This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A solid 10-game slate awaits Saturday evening, nearly double what we normally get this day of the week.
The top tier of arms is five deep name-wise, headlined by Clayton Kershaw ($10,800) against Miami. He's gone for 43-plus FanDuel points (FDP) in four of his last six and couldn't have a better matchup against a lineup that has a .287 wOBA, 78 wRC+ and .125 ISO. The only knock here is he's too obvious and not too highly priced.
Luis Castillo ($10,500) leads a quadrant of righties after Kershaw. His form is great, he was worth 49 FDP in an earlier matchup with St. Louis, but the Cards' only fan 22.5 percent of the time against righties, suggesting a repeat isn't probable. Jose Berrios ($9,600) looks like a GPP only play, as his form and matchup aren't ideal. He's topped 28 FDP in just one of his last four, allowed three runs while fanning only two in 5.1 innings against Oakland two starts prior, and the A's 20.8 strikeout rate severely limits his potential. Mike Soroka ($9,200) is coming off of a career-high nine Ks and has gone for 20 or more FDP in three straight. The start before that stretch came against Washington, where he exited early after being HBP on his forearm after two frames. I love the top of the Nats' lineup, but an overall .314 wOBA and 89 wRC+ against lefties shouldn't scare anyone away. Zack Greinke ($9,000) rounds out the top tier in a matchup that isn't as bad as the Brewers' name suggests. Milwaukee has only a 98 wRC+, .198 ISO and 24.8 percent fan rate. Greinke's form is up and down, but the splits suggest GPPers should be targeting the up.
This absolutely looks like a slate to pay up for pitching, both because of the deep options atop the slate, but also because nothing below that jumps out as ideal. Sandy Alcantara ($7,200) is usually usable, but not so much against the Dodgers. LAA's Griffin Canning ($6,900) has gone for 19 or fewer FDP in three of his last four. Rick Porcello ($7,000) figures to draw some eyes against Baltimore, and while he's got a decent win chance with the Red Sox being (-205) favorites, he's simply been awful of late, allowing four or more runs in four straight starts, lasting no more than six innings, and those starts have come against bad offenses in Toronto (2x) and Detroit. He's not likely discounted enough for that poor form.
As I struggle to find secondary pitching to target, it should come as no surprise there are ample matchups to target offensively. Boston vs. Tom Eshelman ($5,800) and Houston vs. Ariel Jurado ($6,000) immediately jump out as obvious. Jurado has faced the Astros three times this year, allowing nine runs in just 7.2 frames. There's no wrong answer here, and while stacking may be cost prohibitive, Jose Altuve ($3,900) by himself isnt, nor are Michael Brantley ($4,000), Yordan Alvarez ($4,200) or Yuli Gurriel ($3,800).
Boston bats set up similarly; a favorable spot that it's challenging to buy multiple pieces of. Rafael Devers ($4,600), Mookie Betts ($4,700) and Xander Bogaerts ($4,500) present the best, while Brock Holt ($2,600) has a .382 wOBA against righties, offering a cheap in, albeit with very limited upside.
Kansas City at Cleveland may be my favorite game stack of the evening. Adam Plutko ($6,200) and Jakob Junis ($6,400) are set to square off, and both have ERAs north of 5.00. Outside of the obvious Cleveland bats like Carlos Santana ($4,300) and a surging Jose Ramirez ($4,100), Mike Freeman ($2,100) looks like a great bargain. He's gone for 9.2 FDP or four straight when he's seen regular playing time, and has a .392 wOBA and 143 wRC+ against righties. The Kansas City side is easier to buy into, and with Plutko allowing a .381 wOBA to same-handed bats, we can feel confident in Whit Merrifield ($3,800), Hunter Dozier ($3,700) and Jorge Soler ($3,700).
Philadelphia-Pittsburgh looks like another game to target with a total of 11, thanks to a pitching matchup of Zach Eflin ($7,800) and Joe Musgrove ($8,300). Eflin has allowed 22 runs in his last four starts, spanning only 20.0 innings, and has been more vulnerable to lefties. Josh Bell ($4,100) is obvious, but Adam Frazier ($3,200) and Bryan Reynolds ($3,100) are set up for success at a lower cost. Musgrove has allowed seven runs in his last 10.2 innings, and the Phillies offense is surging. Scott Kingery ($3,400) remains attractive for Philadelphia, while Adam Haseley ($2,400) is a cheap in with newfound playing time. Brad Miller ($2,600) would be a nice option as well if in the lineup.
Diamondbacks vs. Gio Gonzalez (Brewers)
Gonzalez makes his return from injury, and he wasn't particularly sharp during his rehab stint, allowing nine hits over 6.2 frames. That could be the downside of this stack, as Gonzalez doesn't figure to last long in his return to action. But while he's on the mound, we can target the D'Backs top two bats, who both feast on lefties. Marte owns a .390 wOBA, 140 wRC+ and .304 ISO, while Escobar goes .467/190/.339. The third spot here is interchangeable, Ahmed's .367 wOBA is stable, but Carson Kelly ($2,700) or Ildemaro Vargas ($2,000) both have better splits against lefties if in the lineup, and come at a discount.
Rangers vs. Jose Urquidy (Astros)
Texas has lost four in a row, failing to score more than four runs in all but one of those games, so they come at a nice discount here. Urquidy has allowed seven runs in his first 6.0 innings and is surrendering a .458 wOBA to lefties and a .522 wOBA to righties. Choo leads the way with a .404 wOBA, 148 wRC+ and .249 ISO. Gallo's power is known (.329 ISO), but his 20.6 walk rate has helped him to a .386 wOBA, while Santana carries an identical wOBA to go with a .244 ISO.
Angels vs. Yusei Kikuchi (Mariners)
Kikuchi hasn't been confirmed as Saturday's starter as of Friday evening, so insure he's on the bump before targeting the Angels. It's a small sample size (67 ABs), but the Angels are collectively hitting .418 against Kikuchi, with a 1.255 OPS. Calhoun has taken him deep twice in six chances and has a .301 ISO against lefties. Trout's name speaks for itself, but if you need convincing, he has a .398 wOBA, 155 wRC+ and .277 ISO against lefties. Smith helps balance this out price-wise and has had great success against southpaws, posting a .408 wOBA and 161 wRC+.