This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
A mini four-game main slate greets us Thursday, featuring two stud pitchers followed by a lot to think about. From there we can try and piece together the best matchups/skill sets for our second option while keeping in mind that we want enough salary left over to capitalize on the deficiencies of some of the lower-cost arms.
The honor of the most expensive pitcher on the slate belongs to Walker Buehler ($51), who is coming off a teeth-chattering 16-strikeout complete game against the Rockies at home. It goes without saying that Coors Field is a far different environment and while prospective owners may have been keen to give him a shot based on that performance, the prohibitive price may draw a few eyes off him.
As previously mentioned, Stephen Strasburg ($49) is not the most expensive pitcher on the docket, despite being arguably the best pitcher and having by far the best matchup. Strasburg will take a 3.21 xFIP into his matchup against the Marlins, who are a bottom-5 team against right-handers when it comes to ISO and wOBA.
Griffin Canning ($49) doesn't belong in a tier with Strasburg and Buhler, but he has logged a strong strikeout and walk rate in his 55.2 innings. The right-hander gives up far too many homers, however (1.6/9) to be considered anything more than a GPP option at this price against the A's, who hover around the top 15 in most significant offensive categories.
Sandy Alcantara ($34) marks our descent into the low-cost options on this slate. Alcantara will clash with a Nationals offense that is surprisingly vulnerable to righties but his mediocre strikeout rate combined with his high walk rate makes him somewhat difficult to roster. One saving grace for the 23-year-old may be his groundball rate, which currently stands at 47 percent.
Alex Young's ($28) dreadful 6.09 ERA in the minors this season has his price way down at the bottom of the scale, making him someone to take a look at against the Giants. Not only does the San Francisco offense own the lowest wOBA in the league against southpaws but Young is not without his talents, logging a 25 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A in 54.2 innings.
Finally, we can give a look to Tanner Anderson ($27) who has logged a stellar 60 percent groundball rate to go along with a six percent walk rate. None of his other statistics are anything to write home about but he could be walking into a specifically advantageous matchup, as the Angels carry a 44 percent groundball rate in 2019.
Alex Verdugo ($18) makes for a solid lower-cost value play against right-hander Peter Lambert, who has allowed a .656 slugging percentage against left-handed hitting in 7.2 frames. Meanwhile, Verdugo has logged a respectable .188 ISO against his opposite hand.
Justin Upton ($17) appears to be a bit lost in the shuffle as far as pricing goes, as he has notched a .313 ISO in 32 at-bats after losing time due to injury at the start of the season. He could have a nice opportunity against the groundball ways of Anderson due to the 46 percent flyball rate he has kept since his return.
We continue down the value trough with Matt Adams ($14) who has shown almost identical, tremendous power against opposing pitchers in 2019, leaving him with a .277 ISO in 56 games. Meanwhile, Alcantara has logged a 5.39 xFIP against left-handed hitters.
The price is all kinds of right for Jarrod Dyson ($12) who has logged a solid .188 ISO against right-handed hurlers over 96 at-bats in 2019. This makes him an attractive cheap option against Tyler Beede, who has allowed a .611 slugging percentage to lefty hitters in 13 innings.
D-Backs against Tyler Beede (Giants)
Marte is certified as the most expensive hitter on the slate but we can afford to splurge a bit when getting a decent price on our other two options. Prospective owners will likely want a bat like Marte steering the ship, as he has logged a .245 ISO against right-handed pitching.
Nationals against Sandy Alcantara (Marlins)
Unfortunately, Yahoo makes us choose between Kendrick and Matt Adams at first base so I included Kendrick here in case prospective owners wanted a powerful right-handed option. Alcantara has thrown the ball a bit better against righties in terms of peripheral statistics but still carries a 4.61 xFIP against them in 37.1 innings.