This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Justin Verlander is the biggest name on the slate, but with a matchup against the Rangers, he probably won't be an overwhelmingly popular play. That should make things interesting, especially with a couple other high-end arms in good situations. Without a worry in the sky (outside of minimal rain in Baltimore), it's shaping to be a fun Friday night slate.
This isn't the best pitching slate, but there are options to work with. Justin Verlander ($11,300) remains immune to matchup since he's almost a guarantee to go six innings and reach around eight strikeouts. The worry is that he's already faced the Rangers twice in the last five weeks so they should be plenty familiar with him. Tyler Glasnow ($10,700) doesn't have the same resume and faces the Yankees, making him slightly harder to trust.
If you prefer better matchups, that award goes to Luis Castillo ($10,500) and Zack Wheeler ($9,200). Castillo has coasted for at least 30 fantasy points in every start, though gave up four runs to the Giants last outing and they've also hit better with an improved .304 wOBA against righties in the last month. Wheeler is a little more inconsistent and surprisingly his worst outing in the last month came against the Reds. However, any way you look at it, the Marlins are bad with a 26.0 K%, .081 ISO and .261 wOBA against righty arms since April 1. Jake Odorizzi ($9,100) is in that same mold against the Tigers and hasn't allowed a run in his last two starts against the Yankees and Astros.
Dipping lower, it's tough sledding. At the least, there are viable options and you can save a few bucks on Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,600) or German Marquez ($7,900). It's never easy backing a pitcher at Coors, but he should strikeout at least six or seven batters given San Diego's high 27.8 K% against righty hurlers in the last month. If you prefer risk above safety, Anibal Sanchez ($6,800) has 16 Ks in his last two starts and has a small hope to reach 30 fantasy points.
The chalk move will be to bank on the Rockies at home against Eric Lauer, who has struggled in his first two years against both sides of the plate and has already given up five homers to righties this season. That's perfect for Nolan Arenado ($4,800), who has multiple hits in six of his last seven games to go with a .379 BABIP in 43 plate appearances against southpaws. Trevor Story ($4,600) should also get some love, but Ian Desmond ($3,400) is the best value play with two triples and a homer in the last two games.
Given the possibility of a blowup, it'll also be popular to bank on the Athletics against Cody Anderson, who couldn't make it one inning in his first start of the season. The A's don't have great numbers against righties, but they don't strikeout often and have an array of cheap bats due to recent struggles. Matt Olson ($3,000) and Jurickson Profar ($2,900) are viable lefty options, while Stephen Piscotty ($3,000) has hit safely in his last six appearances.
It's the same situation for the Blue Jays against Dylan Covey, who was passable in his first start (4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 ER), but it's hard to ignore last year's .341 wOBA allowed to lefty bats. That points to Justin Smoak ($3,400), Freddy Galvis ($3,000) and Rowdy Tellez ($2,900) all at reasonable rates. The same goes for Clay Buchholz, who has allowed a .424 OBP to 60 lefties faced this season. That means more value plays with Leury Garcia ($3,100), Yonder Alonso ($2,600) and Nicky Delmonico ($2,400).
There will also likely be a run on the Red Sox lefties against Erik Swanson. He was fine against the Indians last start, but gave up 18 hits and 10 runs in his prior two. Andrew Benintendi ($3,900) and Mitch Moreland ($3,700) will get the most looks, while Rafael Devers ($3,300) is always worth a gamble. Of course, Jackie Bradley Jr. ($2,200) is on the table in cash games if you enjoy crossing your fingers with hopes of only 10 points.
Angels vs. Dan Straily (Orioles)
Straily hasn't gone more than five innings in any start and is coming off a campaign in which he gave up a .360 wOBA to lefty bats. Ohtani adds another viable lefty to the lineup, which should make things difficult for Straily. If you want more power, Kole Calhoun ($3,400) isn't too expensive for a guy with 13 extra-base hits (6 HR) in 86 at-bats against righties. If in the lineup, Brian Goodwin ($3,200) and David Fletcher ($2,800) both sport a slightly better BABIP than Trout against righty arms.
Twins vs. Tyson Ross (Tigers)
Ross couldn't make it two innings with a bad back last start and has allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. He was roasted for a .368 wOBA by lefties last year, but has an ugly .431 OBP allowed to righties this year. Those numbers won't work against a hot-hitting Twins team that already grabbed four runs and four walks against him a month ago. Instead of spending on Eddie Rosario ($4,200), I'd rather go with the early Twins stack that isn't overly expensive, and all three guys sport an early ISO above .250 against righty hurlers. If you're looking for boom-or-bust action, Mitch Garver ($3,100) and C.J. Cron ($3,000) fit that mold.
Reds vs. Dereck Rodriguez (Giants)
Rodriguez had has start pushed back and that might not be a good thing after he gave up eight hits, eight runs and four homers in his last start against the Reds. He hasn't been good against either side of the plate, which is good news for an iffy Cincy roster. This is one of the more affordable stacks given their struggles and it's not dire to use Eugenio Suarez ($3,700). Winker and Dietrich have been the best bets against righty arms in the last month with a .388 and .375 OBP, respectively. Puig doesn't have many good numbers, but he felt comfortable against Rodriguez in the first meeting with a couple singles.