This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
We're looking at a 15-game schedule — all evening affairs (with the Cubs on the road). It lines up as a night where more late games are in play than usual. There are stacks out there for GPPs, such as the Rockies in Texas and the Dodgers at home, but tonight is really better suited for two-man pairs and one-offs.
FanDuel pricing is such that the featured hitters are in play for both cash and GPP deployment. Consider all the alternative options hitting below fifth in the order to be strictly GPP plays.
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Corey Kluber, CLE vs. MIN ($12,000) – My FanDuel philosophy for cash games is simple: lock in the best pitcher on the slate regardless of price and figure out the rest. This isn't the ideal matchup, but Kluber is the clear-cut best arm on the board. His strikeout stuff is back though he is facing a club not offering much upside in the area, limiting Kluber's GPP appeal at this salary.
James Paxton, SEA vs. BOS ($10,000) – Really? Trust a pitcher against the Red Sox, even a very good one? Of all splits, hitting against lefty pitching is the most suspect due to the small sample size and sporadic times it occurs. That said, Boston ranks ninth from the bottom in terms of weighted on base average (wOBA) with a left-hander on the hill. They've been better lately, but even so, it's still mid-pack. Obviously, there's risk, but that's balanced by low ownership potential for GPP action.
Ross Stripling, LAD vs. SFG ($9,100) – If you can't find a comfortable offense supporting Kluber in cash, try again. If you're still not warm and fuzzy, Stripling is a cheaper, viable alternative. He's arguably the best starter on the Dodgers staff, fanning batters at a double-digit with a miniscule walk rate. The Giants offense will be without Evan Longoria, aiding Stripling's cause.
Seth Lugo, NYM at ARI ($6,400) – I waffled between Lugo and his mound opponent Zack Godley for this spot, ultimately choosing Lugo for the budget savings. It's strictly a low-priced GPP play, again leveraging the low ownership likelihood of a late game. Lugo tossed six frames last time so there isn't the typical concern of a reliever-turned starter. The Diamondbacks offense, particularly Paul Goldschmidt, is finding its footing, but there's still ample strikeout upside for Lugo at this price tag.
Jonathan Loaisiga, NYY vs. TB ($5,600) – Why not? Granted, it's not exactly numbers-driven analysis, but GPPS are taken down by more than Statcast. There's basis for optimism as Loaisiga has fanned an impressive 58 with just three walks in 45 minor league innings, albeit split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. If you run multiple lineups, build one with Loaisiga and your choice of bats.
Jose Abreu, CHW vs. DET ($3,300) – Abreu's price is a reflection of a recent slide but it's not capturing the likelihood he's on the verge of righting the ship. While the slugger has hit only .192 the past week, Abreu's only fanned four times in that span, suggesting some batted ball bad luck. Of the five hits, four have gone for extra bases, including a homer yesterday. You can always pay up at first, Abreu is a potential value play. Speaking of which, Austin Barnes is at minimum price. I don't like punting the spot, but the backstop is an ideal utility option.
DJ LeMahieu, COL at TEX ($3,700) – The run line for this contest is by far the greatest of the evening, with both teams among the highest implied runs totals. I'm not sure why LeMahieu is priced so low. He's matched up against a raw southpaw in Yohander Mendez, making his first start (second appearance) for the Rangers this season. At Triple-A Round Rock, Mendez posted a bloated 5.26 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. Maybe LeMahieu's price reflects a low OPS lately, but he's still driving in and scoring runs at a productive clip.
Nolan Arenado, COL at TEX ($4,600) – Let's double-down with Rockies. Arenado's price doesn't seem as egregious as LeMahieu's, but any time you can click him in under 5K in a seemingly soft matchup, take advantage.
Trea Turner, WAS at TOR ($3,900) – Sometimes you can't find anything at shortstop, other times you want to build another lineup to get exposure to a few options. This is one of those nights. Turner is always a dual threat but he's even more alluring when the opposing battery isn't adept at controlling the running game. Such is the case this evening with Turner facing Aaron Sanchez with Russell martinlikely behind the plate.
Matt Kemp, LAD vs. SF ($3,700) – The Dodgers are my contrarian stack today as the run total isn't very high, so they could be overlooked. I also like the late-game aspect as well as facing the inconsistent Derek Holland.
Shin-Soo Choo, TEX vs. COL ($3,700) – As mentioned, both the Rockies and Rangers are expected to keep the Globe Life Park scoreboard operator busy. When Texas scores, leadoff hitter Choo is usually in the middle of things. He's in a great spot, enjoying the platoon bump against Chad Bettis.
Corey Dickerson, PIT vs. CIN ($2,800) – I'd be remiss if I don't highlight one hitter squaring off with Matt Harvey. The transformation didn't last long as he's reverted to the form displayed with the Mets earlier this season. I don't like stacking Pirates as they generally don't hit the homers so integral to racking up points, but a one-off is fine. Dickerson hasn't left the yard since May 4, helping to explain his low cost. Harvey could be the elixir, coming off serving up three long balls to the Cardinals his last time out, bringing his total to 13 allowed in just 57.1 stanzas.