This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
A full 15-game slate awaits Friday evening, so there's no shortage of options, on the pound or in the batters box.
A robust seven arms are priced in five-figures, led by Justin Verlander ($12,400) at Oakland. The price makes him a GPP pass for me, and given the depth of options, I'd prefer fading him in cash formats, too, despite the stability of his 18.7 DraftKings points (DKP) or more in eight of 10. Charlie Morton ($11,600) follows and has a much more inviting matchup against lowly Detroit. He's gone for 24.1 of more DKP in five of 10, and the Tigers fan 26.1 percent of the time against righties while carrying a league-low 75 wRC+.
Lucas Giolito ($11,000) and Luis Castillo ($10,800) follow, and figure to be overlooked by the majority. Giolito's 11.3 K/9 will be tested by an Angels side that only fans 19.6 percent of the time. Seemingly without that K potential, Giolito's upside is capped and his floor is volatile with three single-digit games in his last 10. Castillo, meanwhile, may be too hot to fade. He's gone for 20.2 DKP in seven of 10, and while the Cardinals are swinging better after a seemingly season-long slump, they still have only an 87 wRC+ in this spot. A 23.1 percent fan rate doesn't scream huge upside, but he's fanned 12 over 12.0 innings against St. Louis to date, allowing only two runs, both via solo homers.
Patrick Corbin ($10,600), Noah Syndergaard ($10,100) and Mike Minor ($10,000) round out the upper tier, with the middle option likely being the chalkiest. Syndergaard gets a Royals side that fans only 22.0 percent of the time, but posts only a .305 wOBA and .159 ISO. He hasn't been consistent, and the obvious nature of the matchup and likely high ownership make him a bit of a GPP fade for me. I feel as every time I sit down to write these DFS columns, the same "Mike Minor continues to defy logic" line factors in. He's 18 over his last two games, spanning 15 shutout innings against sound offenses in Cleveland and Milwaukee. His 4.38 xFIP at Globe Life Park isn't awful, and I'd have no problem continuing to defy logic and putting him in GPP lineups. Minnesota's HR ability and the ballpark factor do seem to make him a cash risk, however. Corbin has gone for 22.7 DKP in eight of 10, and while I never feel good going against Milwaukee, they are statistically below average against lefties with a 91 wRC+.
It's an interesting slate for secondary pitching choices, as nine of the 15 games have single-digit run totals, but there aren't a lot of huge favorites, suggesting some closer, even games with both sides scratching multiple times. Kyle Hendricks ($8,200) jumps out with the Cubs being moderate favorites at (-130). He's likely to be overlooked after allowing seven runs and 12 hits in 2.2 innings in his last outing, but had previously gone for 15.3 DKP or more in five straight starts and is in a position for a bounce back. Adam Wainwright ($7,500) may catch a few eyes in hopes he can duel with Castillo, but he's allowed nine runs and 12 hits in 9.1 frames against the Reds this year, so I'll fade his decent form. Vince Velasquez ($7,200) doesn't inspire much confidence, but he hasn't been awful of late, and the Padres' 26.4 K rate suggests he can get to double-digit point totals. He's not a cash consideration, but Daniel Norris ($6,400) can be looked at for GPPers. The game has the slate's lowest total at eight runs, and while most of that is due to Morton throwing for the Rays, Norris does have two 20-plus DKP outings in his last four starts. The Rays are average against lefties with a 100 wRC+, but do fan 26.1 percent of the time. Norris' K rate (7.6 per nine) is a career low, but there's a chance the matchup allows that to play up a bit here.
As always, we start in Coors Field where Jon Gray ($8,000) will face off with Sandy Alcantara ($5,600). It should be all systems go on Rockies bats, with Alcantara's 4.25 road ERA offset by a 6.39 xFIP. His slightly more favorable .358 wOBA allowed to lefties on the road makes Charlie Blackmon ($5,500) the favorite, while Yonder Alonso ($4,000) is a great bargain if in the lineup. Marlin bats are going to be the slate's wild card; they are largely unreliable, but are cheap, in a great hitting environment and face an arm that has allowed seven runs in his last 9.2 innings, and has lasted 5.2 or more frames in just three of his last seven starts. Garrett Cooper ($4,000) and Brian Anderson ($4,700) are the obvious choices, but a hot Jon Berti ($4,700) and/or Starlin Castro ($3,900) shouldn't be discredited.
Baltimore at Boston is another great game to attack from both sides, with a struggling Rick Porcello ($7,000) facing a bad Aaron Brooks ($4,400). Red Sox bats will be obvious against Brooks, who allowed four long balls in his last start and seven in his last three. He's allowing a .401 wOBA to lefties and a .377 wOBA to righties on the road, suggesting there aren't any bad options in Boston's lineup. Rafael Devers ($5,600) leads four options priced at 5k or higher, so maybe pivoting to Andrew Benintendi ($4,700) or banking on a long ball from Mitch Moreland ($4,500) is more cost effective. The Orioles figure to be slightly less obvious against Porcello, who has allowed 12 runs and six homers in his last three starts, and nine runs in nine innings against Baltimore this year. Hanser Alberto ($3,900) offers great value over more obvious choices like Renato Nunez ($4,300) or Trey Mancini ($4,900).
Minnesota-Texas and Seattle-Toronto are the only other games with double-digit run totals not otherwise mentioned in this column. Twins-Rangers is an obvious spot given the power potential from both sides and the ballpark factor, but the pitching matchup of Minor and Jake Odorizzi ($9,200) isn't one that leaps out as targetable. Mariners-Blue Jays, however, brings into play two offenses we wouldn't normally target. Seattle is expected to turn to Wade LeBlanc ($6,900) after Sam Tuivailala ($4,200) opens. LeBlanc has a 5.14 ERA and 5.39 xFIP at home, so I'm more than happy to queue up the Jays' young core of Cavan Biggio ($4,000), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($3,900) and Bo Bichette ($4,800), while Teoscar Hernandez' ($4,000) power is in play for GPPs. Toronto counters with Jacob Waguespack ($6,900) on the mound, who has been tough on lefties (.235 wOBA), but pounded by righties (.394 wOBA). That's not ideal given the top Mariners bats are all left-handers, and an injured/slumping Domingo Santana ($3,900) isn't in great form. As such, Austin Nola ($3,400) looks like a decent bargain to get a small share of this lineup.
Indians vs. Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees)
Tanaka has allowed four or more runs in five of his last eight starts dating back to June 29, allowing 36 total in that span. He's surrendering a .352 wOBA to lefties, which we'll target here even if he's been better in Yankee Stadium than away. Carlos Santana ($4,900) likely has more power upside, but I prefer Lindor's stability to anchor this. Ramirez is starting to come around, posting a .376 wOBA and .343 ISO against righties in August, and Kipnis is in the same mold, posting a .396 wOBA and .367 ISO in 33 plate appearances this month.
Braves vs. Kenta Maeda (Dodgers)
It's probably not an ideal matchup, but Maeda has been far worse on the road (5.66 ERA against 2.84 at home), and injuries to the Braves' supporting cast put the offensive onus on the top portion of this lineup. This trio combined for five homers Thursday night, and Acuna, though pricey, has averaged 19.0 DKP in his last 10. Freeman is equally as stable, and while we're banking on power from Donaldson, he's not cost prohibitive. A sneaky bargain option to make this stack more affordable can be Ender Inciarte ($3,900) who's hit safely in four straight and five of six. This game has a 10-run total, and while I dont expect Mike Soroka ($8,700) to shut down a powerful Dodgers lineup, the Braves figure to do the heavier lifting toward that number.
Mets vs. Mike Montgomery (Royals)
Even if not by way of stacking, I'm finding a way to get Alonso into lineups tonight, as he has a .393 ISO and .397 wOBA against lefties. Montgomery has actually been pelted by same-handed bats, allowing a .542 wOBA and 1.337 OPS to lefties, so I'm willing to roll the dice a bit with Conforto despite his less than favorable numbers against southpaws. Ramos carries a .390 wOBA and 147 wRC+ and takes care of your catcher requirement in the process.