This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A seven-game slate awaits Saturday evening, an abnormally larger slate then we normally see on Saturday evenings.
Gerrit Cole ($11,500) leads a loaded pitching slate that doesn't seem to immediately present wrong choices. He's allowed two runs of fewer in seven straight, striking out 10 or more in four of those while going for 52 FanDuel points (FDP) or more in four of seven. Facing an Angels lineup that fans a mere 17.7 percent of the time isn't ideal, and given the other plus options, it's fair to say Cole isn't preferred. But that's 100 percent price related, as there's no other reason to fade.
Lefty Madison Bumgarner ($9,800) follows at a significant discount. He's been worth 55 FDP in each of his last two outings, fanning 20 in 13 innings. He'd gone for 27 or more in nine of his prior 10, suggesting there's plenty of stability here against a Cardinals lineup that has a .318 wOBA and 97 wRC+, though striking out just 20.8 percent of the time.
Lucas Giolito ($9,600) and Robbie Ray ($9,300) round out the top-priced options. Ray always has high strikeout upside and has already fanned 22 Rockies across 16.1 innings this season. That's sustainable here given Colorado's 25.9 percent fan rate against lefties, but Ray has also given up at least three runs in four straight and has made it through seven frames just once all season. Giolito has been largely matchup proof, going for at least 22 FDP in all but one game to date. That 22-point outing was three starts ago against the Cubs, however, where he allowed six runs in 4.1 frames, though striking out nine. The Cubs rank seventh with a .338 wOBA against righties, which on the surface, makes Giolito an easy pass. That said, there's obvious upside and low-owned GPP potential.
Jon Gray ($8,700) is in great form, having fanned 28 over his last 25 innings, allowing seven runs in the process. Facing a D'Backs lineup that ranks fourth in the league with a .351 wOBA against righties, there's reason to expect low ownership and sound scoring potential. Chris Paddack ($8,200), Noah Syndergaard ($8,500) and Jon Lester ($7,900) round out the names on this slate. Paddack was hit hard previously by the Dodgers (three runs in 4.2 innings) and simply doesn't have enough upside to justify ownership. Syndergaard looks far safer given Philadelphia's 92 wRC+ and .313 wOBA, and while he allowed five runs in five frames against the Phillies previously, he fanned nine in the process, resulting in 27 FDP. He profiles a bit similarly to Ray here. Lester has been good for 30 or more FDP in three straight and five of six, and given the White Sox 25.1 percent K rate against lefties, he looks like a nice bargain option capable of returning 3x value.
Kenta Maeda ($6,700) sticks out like a sore thumb in the bottom-tier priced arms. The Dodgers are pretty big favorites (-155), and Maeda has allowed only two runs in each of his last three starts. Further, he's faired terrifically against the Padres, an offense that fans 26.2 percent of the time, having struck out 18 in 12.2 innings, allowing four runs and just six hits. Expect high ownership in GPPs with managers targeting offense.
Houston and Oakland bats seem like a good place to start lineup construction, ranking first and sixth, respectively against lefties with a .366 and .346 wOBA. Houston will get to attack Andrew Heaney ($7,400) and his 4.82 xFIP, having allowed five runs in three of his last five starts. Jose Altuve ($3,700) is a great place to start given the price and position, as he has a .391 ISO, .454 wOBA and 194 wRC+ against southpaws. Yordan Alvarez ($4,100) isn't priced too high and is also in a great spot, owning a .544 wOBA, 255 wRC+ and .467 ISO, though only across 18 plate appearances. All of Alex Bregman ($4,300), George Springer ($4,400), Michael Brantley ($3,800) Robinson Chirnos ($3,100) and Jake Marisnick ($2,400) boast wOBAs of .370 or better, so there appears to be no wrong option in the Astros lineup, and stacking isn't out of the question as they aren't priced sky high.
Oakland doesn't present as obviously when considering they've already seen Marco Gonzales ($6,900) twice, and he's limited them to four runs across 13 innings. He's fanned only seven in that time however and has allowed 16 baserunners. Prices are very favorable here, so maybe my not including the A's as a stack is a lack of confidence. Matt Olson ($3,400) has a .402 wOBA and .367 ISO against lefties, while Matt Chapman ($3,800), Khris Davis ($3,400) and Josh Phegley ($2,600) all have wOBAs of .364 or better. Despite a slow start, I'm still a fan of Franklin Barreto ($2,100) given his assumed playing time. He homered Friday and may be starting to get comfortable.
Despite the solid pitching matchup, the Chicago series has a decent 9.5 run total and shouldn't be overlooked for bats. Willson Contreras ($3,500) remains a tremendous bargain nightly, owning a .386 wOBA and .270 ISO. Opposing catcher James McCann ($3,300) has great numbers against lefties, leading the team with a .420 wOBA and 168 wRC+, with Jose Abreu ($3,500) following close behind at .408/160.
St. Louis' Miles Mikolas ($6,700) is worth targeting every time he takes the mound, but the Giants' offense is a tough sell. Alex Dickerson ($3,000) is swinging well and could be overlooked. He has a .520 wOBA, 229 wRC+ and .486 ISO since his recall from Triple-A June 21st.
Mets vs. Jake Arrieta (Phillies)
Arrieta has allowed nine runs in his last two starts (12 innings) and five or more runs four times in his last six outings, never making it into the seventh inning. He's also allowed four homers to the Mets already this season over 20.0 innings. McNeil and Alonzo have a .387 and .380 wOBA against righties, respectively, adding 147/145 wRC+ and .188/.299 ISOs, while Smith sports a .391/148/.269 slash.
Dodgers vs. Chris Paddack (Padres)
We touched on Paddack's struggles earlier this year against the Dodgers, but it's a limited sample size. What is larger is his 6.50 xFIP allowed to lefties on the road, by far his worst figure. And the Dodgers have plenty of left-handed bats to target. Bellinger largely goes without description, but he owns a .452 wOBA, 186 wRC+ and .360 ISO. He's also homered three times in as many games and took Paddack deep earlier in the year. So did Pederson, who hasn't gone deep since June 20, but has still managed at least nine FDP in six of his last seven starts, and a .384 wOBA and .320 ISO against righties. Muncy goes .375/136/.274 against righties.