This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
It's back to a full slate Friday night, but the crop of pitchers is a bit underwhelming, even if Clayton Kershaw is on the mound. And while Red Sox-Yankees has one of the higher over/unders, it'll be worth keeping an eye on the weather with rain likely late in the night.
Clayton Kershaw ($11,700) is the biggest name on the slate, but diving into the numbers, he's not an easy play, especially for the price. In addition to giving up eight homers in his last three starts, the Giants have been one of the better teams against southpaws with a 17.4 K% and .363 wOBA since the beginning of August. That correlates to Kershaw's mediocre 10 strikeouts in 14 innings against San Fran this season. Lucas Giolito ($10,600) isn't as likely to win, but after facing the Twins and Braves in his last three outings, he has a favorable matchup and struck out 11 Angels in six innings against them less than a month ago.
If you don't want to spend big money, there's a wide range of places to go. Homer Bailey ($8,200) is one of the bigger favorites, mostly because he faces the Tigers. He's allowed two runs to go with 10 Ks in 12 innings against them this year and they also own a league-worst 28.5 K% against righties in the last month. Dinelson Lamet ($8,400) is favored and had 30 fantasy points against the Rockies a month ago. His 31.7K% and Colorado's .301 OBP against righty arms on the road in the last month should lead to another solid performance.
It's worth looking at a couple lefties in Robbie Ray ($8,800) and Steven Matz ($8,100) mostly due to matchup. Ray has slightly more upside with a 30.8 K%, while the Reds are struggling against lefty pitchers with a .312 OBP in the last month. Matz has been safer with at least 33 fantasy points in his last five starts and while he has brutal overall numbers against the Phillies this year, he gave up three hits in six innings in his lone home start against them. Cole Hamels ($7,700) is also in play as he's hit at least 33 fantasy points in all four starts against the Brewers, who own a 26.4 K% against lefties in the last month.
If you prefer focusing on matchup, Dylan Bundy ($7,500) is the guy, though may only be useful in GPP. He's been a bit inconsistent, but the Rangers have been bad against righty hurlers in the last month with a 25.7 K% and league-worst .271 wOBA. The matchup isn't as good for Pablo Lopez ($6,700), but the Marlins are a rare favorite, mostly because the Royals are also near the bottom of the charts with a .292 OBP against righties in the last month.
Houston will be the most popular bet in cash games, but I wouldn't throw everything in this matchup. Tommy Milone has been solid in three starts against the Astros, allowing 10 hits and three runs in 15.1 innings. Alex Bregman ($4,400) has had the most success with a .778 OBP in nine plate appearances against Milone. Otherwise, it may be worth it to try a left-lefty matchup with Josh Reddick ($2,500) and go against Milone's .353 wOBA allowed to lefties. I'd rather back the Twins against Adam Plutko, who is allowing a similar .354 wOBA to lefty bats. Eddie Rosario ($3,900) and Max Kepler ($3,500) are cheaper than usual while Luis Arraez ($2,600) and Jake Cave ($2,500) provide nice value in a good matchup.
It's set to be a bullpen day for the Red Sox, which means anyone on the Yankees is in play. Edwin Encarnacion ($3,700) comes at a bit of a discount since he just returned and the same goes for Luke Voit ($3,200) with a tad less power. The Red Sox are more of a GPP play in this spot mostly because Domingo German hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his three starts in this series.
This slate sets up more for teams you usually don't back to have success. Jorge Lopez has allowed nine runs in his last two starts and the Marlins are full of value. Jon Berti ($3,300), Garrett Cooper ($3,100) and Jorge Alfaro ($3,000) are Miami's only bats with OBPs above .340 in the last month against righty hurlers. It's the same case for the White Sox against Dillon Peters, who is allowing multiple runs every start. Chicago also has much better numbers against southpaws with a .343 OBP in the last month. Jose Abreu ($3,700) is fairly cheap considering he has a .550 OBP in his last 40 PA against lefties while Tim Anderson ($3,100) and James McCann ($2,800) are next in line. I'd be willing to take a chance against Tim Melville, who was lit up for seven hits and five runs in two innings last start. There's not much to like about the Padres outside of being cheap, namely Greg Garcia ($2,200) with a .365 OBP in his last 63 PA against righties.
Athletics vs. Spencer Turnbull (Tigers)
I'm kind of taking the easy way out, but it's hard not to go against Turnbull, who gives up multiple runs every start and has allowed a .378 OBP to lefty bats. Oakland doesn't have a ton of lefty hitters, but this group will do. Olson has a .466 OBP in his last 88 PA against righties while Brown has been a nice spark in limited action.
Cubs vs. Zach Davies (Brewers)
Davies has faced the Cubs in three of his last five starts and he gave up seven runs in the only Milwaukee outing. The Cubs know him well and his 5.85 xFIP against lefties is what I'm looking at with this stack. Schwarber has rocked righty pitchers with a .373 ISO in his last 78 PA and Rizzo has a .448 OBP in his last 67 PA.
Blue Jays vs. Brendan McKay (Rays)
I'm not sure why the Rays are such a big favorite, but it plays into an underdog stack on the road. McKay has given up at least three runs in each of his last five starts to go with multiple homers in three of those. The Blue Jays have had more success against lefties with a .240 ISO and .337 wOBA since the beginning of August. This trio has power while all providing an OBP above .400 against southpaws in the last month.