Expert MLB DFS Advice: Cristian Javier the No. 1 Strikeout Play on the Slate (March 31)

Although Friday’s MLB DFS slate only features five games, there are still numerous opportunities available for daily fantasy players. It is essential to monitor injuries and exciting matchups that could lead to high-scoring games. In this breakdown, we will delve into each game and identify potential MLB DFS value picks.

MLB DFS Value and Advice | March 31

New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins

Starting Pitchers: David Peterson (NYM) vs. Jesus Luzardo (MIA)

David Peterson is one of the best SP2 values on the slate, priced at just $6,600 on DraftKings. He struck out 27.8% of hitters and had a 3.24 xFIP as a starter last season, and he held right-handed hitters to a .113 xISO, making him a solid option against the Marlins. On the other hand, Jesus Luzardo offers plenty of upside, with his 30% strikeout percentage last season ranking second on the slate. However, he faces a tough matchup against the Mets. While the Marlins are projected to go under-owned as a stack, individually, Pete Alonso has posted a .363 xwOBA and .258 xISO against left-handed pitchers since the start of 2020.

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Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros

Starting Pitchers: Lance Lynn (CWS) vs. Cristian Javier (HOU)

Lance Lynn has a tough matchup against Houston, but he is one of the most under-owned pitchers on the slate, making him a solid tournament option. He struck out 28.7% of right-handed hitters last season, compared to 20.8% of lefties, and there are only two lefties in the Astros’ projected lineup. Houston looks good as a stack, with Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker as the top options for the Astros’ only left-handed power bats. On the other hand, Cristian Javier has the highest strikeout percentage of anyone pitching on Friday, at 32.6% last season. He also threw 5.2 innings in his spring finale, so he should be able to work relatively deep into this game.

Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres

Starting Pitchers: Kyle Freeland (COL) vs. Nick Martinez (SD)

There is not much to see here in terms of pitching. Nick Martinez gets to face Colorado outside of Coors Field, which always makes a pitcher viable, but his strikeout potential leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, San Diego has the highest top stack percentage on the slate, with their ownership not expected to get too crazy. Kyle Freeland actually allowed more power to lefties than righties last season, so do not hesitate to include Juan Soto in lineups. Colorado projects as the second-lowest-owned stack tonight but also the second-least likely to succeed.

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Cleveland Indians vs. Seattle Mariners

Starting Pitchers: Hunter Gaddis (CLE) vs. Robbie Ray (SEA)

Hunter Gaddis spent most of last season at Triple-A, where he struck out 30.9% of hitters. However, he struggled in his two major league starts, striking out just 12.5% of hitters and posting a 7.42 xFIP. There is strikeout upside here, but it is probably not necessary given the inexpensive salaries of some of the more proven pitchers on this slate. On the other hand, Seattle offers plenty of upside as a stack against an unproven pitcher who struggled with power in his limited time in the big leagues last season. Unfortunately, there is not much power from the left side in the Mariners lineup, but Cal Raleigh and Jarred Kelenic both look good in that regard. Robbie Ray is the top-projected pitcher on the slate, but he does have some issues with right-handed power. Jose Ramirez is the best bet against him.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

Starting Pitchers: Merrill Kelly (ARI) vs. Dustin May (LAD)

Neither starting pitcher possesses impressive strikeout abilities. However, they are both good at limiting power. Arizona’s top stack percentage is the lowest on the slate, indicating that their batters may struggle against the Dodgers pitching. Despite the relatively difficult matchup, the Dodgers offense is still strong and may be a good choice for stacking. Additionally, Merrill Kelly has proven to be vulnerable against left-handed power, making Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy potentially favorable options.

Adam Scherer
Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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