7%) and Bryson Stott (6%) are assured of the platoon edge in one of the games.
As for the pitching, Bailey Falter (14%) is coming off a tough outing against the Atlanta Braves, but overall, he's pitched admirably for the Phillies from the swingman role and is in play as a streamer facing a low-scoring Nationals lineup. The bullpen focus should be on the Phillies since they're the better team. David Robertson (52%) is slightly preferred over Seranthony Dominguez (9%). Kyle Finnegan (11%) is the Nationals closer in the event they carry a lead into the ninth inning.
One final note on this twin bill, Noah Syndergaard is listed as the starter for Game 2, so if you need a stolen base or two, the Nationals CJ Abrams (5%), Lane Thomas (10%) and Victor Robles (1%) are the likeliest beneficiaries. Beyond Falter, the streaming candidates on the docket are light. As he has just about every fifth day since July 5, Alex Cobb (34%) tops the list as the San Francisco Giants host the Arizona Diamondbacks. That said, with their young and predominantly lefthanded outfield leading the way, the Diamondbacks have handled righties better over the second half. You'll have to get him in your lineup before 2:20 PM ET, but the Cubs Adrian Sampson (8%) draws a favorable matchup for the usual Friday matinee in Wrigley Field with the Cincinnati Reds in town. Sampson will be aiming for his fifth straight quality start while facing an offense with the fourth lowest wOBA this season against righthanders.
Much of September has been spent following Albert Pujols and Aaron Judge as they chase home run milestones. Beginning Friday, much of the attention will shift to Truist Park for a big three-game set with the Atlanta Braves hosting the New York Mets. There isn't much fantasy appeal, except those fortunate enough to roster Jacob deGrom and Max Fried as cycling in fringe hitters against either is choosing poorly. However, there are intriguing strikeout trends for both hurlers. Starting with deGrom, he's obviously dominant and the Braves fan at a 25% clip against righties. In 12 1/3 innings this season, deGrom has punched out 21 Braves. There is always more downside risk to backing the over on a strikeout prop, and deGrom is averaging only 5 innings per start for his last three games, but he's whiffed 28 in that span, so having some fun and taking the over on deGrom's strikeouts even more juice to an already mouth-watering game. As for Fried, he fans fewer than one hitter an inning and the Mets may not crush southpaws, but they don't fan much against them. It's not as stimulating rooting for the under on strikeouts but doing so with Fried on Friday could prove profitable.
In addition to the hitters recommended in Friday's doubleheader, the six-pack of sticks in a favorable spot feature two pairs of teammates. Lefty swinging Jake Cave (1%) and Matt Wallner (1%) of the Minnesota Twins share a favorable matchup in Detroit against Drew Hutchison. The young Kansas City Royals duo of Michael Massey (1%) and Vinnie Pasquantino (18%) step in on the road against Cleveland Indians righty Zach Plesac who has been out since August 28. Since being promoted in early September by the Texas Rangers, Josh Jung (6%) has collected five homers and two steals in 72 plate appearances, albeit with a 40% strikeout rate. Even so, he's in play in Anaheim with Tucker Davidson on the hill for the Angels. Lastly, the New York Yankees will give switch-hitting Oswaldo Cabrera (20%) a chance to demonstrate he can be a playoff asset and on Friday, he'll take aim at the short right field in the Bronx facing Baltimore Orioles homer prone Jordan Lyles.
Starting pitcher rankings for Friday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Friday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Brandon Marsh (PHI, CF -- 7%) at Fedde and Sanchez
CJ Abrams (WSH, SS -- 5%) vs. Syndergaard and Falter
Luke Voit (WSH, 1B -- 30%) vs. Syndergaard and Falter
Ildemaro Vargas (WSH, 3B -- 1%) vs. Syndergaard and Falter
Gio Urshela (MIN, 3B -- 25%) at Tyler Alexander
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Friday
Dansby Swanson (ATL, SS -- 98%) vs. Jacob deGrom
Austin Riley (ATL, 3B -- 100%) vs. Jacob deGrom
Michael Harris II (ATL, CF -- 88%) vs. Jacob deGrom
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Philadelphia Phillies at Anibal Sanchez
Philadelphia Phillies at Erick Fedde
Prop of the Day
Jose Trevino Total Bases: Over/Under 0.5 (-210/+155)
THE BAT sees Trevino putting up 0.73 total bases for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 56.0% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $12.17.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Yankee Stadium has the sixth-lowest fence height (on average) in MLB.
Trevino's quickness has gotten better this year. His 24.5 ft/sec Statcast Sprint Speed last season sits at 25.11 ft/sec now.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Trevino has been replaced by a pinch-hitter 12% of the time when facing a righty on the mound this year.
Yankee Stadium grades out as the No. 22 park in MLB for RHB batting average, via THE BAT projection system.
The weatherman calls for the fourth-best pitching weather on the slate today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
Jordan Lyles will hold the platoon advantage over Jose Trevino today.