Corey Kluber, CLE at CWS ($21,000): Kluber could be a relatively low-owned option in tournaments given his elevated price and lackluster performances this season, but he draws a very favorable matchup in more ways than one. The White Sox are striking out at a 22.8 percent clip and sport the third-lowest team wOBA (.280), and they’ve been worse against right-handers. They’ve generated a 24.7 percent strikeout rate and a .265 wOBA over their first 385 plate appearances against righties.
Dylan Bundy, BAL vs. BOS ($13,800): Bundy checks in as an appealing value option despite a tough matchup against the Red Sox. He’s gone at least six innings in each of his first three starts and scored 31.35 and 25.90 fantasy points in two of those outings. The one caveat is that he did encounter some trouble against Boston over three starts last season, but he was solid in his one previous start against them this year, which came in the tough environment of Fenway Park (6.1 innings, three earned runs). He was also a much more effective pitcher at Camden Yards in 2016, generating a solid 5-3 record, 3.14 ERA and .229 BAA over eight home starts – and he allowed just one earned run over seven innings against the Blue Jays in his one trip to the mound there this year.
Paul Goldschmidt, ARI vs. LAD ($10,000): Much like in Kluber’s case, the masses could be off Goldschmidt given his five-figure price and current 3-for-22 slump. That makes him a solid tournament play who could encounter some success against a familiar target in Dodgers lefty Alex Wood, who he’s already tagged for a pair of homers in 12 career at-bats. Goldschmidt has struggled against southpaws in the early going this season but blasted them for a .352 average, .362 wOBA and 44.1 percent hard contact rate last year. Those numbers pale in comparison to his home splits against that handedness, as those respective figures rose to .429., .519 and 48.7 at Chase Field. Wood has been effective in relief this season, but 34 of the 39 homers he’s surrendered in his career have come off righty bats.
Jose Ramirez, CLE at CWS ($7,200): Ramirez has posted four double-digit fantasy-point tallies over the last seven games and draws a matchup against the struggling Jose Quintana, who he has a .375 average (9-for-24) against in his career. The switch-hitting Ramirez has been better against righties during a small sample this season, but he posted a .311 average, .363 wOBA and 30.1 percent hard contact rate against southpaws in 2016.
Chase Headley, NYY at PIT ($6,000): Pirates starter Tyler Glasnow has struggled against left-handed hitters over his young career, surrendering a .374 wOBA and 5.26 xFIP to that handedness over a 67-batter sample. His numbers have been even worse at home, as he’s yielded a .439 wOBA and 9.28 ERA over 10.2 innings at PNC Park. Meanwhile, Headley has been red hot to start the season, as he’s posted a .415 average, .510 wOBA and .268 ISO in 50 plate appearances against righties.
Mike Trout, LAA vs. TOR ($10,400): Trout has scored double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six games and already sports a .319 average, four homers, .442 wOBA and 35.3 percent hard contact rate against right-handed pitching. Blue Jays starter Mat Latos is making his first appearance of the season and is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he surrendered a .356 wOBA to righty bats.
Michael Brantley, CLE at CWS ($8,000): For those looking for some savings at this level, Jacoby Ellsbury ($6,800) is an appealing value play against Tyler Glasnow for the same reasons outlined for Headley. However, Brantley makes for an attractive option despite the lefty-on-lefty matchup versus Jose Quintana. The Indians outfielder comes into Friday riding a six-game hitting streak, racking up three multi-hit outings over that stretch. Brantley also has a solid .274 average, .312 wOBA versus southpaws over his career, and he’s posted a .481 average (13-for-27) with four doubles, one home run and six RBI against Quintana, who has already surrendered 13 earned runs over 17.1 innings in three starts this season.
Guillermo Heredia, SEA at OAK ($5,200): Avisail Garcia ($6,000) is very underpriced relative to his upside and production, so he also makes for a strong play if you have the extra cash. However, Heredia comes at a nice savings and should draw the start against lefty Sean Manaea, who’s given up a 33.9 percent hard contact rate and 17 homers to right-handed hitters over his first season-plus. Heredia is likely to be in the leadoff spot Friday and mastered Manaea in the only other time he’s faced him, going for 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Giancarlo Stanton, MIA at SD ($8,000): Stanton gets a crack at Padres starter Trevor Cahill, who’s already given up a .341 wOBA and 50 percent hard contact rate to the first 21 right-handed batters he’s faced in 2017. The Marlins slugger has also reached base safely in eight of 13 career plate appearances against Cahill and has already scored over 20 fantasy points in two games this season.
Eric Thames, MIL vs. STL ($7,600): Thames has been the story of 2017 and has bashed right-handed pitching for six homers, a .381 average and .567 wOBA over 50 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has been steamrolled by lefty bats, giving up a .522 wOBA and 46.4 percent hard contact rate to the first 36 left-handed hitters he’s faced. Those problems are a carryover from last season, when he yielded a .361 wOBA, 1.19 HR/9 and 33.1 percent hard contact rate to that handedness. While Thames is sure to be highly owned, it’s hard to argue with a player of his upside who also happens to sport a price that’s probably about $2K under what he warrants.