This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A full 30-team slate is on tap Tuesday, and the dog days of summer appear to be settling in, with only some pop-up weather concerns and lots of heat spread across the states.
Max Scherzer ($12,200) leads a big-name pitching slate in a too-obvious matchup against Miami. The last time he faced the Marlins, he put up a season-low 25 FDP. Since then, he's got a low of 37 and has topped 49 FDP eight of 11 times. Miami's woeful .118 ISO suggests only a surprisingly low strikeout showing from Scherzer would keep him from underperforming.
Gerrit Cole's ($11,500) Pittsburgh homecoming doesn't present well on paper. The Pirates fan only 19.7 percent of the time, seemingly severely limiting his upside. The floor seems stable with Pittsburgh carrying a below-average 98 wRC+, and Cole has just three games all year under 34 FDP, so there's little reason to fade him here.
Shane Bieber ($9,800) rounds out the top trio of righties, and he's a similar spot as Cole. He faces a Royals side that fans just 22.3 percent of the time, but carries a 91 wRC+ against righties. Bieber's been much more feast-or-famine than his higher-priced colleagues, fanning 20 in his last 13.2 innings but surrendering seven runs in his previous 8.2 frames. Five of his last seven games have been worth 40+ FDP, the other two worth a combined 23. The Indians are huge favorites (-240), so maybe some of the run volatility is offset by a high win probability.
A whopping five left-handers follow in price: Blake Snell ($9,200 at Minnesota), Robbie Ray ($8,900 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers), Logan Allen ($8,500 at Baltimore), Madison Bumgarner ($8,300 vs. Colorado) and David Price ($8,100 vs. Chicago White Sox). Snell is really struggling, going for less than 20 FDP in three of four, including a minus-17 outing in his last start, and he gets a Twins offense that is second only to Houston against lefties. He's an obvious fade for cash, which likely makes him a contrarian play for GPPs, as his form doesn't match his potential. Ray is what he is, an inefficient strikeout seeker with limited innings upside, but he's fanned 18 over 12.0 innings against the Dodgers this season, allowing six runs in the process. That doesn't jive with the Dodgers 21.4 percent whiff rate, so maybe some regression is in order. Allen is going to be the chalky fallback against an always targetable Baltimore offense that fans 25.3 percent of the time while posting a .300 wOBA against southpaws. If you've read this far into the paragraph, perhaps you'll be rewarded with a sneaky play on Bumgarner. He's been remarkably consistent despite not being dominant, going for 28+ FDP in nine of his last 10 starts. He has been very sound against the Rockies across two starts to date, allowing five runs while striking out 15 in 13.0 frames. Finally there's Price, whose current form doesn't recommend him, but there's a case to be made in GPPs. He's got three 40+ FDP outings in his last five, but it just so happens his last two are the outliers. The ChiSox are below average against lefties, boasting a 98 wRC+ with a 23.9 percent fan rate. He's not my favorite on this slate, but some shares in a multi-entry pool are absolutely prudent.
The bottom tier of arms isn't very exciting. Zach Davies ($6,500) is coming off his shortest outing of the year, and has next to no strikeout upside with a 5.8 K/9. That said, he has managed 34 of more FDP in three of his last seven outings, so maybe GPPers can catch lightning in a bottle. Tyler Mahle ($6,700) has at least been relatively consistent given his price.
Most lineups figure to start with Yankees bats against Toronto's Clayton Richard ($5,600), who has allowed 16 runs over his last 12.2 innings. The Bronx Bombers are actually poor against lefties, owning just a .297 wOBA, 82 wRC+ and 26.2 percent strikeout rate as a unit, although it's worth noting most of that was accumulated without Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton (or even Edwin Encarnacion). They have seven bats checking in at $3,700 or more before any Blue Jay opponent surfaces, so a stack is cost prohibitive and something to consider fading. Gary Sanchez ($4,400) and DJ LeMahieu ($4,000) present the best based on this year's splits.
The White Sox haven't fully clarified their intentions on the mound, but will roll with Carson Fulmer ($5,500) as their opener. He has a 6.65 xFIP across 11 relief innings and the Red Sox figure to get to him early. There's not a wrong step in Boston's lineup, but looking at some cheaper options to get secondary shares fits really well around some higher-priced plays elsewhere. Rafael Devers ($3,600) and Andrew Benintendi ($3,500) look ideal for their price. Benintendi in particular is surging, riding a nine-game hitting streak and posting multiple knocks in five of those.
Max Fried ($7,100) has allowed three or more runs in four of his last five outings, none of which have lasted more than six innings (19 runs in 26.1 innings overall). The Cubs don't crush lefties up and down the order, but stars Kris Bryant ($3,800) and Javier Baez ($3,700) do, owning a .463 wOBA, 163 wRC+ and .453 ISO, and .445/177/.404, respectively.
Detroit-Texas has a total of 9.5, relatively high on this slate, and with no true must-own players in either offense. This can be a game to look at for some one-off players at a reduced cost. JaCoby Jones ($3,100) and Brandon Dixon ($2,800) on the Detroit side have some minor appeal, as do Willie Calhoun ($3,200) and Logan Forsythe ($2,700) for Texas.
Phillies vs. Walker Lockett (Mets)
Philadelphia bats awoke for 13 runs and 19 hits Monday, and now face a pitcher who allowed five hits and six runs in his lone start to date. Kingery leads the way here and has standalone value given his low price, as he sports a .298 wOBA, 148 wRC+ and .301 ISO. Hoskins follows with .377/134/.249, and while Bruce has cooled after a hot start in his return to the NL, he still boasts a .357 wOBA and huge .386 ISO.
I doubt readers can be so lucky, but maybe, just maybe, casual players will assume righty Yacabonis is the starter rather than merely the opener, and ignore that Rogers, a lefty, is set to assume a few innings after him. Machado, in his homecoming, is crushing lefties with a .500 ISO, .534 wOBA and 238 wRC+. Tatis has a lower upside with a .200 ISO, but his .468 wOBA and 195 wRC+ are well above average. Renfroe rounds this out with huge power potential against lefties in a hitter-friendly Camden Yards, bringing a .489 ISO to go along with a .465 wOBA and 193 wRC+. This stack, assuming Rogers is the next arm in, is beyond affordable with huge upside.
Indians vs. Glenn Sparkman (Royals)
Sparkman's numbers against lefties are dramatically worse than they are against righties, allowing a .351 wOBA and moderate .839 OPS to opposite-handed bats against a .263 wOBA and .597 OPS to same-handed hitters. Those numbers rise to .483/1.217 against lefties on the road, and the Indians have no shortage of left-handed options. Santana leads the team with a .400 wOBA, 149 wRC+ and .295 ISO, suggesting standalone value if you're not feeling a stack. Lindor owns a .361 wOBA and .236 ISO out of the leadoff spot. Bradley gives you all sorts of salary relief, and comes with huge power potential, having hit 24 long balls at Triple-A before his call up. Jose Ramirez ($3,200) is also in play as a likely low-ownership option.