This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
A full 15-game slate awaits Friday evening, giving us no shortage of options.
Lucas Giolito's ($12,100) current form has him somewhat surprisingly atop the pricing here. He's fanned seven or more in nine straight, including a mid-August start against the Angels, Friday's opponent, where he whiffed 11 while allowing six hits, resulting in 29.5 DraftKings points(DKP). The floor here may not be high enough given the gaudy price, as Giolito has three games of 16.5 DKP or lower in three of 10.
Clayton Kershaw ($11,900) looks far safer against San Francisco. He's fanned 10 across 14 innings against them to date, allowing only two runs. The Giants whiff only 22.5 percent of the time against lefties, but rank 27th with a .304 wOBA and 88 wRC+.
A lefty-heavy pitching slate continues with Patrick Corbin ($10,800) and Robbie Ray ($10,500). Corbin has been stable in two starts against Atlanta, allowing 13 hits and four runs over 11 innings while fanning 13, though it never feels great starting an arm against the Braves' offense that ranks 11th with a .331 wOBA against southpaws. GPPers can look here with the knowledge the Nats need a great start, and Corbin has topped 20 DKP in eight of 10. Ray is priced far too high for me. He's an inefficient strikeout arm who topped six Ks just once in his last five outings and faces a Reds' lineup with a minimal 21.2 strikeout rate versus lefties.
Dinelson Lamet ($10,300) and Michael Pineda ($10,200) round out the five-figure options. Lamet's 12.4 K/9 are the sole reason for the price tag, though the 17.1 DKP he provided four starts prior against the Rockies isn't likely enough to justify paying up. Pineda has a 12.7 DKP floor over his last 10, and while his prior exposure against Cleveland is limited, it was positive, fanning five over four one-hit innings.
Based on name recognition, it's surprising to see Homer Bailey ($8,500) present the best of the next tier of arms. He's allowed three or less in four straight and six of seven, fanning seven or more four times. Facing a Tigers' lineup that fans 26.9 percent of the time while posting a .285 wOBA, there's plenty to like. Steven Matz is a GPP wild card, having faced the Phillies four times this year, dominating them twice, allowing 10 hits and three runs while fanning 12 over 11 innings, but surrendering 15 runs and 14 hits over 4.1 frames in two other starts, one time not recording an out. He's in good form, but you clearly see the low floor.
If we're going cheap, I don't hate Framber Valdez ($6,900) against the Mariners with Houston being (-230) favorites. His 4.22 xFIP suggests he's at least been marginally better than his 5.55 ERA. Miami's Pablo Lopez ($6,300) has had two straight subpar starts, but prior to that, had a four-game run with at least 17 DKP. He's worth a look at home against Kansas City.
Houston bats figure to be popular anchors Thursday against long-reliever Tommy Milone ($7,400). His splits aren't awful, and he has surprisingly been more vulnerable to same-handed bats, but I'm willing to bypass that for the Astros' pro-lefty numbers. Jose Altuve ($5,100) has a .488 wOBA, 216 wRC+ and .389 ISO against lefties, while Alex Bregman ($5,500) owns a .436 wOBA, 131 wRC+ and .388 ISO. Robinson Chirinos ($3,900) presents well on the cheap if in the lineup.
Minnesota-Cleveland has a 10.5 run total, and with the Twins (-170) decent favorites, the scoring onus falls on their lineup against Adam Plutko ($6,700), who allowed four runs and nine hits to them over six previous innings. He's allowing a .400 wOBA and 1.000 OPS to lefties on the road, so the likes of Max Kepler ($5,000) and Eddie Rosario ($4,600) should be considered, and there's possible value in Luis Arraez ($4,100) and/or Jason Castro ($3,400) if in the lineup.
Boston-NYY is the only other game with a double-digit run total. Domingo German ($9,700) squares off against opener Jhoulys Chacin ($4,700), and while this will be a bullpen game for Boston, listed long reliever Andrew Cashner ($5,300) took the loss Thursday (throwing only 0.2 innings) and may not fill that role here. The Red Sox have gotten to German for eight runs in 16 innings, though struck out 24 times in the process. Rafael Devers ($5,300), J.D. Martinez ($5,200) and Mookie Betts ($5,000) are a combined 2-of-29 against him, so very limited exposure seems like the play, and that exposure comes in the form of Xander Bogaerts ($5,300) by default. On the other side, Chacin offers very little to be afraid of, and cost is the only thing preventing a Yankees' stack. Any one or two of Aaron Judge ($5,300), DJ LeMahieu ($5,400), Edwin Encarnacion ($5,300) and Gary Sanchez ($5,300) are in play.
Dallas Keuchel's ($9,300) current form (22.3 DKP over his last four) gives hesitancy to stacking a Nationals lineup. But given they were shut down Thursday and have scored eight runs on 14 hits over 10.1 frames against the him, there's certainly appeal. Anthony Rendon ($5,600) is chalk, while Yan Gomes ($3,200) can offer some value if in the lineup.
Rays vs. Clay Buchholz (Blue Jays)
Buchholz has a 5.45 ERA and nearly identical 5.49 xFIP, allowing a .370 wOBA to lefties in the process, making Meadows and his team-leading .390 wOBA and .274 ISO an easy selection. The rest may depend on the Rays lineup, as only one of Choi and Nate Lowe ($4,200) can go in your lineup, and they have nearly identical numbers against righties. Pham's spot in the upper tier of the lineup should put him in position to drive in runs, and while his .336 wOBA isn't terrific, his 113 wRC+ remains above average, and the .201 ISO says there's at least a little pop potential.
Cubs vs. Zach Davies (Brewers)
Davies has faced the Cubs five times already this year, allowing 14 runs and 26 hits over 25.2 innings. Rizzo's season-long positive splits against righties make him an easy call, and given the familiarity of division foes, Bryant's .347 average and .924 OPS against Davies over 49 at bats are worth trusting. I don't love the price for Schwarber, but he's homered in consecutive games, and of his six career hits against Davies, four have left the yard, giving him plenty of GPP upside.
Rangers vs. Dylan Bundy (Orioles)
Bundy hasn't been as combustible of late as he can be, but has allowed at least two runs in eight of his last nine starts, and has a 5.05 home ERA and 4.79 FIP. Santana's .262 ISO gives him the power potential for GPPs, while Choo's .375 wOBA atop the lineup should offer some stability and he's taken Bundy deep twice in only six at bats against him. Solak is a while card, as he's seeing more regular playing time with injuries piling up and offers salary cap relief and position flexibility. He has a .376 wOBA against righties, albeit in just 33 plate appearances. Nomar Mazara ($4,600) is in play if he returns to the lineup.