This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
The weather is again heating up for the weekend, but the skies are at least clear for Friday's slate. Even with 14 games, the pitching options are limited so you can either go big or save a few and bank on hitting.
This is the type of slate to either go all in on pitching or dip into the bottom of the barrel and see what you can find. Zack Greinke ($10,200) could be chalky even with the price, going at least six innings in his last eight starts. Throw in a matchup against the Marlins, who have been bad in the last month with a 27.1 K% and .283 wOBA against righties, and it's easy to see why he'll be popular. Hyun-Jin Ryu ($10,800) has been slightly better, allowing one run or less in seven of his last eight starts, though has a slightly more difficult matchup as the Nationals have a .345 wOBA against southpaws since the middle of June. Then again, Ryu gave up one hit against them in an early May meeting.
Almost every other game has an over/under of at least nine runs so there may not be another pitcher who is worth the price. If you want to go off prior performances, James Paxton ($8,700) and Jakob Junis ($7,800) fit the mold, though you wouldn't consider the Red Sox and Indians good matchups. However, Paxton carved Boston for 12 strikeouts in eight innings in April, while Junis struck out seven Indians and didn't allow a run last week. Junis has also pitched better at home, allowing a full home run less per nine (1.02).
The Giants-Padres game has an over/under of 8.5 runs so Joey Lucchesi ($7,100) is a logical bet, but I'm skeptical of recent performances with 11 K and 11 ER in his last three. I think Jeff Samardzija ($8,200) could be a sneaky play because not only has he pitched better since the break with 16 K in his last two, but he also went eight innings in this spot less than a month ago.
If you prefer a better matchup, Michael Pineda ($8,800) hit 49 fantasy points against the White Sox on June 29 and could do so again since they own a 26.4 K% and .287 wOBA against righty hurlers in the last month. There isn't as much known about Jose Urquidy ($7,500), but he carved up the Rangers last start (7.0 IP, 2 H, 9 K) and the Cardinals continue to struggle against righties with a .315 OBP since the beginning of the month. I also have my eye on whoever relieves Diego Castillo for the Rays, but that decision may come too late.
There are a couple matchups for hitting that standout, but the Dodgers could be chalk on the slate against Anibal Sanchez, who is allowing a .342 wOBA and 2.09 HR/9 to lefty bats. Los Angeles leads the league with a .258 ISO against righty pitchers this month so things could get ugly. Cody Bellinger ($4,700) and Max Muncy ($4,100) are still the guys to own, but Alex Verdugo ($2,900) and Corey Seager ($2,900) both save a few bucks. I'd also go after Sandy Alcantara, who has allowed seven homers and 18 runs in his last four starts, and struggles against both sides of the plate. Ketel Marte ($4,200) and Christian Walker ($3,600) are the big plays, while David Peralta ($3,500) and Jake Lamb ($2,800) are up next with OBPs close to .400 in the last month against righties.
I'd also look at the Rays and Twins against Jacob Waguespack and Dylan Cease, respectively. Waguespack gave up nine hits to the Tigers last outing and he's allowing a .383 OBP to 47 righty bats faced. That's a small sample, but Tommy Pham ($3,700), Avisail Garcia ($2,900) and Travis d'Arnaud ($2,900) all fit the bill even if their numbers don't support selection. It's a little easier to find players against Cease, who has allowed 11 runs in three starts and Minnesota is stocked with lefties. You can go with the usual trio at the top of the lineup, but Luis Arraez ($2,900) is perfect for value.
I suggested both Junis and Paxton in the pitching section, but you could also take a somewhat contrarian route against them. The Indians have slowed down the last week, yet Junis is still allowing a .344 OBP to lefty hitters like Francisco Lindor ($4,200) and Carlos Santana ($3,500). Lindor has six extra-base hits (3 HR) in 25 at-bats against Junis, while Santana is 6-for-13 against him. I'm intrigued by the Red Sox because Paxton has never pitched at Fenway, meaning it's a perfect GPP route. Mookie Betts ($4,500) is a stretch due to price, but J.D. Martinez's ($4,100) price has dropped and he has a .457 OBP in his last 46 plate appearances against southpaws.
Yankees vs. Andrew Cashner (Red Sox)
The Yankees will likely be a chalk option because almost every number points to their success. Cashner has struggled against mediocre bats (Toronto, Baltimore) in his first two starts with Boston and he already has struggled against New York this season, allowing 11 runs and 15 hits in 16 innings. Cashner has allowed a .350 wOBA and 2.17 HR/9 to righty bats so this stack is full of them. Torres is 6-for-13 and Voit is 5-for-7 in their careers against Cashner, while all three have an OBP above .415 against righties since the beginning of June.
Athletics vs. Lance Lynn (Rangers)
This is mostly a play on Lynn's struggles against the A's as he's allowed 15 hits and 10 runs in 9.1 innings. Most of those struggles have come against lefties with a 4.49 xFIP and .324 wOBA allowed. Grossman leads the team with a .410 OBP since the beginning of June, while Olson has a .275 ISO. You could ride that trend with Chris Herrmann ($2,500) and Jurickson Profar ($2,900) as well, but I went with Canha due to his .370 OBP and .250 ISO in his last 100 PA against righty arms.
Angels vs. Asher Wojciechowski (Orioles)
Some may not put all of their eggs in the Angels because of Wojciechowski's last outing against Boston (7.1 IP, 1 HA, 10 K), but he allowed 10 runs in his prior three starts and has given up a .362 OBP to 47 lefties faced. Trout isn't a lefty, but it's hard not to use him in an Angels stack with a .505 ISO in his last 132 PA against them. Ohtani isn't far behind with a .398 OBP in his last 118 PA and while Calhoun doesn't have great overall numbers, I'll bet on his lefty bat and recent success.