This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
There are 14 games on Friday's docket and shouldn't be a rain cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, that won't make things easier in terms of finding a pitcher without one arm that stands above the rest.
It's usually best to save money and go with a mid-range option when you don't want to spend on a top pitcher, however, there's a lack of reliable pitchers at all levels in Friday's slate. Gerrit Cole ($11,200) and Clayton Kershaw ($10,700) are the biggest favorites, but both have lacked consistency. Kershaw is coming off a nice outing, yet allowed 10 hits and three runs in his prior start. Based off upside, it makes a little more sense to back Cole because he's hit double-digit strikeouts numerous times. While there's a possibility he gives up six runs like he did against the White Sox a couple weeks ago, he could also carve up the Orioles, who have a .293 wOBA in the last month against righties. The Giants have been slightly worse against southpaws, but I'd rather bank on Cole's K upside.
Four of Andrew Heaney's ($9,400) last seven hits allowed have been homers, yet he has 18 strikeouts in 11 innings. One of those outings came against the Mariners, who have a 26.8 K% against southpaws since the beginning of May. He has the same upside as the above options and is much cheaper.
If you want to pick your pitcher based off matchup, there are viable ways to go. Kyle Gibson ($8,800) has one earned run in his last 12 innings and the Tigers remain near the bottom of the charts with a 26.5 K% and .269 wOBA against righty arms in the last month. The less popular route would be to ride Merrill Kelly ($7,200) or Marcus Stroman ($7,400). Kelly is coming off a huge 60-point outing, but surpassed five Ks just once prior, while Stroman has four strikeouts in his last two starts. Both teams are subpar in most categories against righties, though Toronto's .276 OBP in the last month takes the cake.
Mike Soroka ($10,800) would be in that same boat, but with how the Marlins are hitting, I'm not sure I'd take a chance on him since he's not a big K guy and costs a bit too much. The GPP move would be to take a chance on Homer Bailey ($6,000) or Erick Fedde ($5,800) and hope they both rack up strikeouts against the two teams that strike out the most against righties. The problem is that neither pitcher is likely to go more than five innings.
If you have to save money at pitcher, I'd test my luck with Ivan Nova ($6,800) or Antonio Senzatela ($6,400). Nova has the better matchup and has gone seven innings in two of his last three, while Senzatela has given up only three runs in his last 12 innings at home (he should be better away from Coors Field).
A lot of people will look at Oakland-Texas because of over/under (10.5), but Lance Lynn has seven straight quality starts and Brett Anderson has allowed a solid .282 wOBA to righty bats. If you want value, Ramon Laureano ($2,900), Jurickson Profar ($2,800) and Mark Canha ($2,500) are all in play. Nomar Mazara ($3,600) is a possibly lefty-lefty matchup for the Rangers, while Logan Forsythe is a little cheaper ($3,100).
Chicago-Kansas City has an over/under a half run smaller (10) and while I suggested using the pitchers, it makes more sense to back struggling bats. Nova has allowed a wOBA above .370 to both sides of the plate and Bailey has given up a .385 OBP to righty bats. Jose Abreu ($3,800) is the best power bat with a .331 ISO in his last 130 plate appearances against righties and his 29.2 K% may not be a factor against Bailey and his lower 18.9 K%. If you want guys that will get on base, James McCann ($3,000) and Charlie Tilson ($2,500) fit that mold. Cheslor Cuthbert ($2,700) could be chalky because of price, while Alex Gordon ($3,400) is probably KC's best combo of price and power with a .250 ISO in his last 84 PA versus righty arms.
The Astros should be plenty popular against Gabriel Ynoa, though it's worth noting he's put in solid starts, albeit against the Giants and Tigers. Alex Bregman ($4,500) and Michael Brantley ($4,200) are if you have money to burn, but Tony Kemp ($2,300) is cheap and has a .350 OBP in his last 60 PA against righties. Josh Reddick ($3,200) doesn't cost much near the top of the order, yet Jake Marisnick ($2,600) has posted similar numbers in the past month.
The other game I'd probably target is Pittsburgh against Milwaukee since Rookie Davis is still a bit unknown and Brandon Woodruff gave up 10 hits and six runs last start against the Pirates. Ryan Braun ($3,100) has disappointed in recent weeks, but he still has a .459 OBP in his last 74 PA against righties. For lefty bats, Eric Thames ($2,900) and Melky Cabrera ($2,900) provide solid value and aren't too deep in the order.
Dodgers vs. Drew Pomeranz (Giants)
I've gone against Pomeranz almost every start and this time is no different even if he's pitching for his job. He's allowed 2.70 HR/9 and a .435 wOBA to righties and while the Dodgers are filled with lefty bats, that means you can find a lot of value. The trio in this stack are the top three bats for the Dodgers in terms of ISO against lefty hurlers in the last month and Freese has a .459 OBP in his last 37 PA against them. You could throw Enrique Hernandez ($3,000) into the mix, but those three are the preferred base for any lineup.
Nationals vs. Nick Margevicius (Padres)
Margevicius has been worse against lefty bats, though it's not like he's good against righty hitters with a 4.61 xFIP. He's given up 15 runs in his last three outings and two of those came against Miami and Pittsburgh. This is another favorable stack that provides a little bit of everything because all three guys have power while getting on base consistently. If you don't want to spend on Rendon, Trea Turner (4,100) is a tad cheaper, though lacks the power.
Angels vs. Marco Gonzales (Mariners)
Gonzales is another southpaw who is getting crushed with at least five runs allowed in three of his last four starts. The Mariners have lost his last seven starts and he gave up nine hits and 10 runs last outing against the Angels. This is the poor man's stack, but if you want to throw Mike Trout ($4,800) in, that'll work too. Pujols is sporting a smooth .294 ISO in 74 PA against southpaws this year and Fletcher has a nice .380 OBP in his last 50 PA. Puello probably costs too much, but he's shown early pop against lefty arms and should bat fifth again.